Koutchboom Rectifies the Situation: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Haven’t done this in a while and I feel like this choice is a bit of an odd one seeing that I may be the last movie geek on earth to properly watch it, I have seen at least most of this film before because my parents owned it on DVD when it first came out, but I recall falling asleep a lot. An issue which I also had to fight this time while watching it, so I did break the movie up in two days with the two halves. So let’s see how its stood the test of time….



Why it is great:

It’s a Stan Kubrick joint…duh.


It’s the greatest science fiction film ever created, arguably.

It heavily influenced Star Wars.

Koutchbooms Decision: Greatness


There isn’t a whole hell of a lot of NEW INSIGHT I can offer to this film that hasn’t already been gone over a billion times before. There are books and books of scholar’s smelling the waft of their own farts about how smart they are in dissecting this tremendously ambitious chuck of film making.

For me though the greatness of this film is more about the unknown of it all then the known. I’m pretty sure 2001 is one of the few movies were everyone walks out of it differently and no one is ever really wrong in how they feel about it. I mean the movie is terribly terribly boring, it boarders the line between good boredom and just fucking boring. I mean a five minute shot of ship just floating does not interesting make. THAT possibly could be an ‘of its time’ thing, in that back in the 60’s when this came out, starring slack jawed at some space marvel could’ve been pretty crazy, but not we get the point and its not as effective.

I will say that the second half of the film was much more interesting then the first half, even with the 5-10 minute shots of planets and floating monolith. But that light show part…WOW, just fucking wow. Now I’ve heard up and down about the trippyness of it, I was very skeptical going into the second half knowing that I would be seeing that part. I had a feeling that it would be entirely lame and dated, not the case at all. As lame as this sounds it’s the closest I’ve felt to experiencing a high without actually being high, and I do recognize how silly that sounds. SO for all you people afraid of drugs here’s your one chance to SORT of feel what its like. Granted I don’t know if I would be able to experience it without having already experienced it for real.

I’m not sure if the movie made a lick of sense, I’ve got some vague ideas of what it all could possibly mean but nothing smart enough to form a complete sentence out of. I wonder if that was even Kubrick’s point, I think he probably expected people to take the movie however they felt and that there was no definite answer to anything (hence the giant mystery that is the universe), its why he focuses a lot on the mundane aspect of the whole voyage rather then anything personal. I get that yes he is showing how humans are becoming more robotic then robots but also in the plot he focuses on HOW TO parts of it rather than the WHY’s and WHAT’s. So you can sort of fill those in however you please.

The movie to me has its greatness firmly rooted in its technical aspects. I sat there the whole time wondering just how in fuck he did this or that of the film, and that is what solidifies this film in the history books. The floating aspect’s, the rotating room, just all the little nitpicky shit to create this obsessively realistic space movie. It is funny watching it now though seeing all the stuff that didn’t come true. (Please note I came across a post pointing out the things that weren’t true but I noticed them in the movie). PAN AM running flights to the moon when PAN AM if defunct now, Howard Johnsons have a restaurant on a space station and they are pretty much defunct now, video phoning still hasn’t taken off, and we’ve yet to make any (verified) contact with extra-terrestrial life yet. What was funny though, is that Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke sort of nailed the iPad, it even looks the same in the movie, though it was stationary the concept was there. Also in ALL these space films its always said how they never really predicted anything like the internet or google, but HAL is essentially google just much much more advanced

Do you agree?

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29 responses to “Koutchboom Rectifies the Situation: 2001: A Space Odyssey”

  1. Jarv says :

    You know, I think I’m the only person in the universe that doesn’t bow at the altar of this film. I think it’s seriously boring and not good boring.

    • koutchboom says :

      I had a feeling I was going to fall into that, and had their been no light show I probably would’ve, because most Kubrick films just bore me to death. I feel like you actually have to put me in one of those viewing chairs from Clockwork Orange to properly make it through that whole film in one sitting. Lord knows why, but I’ve tried to watch that film several time each time sleep wins. THATS why I was glad 2001 was broken up with an intermission. And it was funny because when I was trying to record it I was recording it in HD and ran out of space so I had to record the second half in non HD and i just HAPPEN to have run out of space right at the intermission. I do wish though I had flipped that and recorded the second half in HD.

      • Jarv says :

        The apes at the beginning bore me rigid, the space shit with HAL and whatnot is quite interesting, then the light show bores me rigid. I honestly think this is one of the most overrated films of all time.

      • koutchboom says :

        hahah good, I did feel pretencious as hell praising this film, but in the end it won me over for better are worse. Its one of those films where I can understand why people would love it and recognize whats interesting about it. I wouldn’t call it one of my favorite films of all time. Too me though just how well its held up through the years is a sure sign of how good it is. I mean I sat through the movie and it felt like I wasn’t even watching a movie at times, but more like a documentary or real life footage.

        Also what surprised me was that when I first tried to watch it 10+ years ago the ape stuff did bore me ridged and I think I only made it barely 5 minutes pass the tossed bone but I remembered thinking how shitty the apes looked, granted I may have just watched Planet of the Apes remake around the same time however that would factor in. I didn’t have a problem with the apes looking silly this time.

      • Jarv says :

        It’s not that they look silly, it’s that it seems to take for fucking ever and not a lot actually happens.

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah I was very boarder line about my enjoyment of this film. I bet next time I watch it I could find it just unbearably boring. It is an exercise in technique for the most part, so I don’t think it’ll ever been deemed as exciting, just fucking odd.

  2. Droid says :

    I really like this movie, but it is one I can’t watch frequently. Once every five years or so is enough for me.

  3. Jarv says :

    PAN AM being defunct isn’t the reason they aren’t doing flights to the moon, you know- although there have been Space Tourists so it isn’t that far off.

    You do know where the name HAL comes from, don’t you?

    • koutchboom says :

      I just read that people try to say its a knock on IBM with the letter shift, but Clarke says thats nonsense.

      • Jarv says :

        Clarke says it’s nonsense? I call shenanigans.

        I know that it’s some Nirvana-esque state of mind when approaching meeting god (forgotten which language) but it’s far too close to IBM for Clarke not to have known that.

      • koutchboom says :

        This is what it says on wiki:

        As is clearly stated in the novel (Chapter 16), HAL stands for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer. However, about once a week some character spots the fact that HAL is one letter ahead of IBM, and promptly assumes that Stanley and I were taking a crack at the estimable institution … As it happened, IBM had given us a good deal of help, so we were quite embarrassed by this, and would have changed the name had we spotted the coincidence.

      • Toadkillerdog says :

        Pan Am is not defunct, saw a story yesterday about its rebirth. On CNN

        Video phoning should take off with iPad now that it has duel cameras.

        When I was a wee lad -this movie bored me to tears.
        I revisited it in my adulthood and found a whole new appreciation for it, although there are still sections that bore me and i will gladly fast forward through.
        I am with droid though, I can watch this only once every few years

        Read 2010 and 3010 – much more linear – and to be honest, less magical, but helps to explain what Kubrick was doing with Sentinel.

        Clarke to me was never a great sci fi writer, but his imagination and vision of the future has few rivals.

        I love Clockwork orange. Love it.

        I hate The Shining. Hate it.

      • Jarv says :

        I love Clockwork Orange and The Shining. Hate Eyes Wide Shit.

      • Jarv says :

        Given the themes of 2001 though, I quite believe that whole hal= whatever it is. That reeks of finding an acronym and then banging words in to fit it- “Heuristically”? Really?

  4. Continentalop says :

    Jarv, I thought you hated A Clockwork Orange because they changed the ending? Or was that just the author?

  5. Continentalop says :

    I can’t say I love 2001, but I do find the movie interesting and thought provoking, which is what I think Kubrick intended. It reminds me of Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Avventura in some ways: a film that is sometimes painful to sit through but you feel rewarded for doing so.

    Eyes Wide Shut sucked. Even Kubrick’s friend Hubert Cornfield called it a POS and sad it was sad Kubrick went out on that film.

  6. TomBodet says :

    Well it really is a slow flick, and dated too-but it’s all those things it’s praised for and more-great groundbreaking F/X, tons of trippy imagery and symbolism, HAL gets to sing ‘Daaaaisyyyyy’, Keir Dullea is mistaken for Speedo. I don’t own it, no real reason to either as have seen it more than enough times-including on da big screen-where this works the best-but it’s worthy.

    And remember-Pan Am gits you there.

  7. Col Tigh-Fighter says :

    I do like 2001 and recognise its importance as a film, for me personally I prefer 2010.

    The space station stuff (and frankly art direction/production design) is just amazing in 2001. And I did love the light show at the end (did I tell you I was an old rave monster?). HAL is a credible and frightening bad guy, and I love the lip reading scene (beautifully parodied on The Greatest Cartoon Show Of All Time ™ Futurama.

    But 2010 is a kickarse film that is an unknown gem! Its got an amazing cast of Roy Scheider, John Lithgow, Helen Mirram, and Bob Balaban.

    The effects still hold up amazingly well, and it is a pretty exciting film, with the ship slowing down scene brilliantly done. A good and almost equally trippy story that continues the 2001 story, and an ending that is one of my favourites in film.

    “All These Worlds Are Yours. Use Them Together In Peace, Except Europa”

    A criminally overlooked classic, in the Colonels humble opinion.

    • Toadkillerdog says :

      I agree Col. 2010 is a gem and is overlooked.
      And it has Helen with an accent!

      • Col Tigh-Fighter says :

        It is a dirty Russian accent. lol She was 39 and prime MILFING at this point.

        And if I recall, the other Russian chick strips down to her undies and gets in bed with Scheider, but in a non sexual, its just comfy in here, sort of way too. Theres a nice bit of sexual tension in film come to think about it lol

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah I really wanna see 2010, I dig Roy a lot and add in Lithgow and your mint. I’m betting I’ll like it more.

      • koutchboom says :

        Its crazy that Hymen wrote it as well. I wonder if he was asked to are got so annoyed with 2001 he was like I’LL END THIS SHIT MYSELF!

    • Tom_Bando says :

      2010 is good! I always liked the cast-hey dig Dana Elcar(!) as a Russian! Schieder, Lithgow, Balaban, etc. to go w/ Mirren-it’s finely done. Not an easy film to make a sequel to-2001-so why not try it this way? Straight forward action w/ some adventure, intelligence and symbolism all around. I’ve not watched in ages–thanks for bringing it back into view, so to speak. I prefer it to 2001 as a viewing experience, wouldn’t rate it higher though, natch.

  8. Toadkillerdog says :

    It also makes linear sense as far as plot.
    I really do like it.

    Good call Col.

  9. ThereWolf says :

    You’re right, ‘2001’ is technically brilliant.

    When I was younger, the start bored me, I hated the apes. It’s funny, everyone I speak to about this film says the same thing; they can’t stand the apes – “takes too long to start”. I get that, but as I’ve got older I appreciate it more. The basic message is long-winded though, not so much human evolution but man’s one-track ticket toward escalating violence (the spinning bone match-cuts into an orbiting weapons satellite – though not clear in the film) and eventual self-destruction. Erm, I think…

    You’re right to say ‘2001’ is “of its time”. Some shots do go on for far too long, I’m thinking of the shuttle docking in particular which is just an excuse to have a classical music video. Nevertheless, the FX for the time are a tremendous achievement.

    Obvously, the HAL section of the film is immaculate, the way Kubrick switches positions so that HAL becomes human and Bowman the automaton. The ‘stargate’ sequence didn’t interest me that much but the ‘white room’ really does my head in.

    Nah, it’s a superb film.

    And I love ‘2010’!

    • koutchboom says :

      Yeah I can’t wait to see 2010 now.

      I like that 2001 is an interesting film to deconstruct because it can have SOOO many meanings, there’s no definent answer to any of it. And unlike some more pretentious films it has its moments and looks good.

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