This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Carl Hudson’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Started watching it about 9.30 in the morning. I'm fully awake and ready to watch this! It's been too long.
I love how it begins with three minutes of dark screen and sound. It feels already there like a great mystery, like something is being hidden from us; some meaning, something to make sense of it all. It's a great opening, so that when the famous "Thus Spach Zarathrusta"-opening comes, it feels like... something big. Something epic.
"Epic" is a nice word in describing this film. Because it manages to be epic without having to resort to explosions and gunfights, action and conflict. The whole film is, up to the HAL-story, pretty devoid of conflict, yet it stays intriguing and exciting and wonderful all the way through.
Much of that is, of course, the fault of [name redacted as it isn't allowed in these reviews], who shows us savage beasts, unruly and uncharted land, both on Earth in the "Dawn of Man"-segment and later, in space. It's filmed with a great sense of beauty and perfection. It's assuredly one of the very best looking films ever; [name redacted], as always, has a dedication towards the craft, the story and what needs to be said in a way few directors have ever gotten later.
And I don't care what anyone says, I really like the "Dawn of Man"-parts. It's savage and wonderfully pretty.
The sense of wonder and intrigue is what carries 2001: A Space Odyssey for me. Wonder at the things you see - the Monolith, space, the moon - and intrigue for what it means.
And dammit if it doesn't all looks real. There's not a shot in this that looks like movie-special-effects; everything looks completely real, so much that I believe it fully.
Dr. Heywood Floyd totally looks like David Lynch by the way.
WHERE HAVE THEY FILMED THE MOON SEQUENCES? It looks like the Moon. They must've filmed it on the moon. Nothing else makes any sense. They probably had a TARDIS and just went around the universe, filming it as they went along. I'm almost sure of it.
This film is a thing of complete beauty. It's everything a movie can be. It engages the mind, it shows you beauty and wonder, it lets you listen to fantastic music. And it scares the shit out of you with the HAL-story; it's like a Hitchcock thriller in the middle of a slowly uncovered mystery and it works like a charm each time I see the film.
Hal is the creepiest computer ever. I shiver just thinking about him.
I love this film.
I love that it almost doesn't have dialogue.
I love how it makes silence scary.
I love the sound design; the way it uses music, sounds (like the breathing), and silence to a perfect degree.
I love the way it looks.
This is one of the best movies of all time. It's a perfect masterpiece.
I love HAL. So. Freaking Much. (at the "I'm sorry Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."-scene now.)
This is an ode to cinema and what it can do when the people behind it know how to do it.
As we reach Jupiter, I really have to pee. Shouldn't have had that much tea. *sigh*
I'll hold it in though. Can't pause it now. Too intense and awesome.
The shots of psychedelic Earth with color-filters has to either be Dave's POV, seeing things from a new perspective, or him being shown the planet of the Precursors. That's my theory at least.
Keir Dullea is a masterful actor. He moves with grace as an old man, his facial expresses sells a lot of what's going on before that point and he's just fantastic.
In a scene heavy with symbolism that I'm much too young to go into, we see the various stages of life; call it evolution on a micro-scale.
When "Thus Spach Zarathrusta" starts playing again, it feels like a victory round for a masterpiece; like a great play is over and the actors and director goes on stage to receive the final rounds of applause. And boy, is it worthy of it.
This is the best science fiction film ever made, one of the greatest movies ever and the best "Ancient Aliens"-story ever told. It has never been done better and it never, ever will. Bravo. *applauds*