2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) (4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Review)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) (4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick
Starring: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester
Rated: G/Region O/2:20/4K (2160p)/Number of Discs 3
Available from Warner Bro.

“2001” is a story of evolution. Sometime in the distant past, someone or something nudged evolution by placing a monolith on Earth (presumably elsewhere throughout the universe as well). Evolution then enabled humankind to reach the moon’s surface, where yet another monolith is found, one that signals the monolith placers that humankind has evolved that far. Now a race begins between computers (HAL) and human (Bowman) to reach the monolith placers. The winner will achieve the next step in evolution, whatever that may be.

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is a very strange and groundbreaking movie. In a lot of ways, it’s a film that garners debate after debate on just what it all really means. And even after the said debate, we probably will never know for sure. My first attempt at 2001 came at around 2005. I was in the mids of my quest to just see famous films and that quest led me to 2001. At the time of first seeing it, I admit I was a bit bored. I didn’t really get it and let’s be honest, it’s not a good film to watch at 3 a.m. when you are tired. But now I’ve gone back to it, after failed attempts at re-watching the whole thing before. This time I saw the 4K version, and I think that adds a whole lot to it. You realize that while the film does have cool moments, like the ending and some of the stuff with HAL, that the cream that rises to the top in this film is the visual effects. And while it may not be the most exciting film ever made, it at least excels in that area. As dearly noted throughout the years, this movie doesn’t get in a hurry. But I do believe the film kicks off in a very interesting fashion with, “The Dawn of Man”. This is a film about a lot of things, but evolution seems to be a great part of it as we see here. Apes are here, they do very ape-ish things. And we also notice in this time just how close we might actually be to such species. They fight one another, they fear things, and so on and so forth. But it’s when they find a random Monolith one day that the corner with the apes is turned. They soon after learning the art of using a weapon. After we see this we shift to the space part of the film.

From there I will admit that the next portion of the film is a bit dull, so let’s just go on from there. Jupiter Mission and Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite are our bread and butter in this movie. We join our crew and on the ship with the smartest thing man has ever created, HAL 9000. As we move along here we notice a few things. One being that HAL seems to be full of more emotion than our casts and another being that HAL will not stand for his mission to be ruined even if it means he has to take the matter into his own hands. This leads to conflict and paranoia but ultimately ends in a bit of a battle with HAL and David (one of the crew). Toss in a bit of an oddly timed intermission and this all leads us to one of the most visually eye-opening sequences we’ve ever seen on film. And if nothing else, this portion of the film is worth seeing. Even if the end results is such a confusing chain of scenes that we may never REALLY understand what they mean. The movie is something to see all these years later and the stunning 4K version is just what you need to take yourself on a visual trip with 2001!

Extras

– NEWLY REMASTERED
– HDR PRESENTATION OF THE FILM
– Audio Commentary from Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood
– Remastered Blu-ray with Commentary from Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood
– The Making of a Myth
– Standing on the Shoulders of Kubrick: The Legacy of 2001
– Vision of a Future Passed: The Prophecy of 2001
– 2001: A Space Odyssey – A Look Behind the Future
– What Is Out There?
– 2001: FX and Early Conceptual Artwork
– Look: Stanley Kubrick!
– 11/27/66 Interview with Stanley Kubrick [Audio Only]
– Original Theatrical Trailer
– Premium Booklet
– Art Cards
– Subtitles: English, Latin Spanish, Parisian French, Canadian French, Brazilian Portuguese

Quality of Transfer: 100%