2001 - A Space Odyssey


Director: Stanley Kubrick
Writers: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C Clarke
Stars: Keir Dullea, William Sylvester, Leonard Rossiter, Robert Beatty, Daniel Richter, Margaret Tyzack, Frank Miller, Alan Gifford, Penny Brahms, Edwina Carroll, Sean Sullivan, Douglas Rain
Length: 139 minutes 
Distributor: Warner Bros 
Original: 1968 
Country: UK 
Region: 2
Ratio: 2.2:1 (Anamorphic)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extra Features: Scene selection, trailer, multiple languages, subtitles, English for the hearing impaired. Limited Edition Gift Set includes: CD of the music used in the film, senitype (70mm limited edition film frame) and 16-page booklet.



The movie you either love or hate. More people seem to hate it nowadays, maybe because 2001 is so unabashedly 'Sixties.

Slow-paced, difficult, obscure, infuriating, 2001 is a movie people often appreciate at a more cerebral than emotional level: it is only good when you start thinking about it afterwards.

Anyway, since Warner Bros. (the bastards!) didn't release the movie on the big screen in 2001 as they initially promised then this is the preferred way to see it. If you, like me, only know the movie from the pan 'n' scan video, the wide screen version is a revelation. Pan 'n' scan really sucks (I'm giving away my VHS copy). Also this print is beautifully restored and the image and sound is quite good for the most part (remember the movie is more than 30 years old!)

In accordance with Kubrick's wishes there are no extra "making-of" features on the disc since he believed that it would distract from the movie. Fair enough, but one still feels cheated (none of the Kubrick movies on DVD except for The Shining has any features beyond the original trailer and scene access). This is a movie about which so much has been said and written. Then there are the ground breaking special effects (for its time) - it would have great to see how they were put together.

Interestingly enough, Kubrick didn't film any movies in wide screen after this one and only used mono sound afterwards. Being the control freak he was he was quite concerned that the movies are shown correctly in cinemas. (The same goes for Woody Allen movies - only Manhattan is in wide screen proper. All his movies are in mono.)

Speaking of scene access: with the original overture and intermission restored to the movie, the scene access would ideally be able to skip right over the ten minutes or so of darkened screen accompanied by atonal music that makes up the intermission. Instead I had to use the fast forward button - annoying.

WORTH IT? I know only of three people on the planet who actually likes this movie. I'm one of them and you might be one of them too. (My wife hates it by the way.)

RECOMMENDATION: If you've never seen it, first rent it before making any buying decisions.



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