2001: A Space Odyssey/2010

D: Stanley Kubrick
MGM (Stanley Kubrick)
UK 1968
141 mins

Science Fiction

W: Stanley Kubrick & Arthur C. Clarke
DP: Geoffrey Unsworth & John Alcott
Ed: Ray Lovejoy
PD: Tony Masters, Harry Lange & Ernie Archer

Gary Lockwood (Frank Poole), Keir Dullea (David Bowman), William Sylvester (Heywood Floyd), Leonard Rossiter (Andrei Smyslov), Douglas Rain (voice of HAL 9000)

Arguably, the definitive science fiction movie, but also the most misunderstood as it seems to be so ambiguous, it's up to the viewer to take what they want from it. Some may choose to mull over the visual poetry as they may see fit, while others might just time their hallucinatory aids so they can enjoy the trip. Both legally and morally, I would have to recommend the former.

For me, the premise of Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece is that an unknown being (represented in this film by a mysterious black monolith) has been observing life on Earth since the very beginning, and only intervening on rare occasions to evolve human intelligence.

The movie is split into two main sections: the first being 'The Dawn Of Man', where primates are fighting amongst themselves, and after one of the apemen discover the monolith, he happens upon the concept of tools & weapons, using a bone as an implement for battle.

The second section of the film follows a group of astronauts on a mission to Jupiter, while their spaceships central computer, HAL, tries to take control of the mission for unknown reason.

The final half-hour is where you can choose to dissect the meaning of it all/experience the psychedelia (depending on how much you've been smoking), but for me the message is as follows: 

The technologies we encounter through human history, from the first rudimentary tool to the super computers that navigate the universe, are based on the same intellectual level- they can be used for good or evil and the choice is up to the user.

Kubrick's masterpiece of science fiction has become hugely influential and much imitated since it's 1968 premiere, and though it's still very much misunderstood, not many would be able to argue that it's a masterpiece of filmmaking excellence.


2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey

2010 (PG)
D: Peter Hyams
MGM/United Artists (Peter Hyams)
US 1984
114 mins

Science Fiction

W: Peter Hyams [based on the novel by Arthur C. Clarke]
DP: Peter Hyams
Ed: James Mitchell
Mus: David Shire
PD: Albert Brenner
Cos: Patricia Norris

Roy Scheider (Dr. Heywood Floyd), Helen Mirren (Tanya Kirbuk), John Lithgow (Dr. Walter Curnow), Bob Balaban (Dr. Chandra), Keir Dullea (David Bowman)

A sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey which poses more questions than delivers answers, which isn't good considering the plot follows a group of astronauts who investigate the happenings from the first film and try to piece the puzzle together.
From a production standpoint alone, 2010 is incredibly well made, with excellent visual effects, makeup, art direction and costumes, but the end will only have yourself wondering what the hell it's all about... even more so than the original movie. 
I personally can't decide if it's a pretentious follow up or just a mere cash grab.