2001: A Space Odyssey is generally considered by many to be the most celebrated sci-fi film of all time and now with its 50th anniversary this year, it’s been rereleased to specific limited engagements in IMAX theaters.
Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation Of Arthur C. Clarke’s groundbreaking novel was somewhat dismissed upon its initial release back in 1968, but over time like most Kubrick films, it gathered a tremendous following by captivating and baffling audiences with its revolutionary special effects and its bold, complex story.
For those who still haven’t had the privilege or even the desire, here’s your short plot summary: The movie opens millions of years ago and involves a group of apes discovering how to use tools for the first time before the dawn of man. Then we effectively jump cut millions of years later to outer space where a team of astronauts and scientists are journeying towards the cosmos in search of intelligent life.
Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood play astronauts part of the team along with the advanced artificial intelligence system known as HAL 9000 who is “foolproof and incapable of error.”
Both men start noticing cracks in HAL’s system leading them to believe that he may know secrets that keeps the team from completing their mission.
Regardless of whatever format you’ve seen it on, 2001 has always proven to be an unforgettable experience and now in IMAX, it shines like never before. The picture and sound quality has very much improved at the end with the hypnotic and mesmerizing Star Child sequence. There’s a sense of clarity and detail that IMAX offers this sequence that makes all other formats look quaint. Every frame is seen in such immersive detail from start to finish. That’s no doubt a massive understatement.
Just as Star Wars, Blade Runner and The Matrix continued to revolutionize the genre with their visions, 2001 still proves to be the watershed film that started it all.
We may still be debating the movie’s themes and ideas as long as the format of film exists, but one thing will forever remain certain: 2001 will always be a work of transcendent craftsmanship on every level.
I was glad to have the pod bay doors open for its golden year.