Jack’s review of 2001: A Space Odyssey (Space Odyssey, #1) > Likes and Comments

301 likes · 
Comments Showing 1-25 of 25 (25 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Mal (new)

Mal Gormley Spot-on review, Jack. I couldn't have said it better.


Magdalena (Maggie) Nightingale I'm glad this is better than the movie. While it was pretty deep and had a good plotline, there was something about the movie that just bored me to tears, confused me, and made me want to press the fast-forward' button all at the same time.


message 3: by David (new)

David Dibble The tandem (film and book) are counter-points, each expressing the same ideas in different ways. The film is more puzzling and less didactic--more open-ended. It also (still) wonderfully captures the wonder of near-earth space travel that utterly escapes us today. And the soundtrack adds a majestic dimension lacking in the book. The book is quite good, but the film is a visual masterpiece (if not to everyone's liking).

An interesting question is, is it better to first read, then watch, or the other way around?


message 4: by Jack (new)

Jack Beltane @David: Experience the book or movie first? Hard to say. They're quite different. I think the movie may disappoint you if you read the book first. Having said that, the movie is a masterpiece of visual media, and the intent may be more the visuals than the plot... So yeah, I'm no help.


message 5: by Efehan (new)

Efehan Elbi Seriously, this is perfectly phrased. I'm going to use your empty container analogy when comparing the two versions of the story, now, as it is exactly right.


message 6: by Gino (new)

Gino I think you missed the impact of the novel and film being done in tandem. At some points, one or the other had to react to what the other was doing and unfortunately, the book suffers from that. BTW, the two stories didn't split along two different paths. One is a written work. The other is an A/V experience. They have different foci and, again, the written work suffers from NOT having split more from the A/V experience. 4 pages of prose to explain going through the star gate. Really?


message 7: by Jack (new)

Jack Beltane I don't think you understand books...


message 8: by Gino (new)

Gino I know you don't understand film and I know you don't know much about science fiction.


message 9: by Jim (last edited May 07, 2014 10:57PM) (new)

Jim I'm glad to hear that someone (Clarke?) gave some background about the Clarke/Kubrick/collaboration (say that three times fast).

I don't think that was the case when 2001 came out in pocketpaper - but then that was forty years ago.

Despite the stated collaboration, I have always regarded the novel to be one interpretation of the film. The film was quite oblique. It demands much inference of the viewer - if he will decide to do so. Without filling in the gaps, what is left is the container you describe. Kubrick expected more of you.

My forty year recollection is of a straight-forward hard-science novel (God need not apply). I may have to pick it up and re-read.


message 10: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Hibbett I disagree with much you said about the film. Of course Clarke had a different vision than Kubrick, but that doesn't make Kubrick's a hollow shell. It's more subtle than Clarke's. After hearing Douglas Trumbull speak about the film, I felt like I had a better understanding of Kubrick's version. He wanted to show that these aliens communicated with us and had us evolve, but unfortunately the way people evolve is through destruction of ourselves, and the only way to save us was to create a separate evolution of man (which ends up being the space child, our savior). It's a technically brilliant film, but also deals with plot subtleties unlike any other. Clarke's novel felt rooted in science, whereas Kubrick's was more interested in philosophy of humanity. Don't get me wrong, Clarke does it too, but it doesn't feel like that was his first priority.


message 11: by Bret (new)

Bret Quinn The film was based on Clarke's short story, "The Sentinel," which I've read and studied. I'm a film grad student and a huge Clarke fan, and also a huge Kubrick fan. SK touched on much more than alluded to, here. HAL's internal conflict, the visual spectacle of the monolith appearances, and the final shot of the evolved Bowman are all Kubrick's vision. Clarke writes in a literal medium, which is by nature more cerebral than film. He is probably my favorite scifi writer, but that qualification aside, Clarke's novel is still beautifully and lyrically written, and was published (IMHO) to try and answer everyone who was scratching their heads after the film was released. Clarke's anti-war theme is obvious in both mediums, and that's the universal message he wants us to "get."


message 12: by Nupur (new)

Nupur Krishna Having read the book first, The movie did disappoint me. No movie can do justice to the power of human imagination


message 13: by Martin (new)

Martin Lacasse However, it is pretty hard to translate the ideas from 2001 into a movie.


message 14: by Sebastian (new)

Sebastian Barrymore Great review Jack. I didn't understand the film when I was a kid and was left with a feeling of awe and confusion. I'm so glad I read the book which gave the film the context it needed when I recently watched it again. Probably one of the best sci fi books I've read. I just couldn't put it down.


message 15: by Debra (new)

Debra Morrow Agree, agree, agree!!!


message 16: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Cross Jack , from what you say Kubrick as far as I know has done that twice , basically bastardised kings the shining adaption by having nothing to do with film but only done half of that to this book ... if only he’d done that to the shining movie , at least king has done his own adaption , but thanks to you I will read this series , i always thought Kubrick movie of this was odd like the shining before I read it and have always enjoyed 2010 more it seemed it had a way better plot, had a story I looked it up to find it was based pretty much plot for plot to the book 2010 then I just read your post , il say this though best review I’ve read , you’ve given away no plot , only mad more sense of what happened to bowman ? The astronaught ?


message 17: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Cross .


message 18: by Miles (new)

Miles Well said!


message 19: by kokobatsu (new)

kokobatsu I was planning on watching the movie at first but because it was kind of 'old', I decided to read the book first and also to fill the gaps in the movie. So this is how I found the book: The moon-watcher part was amazing. The parts about Dr Floyd were good as well. The Hal part was really a sad one. It was like the more I read the more I get interested about what will they found out but when I reached the end (The last part of the book) I didn't quite understand. I mean how would David bowman communicate what he found to the human race or did he do it ? did I miss a link ?


message 20: by Ádám (new)

Ádám Fülöp I disagree with the sequence. I think it is a mistake to watch before read. But I am rataher an imaginer than a thinker.


message 21: by Robert (new)

Robert "After reading the book, the film becomes little more than a very well crafted container: It's pretty and neat to look at it, but open it up, and it's empty."

What? In what world can the film be considered empty? As Gino said, it's quite obvious you don't understand film.

"Kubrick touched the monolith, but Clarke went inside."

Yeah, no.
So many people on this site make me reluctant to get into reading. You people reach levels of pretense that the most stuck-up movie critic can't reach. Kubrick might not be my favorite filmmaker, but no one can call his films empty. Just because he doesn’t spoon feed information to the viewer does not make his films empty. Again, as Gino said, you don’t understand film.
And no, the book is not always better than the film. They’re two different storytelling mediums that communicate their ideas and story in their own way. This review was embarrassing, and then you tell Gino that he doesn’t understand books. Just stop.


message 22: by Ken (new)

Ken Widell You fucking nailed it.
Spot on.


message 23: by Ken (new)

Ken Widell ...and Eyes Wide Shut is as empty as empty as a pair of water with a hole in the bottom.
Sorry, not sorry.


message 24: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Kossoudji Chill Robert


message 25: by Robert (new)

Robert Sorry. I got triggered


back to top