2001: A Space Odyssey

( 48 )

Overview

A mind-bending sci-fi symphony, Stanley Kubrick's landmark 1968 epic pushed the limits of narrative and special effects toward a meditation on technology and humanity. Based on Arthur C. Clarke's story The Sentinel, Kubrick and Clarke's screenplay is structured in four movements. At the "Dawn of Man," a group of hominids encounters a mysterious black monolith alien to their surroundings. To the strains of Strauss's 1896 "Also sprach Zarathustra," a hominid invents the first weapon, using a bone to kill prey. As ...
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Overview

A mind-bending sci-fi symphony, Stanley Kubrick's landmark 1968 epic pushed the limits of narrative and special effects toward a meditation on technology and humanity. Based on Arthur C. Clarke's story The Sentinel, Kubrick and Clarke's screenplay is structured in four movements. At the "Dawn of Man," a group of hominids encounters a mysterious black monolith alien to their surroundings. To the strains of Strauss's 1896 "Also sprach Zarathustra," a hominid invents the first weapon, using a bone to kill prey. As the hominid tosses the bone in the air, Kubrick cuts to a 21st century spacecraft hovering over the Earth, skipping ahead millions of years in technological development. U.S. scientist Dr. Heywood Floyd William Sylvester travels to the moon to check out the discovery of a strange object on the moon's surface: a black monolith. As the sun's rays strike the stone, however, it emits a piercing, deafening sound that fills the investigators' headphones and stops them in their path. Cutting ahead 18 months, impassive astronauts David Bowman Keir Dullea and Frank Poole Gary Lockwood head toward Jupiter on the spaceship Discovery, their only company three hibernating astronauts and the vocal, man-made HAL 9000 computer running the entire ship. When the all-too-human HAL malfunctions, however, he tries to murder the astronauts to cover his error, forcing Bowman to defend himself the only way he can. Free of HAL, and finally informed of the voyage's purpose by a recording from Floyd, Bowman journeys to "Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite," through the psychedelic slit-scan star-gate to an 18th century room, and the completion of the monolith's evolutionary mission. With assistance from special-effects expert Douglas Trumbull, Kubrick spent over two years meticulously creating the most "realistic" depictions of outer space ever seen, greatly advancing cinematic technology for a story expressing grave doubts about technology itself. Despite some initial critical reservations that it was too long and too dull, 2001 became one of the most popular films of 1968, underlining the generation gap between young moviegoers who wanted to see something new and challenging and oldsters who "didn't get it." Provocatively billed as "the ultimate trip," 2001 quickly caught on with a counterculture youth audience open to a contemplative i.e. chemically enhanced viewing experience of a film suggesting that the way to enlightenment was to free one's mind of the U.S. military-industrial-technological complex.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
This limited-edition collector's classic box set of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey includes the restored digital transfer on DVD, the original soundtrack on CD, a 16-page behind-the-scenes booklet, a 70mm film frame matted and suitable for framing, and a free poster offer.
All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
Stanley Kubrick rewrote the book on what a mainstream, major-studio motion picture could look, sound, and feel like with this groundbreaking work. At a time when science fiction onscreen meant bug-eyed monsters menacing scantily clad women, 2001: A Space Odyssey was a visually dazzling and intellectually challenging experience. Kubrick abandoned narrative convention to tell four tangentially related stories about man's destiny, reflected in the conquest of space. Kubrick also insisted that a story set in outer space should look like it was taking place in outer space, and his special effects team (headed by Douglas Trumbull) created some of the most stunning visual effects to appear onscreen before or since. Unlike the effects-laden films that followed in the wake of Star Wars, the imagery in 2001 doesn't slow the story but helps move it along, and it creates a genuine sense of wonder about the beautiful, dangerous vastness of space. Kubrick's embrace of avant-garde music and abstract visual textures brought experimental art to an audience that had no exposure to the works of such '60s avant-garde filmmakers as Stan Brakhage or Jordan Belson, and the film's resulting "trippy" atmosphere greatly increased its popularity (and revenue) as a late '60s drug movie. Still as richly thought-provoking as ever, 2001: A Space Odyssey remains a watershed work in '60s cinema and lives up to its billing as "the ultimate trip."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/6/1998
  • UPC: 081227255039
  • Original Release: 1968
  • Rating:

  • Source: Rhino
  • Presentation: Includes Compact Disk
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Keir Dullea Bowman
Gary Lockwood Poole
William Sylvester Dr. Heywood Floyd
Daniel Richter Moonwatcher, the Man-Ape
Douglas Rain Voice Only
Leonard Rossiter Smyslov
Margaret Tyzack Elena
Robert Beatty Halvorsen
Sean Sullivan Michaels
John Ashley Astronaut
Glenn Beck
Ed Bishop Lunar shuttle captain
Penny Brahms Stewardess
Edwina Carroll Stewardess
David Hines
David Hines Ape
Simon Davis
Terry Duggan
Alan Gifford Poole's Father
Ann Gillis
Tony Jackson
John Jordan
Vivian Kubrick Floyd's Daughter
Frank Miller Mission Controller
Bill Weston
Technical Credits
Stanley Kubrick Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Special Effects
Hardy Amies Costumes/Costume Designer
Ernest Archer Production Designer
Arthur C. Clarke Screenwriter
Derek Cracknell Asst. Director
Stuart Freeborn Makeup
John Hoesli Art Director
Tom Howard Special Effects
Harry Lange Production Designer
Bryan Loftus Special Effects
Bruce Logan Special Effects
Ray Lovejoy Editor
Victor Lyndon Producer
Tony Masters Production Designer
Alex North Score Composer
David D. Osborn Special Effects
Douglas Trumbull Special Effects
Geoffrey Unsworth Cinematographer
Wally Veevers Special Effects
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 48 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(36)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Masterpiece without compare.

    I am not the first and certainly not the last to claim Kuberick's "2001" as a masterpiece. "2001" has grown in my personal experience: from a mysterious sci-fi fantasy during my adolescence to an intriguing, though-provoking philosophical blockbuster in my adulthood. As many know, the film has the distinction of being based on a novel as the novel is based on the film. I recommend reading the novel and watching the film, not because there are any significant differences but because the novel provides just a little bit more of background information (perhaps 2-3 paragraphs) that provides a slight bit of thoroughness I thought the film lacked. Then again, I do like HAL's malfunction better in the novel. I guess you can't call it a masterpiece if something is lacking, but in this case, it is irrelevant. The film is a masterpiece in the sense of what it portrays, the boundaries of filmmaking it exceeds, and it's uniqueness. The novel to the movie is what celery salt is to a Bloody Mary---just a bit more that makes it better.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    There'll never be another like it!

    Simply the best science-fiction movie ever made. Even 41 years later, the special effects are seamless. The story is thought provoking, and the slow, deliberate pacing gives you time to take it all in. One note regarding this remastered version released in 2007; the sound quality is poor. My previous copy (part of The Stanley Kubrick Collection) has a much better sound profile.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Blow your mind!

    The subtexts and commentary here are insane, not for the explosions and car chase crowd! Combine two uber geniuses in their field, Kubrick and Clark, and you get an outstanding thought provoking experience. Long before space travel was a reality Clark was writing the details of the problems involved. Kubrick brings a comic and stunning visual to the ideas Clark presented. A two hour movie is way too short to display all the details contained in the Clark book, but Kubrick displays the main ideas here completely, requires repeated viewings to grasp each. Must viewing for true fans of Sci Fi and anyone interested in anthropolgy.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I'm running out of stars!

    As many, I saw this mind-blowing masterpiece my first time as a pre-teen on the big screen in the early 1970's and was equally amazed and puzzled by this movie. It takes all the time that it needs and is one of the few, if not the only sci-fi movie that accurately adheres to the laws of physics in space (well, except for monoliths and other super-natural events). Considering that when it was made, Apollo 8 yet had to even circle around the moon, quite an accomplishment by Arthur Clarke and Stan Kubrick. The DVD is technically well done for a film of this age and comes almost in the original 2.20:1 Super-Panavision format, but no extras with the stand-alone DVD. The story of the evolution of mankind (guided creation, pure coincidence, or something inbetween?) up to the super-computer that turns against his/its creators (can a machine become a conscious being?) is still as current today as it was some 40 years ago. The meaning of the monolith and especially the last 30min of the movie has always been a mystery waiting to be explained. Thus, I ended up buying the novel recently, which really helped a lot in figuring out what's going on. There is a good chance that you were slightly on the wrong track with your previous interpretation... So, what would be the best strategy? Possibly, first watch the film a couple of times to just inhale this great collage of images and sound, then read the novel, finally watch the movie again and actually get the idea. Or maybe not - movie and book differ in quite a few details - thus, who knows?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Quite possibly the strangest film I've ever seen.

    This was the first Stanley Kubrick film I'd seen and it still blows my mind just thinking about it. Kubrick takes what sounds like a pulp fiction plot on paper (Evil computer, space travel, etc.) and makes it into a thoroughly amazing film. Be forewarned,though:You will not understand 90% of this film. It jumps the guardrail of focused, tight narrative to become a symphony of sight and sound. It still comes of as uncoventional today, even after technological advances in moviemaking. It's also home to two of the most constantly played themes in movie history, as well as some eerily disturbing sequences, the ending in particular. But Kubrick's too good of a director to just throw paint on a canvas of celluloid. Though it seems insanely random, Kubrick's message is still as timely as ever: someday what man creates may decide to uncreate him. A movie masterpiece.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2012

    Everything about this movie is built on ideas. Not plot. English

    Everything about this movie is built on ideas. Not plot. English teachers will tell you that in a work of fiction, if every sentence doesn't advance the plot, it is pointless. That is not true in MANY cases, and certainly not in the case of this film. Experiencing this movie does not take two and a half hours, it takes days, maybe even weeks to gain your own understanding of it. Stanley Kubrick built a visual odyssey that doesn't give answers but asks them. Not many movies can do that. I urge anyone who hasn't seen this to get the dvd/blu-ray. Everyone should at least see it once.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

    Mind blowing - a must see

    This movie is spectacular on regular DVD, but it just so much better on bluray, especially the shots of space. Mind blowing and awe inspiring 2001 is amazing.

    I haven't explored all the special features yet, but there is a good amount of them which is nice.

    The only minor complaint I have is that all the special features are available on the menu after the movie is finished, having never come across that before I was surprised to put it mildly.

    That not withstanding, 2001 is one of the best movies ever made and a must have DVD for those with a bluray player.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great Ride

    To be honest, I always thought this movie was terrible. I thought it was overrated, too slow, and just the most boring thing in the world. That is, until I finally watched it all the way through from start to finish and then watched it AGAIN a second time in the same sitting. WOW. The thing that amazed me the most about this movie were the special effects. Yes, they're a little dated and from the '60s, but they still look amazing and more believable than other sci-fi films where every shot is plastered with CGI. Kubrick took these special effects one step further by doing absolutely crazy things with the camera. I love the jump scene at the beginning, and the satellite ballet is amazing. But my favorite scene in the film is when Floyd is sleeping on the shuttle and his pen is floating in the middle of the cabin. This scene is absolutely mind-boggling! I watched it four times trying to figure out how Kubrick made the pen float and I was unable to. If it wasn't for the special features, I'd still be pulling my hair out trying to solve it! My absolute favorite thing about this movie (aside from the special effects) is that you start glazing over when you watch it. About halfway through, you slip into a trance and just get lost in the atmosphere of the film. Then the movie ends and you're left entranced for the rest of the day. It sounds corny and stupid, but I've seen this film close to twenty times and every time that's happened to me. One of the greatest rides to be experienced in life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Great Work of Art! Astonishing!

    I am only 13, yet I found this movie to be incredibly wonderful, and though it was not fast paced (at all), it was still very exciting in a visual sense. I have seen 4 Kubrick films (Dr. Strangelove, Full Metal Jacket, The Shining, and 2001), and I found this to be the second best (next to Strangelove). Don't think that means that this is not a good movie though. It is definately in my top ten favorite movie list (it is #8). Kubrick is a definate artist. He is a visual and cinematic genious. He is one of my favorite directors (next to Tarantino and Scorsese). This films message of mankind, space, time, machinery, wonder, and amazment is incredible. I know there are many who don't understand the ending at all. I'm not possitive that even I do. But if it was meant to be understood, it would have come right out and explained itself. It is meant for the veiwer to decide on its meaning, so that it keeps you guessing. A wonderful breakthrought of '60s cinema!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    2001

    Does we need any words? This film is absolutley genius. Nobody was that close on gate of universe like Kubrick.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Nietzsche,s philosophy filmed.

    Have seen this mindbender over 100 times since 1970-still the best intellectual film ever.Try Len Wheat,s book ''Kubrick,s 2001-A Triple Allegory'' to see Who HAL symbolises,and why man has to ''kill'' Him before taking the next step in evolution.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Best Movie of All Time! (Don't listen to ''the experts'')

    What can I say? This movie is probally the most innovative and original movie ever made. The story (crafted by Arthur C. Clarke and Stanly Kubrick) is one of the best tales of man-against-machine ever dared to be dreamed. This movie bucks the trends of the day and strives for two things: realism and story. I like what is said about the feel of the characters in this movie: ''robotic humans'' and ''human machines''. The erronous computer HAL 9000 is far more human than the rest of the crew and provides us with a clear delemma: How did crew member Dave Bowman degrade to a machine and HAL ''evolve'' into a human? The movie ends with the most brilliant and talked about scene in ''serious'' science-fiction movies: ''the star child'' and his governings over earth. For those of you who ''don't get it'', the novel of the same name is where you really learn exactly what is happening. I recommend that you read the novel, then watch the movie. Makes perfect sense after that.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Brilliant

    Far and away the most intellectual and enjoyable sci-fi movie I have ever seen. For a long time science fiction seemed very superfluous to me in comparison to real life, but this movie is no slapstick affair; 2001 is a wonderfully poetic journey through not only the cosmos but the human mind. The discovery of the tool at the dawn of man leads humanity to the promised land of space, but it turns out that the cosmos is too great a leap for humanity and his toolmaking, because he creates something that outlasts his own potential: the HAL 9000 computer. Dave Bowman, commander of a mission headed to Jupiter, is ultimately condemned for death outside his ship, and at Hal's expense, until the story takes a last provocative turn. This movie is a masterpiece because it does not explain the story to us; Kubrick only suggests the film's meaning. And that means if you get five people to watch this movie, you could get five different opinions as to the meaning. In short, to think that Stanley Kubrick had the talent to make this happen speaks volumes.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Visionary

    This movie, made in the 60's, was initially difficult for me to understand. After a few watches, and more importantly, reading the book, I continue to marvel at the logic and depth of detail this movie represents. The monoliths function as not only a portal for travel, but in many other ways that tend to confuse watchers. To think these monoliths have a singular use will quickly throw you off track. Very artistic, beautiful shots of space, and I think deeply emotional, make this movie one of my favorites.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    THE BEST SPACE MOVIE EVER MADE!!!!!

    Kubrick outdid himself with this Masterpiece! He and his fellow collaborators on this project have made the only movie in history that looks like it was actually filmed IN SPACE. American Astronauts and Russian Cosmonauts who have seen this movie have all praised the vision and technical accuracy that Kubrick, Clarke, Trumbull, Ordway and the other brilliant technicians and technical experts had put into this film. Even engineers from McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Co. stated that the spacecraft depicted in the film could actually be built with today's technology. Nothing before or since has equalled or surpassed 2001 and nothing ever will. Only reality could do better, but the big stumbling block there is people. 2001: A Space Odyssey--the kind of future we should have had, but still can if we try to.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An intriguing, visually mind blowing, trip through Space.

    2001 is a very polarizing film. You have people who love it a lot, and people who absolutely despise it. To be honest I'm probably one of the few who's in between the two camps I find this film enjoyable but flawed. First off lets hit upon the problems to clear that up. 1. the film moves very,very,slow which can be good or bad depending on your opinion. 2. The film does not have a definative intepretation, whcih basically means you decide for yourself what it all means I mean you can look up this thing on forums and find some pretty crazy intepretations of this film which testifies to it's ability I think. Now for the good stuff 1. The photography of this film is at times very striking and for lack of a better word nice to look at, and you better take note of it cause that's the main draw of the film. I'm sorry but that's how it is. I was going to list more but that's unfortunately all this film has that's good going for it. The entirety of this film how much you enjoy it, is all based upon the visuals and how much they mean to you, how you interpret them. As I mentioned before they can mean a very large variety of things. But in the end it is up to you. Aside from a few Odd encounters with a Computer called Hal and aside from the Monoliths the film really doesn't have that much of a story at all, like I said it's all on you to decide. That I believe is why the film is so polarizing. I found it just in between to be honest, not the masterpiece some hail it as and not flat out terrible like some say so really it all depends on you, that being said, not many films can say that - CM

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Fascinating.

    Not my cup of tea but never-the-less fascinating. This is the granddaddy of all modern space movies and as such should be seen by any one seriously into movie watching. I recently watched "Dune" for the second time right after watching "2001" and many of the scenes in "Dune" are reminiscent of "2001".

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    What's the Buzz?

    After seeing this for the first time ever, I'm wondering why everyone makes such a big deal about this flick. Maybe I'm missing something, but even the bonus material interviews have critics wondering (or should I say, grasping) at reasons why this is supposed to be a great movie.

    Maybe if I watched this while in an altered state of mind it would have more meaning or I could at least find it, but for now it's very little dialog, very dated clothing, props, sets, and questions galore. I suppose if you consider this movie was made prior to CGI and other altered affects, it may seem mind-blowing, but coming from a generation that is used to Star Wars and other modern sci-fi films, this one leaves me yawning.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    To begin, this film is my favorite film of all time. What can I say about it? First, this film is not like Flash Gordon or Star Wars, the spaceships move as fast as they really would in NASA. The opening shot of the moon decending and the earth's shadow under the sun, symbolizes several things. Life's first steps, the seventh day and opening of the play. The film shows off technology a lot and in some cases get repeative. But it's worth it! The story is about man as he struggles in his early years looking for food. Once god comes to them in a form of a monolith and helps them create tools. They become invinsible to a rival clan. Then comes the greatest jump cut EVER made in cinema history! Then man created spaceship and the film showed off man's "tools". At this point we follow Dr. Floyd, as he tries to find out what's the problem onthe moon base. The final story is man vs. Machine as Dave Bowman must battle HAL 9000 (a computer that controls his ship). The Movie has three themes, Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Beliefs and Man vs. Machine. The best film and book I've ever seen. Watch this film as a philosipher, as a study of life instead of Star Wars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This is Kubrick's Masterpiece

    The original short story, ''The Sentinel'' by Arthur C. Clark stands as one of the great SF shorts of all time. The fact that the novel was being written at the same time as the movie was being filmed, or that Clark and Kubrick never did agree on an ending, would seem like a recipe for disaster. However, they are two of the true modern masters, and this film shows it. If you don't understand the movie (nothing to be ashamed about) read the novel. They end differently, but with the same message (Sort of). Great stuff for long conversations.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews