Monday, April 14, 2008

2001: A Space Fantasy

Well I just got back from watching 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Alamo Drafthouse here in Austin, and let me tell you, if you've got a chance to see it here, you really should; assuming you're not such a schmuck that you'd dislike watching music videos set to classical music. Sure, it's art and not an actual movie, so you shouldn't be expecting any kind of plot or anything, but still, it's a classic. And it was on the BIG screen, which was totally awesome and waaaay better than any tiny TV screen you've got at home. Oh, and don't forget to have a bunch of mighty fine beers during the flick. I was drinking the Steamwork's Steam Engine Lager on draft, and let me tell you: It was a mighty fine beer and I had no complaints.

Thus said, I did have a few problems with the flick. It was mostly historical errors, but still, a movie of this caliber shouldn't make these kinds of mistakes. First off, I'm sorry, but it's now 2008 and we still don't have regular space traffic to the moon. I don't know what kind of shit Kubrick was smoking at the time, but he was totally off-base with that one.

Secondly, a Howard Johnson's at the space station? Who the hell are they shitting with that one? I once stayed at a HoJo's in Dallas and lasted about fifteen minutes before me and Mrs. Biobrain checked out and headed over to the La Quinta down the street, which was a huge improvement. They had people fucking living in the place at the time. I mean, living there. And it totally had a retirement community feel about it. Very tacky. And none of that was reflected in the Howard Johnson's in this movie, which seemed very clean and white.

And then there was the whole issue with the Soviets. What the hell was that all about? Soviets? Really?? If I didn't know any better, I'd say this was 1968, not 2001. And then there was the lameass video game the guy was playing on his way to Jupiter. Chess? Are they shitting us? Chess?! I don't know about y'all, but in 2001, I was playing Grand Theft Auto 3, not some fucking chess game from the 70's. I mean, the very idea that they'd send our first manned mission to Jupiter,without so much as a Nintendo 64? Really?? No wonder they went crazy and disconnected the computer. They should have given them Pong, at the least!

I could go on and on. So on the plus side, I commend their artisticness and think they did some great things with what they had. And on the negative side, totally unrealistic. Totally. I don't know where they were during 2001, but none of that happened. None of it. I even got a big laugh when the dude had a long video-phone conversation with his daughter from a space station and only got charged $1.70 for the call. I don't know about you people, but my phone company doesn't let me wipe my ass for less than a buck ninety-eight.

But all the same, if you're anywhere in the Austin area and want a great cinematic experience, you've got one last chance on Tuesday night to see the flick. I don't understand at all why theaters don't show these kind of great movies more often, but then again, I don't see why anyone would watch a movie without having a great draft beer brought to their seat. Oh, and it'd probably help if you got really high before watching the film, or so I'd imagine.

Oh, and just to keep this political: McCain sucks.


John of the Dead said...

I rented 2001 when I was in high school. At first I thought someone had pranked the store by switching tapes. Thirty minutes of monkeys. What the hell? After about 10 minutes, I ejected the tape to make certain it was the right moive. Yep, 2001. Did someone tape over the sci-fi movie with a monkey documentary?

Finally, the real movie started. It was pretty darn good. Unrealistic, sure, but nice all the same.

Then the acid trip started. Except I didn't know I was supposed to drop acid. I just watched crazy crap for 30 minutes, then a giant Space Baby, then The End. (Whoops! Spoiler alert!) Again, what the hell? Once more, I suspected a prank, with someone splicing test patterns onto the end of the tape.

So, my summary review of 2001: Thirty minutes of insane monkeys, an hour of really neat "hard" sci-fi, and thirty minutes of acid trip. I understand what's going on now, after having read the book. I really wish I'd read to book first. Then I would have just said, "Oh yeah. It starts with monkeys," and been much happier.

Of course, 2010 helps explain 2001 for those who couldn't be bothered to read the book, but it's not as good a movie, even though they got Roy Scheider to play Dr. Floyd. So that was nice.

Doctor Biobrain said...

Yeah, I didn't understand the movie the first time I watched it, and was definitely glad to have read the book before the second time; though I really didn't think the book was that great.

I tried explaining the weirder stuff to my daughter before the film, but she still didn't like it at all. I had warned her repeatedly that it is "art" and not a real movie with a plot or action or anything, but she didn't care and was still bored. But at least she was quiet. A lot of people kept talking during the non-talking parts, including this older couple next to me who COULD NOT SHUT-UP. I kept trying to burn holes in their skulls whenever they did it, but to no avail. They just wouldn't die.

Oh, and thanks for reminding me about the number one historical flaw in the movie: God created man in his image; not a bunch of apes!