Richard’s Year of Movies — 2010

This year, I’m going to try to do an entry for every movie I watch this year, be it in the theater or on television.  Some might go into a little more depth than others, but I think it’ll be interesting to look back and see just what I wasted brain cells on this year.

Turner Classic Movies has been running a pretty amazing string of films over the last few days, and my DVR has been given quite the workout.  Last night, my plan was to watch the first half hour of 2010, then flip over to the Sugar Bowl.

Never made it to the Sugar Bowl.

2010 gets a bad rap because it dares to be a sequel to arguably one of the greatest films of all time.  But it’s not like the filmmakers were doing their own thing here — Arthur C. Clarke wrote the novel on which the film is based, so they definitely were working from what could be seen as an approved template.

Some of the Cold War stuff is pretty dated now; a lot of people today have no idea what a very real possibility the US/USSR conflict presented in the film was at the time.  But other than that, it’s a pretty solid film.  HAL is given a nice bit of closure, if not redemption, and it’s a great moment when he’s turned back on and his eerie, distant voice kicks in again.  There’s some great (if not entirely scientifically accurate) spectacle, including the air breaking around Jupiter and the spacewalk between the Russian ship and the Discovery.  And the ending is a little awe-inspiring, seeing two suns shining over DC and the Kremlin.

Sure, it explains some of the mysteries from the first film, but that doesn’t mean there’s no longer anything to discuss about 2001.  I don’t think 2010 approaches its predecessor’s level of craft or significance, but it certainly doesn’t embarrass itself either.

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