2001 and Beyond the Infinite

Commentary and Criticism

January 1998

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From: "Helen Hughes" [kcblades@worldnet.att.net]
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 04:15:46 -0800

After reading your story a few things come to mind.  Your comment about
spacecraft being fake if they are not aerodynamical in space is absurd.  In
space there is no drag or friction, therefore aerodynamics are only pleasing
to the human eye, which you claim is dependent on his machines.  You then
talk about the man-apes being preyed upon by other beast and not defending
their friend and/or neighbor.  This goes against the universal survival of
the fittest law.  If a race is capable of visiting this planet and they are a
benevolent race then they will have simple and basic rules against
interfering with the development of a primitive race.  If they were to give
the knowledge to use and make tools to such a race then they are making or
moulding that race after themselves and not letting the race develope on its
own.  Maybe the monolith was placed to watch a species that could develope
high intelligence, however it was learned that the species was more
intelligent than they thought so the monolith was moved to a nearby satalite
to watch developments untill said species could develope space flight.  At
this point of discussion I have to interject a personal point of view into
said disscusion.  I truly believe that we are being watched by an intelligent
space traveling race.  But I have to put myself in their palce.  Do you want
someone moving into your neighborhood who is warlike, very agressive and a
possible threat to your neighborhood.  I didn't think so.  Now getting back
to the end and Dave Bowman.  If you notice they show a lot about death and
the strife of mankind to include war.  Now its been a long time ago that I
saw the movie .  You have a lot of good ideas and your are a very well read
person but when you talk about something like this you have to place your
self in the alien mind.  Why would you help an extremely primitive race that
is still animal in mind.  There has to be a reason to help a race and then
wait four million years for results.  In that time a race could be destroyed
by epidemic, war, revolution from within, or any number of things.  So you
have to ask your self.  Was kthe monolith put here to help man develope or to
watch a dangerous species?

From: "Will Smith" [pluton@naxs.com]
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 01:20:48 -0500

  Thank you.  This site was quit enjoyable.  I have read the book and I
have watched the  movie.  I agree with  most of your ideas.
  It is hard to find movies today which are thought provoking.  This is why
I have watched 2001: A Space Odyssey several times.  It provides a break
from the brainless, major movies of today.
  God, man's beginnings, and our place in the universe are all things which
are brought into a different light in this movie.  This, in my opinion, is
very beneficial.  I find it very unsettling that many people can still
believe in a God that influences our lives as if we were puppets, and
believe that the universe revolves around man.  Obviously we have not
escaped the dark ages.

Will - pluton@naxs.com

All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -
and yet it is the most precious thing we have.         Albert Einstein

   Suggested viewing:

Rosencrantz and Gildenstern Are Dead
Barton Fink

   Suggested reading:

The Demon-Haunted World  by Carl Sagan
Pale Blue Dot   by Carl Sagan  

Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 19:12:33 +0100
From: "Christopher F.Vock" [cfvock@iprolink.ch]

Hi !

Have you seen the movie Saturn 3 ?
Well there is something I liked in the moovie, it is when Kirk Douglas
says :

"Sacrifice, your robot does not know the meaning of sacrifice..."

Well maybe it is the same thing for "hal" when you say he is in a
he can not admit that he made a mistake, so he kills.
Could that be a major diference between man and machine ?

					thanks nick

From: ChadPolenz@aol.com
Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 01:09:54 EST

I found your essays on 2001 and 2010 from an zillion links. I loved 2001 too,
but I think 2010 is a pretty fair sequel. I gave 2001 4 stars, but 2010 3 1/2
stars. I don't think it tries to do what Kubrick did, or at least in the same
manner. It's much like what this summer's "Contact" tried to do.

Anyways, here's my review of 2010, let me know what you think. You can also
access all 180+ of my reviews at http://members.aol.com/ChadPolenz


2010: The Year We Make Contact 

***1/2 (out of 4 = very good) 

1984, PG, 116 minutes [1 hour, 56 minutes] 

[science fiction] 

starring: Roy Scheider (Dr. Heywood Floyd), John Lithgow (Walter Curnow), Bob
Balaban (Dr. Chandra), Helen Mirren (Tanya
Kirbuk), written, produced, and directed by Peter Hyams, based on the novel by
Arthur C. Clarke. 

It's impossible to discuss Peter Hyams' "2010: The Year We Make Contact" without comparing it to its
 predecessor, Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey." This film incorporates many of the essential
 elements of the original, but it is not the brilliant philosophical allegory of its counterpart, nor does it try 
to be.  However, it does succeed in taking a mainstream approach to the "invisible forces" that make these
 stories what they are. 

The story takes place nine years after The Jupiter Mission. Dr. Heywood Floyd (Scheider) is approached 
by a Russian diplomat who tells him they are going to investigate the U.S.S. Discovery-1 and the 
mysterious monolith still orbiting Jupiter. An intense cold war exists between the two nations and the film 
does a fine job of dropping the appropriate hints to add detail. Floyd knows it will be difficult to convince 
both governments, and especially his own family, of the benefits that could result from teamwork.  
Needless to say, Floyd, along with Walter Curnow (Lithgow), the engineer of the Discovery, and Dr. 
Chandra (Balaban), the designer and programmer of HAL 9000, convince the government and hitch a 
ride with the Russians aboard their ship The Leinov.

Most of the first and second acts are spent defining mood. Much like "2001," it is dark and technical but 
more modern which makes the story easier to follow. Although Hyams' modernism clashes with Kubrick's 
nearly cubist design, the film is able to present the older elements in a new light, and thus they 
synchronize well. 

The bulk of the film does not have a specific plot to it but many interesting events take place. For 
example, when Floyd and the Russian captain, Tanya Kirbuk (Mirren), send a probe to explore what they 
believe to be life forming on the surface of Europa, it is flung into space like a baseball being hit out of a 
ballpark. Later, the same thing occurs when a probe (manned by a likable character) is sent to investigate 
the huge monolith. 

Dave Bowman's (Keir Dullea) transformation at the end of "2001" was so enigmatic it seemed to have a 
supernatural presence.  The way in which this film returns to his character and his symbolism is done in 
such an strange manner it's so moving it's scary (I'm getting goosebumps just writing this). Bowman 
appears to both his ex-wife and Dr. Floyd and tells them "something wonderful" is going to happen. 

A war has broken out on Earth between America and Russia, so the crew is ordered to separate. 
Meanwhile, the monolith has multiplied itself millions of times over on Jupiter and the crews must defy 
their orders and work together while at the same put their trust in HAL, who it seems could just as easily 
malfunction as he did nine years prior. The last few scenes are basically routine suspense but at least it's 
plausible. The ending itself is strange, but certainly original. 

Although "2010: The Year We Make Contact" doesn't have the genius "2001," it provides for a pretty 
good message about the pettiness of man and makes for a good, original sci-fi story. 

Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 09:01:10 +0000
From: stuart twyman [s.m.twyman@canterbury.ac.uk]

Dear Modemac,

Well done on a brilliant 2001 site. Very interesting. However, I do have
one small nag to make, & that's about your comments about Peter Hyams
2010. O.K. It would be daft to say that it is anywhere near the same
league as Kubricks masterpiece (aren't all his films masterpieces?), &
that the same painstaking detail wasn't put into the sequel as Kubrick
put into his. These 2 points are true. BUT...had Hyams HAD done this, I
personally believe that he would have been accused of simply trying to
remake 2001, something which I think would have almost sacreligious.
Instead, Hyams has, in my opinion, done the right thing. He made
something different. A sequel which at the same time is a film in its
OWN right, continuing ONLY the story (or saga) instead of the style.
Remember the controversy surrounding ALIEN 3? Again, this was just
because it dared to be different (I thought it was brilliant, by the

2001 will always remain the best Sci-Fi film ever made (quite how it
didn't win the Oscar for Best Film is like this web site - Beyond The
Infinite), but I don't think 2010 should be ruled out as a total
failiar. It may be just one of those age-old cold war stories that has
been relocated to space, but I thought it was a very entertaining piece
of Sci-Fi hokum, & a more than worthy sequel to a fantastic original,
and as I said in your Guestbook, lets hope that either this year - for
its anniversary - or in the year, 2001, the full-length version (14
minutes cut by Kubrick shortly after it initial release if I remember
correctly) will grace our Cinema screens, and a wide screen version
released on video. A wide screen 2010 on video would be nice as well.

If you ever hear of a director's cut being released let me know. I can
piss my wife off with the news because, being the uncultured person she
is, she can't stand either of them.

Thanks a lot,

Stuart Twyman (son of Kubrick)

E-Mail: smt4@cant.ac.uk

From: Starjeby [Starjeby@aol.com]
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 1998 20:18:19 EST

Was reading your 2001 page and couldn't contain myself. I had to send you an
e-mail. I really admire the director of the movie and in fact without his
vision It could not be possible but one thing really bothered me. You have
portrayed Mr. Clark as something less than he was.  In fact without his
technical knowledge of space and his help in writing the script Mr. K. could
not have pulled off the same technical miracles that you so admire. I doubt
that Mr K knew more about space, 30 years ago, than the person that first had
the idea of using satelites for communications. Mr C was and is personal
friend of many of our astronauts and of Mr Carl Sagan.
Don't get me wrong your page is good and explains many things to people that
don't understand the movie. But please give credit where credit is due.