Friday, January 18, 2013

2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984)

Synopsis: It’s all your favourite characters from 2001: A Space Odyssey without all of that annoying wonder, mystery or Kubrick’s artsy-fartsy camera work.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “The imposing chords of Strauss’s ‘Thus Spake Zarathrustra’ herald a major film event as the space odyssey from 2001 continues.”

What Did I Learn?: 1) Io is a pretty violent moon – even for Jupiter! 2) US Presidents always invoke Lincoln before they get America into any deep-shit trouble.

Really?: 1) Um....this movie is set 9 years after the first film, so where’s all the futuristic shit on Earth? Come to think of it, why does 2010 look so much like the 1980s, complete with grey three-piece suits? 2) So, HAL malfunctioned because he was given badly-written instructions? WTF? 3) Um, isn’t the name “Chandra” actually Indian? Why is Bob Balaban playing this character? 4) The US and the USSR are on the brink of nuclear war in 2010 – hey, good call Arthur C. Clarke! 5) Wait – could our solar system handle another sun where Jupiter used to be? Would Earth become a whole lot hotter? Would the other planets get thrown off their orbits and possible crash into each other? 6) Dana Elcar (best remembered as Pete Thornton on MacGyver) delivers once of the absolute worst Russian accents I’ve ever heard. 7) Not once in 2001: A Space Odyssey did David Bowman utter the words: “My God, it’s full of Stars!”

Rating: 2010: The Year We Make Contact bears almost no resemblance to 2001: A Space Odyssey. HAL, David Bowman, and Dr. Heywood Floyd (now the protagonist, and played by Roy Scheider) all return, but 2010 is very much a 1980s, Hollywood-produced film with a shorter running time, an easy-to-follow script where everything is spelled out for the audience, and a Cold-War inspired theme, complete with obvious shots at the Reagan administration. 2010: The Year We Make Contact is a good, but far from great science fiction picture that suffers from an obvious problem: people who love the original will likely hate the sequel, but you really need to watch 2001 in order to understand what’s going on in 2010. Watch it and forget it – that’s what I did. 7/10 stars.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. Half-hour in you're thinking "Ya, this ain't Kubrick." "My God, it's full of stars!" is a famous line from the novel but it did not appear in the first film. One thing about Clarke's clip that you linked to - he did nail it when he spoke about instant communication with anyone in the world. He pegged that one.
    Not a great film, this one.
    - Cool


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