Talk me into (or out of) going to see 2001 on the big screen

I’ve always counted myself a fan of 2001: A Space Odyssey. I first saw it on the big screen when I was about ten. I loved it.

I have, of course, seen it on the small screen many times since.

My local arthouse cinema - and I mean a fifteen walk from my house - is currently screening a “glorious 70mm print”. When I first saw it advertised, my immediate reaction was “Ooh - I have to go and see that”.

This evening is my only chance. Yet, for some reason, I find myself thinking… nah. It’s long and dull, isn’t it? That whole 20 minute “through the Stargate” sequence - what’s the point? Will I fall asleep?

But part of me considers this a must-see.

What say you? Would you go?

It’s not your last chance to ever see it on the big screen, but it’s not like it’s playing there all the time. If someone is talking about the movie in a month, would you regret missing seeing it on the big screen?

I’d say if you have any interest at all, you should go see it. There are some movies that benefit a lot from being seen in the theater, I’d say 2001 is one of them.

I got to see Close Encounters on the big screen last year for the first time since I was 10. It was glorious. Go.

My boyfriend is a big *2001 *fan but he’s also a picky fucker. He doesn’t want to see the movie in IMAX but he definitely wants to see the 70mm version. It must be good!

Hey, even if you do fall asleep (and *2001 *is soooo chill…) maybe you’ll wake up at the end and it’ll be totally trippy. Woohoo!

Anecdote: Jaws is my favorite movie of all time, hands down. I watch it at least once a year, usually more. Three years ago, it was back in the theaters for a few days to celebrate the 40th anniversary. I debated going, since I had just watched it a few months before, and I watch it on a big screen TV with surround sound audio, so would the big screen be worth it?

I’m so glad I went. I was utterly blown away, felt like I was 9 years old again. It’s 10 times better in a theater. The darkness, the shared experience with the crowd, the expressions on the actors faces, it’s all worth it. So I say go.

Even though I am on record saying it isn’t the greatest sci fi movie of all time, you still have to see it on the big screen when you can. It looks great up there.

It doesn’t make any more sense on the big screen, but it looks good doing it.

We went to see it there at the weekend. The 5th time (I think) for me at the cinema, but more for my partner, who loves it!
The print isn’t new, there are some blemishes but it is wonderful watching it full size.
And there is a 15 minute intermission so you can walk about a bit or get a drink to take in - we ate there but avoided drinking beforehand as I’d quite likely doze a little if I did, but had a pint watching the 2nd half.

Not sure I’ve ever watched the whole film at one time on tv.

The Dawson City: Frozen Time film they’ve got on is interesting, too, although the seats aren’t as comfy after two hours…

Skip it. Overblown and boring as hell.

I can see you’re really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.

That “it doesn’t make sense” is a common criticism of the film but that is actually the point; contact with an advanced alien intelligence will almost certainly be as incomprehensible to us as our conversation would be to an ant. The story before the wormhole sequence is perfectly intelligible even if Kubrick and Clarke don’t explicitly spell it out, and the lack of action and emoting are intentional stylisitic choices to evoke the true boredom of space travel.

As for the o.p., you should absolutely go see a showing of the 70mm print. Despite the age of the film the effects and set design have held up remarkably well (well, except for those ugly ass chairs outside of the Howard Johnson’s on the space station, which makes you wonder how much of our modern fashion and popular businesses will be wholly obsolete in a few decades), and watching it on television, even a big screen in a darkened room, is not the same as on a twelve foot tall screen in a dark theatre. Just looking at the model work and technical details—the instructions on using a zero-gee bathroom—represents the kind of phenominal attention that few filmmakers boher with.

But whatever you do, do not go outside to replace the AE-35 communications alignment unit.


I say if you’re not in the mood don’t go.
Even the best chocolate cake is disgusting when you’re nauseated (ie not in the mood)

This. I don’t like the film that much at all, but even I’d see it on 70mm.

In the past, movies were made to be seen on the big screen. Some movies are especially made for the big screen. This is one of them. This is definitely one of them.

Go see it.

I saw 2001 for the first time when I was about 8. It was in a theater, but not during the first run. I was bored to tears, but I also never forgot it.

20+ years later, I saw it was going to be in a theater again. I hadn’t seen it on a big screen since that first time, but I’d read the book, seen it on a small screen several times, and grew to appreciate it. Not only was it in a theater, it was in the same theater. I sat as close as I could remember to the same seat. I was blown away. I caught details in the visuals and camera work that I’d never picked up on on TV (some of them you can’t get on TV).

It was one of the best movie experiences of my life. It was particularly nostalgic to see it in the same theater, but just to appreciate the grandeur of the images and music was worth it.

Don’t know if you’ll see this reply in time, but if you’re on the fence, I would urge you to go.

Thanks for the input, everyone. I love it when half a dozen strangers on the internet convince you to do something.

I went. I was glad I did.

As Meurglys said, there were a few blemishes on the print. But it was still great.

The pace is glacial, but a refreshing change from movies these days.

Odd audience - very geeky, not many women at all.

There were a man and a woman sat behind me, though. And when the final credits rolled, she just said “Whaaaaaat?”, which tickled me.

I loved the sound. The accuracy of the silent vacuum.

Thanks again.

Yeah, Kubrick left out some stuff out of the film that Clarke left in the novel (explanations, not events). The novel makes perfect sense, and the movie can too, if you think about it enough.

The summer between high school and college (for me; many of y’all weren’t born yet), 2001 was re-released in theaters. Crappy print, but what’re ya gonna do? I must have seen it a dozen times that summer with different, if sometimes overlapping, groups of friends.

We’d always go to an early (7:00-ish) show. As we were walking out, many in our group would say, “What the hell was that about?” or something similar. As we waited for someone to come out of the bathroom (there’s always one in the crowd), I would start asking questions.

“What happened when it appeared?” “What happened the next time we saw it?” “Where was it that time, and what happened just before it did that?” The resulting 10-minute discussion always led to at least one person saying, “Now I want to see it again!”

More often than not, we went right back in to the next showing.

It’s one of my favorite sf movies ever, although I concede that it moves extreeeeeeemely slowly, is too cryptic for its own good and is not for everyone. Just saw it in a new 4K restoration on the big screen a few weeks ago and enjoyed it all over again. My teenage son had never seen it before, and liked it, although not as much as me.

So go!

I happened to be flipping channels while my wife and I were watching television a few months ago, and I came upon the scene in 2001 in which the scientists are descending down a ramp to investigate the monolith on the Moon. We’d seen the whole movie a looong time ago (I think we rented it on VHS), and she made some cutting remark about how slowly the film progresses. I continued flipping channels, and she went upstairs. About 20 minutes later, she came back downstairs and asked me how I was doing (or something to that effect). I didn’t look up from the screen and said, “They’re still walking down that ramp.”

Honestly, it takes two minutes for the group to walk down that ramp; viz.,

Even with that in mind, I think I’d regret not taking the opportunity to see it on the big screen.

Fun fact: the POV shot from among the astronauts as they walk down that ramp was filmed by Kubrick himself using a handheld camera. The TMA-1 scene was the first filmed in the entire movie.