Return Of W. De Rijk, The
Plus, it's technology's fault. Without technology, I wouldn't have been able to spend so much intimate and, ultimately, inappropriate time with the film. By the way, I've seen every conceivable kind of film print of '2001', from 16mm flat, to 35mm internegative, to a cherry camera negative 70mm in the screening room at Warner Bros, and I'm telling you, none of them look as good as a Blu-Ray played on a 'Pioneer Elite Plasma Kuro' monitor, and while you're cleaning up your spit, look over that sentence, let me also say I believe Stanley Kubrick would have embraced the current crop of digital cameras, because from a visual standpoint, he was obsessed with two things: Absolute fidelity to reality-based light sources, and image stabilization. Regarding the former, the increased sensitivity without resolution loss allows us to really capture the world as it is, and regarding the latter, post-2001 SK generally shot matte perf. film (Normally reserved for effects shots, because of it's added steadiness) all day, every day, something which digital capture makes moot. Pile on things like, never being distracted by weaving, splices, dirt, scratches, bad lab matches during changeovers, changeovers themselves, bad framing and focus exacerbated by projector vibration, and you can see why I think he might dig digital.
My one gigantic issue with this transfer...
Is that you can see, in the 'dawn of man sequence', the cross-hatched patterns of the front projection screen in several shots. This is inexcusable. I never saw these patterns in any film prints, this would never have gotten past the polaroid-happy SK and any transfer in which these patterns are visible, no matter how your monitor/TV is set up, is technically fucked and completely wrong. I hate saying that about my good friends at WB, especially since the WB remaster of 'Citizen Kane' is literally a revelation, but on the other hand the 'All The President's Men' Blu-Ray is a disappointment, but on the other hand they did remaster and release a beautiful 'End Of The Road' disc, so...
I've watched Kubrick's "2001" several times over the years. I've always found the director's films chilly, with scant human warmth. As far as this particular editor goes, I've always felt the FE site gives him a free pass. Still, someone (Ebarto? Col Hutty? Ric Olie?) suggested I give this reedit a whirl.
Video - 1280 X 720p AVC. Hate saying this, but this looks better than my DVD. Most of the editing is fine. I have never had many issues with this editor's visual work.
Audio - 160 kbps AAC. 2 channels. No subs. This opened with moments of ambiant droning that Soderbergh is so fond of. I feared he had wiped the soundtrack as he had on Raiders. No. Audio returned to the original track. Dialogue clear.
Narrative - This has been altered. Updated, if you prefer. Much has been cut, some I noticed, some I did not. While streamlined, the pace still plods. Not necessarily in a bad way. This captures the ennui of lengthy isolation of deep space travel. HAL has a stronger role in this, and often seems a witness of pre-dawn man continuing to the star child. Is this edit better? I don't know - it is over sooner so that will be a plus for many.
Enjoyment - Oh, same as before. Whenever this airs at a local theater, I attend. I have a Wow reaction about as often as I walk out annoyed. I applaud Soderbergh's video restoration work on this, as well as ditching redundant or unnecessary sections. I have enjoyed this more any of his other edits.
I love "2001" as it is, but I can agree its pacing can test your patient. This was a really good way to streamline the narrative and get to HAL faster. What I didn't like was the obsession with HAL, showing flashes of him (and Bowman's eye) early on. As well, I really don't understand why the echo effect was added to some of HAL's dialogue. I almost turned it off because of that. I would really only recommend this for hardcore fans of either Kubrick or Soderbergh's fanedits.
Foreword: I haven't seen the original in sometime, which I prefer for watching edits and I also didn't review the changes (log) ahead of watching, which I also prefer. I looked at the edit list back when I downloaded the edit, but I like to not know what I'm walking into; I don't watch an edit for a few months or more after downloading it.
Additional Note: I have seen a few other FanEdits recently.
What I liked: You kept the feeling of the original but made it less boring. Your edits felt seamless.
What I didn't: Not much, but it didn't add a ton for me, but I feel you could watch this edit never seeing the original and talk to other people about the movie still.
Overall: If you hate 2001, then maybe check this out, but if you've never seen it or want to re-watch it I would recommend checking this edit out. This edit sits alongside the original very well. I think you still leave the movie with, if not the same, a similar feeling as the original. Well done.
Extra: Keep up the good work! Maybe next time you re-encode/work on this you can use H265 for some added compression, just FYI.
Just to be clear I'm not a fan of '2001'. It's the only Kubrick film I don't love. I've probably only watched it once and have tried to watch it many more times, but the skull-crushing-tedium of the movie usually has me swicthing it off within the first hour. The good thing about this edit is that it drastically trims the slow opening, which allowed me to sit through '2001' for a second time...
Audio/Video Quality: 8
For the small size of the file, and the compression for streaming, the encode is pretty great looking.
Visual Editing: 9
Okay like I've said, I'm not massively familiar with the source but for me the editing was invisible. Most of the soul destroyingly boring parts of the first act are gone (The discussion on the red chairs / a stewardess walking very, very, VERY slowly etc) but a few bits of pointless time wasting are still included like a talk about sandwiches. I'm sure in a pre-moon-landing 1968 all of the "life-in-space" stuff must have been mind-blowing but it's now post 1977, so get on with the bloomin' plot already! Thankfully this edit is much more plot focused. I've got to knock a point off, as I found the constant cutting back to HAL's eye began to grate after a while IMO.
Audio Editing: 9
Almost all seemless but there is a wierd little bit in the middle where all of HAL's lines have a massive echo on them. I'm not sure if this was the source, a creative choice, or an error but whatever the cause, my ears did not enjoy it.
The narrative is so much stronger in this edit. All the plot elements, as well as the philosophical stuff is kept intact and even strengthened by the surrounding clutter being trimmed back. Sadly the middle act is still patience testingly slow and the new economy of the first act only shows this up more.
A '7' is big improvement for me on this movie. I might even watch it again and makes me think more even harsher edits of '2001' would be possible and welcome. I reccomend this for fans and non-fans alike as the creative edits in the first part are impressive regardless of wether you think they are warranted.