Like it or hate it, "STANLEY KUBRICK'S 2001" has never looked better than it does now in hi-def! WARNER BROS has released this classic, along with many other Kubrick films, simultaneously on blu-ray and hd-dvd, with the same 1080p/VC-1 transfers.
"2001" has always been one of those films that film school professors love to idolize and analyze with students. In truth, there's just as much that can be lobbied at it in the "crap" arena, as in the "masterpiece" arena. The narrative structure, becomes convoluted for no apparent reason. Beginning with the "DAWN OF MAN," the early segment of the film, apes find a monolith, and immediately develop their first tool as a weapon. As a bone is flying through the air, the famous transition into the future and spacecraft. An expedition on the moon, finds a mysterious monolith. Something strange(and never explained)happens, and we jump a few years ahead, wherein three men are aboard a spaceship delivering three scientists to Jupiter. While the film leaves plenty of room for fun, provocative discussion, it's just as easy to berate it as self-indulgence, with no clear explanations due to stumbling rather than "not getting it!"
"2001" will always be a film that audiences will love or hate, but at least it leaves an impact.
WARNER BROS. has provided the correct 2.20:1 aspect ratio with this 1080p/VC-1 transfer. It's a stunning transfer! Colors are rich and remarkable in every instance! Hues are perfectly presented, and unlike all previous dvd versions, this blu-ray offers flawless contrast! Even in the darkest scenes, black/grey deliniation is stunning. When one realizes this is 40 years old, its remarkable condition is that much more amazing. "2001" ranks up there with the best looking blu-rays available!
WARNER BROS. has provided a PCM 5.1 mix. Although the original film was presented in "6-channel stereo," this has been remixed for 5.1. Separation is dedicated almost exclusively to the front stage, so surround utilization is disappointing. Still, the dynamic range has never been better, and there are subtleties that had never been realized on dvd before, impacting the film tremendously. It's a wonderful presentation, even without the aggressive effects many younger viewers will most likely expect. Dialogue, though dated in its fidelity at times, is well balanced with music and other effects.
WARNER BROS has provided a great audio commentary with the two leads, a audio only interview with Kubrick, some documentaries and several featurettes.