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Retro-review: Children of new sun meet children of old in '2010'



2010.jpgTODAY'S RETRO-REVIEW: 2010, the sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey. It's based on Arthur C. Clarke's novel 2010: Odyssey Two, a literary sequel to the 1968 film. It was nominated for five Oscars (but won none.) The movie starred Roy Scheider, John Lithgow and Bob Balaban.

THE PLOT: Nine years after an American mission to Jupiter mysteriously failed, a joint American-Soviet mission (during the middle of a still-flaring Cold War) is launched to find out what went wrong.

MAYBE YOU REMEMBER: Novelist Arthur C. Clarke, makes two cameos: sitting on a park bench in front of the White House, feeding the pigeons; and as the U.S. president on a Time magazine cover. 

SURELY YOU CAN'T FORGET: Stanley Kubrick, who directed the 1968 movie, also in honored in 2010: on the cover of Time magazine, as the Soviet premier; and the Russian character "Kirbuk" is just Kubrick spelled backward.

WHAT CRITICS SAID: "This sequel has its work cut out for it. And the screenplay compounds the difficulty by repeatedly informing us that 'something wonderful' is about to happen. After we've been told several times about that wonderful prospect, we're ready for something really wonderful, and we don't get it. We get a disappointingly mundane conclusion worthy of a 1950s sci-fi movie, not a sequel to 2001." - Roger Ebert

WHY WE STILL LOVE IT: Consider this perhaps the first honest (if imperfect) attempt to use a sequel to solve lingering questions from a two-decade-old classic, a phenomenon that repeats weekly nowadays in Hollywood.


5. "All intelligent beings dream. Nobody knows why."

4. "I don't know if HAL is homicidal, suicidal, neurotic, psychotic, or just plain broken."

3. "You have been drinking your whiskey from Kentucky!"

2. "If it has to taste like this, I don't care if my electrolytes are imbalanced or not."

1. "Someday, the children of the new sun will meet the children of the old. I think they will be our friends."

[Last modified: Friday, March 4, 2011 6:55pm]


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