38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
First, the disc itself:
There are a lot of reviews on Amazon for various editions. This review is for the Blu-Ray, not the DVD. Yes, the DVD was a cheap, non-anamorphic quickie release. But rest assured, the Blu-Ray is in anamorphic 1080p resolution and faithfully presents the 2.4:1 image of the original film.
This is a bare bones release, to be sure. The only extras are a 9 minute TV piece about the making of and a theatrical trailer, both in SD. We don't even get a commentary track. Pretty weak, all told.
The picture quality is good, not great. Certainly, it is light years ahead of the old DVD release. But it is nowhere near the level of "2001" on Blu-Ray. Blacks are generally very solid, and detail can be striking in some scenes. Color is also very rich, especially in the space scenes. However, there are three issues with this transfer: One, the additional resolution and color depth easily exposes the matte lines on the 1980's optical effects; Two, there is some color banding and posterization on the monolith itself, presumably this is in the source material, but it should have been fixed; Three, there are several effects shots, mostly space-scapes, which display a sort of horizontal "juddering" back and forth.
Either way, this is as good as the film has probably ever looked, and probably will ever look. It is clear that WB didn't pull out all the stops in cleaning up and restoring this film for Blu-Ray release (as they did for 2001). It probably represents a very faithful transfer of whatever film elements they have in their archive. It thus has strengths and weaknesses. It certainly does things which even a good DVD cannot do. It just doesn't shine the way the best Blu-Rays can (the Blu-Ray release of 2001 among them).
The audio is relatively uninspiring as well. Don't expect a roof-rattling sonic experience which tests all of your surround speakers. It is a very front-loaded soundtrack, but clear enough for what it is.
Many pooh-pooh 2010 as the red-headed stepchild of the "masterpiece" 2001. Well, I'll agree that 2001 has a certain austerity and mystery that make it live in the memory of the viewer. It is a classic. But 2010 is no slouch as an entertaining science fiction film.
In its 2 hours, we are given explanations to some of the mysteries of the earlier film, as well as a continuation of its plot. Also, we are treated to some vintage 1980's Cold War drama. Overall, it is a very tightly paced drama, with good characters and performances (especially Roy Scheider and Helen Mirren), and generally very good effects. It looks, sounds, and plays out like a movie which deserves to rank among the better sci-fi flicks of the past 40 years.
Really, my only beef with it is the production design of the computers. All those bulky CRT monitors really kind of threaten to take me out of the moment, especially when the earlier film maintained such a "timeless" look - but suspension of disbelief puts me back. It is very easy to feel charitable towards this film, given its faithfulness to the material, good acting, and crisp pacing.
At this price, if you're a sci-fi fan and you are purchasing 2001 on Blu-Ray, there's no reason not to get this as a logical companion piece. Seeing as how you can probably own both for under 30 bones, it's pretty much a no-brainer. This is an entertaining film, a fine if slightly problematic transfer (though probably the best we could have expected), and a good buy overall for fans of the original and genre fans in general. It's also a nice movie to have on hand if you introduce someone to the original and are met with frustrated bewilderment on your audience's part.
90 of 109 people found the following review helpful
*** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE "BLU RAY" VERSION Of "2010..." ***
When MGM began making "2010: The Year We Make Contact" in February 1984, the CD was in its infancy, nothing was digital and portable and the Internet and the global sharing of ideas and images was non-existent. Showing its film age badly - in one particular scene Roy Schreider even talks of information being given to his astronauts on 'cassettes' - on board a Jupiter spaceship mission for God's sake! Even the television monitors were black screens with monosyllabic block lettering on them and nothing else... Why mention all of this, because it has of course - in some places - dated the film very badly...
But - and this is a big but - for its time (finally released in 1985), "2010" was an extraordinary vision and a technological marvel. It provided the moviegoer with a superbly detailed and realistic depiction of future space travel, shots of the majestic Jupiter and its moons Io and Europa that were and still are incredibly accurate. Even the story of the Americans and Russians coming together so as not to annihilate each other was both relevant and damn good - and made for a great end message by Bowman (Keir Dullea - who looked like he hadn't aged a day since 1968's original "2001"). Throw in model makers from the Star Wars Trilogy, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Poltergeist and Ghostbusters - and the goodies were bound to be on display and they are. Which brings us unfortunately to the bad news...
...this is one of those instances where the enhanced BLU RAY image has only worsened an already hazy print...
You see - once you go from the entirely model-led outside shots (say of outer space) which are clean, beautiful and impressive to look at - into the interior shots and live action on dimly-lit stages - the blurriness and shading act as a direct contrast to the clarity you just saw - it drive you nuts. And because a good 70 to 80% of the movie is 'inside' - the effect of the wonderfully realized and designed interiors is almost completely lost. It's like watching Aliens without the clarity - or Star Wars on blurry videotape. It's as if a heavy filter hangs over every frame - and it makes the BLU RAY picture feel and look very dated.
Don't get me wrong - the picture 'is' lovely in some places - but in the main - it's not - which is a huge disappointment.
The only real extra is a 10-minute 1984 'making of' called "2010; The Odyssey Continues" which is fascinating and contains very brief interviews with all the principals - Roy Scheider as Dr. Floyd, Helen Mirren as the Russian pilot Tanya, John Lithgow as Dr. Curnow, Elya Baskin as the loveable Russian Max, Bob Balaban as Chandra the genius who created Hal-9000 - Discovery's malfunctioning computer (voiced by Douglas Rain). There's interesting stuff too with Richard Edlund the model maker - the make-up people - interior designs - even words from author Arthur C Clarke and director Peter Hyams about the screenwriting process in 1983 when they were prepping for the film.
I really had such high hopes for this BLU RAY release, but unfortunately I'd say hire it first before you buy...
The film was - and still is - excellent - an impressive one even. But this BLU RAY reissue of it is anything but.
It's not "full of stars" folks, it's pushing three.
And what a shame that Roy Scheider is no longer with us...
115 of 141 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 1999
What everybody should know about 2010: It is not 2001! Sounds stupid, but it explains about everything. 2010 is the continuation of the storyline of 2001, but it tells the story in a completely different way.
2001 was slow and silent. It was filled with emotions and impressions. 2010 offers the same but combines it with a far more interesting plot. On one hand it tells the story nine years after the Discovery Incident, as a team of russian and american scientists try to find answers and on the other hand it explains the fate of Bowman and HAL 9000 ... and ultimately of mankind.
The movie never gets boring and keeps you guessing until the end. The actors are marvelous. The hangar scene between Floyd (Roy Scheider) and Bowman (Keir Dullea) alone is better than any other scene in 2001. The russian/american conflict may be a bit out of date (! ), but it never spoils the movies true message.
2010 is not better than 2001. It is different. It is the answer to a question and the beginning of a new one. You have to watch this film. And i also recommend the other two (book) sequels from Arthur C. Clarke (2061 and 3001).
67 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2009
until now I had only the DVD Version from 2010. The quality of this DVD was very bad. No anamorph 16:9, bad picture Quality and sound. So I to get excited about the fact, that the Blu-Ray apears. I can say that it is better than the DVD OK but it is the worst Blu-Ray I ever owned. The "picture quality" is blurred, grained and the sound has no dynamic. OK, thats the best quality you can earn but sorry, for Blu-Ray very bad.
115 of 142 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2002
Once again, the stupid people responsible for doing transfers do an inferior transfer. Instead of using the standard DVD resolution of 720x480, they chose instead to use something more like 640x427. Honestly, I don't understand why they decide to do it this way, there should be plenty of room on the DVD, since they put the pan and scan version on the other side of the disc. I've run into a few DVDs like this and it pissed me off every time.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2010 from 1984 is the sequel to the 1968 original film. While not quite up to the scope and grandeur of the original, 2010 has a charm all it's own and an excellent story to tell, thanks in part to being based on Arthur C. Clarkes' book sequel. Great casting/acting, above average effects and sets (for their time) and a compelling story make this Sci Fi film worthy of consideration. I personally enjoy it very much and trot it out every few years or so. With that said, this review will focus mainly on the video and audio quality of the Blu Ray product and not the film itself.
Simply put, '2010 The Year We Make Contact' on Blu Ray is the very best rendering of this title available to the home video market. It blows away it's DVD counterpart many times over. While it will never even be close to reference material for your home theater, 2010 surpasses many catalog titles in the picture quality area. Titles like 48 Hours or National Lampoons vacation on Blu Ray are notable for their horrible hack mastering jobs. 2010 is way above either of them and I say this because I have read on numerous forums about how terrible this transfer is. I have to disagree. On a 5 point star scale I would easily give it a solid 3.33 with the PQ at times reaching 3.75.
Because 2010 is being presented in 1080p, this gives the viewer a few unintended consequences. At times the wires are plainly visible during the spacewalking scene between two ships. Also, there are moments where the matte lines are visible and a couple of times where the mattes themselves are easily traced. Luckily none of these things lasts for more than a second or two and all told the artifacts only occur a few times during the film. This of course has much more to do with the source material, rather than the transfer itself. I highly doubt a camera negative was used to render this transfer, more like a cleaned up existing print. Still, it is quite good compared to any other way I have seen this film.
Color timing is great and looks very natural and at times quite brilliant without smearing. Fine details appear soft mostly and that is most likely due to DNR needing to be used to try and cover up the poor source. Again, it isn't a capital crime in this case and the end result is an acceptable and enjoyable Blu Ray image that is miles beyond what existed for this film before it. If you are a big fan of this movie, you will be more than pleased with this transfer of a 28 year old film struck from an existing print. Not bad, not bad at all.
The sound is available in both Dolby Digital and Dolby TruHD. While not a spectacular sound design, it serves the film well and I thought it was fine. Nothing to write home about, but rocket engines are appropriately booming and other such effects and rumblings are suitably fed to the LFE channel. If anything I thought perhaps the overall center channel level was a bit on the low side. You can just crank your amp a bit, but watch out for those effects moments as your speakers will SCREAM at you. Probably my only true complaint about this release is the lack of care used in preparing the audio tracks. They work, they are fine, but they could have been better I think using just the source they had to work with. Oh well......
Extras are sparse and only include a 9 minute period documentary in 4:3 ratio and SD plus the films trailer in such bad shape that you can thank your lucky stars the film has been presented in such better condition. Actually, the short documentary has a few choice blooper type moments in it and if you haven't seen it before it is well worth watching if you are a fan of this film.
If you have read this far, then you already know I think this Blu Ray release is well worth the money for fans of this movie. It is better than any format it was previously released in and provides a satisfying image with sound to match (mostly). Again, this is NOT demo material, but there is nothing horrible wrong with it either. Recommended most highly for fans of 2010!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2009
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
2010 is one of my favorite movies. I saw it in the theater. I owned in on DVD for many years and have watched it dozens of times. When it was released on Blu-ray this week, I ordered it NEXT DAY SHIPPING. Get my drift? Well, I should have saved my money. It looks a tiny bit better on Blu-ray than it does on DVD. There are no extras on the Blu-ray disc that are not on the DVD disc. The sound is no better. In other words, if you own it on DVD, don't bother with the Blu-ray.
That said, I think this movie is grossly underated by most people. As Stephen Hawking himself has said, most science fiction movies are merely westerns set in space. 2010 is different. Here there are real human emotions. I can't be too specific without spoiling some of the surprise, but let me make one example. When the movie came out I was very dissapointed that an Indian actor was not cast in the role of Dr. Chandra. Bob Balaban's performance in this role, however, is perfect. His character created the HAL9000 supercomputer (which as I recall was at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana in the book and portrayed in the movie as the University of Chicago--how's that for nitpicking?) Balaban shows us a Dr. Chandra who feels for his machines as he would another human being, and there are some very touching scenes in the movie. At one point Dr. Chandra is asking HAL's follow-on SAL9000 to help him model what will happen if SAL's higher functions are removed, mimicing what happened to HAL. SAL asks him, "Will I dream, Dr. Chandra?" Chandra replies, "I don't know. Perhaps you will dream of HAL, as I often do." It's a nerd's delight. I love it! Balaban perfectly captures the character, and gives him intelligence and feeling.
The rest of the cast is extremely strong: Roy Scheider, Helen Mirren, John Lithgow, and others do a great job. Look for Dana Elcar in the opening scenes at the VLA in New Mexico, and Arthur C. Clarke makes a cameo feeding pigeons in front of the White House. The story line is much more accessible than 2001, yet the movie contains many of the hallmarks of an Arthur C. Clarke story--IDEAS--not space battles.
I'm downgrading the rating by one star because of the inexcusable poor Blu-ray transfer. But I highly recommend you see this movie!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2000
The other reviews of this film do a great job of describing how fantastic it is. But there's an important distinction between 2001 and 2010 that may help you understand why so many people like it, in spite of it being actually contradictory in filmmaking ethos to 2001.
2001 was one of the greatest examples of what cinema (movies as art) could do. It was abstract, compelling, engrossing and confrontational. It changed the way you thought for a little while, and changed what many people thought movies could do, forever.
2010 isn't cinema at all, it's a *play*. Everything compelling about this, except perhaps the special effects (which, while awesome, are tellingly static) happens between two people, through dialog. Two people sit on a park bench and decide the fate of the Discovery. Two people argue on the bridge of a soviet spaceship about the Monolith. Two people stand in the middle of the high desert of California and trade cold-war secrets about an alien encounter. And it's all *awesome*! Some of the best dialog and acting wev'e seen in science-fiction. I can prove, using algebra, that if you watch the first 10 minutes of this movie, you'll watch the whole thing.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2010
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
First of all let me state that I love this movie. It's obviously different from the original 2001, but it's nevertheless a very satisfying sci-fi flick. In fact what amazes me to this day is how they created such great special effects for a movie as old as it is. I still like what they were doing in that department back then over all the fake looking CGI(yes, it all looks fake if you pay attention) stuff we use today.
With that said, this movie desperately needed a remastering and sadly it didn't get it. When you place the blu-ray in your player it immediately goes to the movie instead of a menu, which is sort of the first giveaway that they didn't put much attention into this movie. When the movie does play, it's evident that they didn't remaster it but rather transferred an old copy of it. Well, I hate to say this, but just because you put something on blu-ray doesn't necessarily make it look better. The source material has to be good, and in this case it isn't.
I know what some people will say, that it's an old movie and you can't expect much better. That's simply not true. You can see there's clearly a beautiful movie waiting to get out, but it can't because they haven't bothered to clean up all the noise and grain that exists in the picture, especially in dark scenes. It's just an all around disappointing grab for people's money. I'd advise anyone wanting to purchase this movie on blu-ray to just stick with the standard DVD version if you already have it.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2003
This film is a long-time favorite of mine, but I give this DVD edition (Warner 65053) a 2 star rating because of the deceptive packaging and the DVD digital encoding used. The wording on the DVD package is as follows:
"...WIDESCREEN VERSION...preserving the 'scope' aspect ratio of its orignal theatrical exhibition. ENHANCED FOR WIDESCREEN."
There is a lot of confusion in the marketplace due to a lack of agreement among the studios regarding the labels for the various DVD aspect ratios and their encoding, but on all other DVDs that I've seen, which bear the description "enhanced for widescreen", the higher resolution 16:9 digital encoding was used. Despite the presence of this label however, this DVD is plain old-fashioned letterbox. Even for those of us with true wide screen capability, this DVD looks like low rez letterboxed VHS.
As a result of this experience, I will be far more circumspect of all Warner editions from now on, and if I have any doubt of their being 16:9, I'll skip them. So much of this material is already on my shelf in VHS format. If I am to upgrade these titles, I insist they be true 16:9 encoded for widescreen TV.
I also dislike the cheap cardboard "snap case" used on nearly all Warner titles. When it comes down to choosing between which movies to buy, the bonus of an Amaray style keep case is often the deciding factor. By saving a penny or two on these cheap cases, Warner is hurting their bottom line, over-all. Most people I know prefer the keep case. In the competition for the consumer's dollar, why does Warner put themselves at such a disadvantage by using such cheap and nonstandard packaging?
Come on Warner,get with the rest of the industry with your packaging, and please quit making us guess which video encoding is used. Those of us who have widescreen gear are savvy enough to understand what 16:9 means, whereas "enhanced for widescreen" is now anybody's guess.