So I've just finally gotten around to reading the scifi classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Now, my reactions a mere 41 years late. Why it took me so long, I'm not sure. I hadn't seen the movie in a number of years, and I didn't remember much about it. So I blew through the book in a few days, and decided I'd watch the film version right after. I was intrigued that Clark had a hand in writing it. Neither the book nor the film could really be considered the source material. I hoped this would mean the movies was (for once) on par with the book. Unfortunately, it was not.
Don't get me wrong, it was a fine film. Never-the-less, it cannot compare to the book. I realize that due to the era it was made in, some sacrifices had to be made for technical reasons. The monolith from the beginning and end of the film was described in the book as perfectly clear crystal. In the movie, they couldn't think of any way to go about that, so it's black.
What really bugged me was the way the film just sort of tip-toed around everything. In the book the ape-men had a much more believable story. They were dumb, understanding only the drive to find food. When the monolith appeared they checked to see if it was edible, since it wasn't, they ignored it. Well... that is, until it started projecting images into their minds and assessing their manual dexterity. Doesn't that sound more interesting than: monolith appears, ape-men freak out, suddenly start hitting things with bones? In the novel, it's clear what is happening from the start. This is clearly a machine created by intelligence. The film skirts the issue.
HAL is chilling in the book, as he is in the movie. But in the movie he just loses it for no reason. If you read the book, you hear about WHY he lost it. You understand his reasons; it's almost an Asimov-style logic problem. The movie made HAL the main focus, but removed so much information about him. This, however, pales in comparison to the story's climax. The novel tells of an awe-inspiring journey through the Star Gate, a giant monolith on Saturn's moon Iapetus. In the film, a monolith near Jupiter takes Dave through a trippy very 60s-ish tunnel.
The film just ended... and was confusing. The book was not entirely easy to get, but made sense when you though about it. When Dave becomes the "Star Child" he returns to Earth and destroys Earth's nuclear weapons. He's advanced to the next level like that first ape-man from the beginning of the film. It gives you chills.
So... nerd communique complete.