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Friday, July 10, 2009

2010 (1984)

So this movie has been running on Retroplex pretty much non-stop for about a month now. I don't know why, but I absolutely love this "sequel" to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Is it Roy Scheider? Is it a young (and very attractive) Helen Mirren as a . . . Russian cosmonaut? Is it Bob Balaban playing a character--a computer genius, no less--named "Chandra"? Is it John Lithgow?

Yes, the three American astronauts in the film are Scheider, Lithgow, and Balaban. Imagine if they had made this movie in 1994. No way they would have cast such a frumpy, non-macho band of spacemen.

Is it that the effects, although primitive by today's standards, don't get in the way of the story--what little story there is?

Or is it the 2010 geopolitical situation as seen from 1984? As in, back on earth, the United States and the Soviet Union are locked in conflict over . . . Honduras. Now, IIRC, that's how it was in the Arthur C. Clarke book--maybe Clarke chose another locale for the conflict?--but even so, in 1984, this was a plausible geopolitical conflict.

My, how things change. Of course, the book also posits a "manned" space mission to Jupiter to retrieve an earlier space vessel. Next year. I don't see that happening, either.


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