Friday, January 01, 2010

The Year Is Now: 2010

I remember seeing "2010: The Year We Make Contact" in a multiplex theater in 1984. A number of classic sci-fi films came out that year: "Star Trek III: The Search For Spock", the ill-fated adaptation of Frank Herbert's "Dune", and James Cameron's legendary "The Terminator".

1984 was the year my family bought its first VCR. I had a VHS copy of "2001: A Space Odyssey" that I nearly wore out watching over and over again, absorbing the beauty of Douglas Trumbull's visual effects and the eerie music score.

"2010" was the sequel to the Arthur C. Clarke book "2001" and the movie by Stanley Kubrick. Some critics slammed "2010" as being a lackluster follow-up to the majesty of Kubrick's "2001".

In my opinion, "2010: The Year We Make Contact" ties up the loose ends of "2001", but it stands on its own as a film from Kubrick's film. Director Peter Hyams created a steely world of space travel in "Outland" with Sean Connery. "2010" has a similar feel, aided with spaceship designs by the visionary Syd Mead.

I also saw the horrific British film "Threads" in 1984, which depicted the aftermath of a nuclear war. "2010" was the opposite vision, where humanity unites to explore space and avoids the destruction of civilization in the process.

By today's standards, "2010" seems hokey and sentimental, but that is forgivable. Not every future has to be as bleak as "The Matrix". Someone has to make films where humans are not enslaved by machines or wander through burned out ruins.

With the beginning of the real 2010, the film and the book deserve to be looked at with fresh eyes. After so many apocalyptic films, I was grateful for a movie that ends with the hope humanity survives beyond the year 2010 and beyond.

When does someone make the book "2061" a movie?


Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

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