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2001: A Space Odyssey
First, a few technical notes: 2001: A Space Odyssey was filmed in 70mm in the 2.2:1 aspect ratio. The film was shown around the country in various Cinerama theaters, projected onto huge, curved screens. Probably for this very reason, Kubrick chose to give the film a very crisp and clean cinematographic look. Fortunately, these technical choices, made forty years ago, render 2001: A Space Odyssey stunningly on Blu-ray. Having seen the film on several occasions in 70mm, this Blu-ray presentation is very much consistent with how I viewed the film theatrically. The film has a very clean, almost sterile look. Much of the film takes place in entirely white or black environments with the odd spacesuit providing a welcome splash of color in many scenes. However, there are a number of vivid sequences that feature an abundance of rich color. The opening "Dawn of Man" sequence seems to have been shot entirely at magic hour. The resulting shots are beautiful and really show off this discs flawless handing of color. Just about every scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey looks as though it could have been filmed yesterday. The print is flawless and the images are truly spectacular. This is a must own title on Blu-ray and is the very definition of reference grade.
Warner has provided a wonderful 5.1 Uncompresed PCM soundtrack on this Blu-ray release of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The film is famous for its use of perfectly selected pieces of orchestral music. From waltzes to more powerful, esoteric works, all of the music is beautifully reproduced. The full orchestral soundstage is well represented here, with instruments places precisely in the mix. Most of this particular mix is heavily front-loaded with only the occasional ambient noise coming from the surrounds. Dialogue is beautifully reproduced with HAL's strange timber resonating well. The heavy breathing the dominates the spacesuit scenes is more haunting than ever in PCM. So, while you shouldn't be expecting for a mix similar to what you might find in a Star Wars film, what 2001 gives us, is an elegant mix that adds to the experience of this incredible film.