2010: The Year We Make Contact

January 28, 2012 4 Min Read

Review by: Al Barnes

Plot: What’s it about?

Fifteen years after the Kubrick groundbreaker 2001: A Space Odyssey we have 2010 a long time for a sequel to be released but worth the wait…so is the DVD. On my way home with the DVD I was excited as I anticipated how it was going to look and sound…yes I am a 5.1 snob. I saw 2010 when originally released in 1984 and liked it…good Sci-Fi is hard to find. Hopefully you’ve seen 2001 and follow the story as Roy Scheider, (The Seven Ups…bitchin’ car chase) and a couple of other Americans …John Lithgow (A Civil Action) is one…hitch a ride on a Russian spacecraft to return to the Discovery to investigate what happened to the crew and the HAL 9000, the smart but sensitive computer who stole the show in 2001…Dave, are you there Dave? As relations on Earth between the Americans and Russians are strained because of a naval blockade (sounds familiar…hmm), the two crews on the space station must work together…can’t we all just get along… to find a way back home and with a little help from the reactivated HAL they just might succeed.

I wasn’t really looking for this title today but when a co-worker offered to let me borrow it I said sure…couldn’t resist the 5.1 on the case. It was great in its original release so I figured it was going to be great on DVD…you know digital and better video and all…but I was wrong. Except for the 5.1, everything else was the same as the original including a mix of great special effects and some really poor blue screen stuff…not too much… with some of the space background as objects move across. The sets and controls and consoles of the Russian ship are great…especially the computer screens and displays. The obvious flaws and marvels are what made this movie great at the time and my disappointment in the transfer turned to relief when I realized it didn’t need to be changed. Not everything can be improved with technology, take colorization (blasphemy) for example. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should. If you are a Sci-Fi fan and a bit nostalgic you will want to see this one. Today’s effects are light years…sorry, couldn’t help it…ahead of this one but don’t forget everything goes through some evolution and appreciate 2010 for what it is.

Video: How does it look?

Good transfer because that’s just what was done (see above).

Audio: How does it sound?

I know I waxed philosophic in my statement above but the 5.1 made the famous music and cool space sounds better than the original. No sense in being too rigid. Strong dialogue levels from the center channel were a big help in my justification of some enhancement to the DVD.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Just a short featurette but it’s very interesting and you also get a great booklet with a lot of information.

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