1. It is still the greatest and most genuine influential sci-fi and art film ever made.
From the design of the space ships to the simplest computer imagery everything is a reflection off of Kubrick’s eye. There would be no Star Wars star fighters or Death Star. No computer chase scene from Alien stolen from three seconds of computer screen graphics. No wide eye Spielberg wonderment gazes. No great Han Solo quips. No evil computers. No warp speed effects. Everything post 1970’s and beyond owes something to 2001.
2. The Shining is really a clever horror remake of 2001.
Jack Nicholson’s performance is just a more grand-guignol version of Keir Dullea’s subtle minimalism. The Overlook is a more ornate version of the black and white suite. Many of The Shining’s long track shots are meant to enhance the Overlook’s monolithic qualities. The score has eerily reminiscent Music of the Sphere’s echoes. The whole plot is about how man/family discovers savagery prompted by supernatural elements and manages to escape from them. Topiary in the maze echo some of the animal statues found in the black and white suite. Most of the black and white suite décor and furniture is echoed in the Overlook: the bathtub in room 237 and the bar in particular.
3. 2001 is really a mini take on Homer’s epic.
Both involve Gods or God (the monolith) to aid the plot. Hal is just a modern version of the cyclops. The Odyssey is about a King who reclaims his Kingdom and establishes a new future for his country. 2001 is about a man who journeys to a far away place and becomes the reborn future of mankind. Bowman name echoes the last part of The Odyssey where Odysseus uses his archery skills to reclaim his kingdom from the suitors. Like Circe, Hal lulls the crew into believing in his perfect mirage only to be discovered and killed. Both involve ships taking a long voyage of discovery. Both involve heroes who must overcome madness and emotions to become the true leader and harbinger of a new country and humanity.
4. The music score is the greatest ever of any film.
Even though none of 2001’s music score is original, it is the most thematically and emotionally appropriate. There is never a moment where it seems mismatched or false. Even the musical titles are thematically appropriate from Thus Spake Zarathustra to The Music of the Spheres.
5. The monolith is everywhere and in everything.
The monolith is God and mans hunger to know the mystery and meaning of God. The pig bone is a rough monolith. The Discovery is just a long monolith. The tracking shots are long and straight and monolithic. The light show at the end starts off as many multicolor mini color monoliths that lure Bowman deeper into space. Space is portrayed as spheres floating in a monolithic universe.
These are jus the top five things that convinced me of the greatness of 2001. The others are for you to discover.