I hate to admit this, but the first time I watched this movie was last night. I bought it recently because it was pretty cheap and the reviews in this thread were glowing. Somehow despite working at a video store for a few years in my teens this movie managed to slip under my radar. Of course I had seen the cover of it and everything, but science fiction was not my thing back then. It's crazy because I consider myself a movie buff, but again, somehow this one slipped by. I had not seen a single second of this movie until last night and damn, what an amazing movie! People must have been shell-shocked when they saw this originally in the theatres.
I actually laughed out loud at the Dawn of Man section, because the costumes seemed rather corny and I could actually see the smudge marks or whatever they were in the backgrounds. When the space scenes began, though, I was pretty much mesmerized the entire time. The final Jupiter scene blew me away. I am glad as hell, though, that I didn't get to see it until now. Had I seen it before, it would have been on a 21" tv set and not the 143" 2.4:1 screen I watched it on last. It wouldn't have been anywhere near as engaging as it was.
When I was watching the space scenes I kept thinking how much other science fiction movies were drawn from this movie (*cough*Star Wars*cough*) but I didn't know it until now. I thought that the Star Wars Trilogy was amazing (and still do), but I no longer really feel it was groundbreaking because 2001 seemed to pave the way for things like the grandiose space ships and the way they entered the docking stations, etc.
At any rate, a super cool movie and an amazing transfer for its time. I didn't like the smudginess of the backgrounds in the ape scene, and found some (mosquitoes?) in some of the space scenes (the birthday wishes scene), but overall it was very crisp and clean.
Now, if only I can find a way to get my hands on some of those red lounge chairs...they are super awesome. I would probably have to sell an appendage, unfortunately, in order to get one.