Film Review – 2010 (1984)

Image result for 2010 19842010 (USA, 1984) ***½
      Distributor: MGM/UA Entertainment Company; Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM); Release Date: 7 December 1984 (USA), 5 March 1985 (UK); Filming Dates: 7 February – April 1984; Running Time: 116m; Colour: Metrocolor; Sound Mix: 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Dolby (35 mm prints); Film Format: 35mm (70mm blow up); Film Process: Panavision (anamorphic); Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1; BBFC Cert: PG.
      Director: Peter Hyams; Writer: Peter Hyams (based on the novel by Arthur C. Clarke); Producer: Peter Hyams; Associate Producer: Neil A. Machlis, Jonathan A. Zimbert; Director of Photography: Peter Hyams; Music Composer: David Shire; Film Editor: Mia Goldman, James Mitchell; Casting Director: Penny Perry; Production Designer: Albert Brenner; Set Decorator: Rick Simpson; Costumes: Patricia Norris; Make-up: Michael Westmore; Sound: Richard L. Anderson; Special Effects: Henry Millar Jr.; Visual Effects: Richard Edlund.
      Cast: Roy Scheider (Dr. Heywood Floyd), John Lithgow (Dr. Walter Curnow), Helen Mirren (Tanya Kirbuk), Bob Balaban (Dr. R. Chandra), Keir Dullea (Dave Bowman), Douglas Rain (HAL 9000 (voice)), Madolyn Smith Osborne (Caroline Floyd), Dana Elcar (Dimitri Moisevitch), Taliesin Jaffe (Christopher Floyd), James McEachin (Victor Milson), Mary Jo Deschanel (Betty Fernandez, Bowman’s Wife), Elya Baskin (Maxim Brajlovsky), Saveliy Kramarov (Dr. Vladimir Rudenko), Oleg Rudnik (Dr. Vasili Orlov), Natasha Shneider (Irina Yakunina), Vladimir Skomarovsky (Yuri Svetlanov), Victor Steinbach (Mikolaj Ternovsky), Jan Tríska (Alexander Kovalev), Larry Carroll (Anchorman on TV), Herta Ware (Jessie Bowman), Cheryl Carter (Nurse), Ron Recasner (Hospital Neurosurgeon), Robert Lesser (Dr. Hirsch), Candice Bergen (SAL 9000 (voice)), Delana Michaels (Commercial Announcer), Gene McGarr (Commercial Announcer).
      Synopsis: In this follow-up to 20001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968), a joint U.S.-Soviet expedition is sent to Jupiter to learn what happened to the Discovery.
      Comment: Well-made and intriguing sequel may lack the visual splendour and mysticism of Kubrick’s original but is nonetheless a worthy follow-up. An excellent cast is led by Scheider and Mirren with a strong role for Lithgow. Visuals are excellent too, from Brenner’s detailed production design to Hyams’ moody photography. The finale may be as baffling as that of the original but does attempt to provide some answers to novelist Clarke’s dense concept.

Book Review – OUTLAND (1981) by Alan Dean Foster

OUTLAND (1981) ***
by Alan Dean Foster (based on a screenplay by Peter Hyams)
Paperback published by Warner Books, March 1981. 272pp.
ISBN: 0-446-95829-8

35190Blurb: Here on Io — moon of Jupiter, hell in space — men mine ore to satisfy the needs of Earth. They are hard men, loners for whom the Company provides the necessities: beds, food, drink and women for hire. Now, in apparent suicide or in frenzied madness, the men are dying… To OUTLAND comes the new U.S. Marshal O’Neil, a man with a sense of duty so strong it drives him to ferret out evil, greed and murder regardless of the cost. If he must, he will forfeit love, livelihood — even life itself.

OUTLAND was effectively a Space Western movie written and directed by Peter Hyams that riffed on the plot of the classic Western HIGH NOON. The movie starred Sean Connery as the Marshal left to fight alone against a corrupt mine manager and the hitmen sent to kill him on a remote moon of Jupiter. Alan Dean Foster is an old hand at novelisations and he adapts Hyams’ screenplay very professionally, bringing additional depth to the main characters and pacing the narrative well. O’Neil’s inner-torment and outer-determination to be seen to do the right thing in tackling the drug smuggling operation despite the personal sacrifices he makes are the heart of the story and Foster balances this well with the unfolding plot. The interplay between O’Neil and his only real ally – a cynical female doctor – is enjoyable. A decent, if less than original, film gets a decent novelisation.