Making the Grades
The MPAA rated 2010: The Year We Make Contact PG.
Peter Hyams isn't exactly a household name in the league of motion picture directors. Providing multiplexes with a few Schwarzenegger and Jean-Claude Van Damme action thrillers over the past decade, it would be easy to overlook what might possibly be his greatest achievement--writing, directing, producing, and even handling the task of cinematographer for 2010, the long awaited sequel to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey .
Already recognized as the science fiction motion picture, 2001's glory must have felt like Jupiter itself was resting on Hyams' shoulders, especially considering Kubrick's "creative" decision to destroy all of the models and drawings used in making 2001. This left Hyams with only the movie itself as a guide for rebuilding sets and a model of The Discovery, the doomed spaceship bound for the giant planet.
In his adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke's novel 2010, we pick up on the life of Dr. Heywood Floyd (Roy Scheider) nine years after the ill-fated Discovery mission that was the center of 2001: A Space Odyssey . With the Americans and Russians prepared to duke it out in Central America, the world is reeling with thoughts of possible nuclear destruction, but Floyd's head is in another world. Receiving word the Russians have a space launch planned to investigate the marooned Discovery spaceship and the rumored monolith orbiting Jupiter, he decides science should override politics and joins the Cosmonauts rather than waiting for a delayed U.S. expedition.
After a cryogenic 18-month sleep, Floyd awakens to bad news. The political situation on the earth is critical and it's looking doubtful that the crews will return to a world similar to the one they left. Yet the potential secrets held within the mysterious monolith and moons of Jupiter which loom ahead of them, provide plenty to distract the U.S. and Russian scientists from the worries of home. Determined to discover the fate of the Discovery and her presumed dead crewmember Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea), computer expert Dr. Chandra (Bob Balaban) begins to restore the infamous HAL 9000 computer, which is suspected of having deliberately killed the Discovery's crew.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984).
Talk about the movie with your family…
This movie was made in 1984, and (from the date of writing this review) looks 9 years into the future. Which of the film’s predictions do you feel are possible or unlikely over the next decade? How does it compare with it’s predecessor, 2001: A Space Odyssey ?
Should space exploration be more or less of a priority in our world today? What are the benefits? What are the disadvantages? Do you think science and space exploration can help political powers in the world work together more peacefully? What countries are left out of this process?