2010: The Year We Make Contact
Genre: Action & Adventure
IMDB Rating: 3.5 (214 votes)
Director: Peter Hyams
Starring: Roy Scheider, John Lithgow, Helen Mirren, Bob Balaban, Keir Dullea
Summary: No director could ever have hoped to repeat the artistic achievement of Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey", and nobody knew that better than Peter Hyams, who made this much more conventional film from the first of three sequel novels by Arthur C. Clarke. Whereas Kubrick made a poetic film of mind-expanding ideas and metaphysical mysteries, Hyams shouldn't be blamed for taking a more practical, crowd-pleasing approach. In revealing much of what Kubrick deliberately left unexplained, "2010" lacks the enigmatic awe of its predecessor, but it's still a riveting tale of space exploration and extraterrestrial contact, beginning when a joint American-Soviet mission embarks to determine the cause of failure of the derelict spaceship "Discovery". Having arrived at "Discovery" near the planet Jupiter, the American mission leader (Roy Scheider) and his Russian counterpart (Helen Mirren) must investigate the apparent failure of the ship's infamous onboard computer, HAL 9000, as well as the meaning of countless mysterious black monoliths amassing on Jupiter's surface (an interpretation Kubrick originally left up to his viewers). Meanwhile, Earth is on the brink of nuclear war, and an apparition of astronaut David Bowman (Keir Dullea) appears to repeatedly promise that "something wonderful" is about to happen. "--Jeff Shannon"