2001: A Space Odyssey

Audio problem: On Dave's deathbed, sometimes the breathing matches his chest movements and sometimes it really doesn't.

Phoenix

Revealing mistake: When we see the space station from the cockpit of the approaching shuttle, the station does not appear to rotate because the shuttle is rotating at the same speed. OK...except that the station IS still rotating with respect to the sun, which means that the light source and shadows on the station should be moving.

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Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

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Trivia: As HAL loses his mind, he begins to sing "Daisy." In 1961, "Daisy" was the first song ever to be reproduced with a nonhuman voice - a computer.

Phoenix

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Question: I don't understand the significance of the monolith or the starbaby. Can someone explain it to me?

Answer: As author Arthur C. Clarke explained it, the first Monolith (the one seen at the beginning of the film and then buried on the Moon) was a space probe from an incomprehensibly more advanced alien intelligence that resided inside a star elsewhere in the cosmos. The Monolith's objective was to seek out lifeforms that had potential and "tweak" their neural evolution, causing them to evolve toward intelligence. In the case of Mankind on Earth, once the modification was made, the Monolith probe retreated to the Moon and waited 4 million years for Mankind to reach it. When Mankind reached the Moon, the Monolith sent a signal to the next phase of the experiment, which was another Monolith in orbit of Jupiter. When Mankind reached the Jupiter Monolith in a matter of months, the Monolith acted as an interdimensional portal to the other side of the universe, transporting the evolved human specimen to its creator (that resided within a star). The creator intelligence found the specimen (Dave Bowman) to be of acceptable quality and rapidly evolved him to the next level, a Star Child. The Star Child is a "godly" evolution of Mankind. The Star Child chooses to instantaneously return to its home planet (Earth), where it stops a nuclear war.

Charles Austin Miller

Answer: The monolith is a monitor placed by the aliens to track the progress of developing civilizations. When humanity found the monolith on the Moon, that signaled a certain level of technological advancement. The starbaby is the evolution of the astronaut, as the symbol of humanity, from "Earth-bound" to a true child of the universe, turning his back on the Earth and looking toward the stars.

scwilliam

In both the Arthur C. Clarke story and in the movie, the Star Child does not "turn his back on Earth"; quite the contrary, as soon as Bowman transforms into the Star Child, his first impulse is to instantaneously return to Earth, which he does just in time to stop a nuclear war. In essence, Bowman becomes the guardian of Earth.

Charles Austin Miller

Answer: In 3001: The Final Odyssey, Clarke makes clear what many already suspected: The Monolith was malfunctioning by the time it tweaked human evolution. It increased human aggression in order to assure human survival, but this was a hasty move, which saddled humanity with a never ending series of destructive conflicts. Kubrick also hinted at this in a later movie. The Monolith appears in Full Metal Jacket, presumably inspiring the soldiers in the Vietnamese War to solve their problems by killing, just as it had inspired the fighting hominids millions of years before.

The monolith from 2001 does not appear in Full Metal Jacket. There is a tall burning building in the background during Cowboy's death scene but it takes a hell of a stretch of the imagination to see it as a monolith. It's just a ruined building. Kubrick himself confirmed this in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine - it's combination of coincidence and wishful thinking.

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