Before Star Wars, E.T. and Close Encounters, Stanley Kubrick released 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968. Kubrick earned a reputation in Hollywood of producing and directing films that were odd and out of the box. To the point, where his reviews would be universally mixed. You either loved him or hated him.
When 2001: A Space Odyssey was released in 1968, that result was no different. The film took more than four years to develop and make, at a cost of more than $10 million—a formidable price tag in mid-1960s Hollywood. Some audience members had fidgeted and talked through the movie’s first private screening; a few had walked out. At a subsequent press screening one skeptic was overheard sniping, “Well, that’s the end of Stanley Kubrick.” An art film with a big budget, 2001: A Space Odyssey became the highest-grossing picture of 1968—“perhaps the most offbeat blockbuster in the history of U.S. pic playoff,” as Variety put it in early 1969. and now it’s 50 years old. Has it stood the test of time? Check out the trailer and let me know your thoughts.
PLANET OF THE APES
Charlton Heston was a huge movie star. I mean this was the same dude who was Moses in the Ten Commandments. He was also the same dude who would defend the NRA within an inch of his life. The same NRA that won’t back down from the current gun-violence issue that is allowing young black men to be snuffed out daily.
However, in 1968, Heston signed on to make a movie about apes that take over the earth. When the film series began 50 years ago, nobody imagined it would last this long. In fact, they weren’t even sure the first one could get off the ground. Early tests for makeup, costumes, and art direction were so challenging that the film’s production was delayed two years. The film literally had 25 makeup artists working.
The “Apes” franchise turned into a mini industry, with five films (1968-73), TV series (both live-action and animated), Tim Burton’s 2001 version and the three revived movies, which were born again in 2011. That’s in addition to video games, merchandise, etc.
It literally was nominated for and took home several Oscars this past awards season proving that some things just get better with wine…