Happy 18th(?) birthday today, HAL 9000! You were quite the troublemaker in your youth, but hopefully now that you've reached adulthood in this year of 2010, you'll settle into a nice groove of responsibility...?!?!
Like any Kubrick film, there's controversy even over HAL 9000's origins. Did HAL 9000 become operational in 1997, 1992, or 1991? Depends on if you prefer the book, the film, or the online transcriptions of the original script. I went with the film, because ... well, duh!
Here's Roger Ebert gushing and Stanley Kubrick sniping the way the pros do it regarding these matters:
Among its many accolades was an Academy Award nomination for "Best Screenplay." Not too shabby for a movie with no dialogue at all in the first 25 minutes, or the final 35 minutes.
Until a couple of years ago, I had never seen this on home video, only in theaters (one of which was the Cinerama Seattle, in 70mm, in the year 2001). The Warner Director's Series box made it worth my while to pick up the DVD. The box doesn't include Paths of Glory, Spartacus or Dr. Strangelove, but I have those anyway. Barry Lyndon, Lolita, Killer's Kiss, et al will have to wait for another FOSPL sale or maybe a library or Scarecrow Video rental.
A repeat viewing, this time with commentary by actors Gary Lockwood and Keir Dullea. Each of them shared insights about the Tao of Kubrick, who really was a great guy if you just did it his way, and who sadly did not make it to the year 2001. My recollection tells me that 2001 was not exactly a banner year for the evolution of mankind, and I wonder what Kubrick would have created later had he experienced it himself.