Seeing the film on TV scarcely does it justice. For one thing, the film is typically cropped when broadcast (the outer edges of the film are unceremoniously cut off). Unfortunately for Art, Kubrick, a former LOOK photographer, uses composition to convey meaning, along with dialogue, soundtrack, editing, etc. The cropping destroys this composition (it's like reading HAMLET with 5% of the words missing). Even worse, on a small screen you can miss many subtle details (e.g., the shot of the IBM nameplate in nearly the same place on the screen as the HAL nameplate, which gives a little extra credence to the HAL/IBM connection, to those who need some). The final sequence, with just breathing, is masterful in the theatre. You are surrounded by the breathing sounds; you really feel a part of that room. This is lost on the TV. You miss scale, details, colors, awe, a great many of the things that make this such a great film! * * * * * Now that the obvious has been stated, a word for the videotape. The 25th anniversary edition has great color, and in that respect, surpasses many prints of the film extant today, which long-in-the-tooth are missing frames, and which have a pinkish hue. If you're not seeing a brand new print, the video may actually be superior. In Dolby surround, through a home stereo, and on a good TV, it's not so bad. And there's always the virtue of being able to freeze-frame, which gives you time to examine the background, which even at the slow pace tends to fly by.
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