On 4.24 a guy named Krishna Ramesh Kumar posted a video essay that compares the forthcoming, Christoper Nolan-approved, unrestored 50th anniversary re-release of 2001: A Space Odyssey with corresponding images from the Warner Home Video 2007 Bluray. Please watch the essay but pay particular attention to three sets of comparison captures that I’ve posted below. The 2007 Bluray images are on top; the unrestored 70mm Nolan versions are below. The Nolan is obviously warmer, yellower and even teal-ish with weak contrasts and less detail. Plus it has no deep blacks or true whites. It looks weathered.

And this, the Nolan, is apparently what’s being re-released into theatres in May. The images rendered for the upcoming 4K Ultra HD version of 2001, which pops on May 8th, will be restricted to those with 4K Bluray players. It seems obvious to me that the colors in the Nolan aren’t as satisfying and the images are less precise than even Warner Home Video’s 11-year-old Bluray, much less whatever the new 4K version will deliver. This seems absolutely NUTS.

Examine the 2007 version of Dave Bowman‘s face through his red space helmet visor vs. the far less distinct Nolan version — anyone who says that the Nolan version is preferable needs to be hunted down by men in white coats RIGHT NOW and sent off to an insane asylum. Examine the “Dawn of Man” bone-bashing images — the sky in the 2007 version is true blue but a kind of greenish teal in the Nolan version. Examine the two close-up images of HAL — you can obviously see more red-glow detail in the 2007 version while the Nolan is darker and murkier. Who in their right mind would say “the Nolan versions are better”? This is FULL-ON INSANITY.

2007 Bluray capture above; unrestored Nolan verson below.



After the upcoming 4K Ultra HD version pops on May 8th, Kumar needs to re-edit his essay so it includes all three versions.

The official Warner Bros. trailer for the Nolan version: