I think that 2001
are trying to be two very different things. 2001
is more of an art film, an exercise in pure cinema, and is best experienced in the immersive environment of the theater. It's about sensation and perception and mystery, about letting the moment sink in slowly, but there's not really much in the way of story or character or conventional movie stuff. 2010
is more of a conventional narrative. I respect what Kubrick was trying to do, but 2001
bores me greatly. 2010
is less ambitious, but more watchable.
But then, I think I like the book of 2010
better than its predecessor too. I think it's a richer story, and I like the redemption of HAL.
To some, Jackson's films are faithful adaptations; to others, the situation couldn't be further from the truth. I'm definitely in the latter camp. If I didn't know anything about the books, I'd have to agree that the films are very good. But since I do know what was cut out and changed, and since I'm missing certain things that were cut out big-time because I think they're essential, I have to say that I don't find the films to be very good adaptations. So, they are good films that are adaptations, but as adaptations, I find them to be very unsatisfactory.
Again, though, I feel adaptations are supposed
to make changes. If you want something just like the original work, the original is still right there. The point of an adaptation is to create a new work that tells the story in a different way.
To me, a faithful adaptation is one that's faithful to the essence and spirit of the work, not to its exact words or events. More importantly, a good adaptation is one that works by itself
as an independent entity. Something can only be said to be "missing" if the film
is incomplete without it, if it results in a filmic narrative that, taken entirely on its own merits, does not tell a complete and satisfactory story. If the film works effectively without an element from the book, then that element isn't missing, since it's still there in the book. The film is still complete, it's just complete in a different way, because it's not the same story; it's an evolutionary descendant of the story.