I enjoyed your review, but I would like to offer something that MAY shed some light on the situation...not the movie itself but the acceptance of it vs the "plot."
You mentioned that your expectations were set by visual entertainment such as STAR WARS and BATTLESTAR GALACTIC. Therein lies at least part of the disconnect.
Well, yeah, I "get" that about science fiction now, but those were my expectations when I first saw the movie at 12 years old. I like to think that my tastes have expanded and I've matured some
in the intervening thirty years, but that probably depends on which one of my friends/family members you talk to....
As a kid I actually read the "2001" comic book series by Jack Kirby (which, if you've never experienced it, is a hilariously schlocky must-read) before I ever saw the movie. As I mention in the article, the comic book was full of the usual aliens, laser beams, explosions, etc., etc. so obviously as a 12 year old, my expectations for the movie were mis-led by a combination of Jack "King" Kirby and the works of George Lucas. Haha.
I respect 2001 a lot more than I like it, if that makes any sense.
Yeah, I think I'm in the same boat. I dig it in a visual sense (as I said in the article, its FX and set design can still hang with stuff being made today) but the story just didn't "grab" me.