Interesting film. To me there are a few oddities. If the advanced entities in fact exist, surely they would be so advanced they would regard all species on earth as similarly primitive. If so, why benefit one species to the great cost of the many? It's curious that the monolith on earth disappears after the apes make the "technological" advancement (at least it's no longer in shot/where is was). Did the entities want to ensure that no other species advanced? Ultimately the so-called advancement leads to violence and bloodshed and, eventually, man’s dominion over the earth. One could also say that the entities seemed to have no regard for life or individuals, very much like HAL - it was cruel to isolate Bowman in that way. The film depicts man as insignificant when compared to the vastness of space and time. It shares a vision of religion that parallels those on earth whereby man's faults are reflected in the doctrine and, as sure as there is good, there must be evil. Reward and punishment. The entities, and HAL, approximate God and demonstrate the same apparent apathy toward their lessors. Sometimes vengeful, sometimes benevolent, seemingly random and without any discernible reason.