Steven Spielberg's latest movie A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, which he took up at the encouragement of the late, great Stanley Kubrick, has caused widely divergent comments. And I can't help wondering if the most scathingly negative reviews of this movie aren't just an open desire to see Spielberg crash, as he had with "1941" and HOOK.For my money, Spielberg has done it again with this futuristic science fiction drama, regardless of what the negative reviews say. Its story of a robot boy (Haley Joel Osment) who desires to be a real boy in a far future in which humans (Orgas) and machines (Mechas) exist side-by-side but not always in harmony is very much modeled on the Pinocchio story, though it is actually based on a 1969 short story by Brian Aldiss. It raises some interesting and sometimes unsettling moral dilemmas that few films of late have done. Can a parent love a child, even if that child is not real? What might happen if that child desired to be real? How will Man and Machine be able to co-exist?Like all intelligent science fiction, such as Kubrick's own 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and Spielberg's own CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, A.I. forces us to ponder where we've been and where we might be going. It's an incredible combination of Kubrick's icy intellectual and clinical mind and Spielberg's emotional heart; and I think it works exceedingly well. But it forces the viewer to not leave their heart and brains at the door, which I think is why it is being so negatively received in this season of mindless summer movie fare. It may be too intelligent for its own good, and many don't have the 145 minutes of patience needed for the movie. I did, however; and I would call this an absolute masterpiece. Out of ten stars, give this one a 10.
AI - ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE / (2001) ***1/2 (out of four)By Blake French: "AI - Artificial Intelligence" is the hardest kind of movie to review-but it's also the most enjoyable kind of movie to watch. It's been over three weeks since my screening of Steven Spielberg's emotionally harrowing epic about a robot boy. Before writing my review, I wanted to let its themes, content, and characters sink into my head and make a solid impact. The film was based on an idea by Stanley Kubrick, but when he died in 1999, Speilberg took charge of the project. I could spend pages discussing the techniques of Kubrick's intentions and Spielberg's decisions, but I will not. Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg are two of the greatest directors American cinema has to offer; it's pure pleasure watching their ideas clash and flow. I am not going to examine each individual theme here, either. That would ruin the movie for you. "AI - Artificial Intelligence" presents many themes on screen, but it's important to take what you get out of it. Whenever I read a review of Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" or "2001: A Space Odyssey" I feel influenced by the reviewer's interpretation of the movie's themes. Every time I watch either of those movies I get something new out of it. I hate it when other critics state the movie's themes on paper as if it's a fact. There is far too much room for interpretation to reveal this movie's message, or the message of any Kubrick film for that matter. Ask 100 people, and you might get 100 different answers. "AI - Artificial Intelligence" is that kind of movie-one of the year's best.Critics and audiences alike have torn apart this movie's ending-a clear miscalculation by Spielberg. If Kubrick were in charge, the movie would have called it quits about twenty minutes earlier in an unsettling sequence that takes place in the ocean. But Speilberg, who always seems entranced by science fiction, injects an additional segment into the mix that does not work quite as well, but isn't so completely awful that it deserves such harsh criticism. It still leaves us with an open, startled emotional disorientation. I left the theater with tears in my eyes. The movie before the conclusion is so complex, moving, and involving in so many different ways the last twenty minutes didn't even come close to spoiling the movie for me. "AI" transpires sometime in the near future after the polar ice caps have melted and flooded coastal cities and reduced natural resources. Mechanical androids have become popular since they require no commodities. Reproduction has also become highly illegal. Machines provide sexual services and if anyone wants a child, they will purchase a robot. However, the difference between a robot child and a living child is that robots cannot love. That's the task professor Hobby (William Hurt) of Cybertronics Manufacturing has solved. He has made a robot child that can love. We can separate "AI" into two separate segments. I do not want to reveal too much about each plot because the pleasure of watching this movie evolves from the revealing of the connecting plots. I will, however, briefly say the first details a robot child's interaction within a family, and the second deals with the robot's estrangement from its family and the quest to regain the mother's love. I can imagine the material in Kubrick's hands. Th
This movie has SO many angles, so much information... I was completely blown away by it and will definitely go see it many more times in the cinema. This is one of the classic movies of all time and I was appalled by the complete lack of understanding by many of the other user-comments.If you like Tomb Raider or Disney Movies...just don't bother. This is so far removed from the Hollywood-style of scripting that many would just be bored to death by the surrealism and impressionism Kubrick uses in all of his films.If you are looking for a Spielberg action-flick...also stay away. Don't bother. I can only guess Spielberg finished this 'Kubrick' with the proper respect for one of the greatest directors of all time.This is not a movie, this is pretentious art. Pretentious, but actually making GOOD on its pretense. From my point of view, not in the negative sense of the word. Questions are asked and possible answers given, letting the viewer decide for themselves. Mindbogglingly, impressive camera-action. Brilliant soundtrack. Absolutely perfect acting by all players. Superb casting.One of the greatest movies of all time. High in the list, together with "2001, A Space Oddyssee".
This movie is about ten minutes too long and it truly should have finished with David at the bottom of the ocean. It has a tragic beauty up to that point, poignant like some of the sad fairy tales that made you cry as a child, and heart-wrenching with its portrayal of betrayed innocence and sad lingering fierce love of a child viewing as an adult.The happy ending really ruined this, and turned it into something that landed just slightly on the side of the ridiculous. Perhaps Spielberg just couldn't resist adding something cheering but it simply doesn't work well in this film. I hope he will in time learn that sad ending, while no doubt depressing to some, can also evoke strong emotional response that is thought-provoking, also ultimately up-lifting and cathartic to the viewers.
I loved this film. It isn't one of the greatest films ever made, but it's a personal favorite of mine. I cried at the two sad points, I laughed at the mannerisms of Gigalo Joe and Teddy, the super-toy, my heart pumped faster at the action, suspense, and horror, but overall, I really enjoyed the film on a whole. I didn't find an ounce of it boring at all. It's practically the same as observing an extraordinary life and extraordinary tale of a boy who just wants his mommy. But the boy is not a boy, and rather a robot. But the way he acts can pass for a human any day.The look of the film was dazzling and amazing. From the facilities in the underwater Manhatten, to the curvy, sensual architecture of Rouge City. I really felt as if I were really going along for a great ride and once I stepped out of the theater, I wanted more.The film is from Steven Spielberg based on Brian Aldiss' short story, "Super-toys Last All Summer Long" which was doctored up by Stanley Kubrick. The film is a tribute to the legendary filmaker, but it is not his film, but rather Spielberg's. Sure it sometimes tries to mimic his styles, but that's practically the same as a filmmaker paying homage to a great. It's more or less the same as somebody making his adaptation of a novel or maybe graphic novel, since Kubrick supplied some of his artwork through designs. The story is Kubrick's, but the film is Spielberg's.Although it may seem ridiculous to some at some points, it's a future, not THE future, but a rendition of it and somethings may happen in THIS future that may seem unrealistic. The film has a great score, but it just doesn't stand out like some of John Williams's other scores. The end could be considered a homage to Spielberg's "Close Encounters Of the Third Kind" or it could be something different, something more along the lines of the film's title, Artificial Intelligence, but only a far more advanced form of it.The acting in this film is great along with the emotions, visions, humor, and fright. I found this film to be extraordinarily superb, but whether you think it's as good, is up to you.
I thought A.I. was a very good film. I'm sure it is somewhat different from what Kubrick had thought but he and Spielberg had worked on it for a long time. I liked the questions that it posed about such as what does it mean to be a being? Does the boy robot have genuine feelings or are they programmed? But we as people do we have genuine feelings or are they "programmed" in our genetic code, by society, and by other factors? Intriguing questions from an intriguing film. Definitely a thinking persons movie. The acting by Haley Joel Osmet was outstanding and the supporting cast was equally good, too. The portrayal of the future was somewhat frightening but also extremely fascinating. Especially the ending of the film. I saw this film with my brother who's first word when the film ended was "Wow!" He only expresses that for films he really likes. Those who like science fiction and those who like films that make them think definitely see this film. Even if you are not as impressed as I am you will find parts of the film fascinating.
It is fitting that A.I., Steven Spielberg's monument on film to Stanley Kubrick, is a shoe-in for Best Picture in 2001. A.I. is cinematically beautiful, and tells a wrenching emotional story of a child's quest for maternal love.In A.I., Spielberg masterfully adopts Kubrick's hard, bare-essentials style of direction, letting the photography tell the story, rather than the dialogue. This style allowed Kubrick to develop an enormous scope of ideas, stories and emotions in his movies. But it often left casual movie goers behind. He had difficulty finding the right treatment for A.I. so he handed the project to Spielberg before Kubrick's death last year.Spielberg textures A.I. with obvious dollops of his own soft-as-whipped-cream touch. It is Spielberg's great skill that blends the two styles together with mesmerizing results. This blend allows the emotional story of a young robotic boy to come to life, and Kubrick fans will be able to enjoy one last film made by the master -- with the respectful help of another great artist.The Kubrickian style demands the very best from actors, who must appear unapologetically real, and must, in long sequences with no dialogue, convey strong feelings and emotions. The A.I cast, especially lead actor Haley Joel Osment, meet every measure of the demands. Despite his youth, Osment will surely receive a nomination for Best Actor.A.I. will rank high among the best movies ever made, but viewers should come prepared for an intense emotional and intellectual work-out. If you want to take in a quick flick to escape life for a couple of hours, this is not your movie. If you want to explore the cinematic depth of a master artist like Spielberg, A.I. will take you places you've never been before.
A.I. is a difficult film. Some of it is brilliant, while some is dire.The acting - Haley Joel Osment as David the mecha (robot) boy is superb. He plays the role with such intelligence and maturity - it's a real achievement and bodes well for his future (if he can avoid hitting the self destruct button like so many other child stars.) Jude Law puts in another solid performance as 'Gigolo Joe' the mecha prostitute. In a similar vein to his previous roles in Gattaca and eXistenZ, he's quirky and somehow detached from reality - it works brilliantly. He's rapidly turning into one of my favourite actors. "Hey Joe - Waddya know?"The rest of the cast is very good but doesn't shine, perhaps because their characters were treated lightly and not fully explored. Overall though - good performances by all.The sets , costumes and special effects are of a very high standard. Until the last 30 minutes or so, the use of computer graphics is tastefully done and never feel like an excuse to wow the audience with some clever CGI. The scenes at the Flesh Fair (a kind of rock concert where mecha are destroyed for the entertainment of spectators) are powerful, visceral and in your face. The flying and underwater scenes were also very well handled, although not mind blowing. Now the downside, and it's a big downside. The plot is incredibly disjointed. I didn't expect it to be so obvious that this movie had been directed by two different people and thought Spielberg to be more subtle. There was apparently little attempt by Spielberg to blend his parts of the movie with Kubrick's to create a coherent whole. Instead what we get is a wonderfully dark first 60-90 minutes and then something reminiscent of 'Close Encounters of the E.T. kind' tacked on to make us feel good. As a result, the feel of the film quickly evaporated into a mush. There were a couple of chances to end the movie earlier (notably at the end of the underwater section) and it was a mistake to take the movie beyond these points. The poignancy is lost with repeated attempts to extend and explain the story in unnecessary ways, the scene with David's mother towards the end being especially contrived and saccharin. The sum up, this felt like two movies in one - an intelligent, dark and fascinating film mixed one that's formulaic, sentimental and cheesy. Because of this it fails to reach the promised heights and at times feels messy. It's ultimately unsatisfying and left me very disappointed, but not because it's bad, but rather because I expected so much more. As many others have said, I can't help wondering what heights it would have reached if Kubrick hadn't passed away.An interesting film, but rent it first as it's not for everyone.
Being a fan of both Kubrick and Spielburg, this movie was a surprising miss. It tries real hard, but gets confused and lost.I've read that Kubrick originally worked on this project before Spielburg picked it up. I don't know to what extent each actually worked on filming, but it sure does feel like two different directors worked on this movie - which is problem # 1.Both have a unique style that do not mix well. Kubrick is a master at disciplined contemplation of a moral issue while Spielburg is a master at spinning a wonderfully entertaining yarn. This film tries to do both and it just doesn't work.The first act of the film, which to me feels entirely Kubrickian, is great. We are immediately immersed in a moral conundrum. The pit is deep, dark, poignantly adorned with characters against a somber stage that compels us to engage the material. It also is very much in the style of Kubrick: sets, lots of master shots, slow moving and ponderous "photography in motion." The ambience is there to serve the story in every detail. If this was Spielburg's homage to Kubrick, well done. If this was Kubrick's work, wel l, it was right on target. (I really miss his work.)The characters are drawn clearly if not archetypically and draw us unabashedly into the ring of moral discourse which we achingly yet eagerly embrace.Then, the story that is being constructed is completely abandoned in the second act as the main character (boy robot) is taken completely out of the setting that's been developed to this point and we embark on an odyssey of sorts. I spent most of the second act wondering what was going to happen in the plot that was being developed in the first act. We never find out.From this point on, the movie is all Spielburg. Fanciful staging, lots of effects, the obligatory allusion to the holocaust and gut-wrenching turmoil for our little hero and his friend. This is a huge contrast to the beginning of the story and is so different that it really feels like a whole different movie. Following the sublime Chardonnay of Kubrick with the super-charged Frappucino of Spielburg is unsettling and frustrating. For example, the staging in the first act is dominated by polished wood floors, furniture that is both kitsch and futuristic and smoky corporate offices. The second act is pretty much Back to the Future meets Thunderdome. The two have their place - but not in the same movie!Where the first act compels us to consider the matter, the second act throws us against the wall, puts a gun to our head and screams, "listen to me!"
By the third act, I had really lost interest. I never quite got over the abandonment of the original story and didn't really feel like getting involved in the second one - both because it wasn't as interesting and because I didn't want to be cheated twice in two hours.
The end of the third act is really where the movie should have stopped. It was sad, pitiful and left us with the core moral issue of how we tend to implement an idea without thinking of the consequences.
But, no, here comes the fourth act - and the other major problem with this movie. Epilog, coda, call it what you want, the ending was tacked on and was just horrible. More face time for the FX folks and some really trite, contrived and irrelevant dialog from robots about the space-time continuum. Really, who cares? It's just an awkward plot device and you roll your eyes and ask "Wha--?&q
Wow! That was all I could say when I walked out of the theatre after my first helping of A.I. I wasn't sure whether I loved the movie or was disappointed by it, I just knew it had had a huge effect on me. Having seen it a further three times at the cinema, I still find fault with it, but I keep returning to it, thinking about it, discussing it, and it has left me with a feeling that, five months later, I've still not shaked. In many regards, this movie reminds me of Fight Club, not in terms of theme or emotional content, but due to it's level of craft, the daring nature of it's execution and the fact that I keep re-evaluating it. All the things that are possible to comment objectively on (if anything ever is) are handled expertly. The performances are top-notch, especially Haley Joel Osment as David, the little robot child that longs to be human. The effects are not only very impressive, but are integrated into the story rather than calling attention to themselves. Januz Kaminski's photography is, as one has come to expect, impressive, and the movie is unusually unpredictable for such a big-budget experience. In my opinion, John Williams' score is among his most impressive. I listened to it on CD for three weeks before seeing the movie, and thought it was fantastic, but once the movie started rolling I completely forgot about the music. That says a lot about both the score and the film itself. I also liked the three-act structure, in which the tone and feel of the movie changes drastically as the story progresses. Part one, as one reviewer noted, feels like a cross between E.T. and The Shining, an odd, but very effective combination. The second part of the movie is awash with Spielbergian imagery, but with the darkness and coldness of a Kubrick movie. And the last part is a head-scratcher that has the intellectual resonance of most Kubrick-films, and the emotional tone of something like Cinema Paradiso. I purposely refrain from saying that it is as emotional as Spielberg-films, because I think the director's complexities, the dark aspects of his style, and the occasional subtleties of his work are often overlooked by critics. It's difficult to discuss the themes of the movie without spoiling it, but while many people criticised the movie from having several false endings, I felt that each continuation added layers of though and complexities that the movie would have lacked had it ended sooner. I have come to the conclusion, over the past months, that I do love the movie and that it is my favourite film of 2001, even ahead of The Fellowship of The Ring and Amelie. In other words, buy it on DVD, it's more than worth it.