a doubt Steven Spielberg has truly out done himself with this
see a lot of movies; some good, some bad, and rarely as great
as what I saw this evening. Again, as with Castaway
last season, the audience was viciously divided. I stand
firmly and unswerving on the A.I. fanatic side.
combines a brilliant, believable premise, meticulous, ornate sets,
a precise cast and a wonderful three-dimensional script, which
is all orchestrated by one of our greatest living directors, Steven
premise behind A.I., a boy-bot with nearly human emotions, is
not so far fetched. Artificial intelligence is all around us now.
From the purchase of an airline ticket to fiiling up your tank
at the gas-n-blow mart. We deal with it everyday on a lower level.
Meanwhile, MIT's (a really smart person place in Boston) Dr. Cynthia
Breazeal has actually even invented an animated robot with higher
than the normal wax your- shoes- cart-your-drink-intelligence,
named Kismet. It actually has the ability of instantiation - reaction.
Not as sophisticated as A.I.'s near-perfect "David"
but I'd say they are heading there. Through the science of film
and sound, Spielberg brings us to the future. A time when human-esque
robots wait on us, make love to us and are as common as fluffy
pink elephant slippers. A pair in every home.
is about a new kind of robot or "mecha", mechanical
being, that is being beta-tested. There's only one and he's been
programmed to accept and to give love. To feel emotion.
you start gasping for air from a sudden aneurysm caused by the
traumatic memory of that mega-creepy-flop Bicentennial Man
(Robin Williams' hardly seen film faux pas), remember this is
meet David (Haley Joel Osment). David is to be placed with a family
that meets all the designers' criteria, mostly their despair.
"real" son the adoptive family presently has is frozen
in a lab waiting for a cure for his particular illness. When the
father's (Sam Robards) place of employ, a cybertronics plant,
offers him their newest and most avant-garde robot/product to
date, he thinks it would be healthy for his wife (Frances O'Connor)
to have a mock-child to love. Not to replace the freeze-dried
carcass, er, son, they visit every weekend, but to, perhaps, help
her let go and love again...
arrives not by stork, but by elevator. He is just "fitting
in" with his new organic mommy and daddy when he gets a rude
surprise. Poor boy, er, robot. Ultimately, he must be taken away
from the family and, even worse, his new, beloved mommy.
Okay it starts off a bit hokey and could use some editing, but
stay with it. It will get better.
and his personal animatronic super-toy he received from his mom,
a wise old teddy bear that walks, talks, and advises (that will
be in my vast obsessive toy collection by Sunday), named, Teddy,
are left in a mean, robot hating part of the world to fend for
is rounded up, with other misfit "toys" and sold to
a Flesh Fair, where humans string up, smash, melt and torture
robots in a protest to the robots "taking over." How
humane. But, it's in this
wretched, scary circus of the cruel and bizarre that David meets
and befriends a renegade man lover-bot, yes, I mean LOVER-bot
Gigolo Joe (Jude- dreadfully handsome-Law).
they escape and set out on a journey never before attempted by
their kind. David wants to find the magical fairy that he had
heard about, unfortunately, in a fairy tale he'd been read while
back with his "family." He's smart, but not Dennis Miller
smart, just child-like smart. David believes, in his little panel
wired heart, that it is only through her that he can become a
"real" boy and gain acceptance and true love from his
we travel with David, Teddy and Joe we are introduced to a world
that comes spectacularly alive and surges off the screen. One
such place is a future metropolis, with Gotham tendacies and Las
Vegas style glitz called Rouge. A sleazy red-light district of
the future that would make Amsterdam blush with modesty. Lover
bots carouse, sex shows abound, XXX is the name of the game. But,
Rouge also happens to be where an all-knowing Wizard of Oz-like
character resides. The wizard holds the answers for all, and most
importantly for questing David, to ask.
all the magical directing wonders that you'll feast your eyes
upon, Spielenbergenschnitzelheimerschmidt and his creme-de-la-creme
behind the scenes crew of fantasy makers have created a believable
world that's at once original, a tad scary, like Woody Allen's
Sleeper, or A Clockwork Orange and yet still has
the innocence of Pinocchio.
the only guy I can think of that could have pulled this off so
flawlessly. Okay, the long beginning aside.
Joel Osment is perhaps, the only child that makes my mothering
"clock" tick. I simply adore this child. If you could
be absolutely guaranteed a little Beatle-cute boy like that...well,
I'd say "stick an epidural in me and call a mid-wife."
But, with my luck I'd get a mutant demon spawn, so best I stick
to canine children and leave the breeding to those who can handle
it. H.J Osment is an intense talent, who just keeps turning in
Law is so sharp and tangy looking, in a slather him up in Thai
peanut sauce and finger-paint the day away way. He's a pretty
boy. BUT a manly, sexy pretty boy. Especially in the Who Quadrophenia
gear they have him sporting in this shindig. Anywhere, anyhow,
anyway! He's a sensual hit with women, men, and I believe, Koalas.
We eat him up- yum. Another immensely talented actor who seems
to pick his work for script and not loot. I even loved The
Talented Mr. Ripley. Still don't get people's loathing of
that movie... Though, hopefully, he "Aflecked" this
A.I. deal and made his contract include a percent of profit.
Hurt plays the man who creates young David. It's a small role
delivered in his usual ease. Thanks to Kevin Spacey's impressions
of him, I now laugh aloud whenever the man hits a screen. Dam
you, Spacey, and your razor wit!
the screenplay is scripted by Spielberg, it's based on a short
robot toy story,"Super Toys Last All Summer Long," by
acclaimed Sci-fi writer Brian Aldiss that had appeared in a 1969
Harper's Bazaar, and it was the late visionary Stanley Kubrick
who first wished to see it done with technical extravagance on
the big screen.
a colossal multi-talent himself, told friend Spielberg of the
A.I. tale. Stan trusted it to his friend before his death, and
he wouldn't be disappointed in what Stevie's done. A quote from
long time Spielberg associate Kathleen Kennedy sums it up best,
" There's no question this is a movie that has Steven Spielberg
sensibilities all over it. But the subtext is all Kubrick."
relax Kubrickians. It turned out to be out-there-enough that it
would have intrigued your beloved Kubrick, and gosh-golly Spielbergy
enough to keep it in check.
is a modern fairy tale for the more computer savvy audience. It
has a PG-13 rating and deservedly. I would say watch out with
the real preteens. This is heavy, thought provoking, possibly
nightmare inducing stuff for the wee-er ones folks. Not to mention
the six or seven heart- in- your- throat emotional- moments, moral
issues on creating which will probably have their little heads
near combustion with confusion. Yep, best to leave the squirts
at home with a sitter and their artificial intelligence.You know;
their computers, their play stations, their Furbys. I hate those
creepy little monsters...
The Furbys- not your kids.
Recommendation: Spinach and Coffee.
Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor, Sam Robards, Jake
Thomas, and William Hurt
by: Steven Spielberg