By: The Dweeb
A.I. is an ambitious project conceived by Stanley Kubrick that he kicked around for years in his head. Only after his death Steven Spielberg realizes his final vision and brings this movie to the screen, with mixed results. Spielberg hijacked this movie and removed the darker elements and made it more mass audience friendly than what Kubrick probably intended. I was insulted that they even marketed this movie as a Spielberg film, Kubrick’s name isn’t even on the cover of the box!
Don’t get me wrong, its still a good film, but it might have been better if Spielberg hadn’t gotten a hold of it. Very few movies these days make you actually think about it after leaving the theatre. Spielberg claims to have stayed true to Stanley’s vision of the film, but I think the third act set 2000 years in the future was Spielberg’s doing. It should have ended at the bottom of the sea. Instead we get dragged another 20 minutes with some stupid aliens gushing over the achievements of the human race. Give me a break! I remember some people left in the theatre during this part.
Kubrick continues to explore the relationship between man and technology, and the bad results that could happen when the two are intertwined. He first explores this topic in 2001, with an intelligent super computer going haywire in the far reaches of space, killing the entire crew dependant on it for survival. Here he takes a look at a realistic future of machines taking over roles of the humans, and how dependant we become to them.
Haley Joel Osment as David and Jude Law as Gigolo Joe are wonderful in this movie. This is probably Haley’s best acting since the Sixth Sense. He gives a really creepy performance that makes you believe he isn’t a real human. And if you watch carefully, he never blinks the entire movie. How the hell did they do that?
I also liked Gigolo Joe in this movie, he’s funny and displays the limitations of the Mecha robots. As they can only relate to the world through their specific function, and apply that to whatever situation they are in. They are an attempt at perfection, but this becomes their flaw. Like after they escape from the Flesh Fair, David wants to become a real boy, and needs to find the “blue fairy”. Joe professes his expertise in women, which is sadly misguided because all he knows about is sex, which is his primary function. His ignorance lends a nice humorous touch and makes this movie interesting.
The quality of this movie release is adequate, but I have a problem with the picture. I don’t know if this is intentional, but I saw this movie in the theatre and I don’t recall the film looking so grainy. It’s grainy enough that it interferes with the viewing experience. On my digital television it looks really pixilated in certain scenes, like its a dirty VHS player. An example is the opening scene, you can see the individual color shades on Professor Hobby’s face.
Sound is pretty good throughout most of the film, but I did notice that in some scenes the mix was not done correctly. I don’t know if it is because of my home theatre setup, but some of the foreground dialogue is drowned out by the background noise. A good example is the opening shot of the Rouge City street scene. I can barely hear Joe talking to David.
The second disc comes stocked with all kinds of stuff. The emphasis is on the special effects and the film making process. I have to say the special effects with the Mecha are amazing. Its interesting to see how they shot the Rouge City scenes, utilizing blue screen, miniatures and this cool computer program that automatically inserts the digital background in the monitor during filming.
But, alas, the problems that I have with this movie keeps it from getting my highest rating. The length of the movie is too much, so at the end I feel like I’m being dragged through to the end. I wish I didn’t buy this disc, how many times would I sit through this? Kind of like Titanic, once is enough.