A FLAWED GEM
Geary A., Jones | 06/17/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I love both Kubrick and Spielberg, but this film should have been one, or the other. The gadgetry, and CGI visuals are superb, and Osment, and Law are simply outstanding as David, and Gigolo Joe respectively, but the plot was over-burdened, and tedious at times. I loved PINNOCHIO too- when I was eight, but I think fairy tales for people beyond that age either need to not take themselves too seriously, or have to have the edge that, say, Scott's BLADE RUNNER did. Unfortunately, this movie didn't retain Kubrick's darkness, and I personally think it needed that. This said, Osment imbued his robotic character with such heartbreaking warmth, and yearning that one couldn't help but be fascinated ( or possibly 'repelled' ) by him.
Despite the lapses in logic this movie still entertains, and not because it's uplifting. It's far from upbeat. It does make one think a tad, and feel, and perhaps yearn just a bit oneself- for what could have been."
The After Life
Buzz Lightyear | San Pedro, CA | 05/08/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is so touching and it dives in to the issue of the afterlife. Humans tend to want to live forever. We don't say why should I do such and such if I will die tomorrow. In our minds, we live for today and tomorrow. I love it!"
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Jason C. Wilkerson | Green Bay, WI | 04/29/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In a futuristic world where humans and robots coexist in a shaky relationship, a robot named David (Haley Joel Osment) is taught to love and is given to a family. Being the first of his kind he is sorely misunderstood and a series of unfortunate events leads to David being on the run. All David wants is to be a real boy, though, and be loved by his mommy Monica (Frances O'Conner). So with his new found friend, Love Bot Gigolo Joe (Jude Law), David travels out to find the Blue Fairy of Pinochio fame to make him a real boy so his mother will love him.
AI was originally the brain child of legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, but as he was working on it he felt that the sensibilities of the film better suited a filmmaker such as Steven Spielberg. Stanley Kubrick approached Spielberg with the idea that Kubrick would produce the film, and Spielberg would direct. Of course, Spielberg was excited at the chance, but also reticent at the fact that this was the brainchild of the great Stanley Kubrick. They worked and worked on the project, Kubrick even had voices recorded that eventually appeared in the finished product (including those recorded by Chris Rock, Robin Williams, Meryl Streep, Ben Kingsley, and even Jack Angel who performed the voice of Teddy) until Kubrick had much of the concept art and even the complete treatment. Eventually Spielberg pushed back and asked Kubrick to direct and he would produce, and Kubrick relented but was unable to film the movie prior to his death in March of '99. Out of respect for his friend for the project he was originally asked to do, Spielberg picked up the work on AI and finished the film that Kubrick spent more than 12 years visualizing.
AI is a flawed masterpiece. Combining the strengths of two very different filmmakers is definitely the way to create an interesting work, and bringing out the sentimentality of Spielberg and the cynicism of Kubrick makes for great interplay and a certain tension between the two different sensibilities. On the one side you have the power and endurance of love, and on the other side you have the moral dilemma of man playing god and than dehumanizing it's creation. When juggling these two images of modern society Spielberg is at his best, and most of the movie is as good, if not better than anything else the director has ever commited to film.
The acting in this film is superb. Most of the movie revolves around Haley Joel Osment who was in his prime at the time (an unfortunate thing to say for a talent so young at the time and so good), and does he shine. Playing the first of his kind to feel love (or is it obsession) you truly feel for a robots plight, one of the few movies to actually grab you in that way. As his companion through most of his plight, you can tell Jude Law as Gigolo Joe is having a blast giving his "Love Bot" (read: sex toy) a bit of the smooth edge of Fred Astair. All of the performances in this movie truly shine though.
The problem, and what makes this movie flawed, is Spielberg's recent obsession with overindulgence and the need to place pieces from his older movies in his newer movies where they don't belong. First off, the ending of the movie should have been cut off. I'm not typically the type of person who will hold anything against a long movie, and it's not that this movie is long, it's that the last half hour is completely unneeded and somewhat ridiculous. Some of the acting choices make the last 30 minutes really feel more like outtakes than an integral part of the film. To add to that though, and secondly, Spielberg felt the need to inject scenes that he had planned for Close Encounters of the Third Kind into the end of the movie, confusing audiences as to what's going on in the end with the alien like robots.
Over all, I have to say that I did enjoy this movie, and it could have very well been a masterpiece and in ways it is, only if Spielberg hadn't followed his need to overindulge this movie wouldn't have lost steam. I do recommend it though, it's a movie that works well on multiple levels, for either just entertainment, or for further exploration into it's deeper meanings."