Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 70% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Sci Fi since Blade Runner?, 5 Dec. 2003
This review is from: A.I. Artificial Intelligence [VHS] [2001] (VHS Tape)
I understand that Steven Spielberg took over this project started by the late Stanley Kubrick, which would explain the uneasy edge to the usual Spielbergian treatment. The remnants of Kubrick's message, namely that humans are soon-to-be obsolete beasts, contend with the usual Spielberg formula of corn syrup, tears, and awe, so that the result is unsettling and more than a bit curiouser and curiouser.
First of all, be aware that, despite the fact that there is a full serving of the Spielberg recipe here (cute kids, dazzling special effects, a beautiful score by John Williams, social consciousness seen largely from a kid's POV, etc.), this is not a "feel good" movie that will appeal to the mass audience at which Spielberg usually aims. The heartland of America will find this film disturbing and will tell their neighbors to stay away. Sci fi afficionados of the hard science variety (like myself) will have mixed feelings since some of the science is, shall we say, unlikely. The fantasy/sorcery crowd will probably be disenchanted for other reasons, although there is a glorious ending that might mist up one's eyes (it did mine). Overall, however, this is an unsettling look at humanity and where we're headin' ("Is that Lincoln County Road or Armageddon?"), and the treatment is definitely NOT something for the kiddies. It's liable to give them nightmares.
The central hook of the film is that we are made to identify with the robotic mechas, especially Haley Joel Osment's David and Jack Angel's Teddy and Jude Law's Gigolo Joe, while being reminded that they are not human, or more properly, that they are more admirable than human. In a way the robots resemble the have-nots of the current society, the handicapped and the poor, while the humans in the persons of Monica Swinton (Frances O'Connor), her son Martin (Jake Thomas) and the Flesh Fair entrepreneur (Brendan Gleeson) represent respectively the privileged, the cruel, and the exploitive. Monica's compromised morality is made clear in the scene in the woods (which I won't describe for fear of giving away too much). One also gets the sense that she and her husband (who portray the usual kid-show parental mentality) are not actually bright enough to figure out what has happened when siblings and friends have conflicts. Monica simply sides with her biological child and throws David to the wolves, as it were.
On another level this is a movie about a child's undying love for his mother, a love that lasts for two thousand years and a day and is never compromised. It is about believing in fairy tales and the miraculous, a modern day Pinocchio in Wonderland as might be dreamed up by admirers of Blade Runner (1982). In the Spielberg canon, echoes from his cinematic predecessors mesh with echoes from his own movies in a sometimes all too obvious way. Note the return of the moon (in sinister splendor) from E.T. with Teddy (who could have been retrieved from the set of Blade Runner--as could Prof. Hobby, AKA Geppetto) trudging across the top of a rise in front of it.
The sets and the animations are sumptuous and beautiful. The robots and the aliens are ingeniously crafted. I very much liked the vision of a drowned Manhattan with the upper stories of the skyscrapers rising above the level of the sea (presumably from global warming), giving us a very quiet and almost contemplative Manhattan, and then the skyscrapers immersed in ice as the earth falls into a prolonged ice age. The sense of the rapid passage of awesome time reminded me a bit of Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), while Dr. Know (voice of Robin Williams) recalled The Wizard of Oz (1939), and the Blue Fairy (voice of Meryl Streep) something from Disney.
This is a substantially compromised masterpiece, as it certainly had to be coming from the ghost of Kubrick as fashioned by Hollywood's most powerful and most commercially successful director, but an engaging, ambitious spiral into the future, one well worth watching one, one that will linger in the mind awhile.
See this to encourage Spielberg to emphasize creativity over formula, to encourage him to make more movies that dare to offend the mass mind while intriguing the rest of us.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Dec 2015 23:34:00 GMT
prw says:
An excellent review of an underrated film.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details