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AI (Artificial Intelligence)

The second feature of the night took a really, really long time for the projectionists to load, and when it finally did, there was about 3 minutes of movie before the film got caught in the projector and part of it burned. This was the projectorís way of saying, "No, really. You donít want to watch this movie."

There were no tits or explosions*. The theme of the movie was stated baldly in the opening sequence. There was a walking, talking teddy bear. Scenes that were probably supposed to be poignant were downright eerie. I could tell that everything that happened in the movie was a bad idea from the start.

Iím not saying this movie didnít raise social issues that arenít worth thinking about. For perspective, Iím the one who felt, while reading Star Wars novels, that druids were being totally and unfairly oppressed, treated as little better than possessions or slaves when really they were as much thinking, feeling beings as any of the rest of the characters. AI raised questions for me about humans and androids interact with one another, what rights and privileges humans have towards androids, and really, given the reaction of the humans towards the androids in this movie, whether we have the right to create them at all (see also Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. No, donít watch the movie. Read the book). Steven Spielberg could have developed any of these themes into a more compelling movie. Okay, maybe not, but Stanley Kubrick could have. Instead, he tries to turn it into an updated version of Pinocchio, but itís painful, stodgy, and the allusions to Pinocchio are way too heavy-handed to be in any way clever or meaningful.

The ending just didnít work for me. I thought the movie could have ended with Haley Joel Osmentís character sitting down to wait for the Blue Fairy, and just waiting, and waiting, and waitingÖ. Instead it went for a Titanic-style happy/sad ending (that dragged on for another 45 minutes), in which the characters kind of get what they want, but at a really high cost.

This was one of those movies where, given the subject matter, although I personally could not have done a better job (those who canít, criticize) I think the director or the screenwriters or somebody could have done a much better job by taking it in any number of different directions other than the one it took. I was disappointed. I think of all the themes this movie could have explored, it chose exactly the wrong one.

One half pint - for the scenes with Jude Law in them. No, itís not because Iím a huge Jude Law fan or something, itís because I thought they represented a step in the direction this movie should have taken.

Score: One half Pint

*ĒWas it a good movie? No. Did it have tits and explosions? Yes!Ē - Malcolm MacRae

 
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