HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
True Don Quixote, The
Babymother
Mitchells vs. the Machines, The
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Unholy, The
How to Deter a Robber
Antebellum
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
   
 
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
   
 
  A.I. Artificial Intelligence This Is Not A Toy
Year: 2001
Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor, Sam Robards, Brendan Gleeson, Jake Thomas, William Hurt, Ken Leung, Michael Beresse, Haley King, Paula Malcomson, Jack Angel, Adrian Grenier, Ben Kingsley, Chris Rock, Meryl Streep, Robin Williams
Genre: Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 4 votes)
Review: It is the far future and environmental disasters have overtaken the planet Earth as surely as its technology is running away from it. Professor Hobby (William Hurt) is at the forefront of robot development and now that they can be made to look as lifelike as possible the next step is something he feels is not only necessary but inevitable. That next step is to provide the robots with emotions as well as intelligence and to that end, his company produces a prototype child machine called David (Haley Joel Osment). He is offered to a couple, Henry (Sam Robards) and Monica (Frances O'Connor), whose son has been in a coma for some time; David has the capacity to love Monica, but will she ever accept him?

By turns weirdly affecting and weirdly uncomfortable, director Steven Spielberg's A.I. was originally one of those Stanley Kubrick projects that the famed filmmaker never got around to creating. Based loosely on Brian Aldiss's short story Super Toys Last All Summer Long, adapted by Ian Watson, it was a science fiction epic that Kubrick decided would be better in Spielberg's hands, although many who saw the final result wished it had been the other way around. It was notable in joining the ranks of the likes of The Graduate: films that many believe have a happy ending when in fact they don't. Scriptwriter Spielberg suffered criticism for that conclusion, but was it justified?

A.I. is odd for being an examination of love from the perspective of machines. Once Monica sets his program in motion, David loves her unconditionally: it's a love both perfect in that nothing will divert it and imperfect in that it is now David's fixation, his sole purpose in life that prevents him developing any further. After she gets used to the idea of such a robot around the house, Monica is happy to indulge him, though more like a pet until he starts asking awkward questions such as how long will she live and what will happen to David after that.

Is David's creation ethical? He certainly makes life difficult for his owners when their son Martin (Jake Thomas) is unexpectedly revived and returns home. Martin displays a cruelty towards his mechanical "sibling" as if he were his now-neglected robot teddy bear and Teddy and David strike up an alliance. But after victimisation from Martin's friends leads to David endangering Martin's life, it is clear the robot boy has to be destroyed, something which Monica's guilt cannot allow her to let happen. So begins the second act and after the cerebral first ends in emotional tragedy, the tone changes to adventure as David, impressed by the tale of Pinocchio, begins his search for the Blue Fairy who will transform him into a real boy.

In a surprisingly effective item of casting, David finds a friend in a sex robot for women called Gigolo Joe, essayed by Jude Law with great flair. Joe has been framed for murder and like his young charge is on the run, so after they escape a "Flesh Fair" where unwanted members of the burgeoning android population are destroyed for humans' entertainment, they embark on their quest. Although it takes thousands of years for David to achieve his fairy tale ending, the theme of love, both familial (David provides that service for mothers) and romantic (Joe provides that service for women) reaches a cynical verdict more fitting for Kubrick than Spielberg. There's a lot that's pathetic in David's all-consuming yearning and while we can relate with his need for complete affection, it's cheapened by association with a machine that cannot grasp motivation which has been programmed into him. Are we really any better?, muses A.I. Music by John Williams.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 8297 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Steven Spielberg  (1946 - )

Currently the most famous film director in the world, Spielberg got his start in TV, and directing Duel got him noticed. After The Sugarland Express, he memorably adapted Peter Benchley's novel Jaws and the blockbusters kept coming: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Indiana Jones sequels, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, 2005's mega-budget remake of War of the Worlds, his Tintin adaptation, World War One drama War Horse and pop culture blizzard Ready Player One.

His best films combine thrills with a childlike sense of wonder, but when he turns this to serious films like The Color Purple, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Munich and Bridge of Spies these efforts are, perhaps, less effective than the out-and-out popcorn movies which suit him best. Of his other films, 1941 was his biggest flop, The Terminal fell between two stools of drama and comedy and one-time Kubrick project A.I. divided audiences; Hook saw him at his most juvenile - the downside of the approach that has served him so well. Also a powerful producer.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: