A.I.  Artificial Intelligence (2001): Artificial Emotions by Steven Spielbot A.I.  Artificial Intelligence (2001): Artificial Emotions by Steven Spielbot
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) gets a lot of favourable reevaluations recently. Time for an unfavourable one. A.I.  Artificial Intelligence (2001): Artificial Emotions by Steven Spielbot

Reevaluations of movies are not only important, they can also be very enlightening and, in the best case, fun. Popular, as well as individual tastes change over the years, that’s why giving a film another try after a certain span of time can give the viewer a new perspective on the material, for the better or the worse. Generally, reevaluations simply help to appreciate films for what they really are from a distance, stripped from their initial surrounding hype and/or prejudices, which sometimes leads to them getting their deserved backlash or reappraisal.

For some reasons, lately all of a sudden positive reevaluations of the Steven Spielberg-helmed SF-drama A.I. from 2001 are popping up all over the internet. While A.I. mainly received favourable reviews (73% on Rotten Tomatoes) upon its release, it was also met with criticism, often accusing Spielberg of toning down the source material that was Stanley Kubrick’s brainchild.

What is happening now though is that the film is elevated into some kind of misunderstood masterpiece, which made me curious because even after seeing it three times -the first time during the original theatrical run- I never changed my opinion about it,  which is why I decided to give it a fourth try that might eventually change my conflicted feelings I associate with this epic.

Unfortunately that did not happen and I still think that A.I. does not deserve to be called a masterpiece, but at least the latest sighting helped me to put my finger on what exactly does not work about it in my eyes.

First, I have to state a few things in advance.

What I don’t want is to achieve with this article is to illustrate the fascinating back story of the film that is based on a short story by Brian Aldiss, as there are already pretty good articles depicting the decade-long development process on the web, written by more professional writers than me. I will come back to the eternal discussion which parts are owed to Kubrick and which to the Berg, but in a more speculative fashion.

It’s also not about comparing particular reviews by other writers with each other or commenting on them. This article is about my very personal impression of the movie and an attempt to analyze what I think is preventing it from being rightfully considered as a “classic” or “masterpiece” while defying some often-cited general statements in favour of the film which I deem as false.

It naturally became a longer piece in the end, because the reevaluation of a reevaluation has to present a longer chain of proof than a simple review as it must present the counterargument to a counterargument to an argument, etc.

A film by Stevley Kuberg

Some individual elements of A.I. are praised for good reasons. The performance by Haley Joel Osment as the robot boy David is simply brilliant and pretty much the heart of the film. Another saving grace is Jude Law with his subtly humorous portrayal of the smooth robotic gigolo Joe. Without their inclusion, A.I. would probably be completely unwatchable.

Worth mentioning is also the incredible FX work by the Stan Winston Studios that still surpasses some efforts we get served nowadays with its emphasis on realism over CGI-glossiness. Most importantly, I actually do think that A.I. has a great and unique storyline and above that I am one of the few who thinks that the controversial “second ending” could have worked. Could have.

Apart from those perks though, A.I. is a bit of a mess and not even a particularly interesting one. Strictly speaking, it does not matter which parts are Spielberg’s creation and which ones Kubrick’s, but I still blame the Berg, as he was responsible for the wonky execution in the end.

Fact is that Spielberg tried to mesh his style with that of Kubrick and the result of those two clashing is not a pretty sight. Kubrick is famously documented to have claimed that all the sweetish parts that are attributed to Spielberg are unexpectedly his input, but assuming that they would have played out on screen the same way as they do now in the finished film if he had helmed the feature, is simply foolish. That’s 100% Berg in all his glory.

Blame it on the moonlight

Blame it on the moonlight

 

Sadly just the later Berg though, because if it was his younger self something vaguely intriguing might have come out of this dour affair. An uneven film can still be worthwhile and the blend of Kubrick’s notorious “cold look” and Spielberg’s trademark sentimentality could have led to something fascinating, but the problem is that Spielberg is -not unlike Kubrick- a control freak and not an intuitive artist that can let loose. So what we end up with is a tonally dissonant hybrid but one that is paradoxically without any striking contrasts, because they are bulldozed away by the director, with “ambiguity” and “subtlety” being collateral damage in the process.

On the one hand, A.I. is not a clever and reverent homage to Kubrick even it tries to, it is a Spielberg movie that solely uses this angle as a gimmick to prove the versatility of its vain director. There may be some clumsy references to the master but Spielberg never lets Kubrick truly into his mind, the allusions always only scratch the surface and remain there.

At its very heart, A.I. is a Spielberg movie, aggressively pointed out by the director himself, because the most obvious references he put front and centre are the ones paying homage to his own body of work: The full moon from E.T. makes a big cameo and the aliens from Close Encounter of the Third Kind even twice, once in the beginning with the out-of-focus introduction shot of David and a second time at the end with the design of the super-advanced robots (often mistaken for aliens) in the epilogue.

It’s a classic vanity project, Spielberg’s way to tell the world: “I was friends with one of the best directors ever and he even let me finish his film! And I put my own stamp on a Kubrick film! Choke on that, bitches!”

On the other hand the film may be purely Spielberg in spirit, but is not even good at that. As I already alluded to above, the Berg at this point in his career is naturally a different beast than the one who left his mark on pop culture with early masterpieces like Jaws, E.T. or Raiders of the lost Ark, which could be described as “blockbuster movies with heart and soul”. As it was pointed out many times before (also by myself), Spielberg’s popcorn films undeniably suffered in quality after his ambitions shifted towards more serious dramatic fare. Jurassic Park and The Lost World felt like anonymous efforts intended to fill the money sock, which they probably were. Even his late 80s and early 90s works  Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Hook already were unusually plodding and lachrymose compared to his previous features.

Between 2001 and 2005, an attempt to return to the “Blockbuster Spielberg” is discernible in the Berg’s filmography, with three of the movies he made during that timespan being set in the SF-genre: A.I., Minority Report (2002) and War of the Worlds (2005). On the surface, all three of those are outside of the director’s comfort zone, with their dark tone and even cerebral approach in the case of the former two. But on closer inspection they turn out to be all Spielbergified and silly, tonally all over the place due to a director, who, at the end of the day, cannot get out of his own skin anymore. Or rather does not want to…

Among this three aforementioned movies, A.I. is, even if only in some details, the one that is the closest to E.T., the film most people immediately associate with Spielberg and the one that established his trademarked sentimentality and nostalgia for a romanticized childhood that were frequently imitated in subsequent 80s movies.

Yet if E.T.’s sentimentality was genuine and heartfelt and Hook’s sentimentality was a whiny and moderately successful attempt by a midlife-crisis Spielberg to recapture that magic, then A.I. was the logical next step, a disillusioned, calculating business man Spielberg recognizing his style not as an individual artistic choice anymore, but as a brand product and giving the audience what they would expect from a “typical Spielberg movie” with all the popular trigger moments. The aforementioned distanced approach is therefore maybe not only a byproduct of mocking Kubrick’s style, it is also a testament of Spielberg being in full routine mode.
What is left is a movie that is not fulfilling on a cerebral level and phoned in on the emotional level. In short, Spielberg not only fails at channeling Kubrick, he also fails at channeling Spielberg.

It is no coincidence that the one Spielberg movie from that period that is genuinely good is Catch Me If You Can from 2002, for a very particular reason. Not only did its two protagonists a lot of the heavy lifting again and it helped that Spielberg returned to more grounded, straightforward storytelling, but it is also contains some parallels to the director’s own biography in a way, as it is about a guy who makes his way through life by pretending and selling illusions, which makes it more personal. That’s not only a metaphor for the job as director by the way- if you read one of the various versions of the stories Spielberg told in interviews how he got into film business, you will understand that it might be closer to his own private persona than he is aware of.

Pictured: Whore Island

Pictured: Whore Island

From Jabba’s Palace to Russ Meyer

Let’s take a closer look at the film itself.

The first, overlong section of the film that depicts the family David is thrown into is already a sign that Spielberg was on autopilot or, if you feel the need to speculate, did not quite get the point of the source material.

While the horrible mentality of the upper middle class family is hinted at, it could have been fleshed out even more. I suspect that Kubrick’s intention was to use this segment to examine the hidden horrors of everyday family life, not to spend it on a heavy-handed set-up of David’s character arc. When David leaves the house and is lost in the cruel wide world, the home seems too much like a safe haven in retrospect, borderline psychopath brother and all. I think that it would have had a stronger impact if David was just sent from hell to another- just of a different kind, juxtaposing the hell that family life can be to that of the unpredictable outside world, making it difficult for the audience to decide which one is worse.  It would have also emphasised the inherent sadness and futility of David’s unreciprocated love towards his “mom” (Frances O’ Connor).

Remember, they are not only a snobby upper middle class family, which is bad enough, but they live the high life in a collapsed world, maybe completely unaware of the squalor existing beyond their little settlement. They also accepted David for completely selfish reasons, treated him like dirt before his emotion chip was activated (hm…wrong movie?) and were unafraid to kick him out when the first problems surfaced. What’s not to hate?

David’s introduction to the family would have deserved a more icky, intimate atmosphere when real humans meet an artificial one, as it Ex Machina (2015) created so masterfully, to cite a recent example. Unfortunately, these scenes are so conventional, unmemorable and banal, even a second rate Spielberg epigone like Chris Columbus could have directed them (which brings up repressed ugly memories of Bicentennial Man, 1999). Moments of sweetness are signified by actors shot against gleaming backlight, while scenes depicting trouble like the spinach eating contest or when David almost drowns his step brother are staged as conventional suspense moments. Solely the infant acting powerhouse Osment can bring some ambiguity and subtlety to the happenings, but even he can only achieve so much.

Once David enters the stage for example, the too sympathetic portrayal of the family makes it hard to identify with him, the plastic kid with the odd behaviour and we automatically turn to the mother. If the family was portrayed in a less favourable light, we would be forced to identify with him earlier, not just after he was already left behind in the forest. And again, if it was not for Osment, we would not have cared for David after all, because the direction does nothing to engage us and sell us this sudden shift of focus to David’s character.

The following scene showing the “Flesh Fair” perfectly encapsulates the clash of tones I described above: While the Industrial rockers “Ministry” are with their hellish sound the perfect choice to rock the stage for an event of a partly post-civilized society, the robot mayhem in the arena below is due to the childish designs of the automations as gut-wrenching as the torture scene in Return of the Jedi when the little boxy droid gets its feet burned. It’s hard to feel shocked by the robo-genocide when it is depicted as a Road Runner– cartoon.

Backyard sale at Jabba's

Backyard sale at Jabba’s

 

Overall, the depiction of the future in A.I. feels very unbalanced, improbable and childish, an impression I also got when watching Minority Report the following year, which makes me wonder if Spielberg is really the right man for futuristic SF. His preceding SF movies E.T. and Close Encounter were rather present day fables with some aliens thrown in after all. Of course there are also fairy tale elements in A.I., but it is meant to be set in the “real world”, so there is no excuse for idiotic, butt-ugly designs like the hot-air balloon disguised as a full moon or the tricar.

I am less surprised by the toned down version of “Rouge City”, because Spielberg was, unlike Kubrick, never known for exploring the dark undersides of sexuality. At least the city has an amusing design, like a fever dream of Russ Meyer had after a long day at the slot machine in Las Vegas and is not as embarrassing as the moral pointing finger- swinging “cyber brothel” scene in Minority Report.

Skipping the film’s visually most impressive part, the New York segment, I want to conclude this article with a few words about the controversial “second ending”: I am one of the few who thinks that this ending is quite clever, but and here comes the big “but”, it fails because the delivery is again beside the point.

Thought up by Kubrick himself, the last scenes are mirroring the starting situation of the movie. Instead of humans, robots are now ruling the world and it is David who orders a copy of his stepmom for his own emotional needs. Moral lesson: Love is always a little selfish, solipsistic and lopsided and reciprocated love is probably just projection.

This would make a perfect ending for a dark, bitter fairy tale, but the schmaltz is applied so generously and the final montage of David reuniting with his mom goes on for so long that it lacks any punch. Spielberg is unapologetically resorting to cheap emotional manipulation, dragging out the scenes and amping up the volume of the sugary John Williams score, so that even the people on the cheap seats realize that it’s time for the Crying Game. Probably he knew that he had to hammer it home because any traces subtlety or sincere emotionality would have been hopelessly lost at this point in the movie.

To be fair, it would have been nearly impossible to create a truly satisfying ending to A.I. as it is. The “fairy tale ending” makes sense on paper, but it does not ring true or feel earned.

That’s because the fairy tale aspect is just one of many undercooked ingredients in the big A.I. stew, which range from ponderings about the self-awareness of artificial beings to a comment about the nature of evolution. Sadly, A.I. is too one-dimensional to convey a true richness of themes, which was maybe still existent in Kubrick’s vision. Devoid of layers, it cannot be many things at the same time, only one thing after the other. This is reflected in the world it presents on screen, which never feels vivid or graspable.

Are friends electric?

Are friends electric?

 

Bragging with this multitude of themes, A.I. fails to tackle even one of them properly, they just serve to overwhelm the audience and keep up an illusion of intellectual depth. With the help of John William’s competent score, Janusz Kaminski’s slick and show-offy cinematography and the phenomenal actors, Spielberg tied it up in a package that might be neat looking but is hollow inside.

To make it completely airtight though, the Berg also added some pompous and heinously manipulative emotional beats to create a simulacrum of a film that is both cerebral and emotional so it cannot be called out for its intellectual shortcomings.

In the end, I can only come back to the question film fans and critics asked themselves countless times over the years: How would Kubrick have realized his brainchild?

And as we will never know that, we are left with Spielberg’s A.I. is an unfortunate hybrid, not just one of different artistic sensibilities:

It may feel as mechanical and calculating as a robot but sadly not its precision, analytical understanding- or inability to be phoney.

Author Image

DetectiveDee

Detective Dee reviews movies and sometimes TV-series. He likes to indulge in the Asian cinema, exploitation flicks and the horror genre but is no stranger to Blockbuster culture either. He writes whatever he wants, but always aims to entertain.

  • Dee is wrong but its ok. Only happens once in a blue moon.

  • I need a ban hammer.

  • KilliK

    haha, I knew someone would write a review about AI here, after Quint’s AI revisit review in AICN.

  • It was one of my main “inspirations”, yes. But I also saw other articles popping up everywhere. Quint’s article is a lousy defense, by the way.

  • Abe

    Has anyone outside of those people that were financially invested in the success of this movie talked about Spielberg and Kubrick’s relationship?

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    I agree with most of this. AI is a disjointed and tonally incongruous mess. It has moments of greatness, but it’s well short of masterpiece status, nor does it even qualify as a complete, well-rounded film.

    Ironically, the much maligned third act (which came directly from Kubrick, despite the popular belief that sentimental Spielberg tacked it on) is one of the best and most subversive sections of the film. The opening act in the family home is also a very good approximation of Kubrick’s style. It’s the crap in the middle, largely filled in by Spielberg from K’s sparse notes – the Flesh Fair, Rouge City, Professor Hobby stuff – that really sinks the movie. It’s too literal, too cartoonish, and a very contradictory and simplistic treatment of complex themes.

  • KilliK

    Kubrick should have instead given his baby project to Michael Bay.
    at least it would have AIs fighting each other and blowing up stuff and guarantee one billion revenue in BO. poor decision there mr K.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    No surprises there: Quint is an avowed Spielberg apologist and an annoying, whimpering fanboy, embodying all the worst qualities of that stereotype. He’s also an asshole, as he sneered at the formation of the old Talkbacker site and still blindly defends the corrupt Harry Knowles to this day.

  • His main argument was that he understands it better now that he is a dad. That’s all.

  • ErnestRister

    Kubrick thrived on controversey…it’s an essential element of his films and oddly one of the least discussed. He knew exactly what he was doing asking Spielberg to direct while he produced. Spielberg knew exactly what he was doing when he said no and declined the offer…even after Stanley had flown him out to his home and had printed promotional material waiting for a grand reveal…”A Stanley Kubrick Production of a Steven Spielberg Film”…

    “How can THAT not be a hit?” Kubrick beamed. And Spielberg stared and laughed…and then eventually said no, like he was afraid of walking into a trap.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    His defense brings to mind the classic weasel question that right-wingers always use when trying to impose censorship, ban pornography, etc. They always self-righteously ask their opponent “do you have kids?”, as if that ends all debate and confers on them a special, morally superior status (because we all know idiots, completely unqualified to be parents, can’t, and don’t, reproduce, after all!)

    Sounds like Quint thinks very similar emotionalisms trump all logical analysis, intelligence and rationalism on the subject of movies. He might be able to personally “connect” to the film more these days as a parent, but a mediocre film is still a mediocre film.

  • Abe

    I want to read that! You have a source?

  • ErnestRister

    You know, I am not exaggerating..it took FIVE attempts for me to make it through THOR: THE DARK WORLD without falling asleep. Finally finished it last night, and while there’s some good craft in the film, it’s a generic puddle. Go fishing in that shallow pool, you’re not going to pull out an idea you’ve never seen before.

    I can’t take my eyes off of A.I….so many new things in shot after shot after shot, idea after idea after idea. A.I. is endlessly rich and original, and as Williams said, full of wonderful things to ruminate on. Drawing a comparison between THOR 2 and A.I. is a false equivalency, and I admit it’s a kind of debate hyperbole, but you’re never ever going to see me ungrateful over films of this kind…Cloud Atlas, Magnolia, Baraka, Fantasia, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Empire of the Sun, A.I., Rashomon, Caligari, etc etc etc…

  • CoolHandJuke

    i bought this for 1.99 at a used dvd book store with Driven for the same price. at this point in time, i have watched Driven more…

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Yes, I agree Thor: The Dark World is generic, but what on earth does that have to do with AI? That’s indeed a straw man and a false equivalence, as you’ve admitted.

    I’m not going to trash a silly but fun movie like Rocky IV or Commando for being “shallow”, nor am I going to automatically elevate a pretentious movie above them just because it has an intriguing concept, or contains good ideas which it ultimately fails to deliver on. A movie must fulfill its designated intentions and be judged on its own terms. It’s not enough just to “be intriguing”.

  • ErnestRister

    Some poems ask a question, and you provide the answer. The poet usually knows the answer, and leads you to it, which is what Kubrick did so extraordinarily in 2001…I submit to you that the twin poets responsible for A.I. knew what the answer was to their question, and knew that the answer was horrific and terrible, because the answer is so true. It’s the darkest, blackest thing Spielberg has ever made, monstrous in its implications because these can’t be denied. As for Kubrick, I don’t know which of his works is his hardest “unblinking” journalist’s eye view of humanity…maybe A Clockwork Orange. Maybe Barry Lyndon. Maybe Strangelove. But I have no doubt what Spielberg’s harshest critique is. It isn’t man’s inhumanity to man, it’s man’s capacity to chase programmed delusions, to even die happy in those delusions, because that’s humans are designed from the ground up. It inverts Spielberg. This is a movie that argues through metaphor that love isn’t real, hope is futile, humans will kill and die for love…even a simulated human will happily die under a false pretense, will believe the biggest fairy tales if it means the fulfillment of hope and selfish desires.

  • ErnestRister

    Shoot, Abe, I’m sure you can find that easily on Google. I think at this stage of my life people can take my word for some things, but anyhoo — Spielberg today says that he turned down the job because he wanted to see Kubrick make the movie. I think it was more complicated than that…Kubrick had been a personal mentor for Spielberg, there was a risk of messing up that relationship by collaborating with him in a close producer/director partnership. By that time, Spielberg wasn’t used to taking orders from anybody, and obviously, neither was Kubrick.

    True story — Tom Hanks and Spielberg had been fast friends since the 80’s, but Hanks was nervous about working with Spielberg on Saving Private Ryan because he didn’t want it to impact their friendship (now they’ve made four films together). Spielberg was right to be nervous about the offer from Kubrick…if the movie was panned, Spielberg knew he would take the blame, and Stanley was such an exacting presence, conflict was inevitable.

  • Zed

    You said it, man. This movie was a huge missed opportunity. Colossal, even. In the right hands it could have been a game changer, but instead we got a gorgeously designed, well acted, poorly written, plodding, bewildering mess. And just for the record, I’m not sure if Kubrick would have been the right hands either.

  • CreepyThinMan

    This movie is fucking trash and nothing more than a hi-tech version of Pinocchio. Spielberg is only interested in his set piece’s and, like you said Dee, not very good at futuristic Sci-fi because he doesn’t give the concepts enough thought beyond how can he use them as a visual or action sequence.

    I wrote extensively about this very same issue with Minority Report. For instance, Manhattan of the future; why do these people live in the ruins of New York and build androids there?!? Why do we never see any sort of futuristic city either above the waterline or below when David sinks to the bottom? And that ending….what a load of fucking shit! So, humanity, despite the technological advances it had when David went under, simply died out? No intelligent investigation about civilizations evolution or where humanity went? NOPE! Spielberg isn’t interested in that but he just absolutely couldn’t stand the idea of a downbeat conclusion (just like Minority Report) so he concocted that fucking wank about those aliens/robots/whatever cloning Mommy so she and David can drink coffee and die after a day.

    And why the fuck would David want to clone that cunt? Her and her husband are evil rotten fucks. “Say, our kid is in a coma, I’m going to buy an android child to take my wife’s mind off of it!”. Stupid asshole! And instead of contacting a divorce lawyer she actually activates it and then treats it with cold indifference before dumping David into the woods and a world of Horrors.

    The thing that pisses me off is that Rouge City deserves to be in a better film. I just love how lurid, sexual and neon everything is! Last week I watched Heavy Metal (1981), Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, The Fifth Element and what bothers me is the lack of adult oriented futuristic sci-fi out there despite the virtually limitless possibilities of C.G.I. I still live in hope that Paul Verhoeven makes a comeback with a big budget adaptation of Barbarella!!!FACT!!!

  • CreepyThinMan

    I was tempted to write a rebuttal of his A.I. article but I can’t be bothered responding to anything that waffling cunt has to say. Everything he writes is soo fucking bland and doesn’t make an impression. At least FATSHITFUCK is entertainingly stupid, like watching a fat inbred ginger retard running around and holding his bleeding crotch because he poured gravy on his baby dick and tried to get the family dog to lick it off!!!FACT!!!

  • Lucky13

    Great write up!

    I haven’t seen AI since it hit DVD way back when… but I’ll keep this in mind when I revisit it soon.

    Also — glad there’s so many familiar faces from ‘the other site’ here. I look forward to annoying you all here.

    *cue evil laugh*

  • KilliK

    Creepy! where have you been, mate? did they finally release you from prison?

  • ErnestRister

    Newlywed, K.

  • KilliK

    so he is in prison forever. 😉

  • CreepyThinMan

    No prison can hold me, except the one within my mind!!!FACT!!!

  • KilliK

    yeah, and your wife.

  • CreepyThinMan
  • CreepyThinMan

    Luckily you’ll never get hitched unless they make it legal to marry livestock!!!FACT!!!

  • Dr. Geiszler, Kaijuologist

    No

  • House Password Zissou

    Cool idea.

  • Sagamanus

    I will read this later Dee. I’m shocked you did one on this film.

  • Tarmac492.1

    quint is a fairly shitty writer.,You arent. Will read this today mang.

  • Tarmac492.1

    a cheap argument going for the heart strings. Also cribbed from Spielbergs wuote that had he been a father when directing CE3K Dreyfuss never would hsve gotten on that ship. I have always thought Quint has been a bland writer. Along with Capone two overrated hacks. fuck them. I read them to know how I dont want to write

  • Tarmac492.1

    he also just wants people to know he finally had sex after nearly 40 years. had he gotten a hooker once in a while maybe he wouldnt be such a hack.

  • I guess you dont like it?

  • Tarmac492.1

    i predict you will ser more reviews of older films on aicn. i remember horrorella did a review of some old horror flick a few months back. it was actually alot better than anything else on that site. Faint praise, right?

  • Sagamanus

    You would be correct sir. But with all things it’s in the eye of the beholder. If someone else does it’s none of my business.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Great article mang. A detailed analysis on a much debated film. Great stuff. You really have a gift for analyzing these films on a cerebral level. I think I need to look up a few of the words you have here.

  • Ooooooooooooooooh, I can feel the hate flowing through this one

  • Tarmac492.1

    dee should temp change his discus
    to Stevley Kuberg

  • House Password Zissou

    Tried watching this on TV again this year with that “Maybe it’s not as bad as I remember” mentality but didn’t make it far.

  • House Password Zissou

    When does Vegetable Lasagna post? I’ve still never figured this out. Sometime between 8 and 11 CT.

  • House Password Zissou

    Or does it even auto-post? Maybe Abe just slaps it up whenever he feels like it. I’ll just pretend it’s that and smile.

  • Abe

    There is no password for the house.

  • House Password Zissou

    Spoilers!

  • Abe

    *GASP*

  • Abe

    28 mins

  • Gracias!

  • tee-hee yeah it really sounds like that

  • It’s super-cheap. It is also unintentionally damaging the movie too, meaning that Spielberg was not able to make a film that is understandable by everyone.

  • You must go through hell!

  • House Password Zissou

    The audio quality is much better this week. Listenable. To compensate for the lack of exotic guest.

  • Abe

    It’s usually 9 am Central for the weekday podcasts. VL was almost late. I had to remember how to set up a poll.

  • House Password Zissou

    Eloquent in its brevity.

  • House Password Zissou

    You didn’t actually have to do any of that. Sorry for the trouble.

  • Abe

    Oh I don’t care. I was just rusty. I don’t really know the question to the poll other than (Player 1) Vs (Player 2)

  • House Password Zissou

    I think that’s all we need. We’ll figure out the consequences next week, too.

  • hmmm why

  • Thank you I am blushing! “Spielbergified” is made up, don’t look for that one.

  • Abe

    Yes

  • With Michael Jackson, the little moonlight dance would have worked even better. Sadly he was unavailable, he was still in preparation for taking over the Jar Jar role in Epsiode 2.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Or that Quint is more intelligent since he finally got laid and “snuck one past the goalie” Seinfeld line.

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    I could not agree more

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    All his articles are lousy…

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    horrorella is horrible too! Most everyone at AICN is trash!

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    NIIIIIICE

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    I am afraid I have to agree with Dee on this one…….

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    YES

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    Great article Dee. I have also seen the many articles on AI lately, proclaiming it as a “masterpiece”. I think this has been a push by Spielberg or someone, because once those articles hit, it started showing on a few of the cable channels. I tried to watch it again, got bored with it, fast. It was the same feeling I get from most Spielberg SF films from the past 20 years, wanting to love, but feeling bored! AI is far from a masterpiece, hell, it’s far from good! Again, nice Dee, nice. Believe THAT!

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    I even liked the crap in the middle, just the film felt like three films squashed into one! It did not know what it wanted to be, Spielberg didn’t know what he was doing, and the result was a disjointed mess!

  • Tarmac492.1

    From what I have read, she is less horrible than many of them. I have always thought Quint(who Rodriguez said is the best writer on the best site) and Capone to be horrendously overrated even in that world of fucking retard hacks. Cargill derserved to get out and I wish him the best of luck, though I found Sinister to be fairly meh.

  • Tarmac492.1

    I am all for any movie that allows Dee to write these great articles. Obviously, the more he dislikes something the more entertaining for us.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Spielberg also had a gift a portraying the typical American family, warts and all, now, as you point out, he shows the elite on a diamond throne in a sea of shit.

  • Stalkeye

    Amazing read, you Lil’ talented Fugger! (;’
    Unfortunately, I have yet to see A.I. (yet!) And I really can’t find any faults in Minority Report because to me, it was “balanced” and the suspense factor was well paced.
    To each His/her own i take it.

  • Tarmac492.1

    I love how the thinks of himself the definitive voice of all things JAWS cause of his moniker. Cuntbag that he is.

  • Stalkeye

    XD XD XD

  • Stalkeye

    Well, I teased him about being a curmudgeon at times, but we all have our reason for liking or disliking something. So it’s not big a deal.
    I wanna see this so i can judge for myself.

  • Thanks a lot mang!

  • Very nice, thanks! I think the murder mystery angle saved Minority Report a little in the end, otherwise I thought it was also a bit over the place.

  • Stalkeye

    You know what? Let’s have Dee give an in depth analysis, (going all Smug )while critiquing some Porno Film. XD
    OK, I was only kidding……..

    ……..well, not really. (0:<

  • ErnestRister

    I think I remember similar complaints about 2001: A Space Odyssey.

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    You comparing AI to 2001: A Space Odyssey? Really?

  • ErnestRister

    Of course. Both films have distinctive three-act movements. Both films involve questions of evolution and sentient technology. Both films leap forward thousands of years in time. Both films have a third act that many apparently didn’t understand, or were challenged and confused by. A.I. wasn’t an A-to-Z narrative, it was a poem, like 2001, like Empire of the Sun.

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    I view her like I do Mr. Disgusting on Bloody Disgusting. If they interview anyone associated with the film, are given anything from the studio, etc, etc, they give a glowing review for a film. Horror films are bad enough these days, but to be prop’d up like anything that has come out this year is “exciting” in the world of horror, is a joke. No, she isn’t as bad as most on AICN, and I agree, glad Cargill got out. Ambush Bug is probably my favorite, and that is because of his horror column

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    Just a hack

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    here here

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    Never been called mang before……I sorto like it! Full Frontal Mang Throttle

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    Ok……………..if you say so. One is a great science fiction film, the other is garbage! That’s about as far as I go…………..

  • Zed
  • Sagamanus

    That blame it on the moonlight image is a nice shot.

  • Sagamanus

    I completely disagree about Crusade. Usually with trilogies and their third parts, people withdraw from the series because they have a feeling it’s about to end as they’ve invested emotionally into it. With Last Crusade I didn’t feel that. And it seemed like it could go on. Yet a lot of people also say it has too much humor which I think is ridiculous. Not to mention one of the best team-ups ever with Connery and Ford.

  • Sagamanus

    I remember the worship extolled on David Lean by people like Spielberg when he died, among others. If anything Lean was to other directors ‘the wide brush’ with films like Kwai and Lawrence. But it was Kubrick that was the machinery and brain all directors wanted to become. Putting his name on this film and getting a sort of puppet like authorization is like consuming someone to get their powers. He wanted the brand on this and got it. Almost if channeling him, however unsuccessfully. And A.I. was definitely not a Kubrick film.

  • Sagamanus

    Great work Dee. I’ve been doing some reassessing myself of some films lately. It’s why I think before anyone engages in an argument about a film they should have at least the courtesy of watching it again as to see it anew.

  • Sagamanus

    There is something about the design in A.I. that is Tim Burtonish that I don’t like either. It’s Blade Runner if it had a light shined on to it. The design is also not quite Fifth Element freakish but like they blew up Clockwork Orange’s Korova milkbar over the whole city.

  • Zed

    At least Kubrick would have done Rouge City right. That shit was like a Skinemax feature edited for broadcast.

  • Zed

    For a Part 3, it’s outstanding. Most series have run out of good ideas at that point.

  • I don’t say it’s bad, but it was a shift in tone. It was far more melodramatic and it did not have the same energy as the first two. It also felt as if they were running out of ideas.

  • Pie+coffee+movie

    Sagamanus wears many hats.