|A.I. is really nicely done, but i wish it had been
released 20 years ago, when the ideas were fresher, more
wanted a kick-ass story about evil artificial intelligence and hw humans are
destroying themselves with it (Terminator) I got a smarmy victim film about how
a little "boy" computer wanted only to be loved (like a real boy),
and the self-destruciton of humans has nothing to do with the AI
interacted with humans, giving the illusion of life, but his limited
intelligence, locked-in programming, and pre-programmed soul made growth and
change - two vital elements of love - an impossibility.
manage to get the co-dependency issue down pat, though, but that is not
healthy, just like it is not healthy for a kid to sit around 2000 years waiting
for the Blue Fairy to make his mom come contrivedly "home" and love
And I do not
even want to explore correlations to the Second Coming of Christ, though I am
sure I could work some variations on the Madonna and Blue
I have been trying to write
something cohesive about the film for almost twenty days, but I have not been
able to summarize my problem with the film until now.
There just is not much to talk about!
The boy has a limited
intelligence, so he is never any threat to the humans, his "love" is
the result of careful programming, but it never seems to be anything other than
that, and his final wish, to have a perfect day with his mom, is realized and
then he dies? It was not clear what happened then, whether he obtained a soul
or consciousness, or just turned off.
I think Spielberg was trying
so hard to make a nice film that he forgot all about making an
interesting or controversial one. Even the sex robots are sort of mundane, and
do little more than set themselves up as comically relieving patsies for evil
And people are the real
villains here, no doubt. More of that earth worship crap - man is hostile to
Mother Nature, etc. (Tell that to the Sumatran Volcano which wiped out all but
about 5 thousand members of our species 75,000 years ago).
Nothing is really done with the
idea of AI until the end, and then it makes no difference because all humans
are already dead.
There is some
pseudo-scientific quantum mechanical mumbo jumbo that is clearly contrived to
explain how they can only bring back a human for one day. Totally out of place.
It would be like putting a 2 minute explanation of how accounting works into
Schindler's List, so that we'd understand that Ben Kingsley was justified in
|Someone on TV said they already heard of a story where an
android/robot looked for its lost parent - Bladerunner, 1982. It got me
thinking about themes and scenes in AI.
1. Robot that wants to
be a person (Twilight Zone)
2. Machines that think
the wrong things. (2001: A Space Oddyssey and Metropolis,
3. Robots as despised
underclass (Star Wars, Twilight Zone)
4. Robots that look
too much like humans (West World)
5. Man wiping himself
out (Most sci-fi movies since 1975)
6. Scientist using
science for wrong reasons (Most sci-fi movies since 1925)
of scientific discoveries is bad (Every Spielberg film).
8. Global warming is
gonna kill us all (Internet 20 times a day)
9. Pinocchio's Story
(Disney, of course!)
underwater (WaterWorld anyone?)
11. Dr. Know's tricky
"Is that a question, here's your answer you were not looking for (Green
Acres, 1970, Mr. Haney charges 50 cents for information, for which he charges
for answering the question "Is this information?)
12. Sex bots (Some
sci-fi short story or so)
13. Horny teens
needing an escort (teen sex flicks)
14. Megacity sleaze
(Total Recall, Metropolis)
15. Mother abandoning
her child (The Bible)
16. Jealous sibling
(botling?) (Buffy The Vampire Slayer)
father (Outer Limits)
18. Villagers with
19. Child on bottom of
pool (The Graduate, sort of)
plotting with pats on back all around (Austin Powers)
21. Robin Williams in
an off-camera role. (Disney films)
22. Teddy Bear with a
mind of its own. (Twilight Zone TV)
23. Gigolo Joe does a
little thing and music starts to play (saw it somewhere)
24. Contrived quantum
mechanical mumbo jumbo (Forbidden Planet) (PS - I have a degree specializing in
the use of Quantum Mechanics for Chemistry, so I know QM mumbo jumbo, and I
write screenplays and I am available as a technical
With Kubrick, the
genius of all of the above would have been in its deliberate, thought provoking
retread. He had a way of making us look at old things new, like the retro 1985
hallways in A Clockwork Orange - dressed up for the future to look like they
were the dead decay of the past, with greek graffiti and whatnot. AI is not
clean, cold and clinical like 2001, warm and flustery like Eyes Wide Shut, or
introspective like ACO, but I think Spielberg wanted it to be all of those
things - if for no other reason than to honor his friend and mentor. (Note: Mr.
Spielberg - you have already surpassed Mr. Kubrick in many, many ways, which is
not to say anything negative about S.K.)
From Hook to
Schindler, Spielberg has bought us whimsey and dread, adventurers and a cute
little alien - but he has not handled the "big picture" that well. If
anything, the future of Humanity is that.
The reasons for that
may be varied, but I think he wants us to do so well as a species that he is
prejudiced to a single vision of how that might be. It suffused his Seaquest
series, and so many of his other projects that it leaves little doubt in my
mind. Capitalism bad, socialism good.
| People that can't understand it won't understand any of
it, and those who do will know it is baloney.
And what bugs me is that it
is so easy to invent a scenario that works. One better idea immediately is have
the boy be the only human on the planet, brought back by the Robots, and they
don't know how to tell him he is the only one. We of course, would not find out
until the end. If they can keep the fact that Bruce Willis is dead from us for
two hours (and out of the press) (Sixth Sense), they can keep that a secret
too. It would work, and be a little scary.
If I can
invent a better plot, why can't they? Here is my politically paranoid answer.
Working scenarios for AI involve keeping humans on the planet, admitting they
can overcome their problems, and that the end result of capitalism is not total
destruction of the earth.
So, to keep
it all nice and PC, the true conflict is missing between human and ai. And
humans have to all die off. Cheery, huh?
There are so
many things wrong with AI, I can hardly contain myself.
is like a lame horse. Pretty to look at, just don't get on it to
- The love is
- There is no
capacity for change.
- The kid is not a
real boy, and He/it can never be one
- He/it wants only
what it wants through sick need implanted in it by sick scientist
- Kubrick's genius
framed this, but Spielberg has different eyes.
- Movie feels pc,
new age and unreal.