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A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2 DVDs)

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      25.06.2014 14:04
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      wonderful film

      Stanley Kubrick is widely known in the business as a master film maker. As far as respect goes he''s one of the few directors who has received consistent praise in even his weakest films. Those of you who read my review of his most critically acclaimed film 2001 A Space Odyssey may be under the impression that I''m not a fan, but seriously I am. He was a director who would take on any genre from slapstick comedy, to Roman epic, to epic science fiction and would succeed because he always kept his own style in the films. Kubrick was a film maker who saw his films as his works of art and so always made them visually stunning and thoughtfully written.

      Now you may be wondering why I''ve started a review of A.I with a passage about Stanley Kubrick. The thing is that A.I was sort of Kubricks pet project that never quite got off the ground. It wasn''t until after he died that Spielberg finally accepted Kubricks request and took over the project. That brings with it a problem, you see Spielberg is also a fantastic director. He''s actually my favorite main stream director out there because his films are usually well made despite appealing to the masses. Unfortunately he''s a director with a radically different style to Kubrick and the resulting clash could potentially destroy the film.

      With A.I though Spielberg has made all the right choices, in fact you could be forgiven for mistaking this for a film made by Kubrick himself as Spielberg has remained faithful enough to the original directors style.

      Since Kubrick had a lot of input on the writing of the script then obviously it''s been thoughtfully written and Spielberg has left the story largely intact, but he has made a lot of small changes to better suite his own directing style. (The ending was not one of them.) Actually all this time talking about directors and there''s probably a few who are still wondering what this film is all about. Basically it''s a fantasy film dealing with Robots and their struggle for survival. The old story is helped along by the fact that this version is genuinely emotional. It opens with a narrator using the words "Those were the times..." (more on why that''s relevant later) before explaining what has happened to the world. Then we meet a scientist played by William Hurt who is working on trying to make robots more like humans. He succeeds at building a near human child named David who is capable of feeling true, human love for his parents. David is adopted by a family who''s only son is basically dead, and they bring him up but are given strict instructions not to activate the emotions until they are sure they want to keep him. Once this child has an attachment to parents it can never be broken, and if the parents then change their minds it will be destroyed. Eventually the mother comes to love him like a son and she decides to activate his emotions. It all goes well until their real son makes a recovery and is allowed home. His new brother is a jealous and spiteful child who keeps challenging him to do different things that concern the parents. Eventually after an accident at a party they become convinced that he''s dangerous and decide to give him up but the mother, who loves David, doesn''t want him being destroyed so takes him and leaves him in the woods. David is totally unprepared for life in a world with so much hate for androids, but sets off on a journey hoping to find the blue fairy from Pinocchio so that he can be made into a real boy.

      Like I said though the story has risen above anything similar due to the fact that it is emotionally engaging. There are a number of reasons for this that I''m going to be discussing; but since I started out by talking about Kubrick then I''ll continue along that path here by telling you about the films amazing cinematography. It''ll be a very difficult thing to top Kubrick in the cinematography department as his films were always the best quality possible in this area. Even with 2001 I was forced to admit that the films cinematography was wonderful but before seeing A.I I did wonder whether Spielberg would be able to live up to such a legend. He has done a masterful job and A.I will be likely to stand up with even the best of Kubricks work. Whether your looking for the camera work or the visual effects you''ll find that Spielberg has painted an epic and unique canvas. The start of the film is incredibly beautiful and once the brother returns every scene, even down to the most relatively harmless moments, have been given a chilling atmosphere thanks to the creepy camera work. Then the visual effects, particularly the robots during the flesh fair, make for some of the most disturbing images to be found in a Spielberg fantasy.

      After that though Spielberg takes the material to heart and subtly introduces area''s of his own directing style in order to make the film emotional, something a lot of Kubrick movies never achieved. Spielberg has always been good at directing youngsters and in A.I he get''s what is probably the best child performance I have ever seen; from Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense). He doesn''t come across as a kid trying to be cute, even when the script is trying to be cute, but rather get''s the material across more naturally and skillfully than most adults could achieve. It doesn''t really matter whether you''re looking at the playful David that you meet at the start of the film or the emotional variation that he eventually grows into because Osment''s performance is flawless throughout.

      As for the rest, well it was wonderful. It has a wonderful soundtrack from John Williams. Excellent supporting actors from the likes of William Hurt and most noticeably Jude Law, and any other technical area you would care to mention has been done well.

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      21.11.2010 03:04
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      Effective and thought provoking look at humanoid robots and emotions

      In a not so distant future, robot are commonplace, to the point where humanoid robots are manufactured in many different shapes and forms and with various human characteristics. When a couple find themselves nearly losing a son, they are chosen to be the recipients of the latest in technology: a robot boy whose emotions can be switched on through his circuitry. This robot boy, named David, is initially a shock, and following a few key developments, David finds himself in the big wide world with only a robot gigolo named Joe as friendly company.

      What the film does is really harness the possibilities of the future. In a sense, it's radical and highly unlikely that the majority of the things that some of the robots in this can do will ever be possible. However, it puts enough of a realistic twist on things to make you believe it's possible - logic is used, and things are presented in a realistic way.

      The special effects here are brilliant - seamless transitions between fabricated faces and the real ones where you just can't see where one starts and the other finishes. There is also the way some of the constructive elements of the robots are done from a design point of view, as well as the action scenes and some of the futuristic locations and gadgets.

      The acting is also very good. Haley Joel Osmont plays David, and it really is about this character above all else. The idea of Artificial Intelligence is one that has been present for a while now, although creating it is another thing. Osment gives a very good performance and really does seem like a robot throughout the film, eahc and every emotion starting out as being forced, and then becoming more and more human and natural like as the film progresses. Jude Law is also very convincing as Giogolo Joe, again with waxy features and some deadpan acting that makes him seem like a robot. Others in the support cast also do very well, with Frances O'Connor as David's 'mum' in particular showing high ability levels on screen. One particular scene is quite dramatic and emotional, and her performance is utterly convincing and made me feel emotional as well.

      The ending of the film has been labelled as a bit of a cop out by many, although it's a fair enough conclusion to the film. My only gripe would be the length of the film. There are many long scenes featuring slow visuals that have only a small impact on me as a viewer, and these would be ones I'd have liked to be less drawn out. The film did slow up a couple of times, and this made it drag occasionally, which was a surprise as the concept and delivery were very good other than this element.

      It's certainly a thought provoking film, which flows almost like a modern day Pinocchio as the robot boy wants to be real. On the whole, it's something I'd recommend watching, although you'd definitely have to have time on your hands (it's closing on 3 hours long) and a lot of patience due to some really drawn out scenes. Recommended, but not as great as it could have been.

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        05.01.2010 22:09
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        Overall great thought provoking movie

        When I first saw this I wasn't too sure about this movie but now that I've seen it again have really got into it and found it pretty good. It was realeased in 2001 and is probably one of the darkest of all Steven Speilberg's films.

        The movie focuses on a time in the not too distant future where robots which are named 'mechas' look and behave exactly like humans. One company has gone a stage further however and invented and developed an android which takes the form of a child named David played by Haley Joel Osment. The new design of robot not only makes him look like a real human boy, but means he can also touch and feel and feel pain and love as well.

        He is brought home by Henry played by Sam Robards for his wife Monica(Frances O'Connor) as a replacement in a sort of way for their own son who unfortunately is in a coma. She eventually warms to David after the intitial trepidation as you can imagine. I'm not sure how anyone would feel if your own son is in coma and your husband brings home a robot that looks like a child in their place?

        As she begins to grow closer to him though she decides it's time to turn on the circuits that will make David love her back. The only problem and possible flaw in the programming is that once turned on it can't be switched off, meaning that David will always be devoted to her and feel love for her. This is not a problem so much until Monica's own son makes a recovery from the coma he was in and returns home.

        The movie is visually stunning with it's spectacular sci-fi backdrops as the film is in the future and great costumes. The cast are very good as well including Jude Law who plays one of the robots called Gigolo Joe.

        I enjoyed the film and watching it for a second time found it alot more thought provoking and deep as there is an inner depth to the movie. There are deeper issues such as when David even though a robot is abandoned by Monica who he now considers to be his mother as he can feel emotions. He is then cast into a world of uncertainty with outcast robots and must work out what happened and deal with his thoughts and fears.

        Highly recommended film for all to watch and enjoy

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          27.11.2009 16:29
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          A letdown

          AI was originally an idea deveoped by Stanley Kubrick, but after his untimely death in 1999, Steven Spielberg took up the reigns and wrote, directed and produced the film himself. Essentially a philosophical observation on the nature of sentient existence, the film borrows from the works of Sci-Fi author Isaac Asimov amongst others, with its futuristic (yet near-contemporary) plot centring around the life of a young android boy David (Haley Joel Osment from the Sixth Sense) who is purchased to replace a young boy's little brother after his sibling tragically dies.

          The excercise doesnt work out however, as though incredibly near-human David is just different enough to upset and frighten his new adopted family, and ends up being abandoned by the side of the road before teaming up with another unwanted robot, a prostitute-droid named 'Gigolo-Joe' played by Jude Law. Together the unlikely duo set off through the confusing and complex modern world to tray and find a safe harbour and a reason to exist beyond mere survivial, and this journey is varied and fairly interesting with some interesting plotlines, the duo at one point finding themselves in an auditorium where old robots are hacked and smashed to pieces for the pleasure of a baying audience to the sound of Ministry songs (a great touch), although generally speaking the plot feels meandering, directionless and overly indulgent.

          Law Osmont and put in great central performances but the writing sadly isnt up to scratch, and whilst the special effects are good they rely too heavy on CGI in places. AI is an intelligent film that raises some interesting questions, but sadly it feels overlong and flat, and worst of all after reaching a suitable conclusion the film goes on to tack a truly terribly "happily ever after" afterthought-ending on, making one's final impressions of the film decidedly bitter and cynical. An interesting but sadly flawed modern sci-fi film.

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            31.07.2009 12:41
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            An android resembling a child goes on a quest to discover his humanity....

            The first time I watched this I was less than impressed but I decided to give it a second chance the other day when I caught it on television during a channel-hopping exercise. The plot is basically a modern-day take on Pinnochio and doesn't really work but visually it is fairly spectacular and it is in this and this only that the film excels....

            Set in the 22nd century, the film begins with Henry and Monica Swinton who are distraught when their son is placed into suspended animation until a cure can be found for the rare disease he has that is ravaging his body. Henry works for a company that designs "Mecha" or artifical intelligenced robots capable of love and emotions and suggests that he bring home their latest design, a child-like android named David, to help ease the loss. Monica, though initially reluctant, eventually agrees and soon David becomes part of their household along with his talking teddy bear companion, Teddy, who takes it upon himself to be David's guardian. After some very awkward scenes where Monica tries to adjust to David's presence, which left me as a viewer feeling quite uncomfortable too and not remotely amused as I believe they were intended, things begin to slot together for the family but then the status quo is thrown into disorder when the Swinton's child is cured and returns home! The Swinton's son Martin sees David as a threat and sibling rivalry ensues which sees Martin bully and tease David who doesn't really fully comphrehend what is happening. After an incident at a birthday party produced by a misunderstanding in communication, it is decided that David's presence has become too uncomfortable and troublesome. But rather than return him to the factory where he will be destroyed, Monica takes him to the woods and, in a distressing and emotional moment that left me feeling cold, abandons him to his own devices. David sets off, determined to track down the Blue Fairy from his bedtime stories, convinced she will make him into a real boy so that he can be loved again. Along the way he falls in with Jude Law, playing a male prostitute droid called Gigolo Joe and is hunted by Flesh Fair buccaneers; a group of modern day bandits who gather up abandoned and damaged androids for use in a battle arena where people can wager on the victors. As they escape, the pair forge an alliance and set off on what seems an impossible task....to help David discover the secrets of being human...

            Normally I would like the sort of themes that are covered here ~ such as the question of what it means to be human and whether the Artifical Intelligence of the title can truly develop emotions, after all Bladerunner is one of my favourite films of all time, but this film just feels so fractured to me like a series of set-pieces that don't quite match trogether right! Haley Joel Osment is even more annoying here as David than he was in The Sixth Sense and all I wanted to do all through the film was shake him for being so helpless, wimpy and pathetic. I know that is how he is supposed to be- an android who doesn't fully understand, but really the kid is like Mcauley Culkin multiplied ten thousand for his sheer annoyingness on a running scale of irritating child actors and actresses. I could feel no empathy for any of the characters and though I tried desperately to like this film, and I did want to like it, ultimately I felt as though it was a pile of dross!

            The closing act goes from the sublime to the ridiculous and, as I mentioned at the beginning, the film's only redeeming feature is in it's back-drops and special effects. The film's productioon had a troubled history, languishing i development hell for a long time before hitting the screen, and it is my opinion that Speilberg probably should've left it there. That said it was a relatively good critical and commercial success for the director so he probably doesn't much care if someone like me actively despises it!

            Even Jude Law, whom I normally respect as an actor, couldn't save this for me. It is one of the biggest, longest piles of drivel that I have ever sat through and a second viewing did not leave me feeling any better about it than it the first watch seven years ago!

            Thank god Haley Joel Osment seems to have disappeared from our screens since this so at least the film might have done some good...

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              23.07.2009 19:20
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              A masterpiece marred slightly by its ending

              Artificial Intelligence is one of those hugely misunderstood masterpieces, and among Spielberg's best films. It was passed to him by the late master director Stanley Kubrick, and much of his dark sensibility rubs off on a director who is usually immensely humanistic and warm. This is an emotional and unremittingly compelling film about the nature of our existence.

              It's in the 22nd century, and a company have seemingly created a perfect mechanical replicant of a human being - a young boy named David who has the element that has been up to this point missing: the ability to love. He is given to employees Henry Swinton and his wife Monica (Frances O'Connor), who have been wanting a child. Soon enough, David and Monica become very attached, but Monica ultimately decides that she cannot deal with it and abandons him in the woods. He is left to fend for himself, fighting off kidnappers who wish to abuse him. He meets up with Gigolo Joe (Jude Law), and the two form a friendship.

              This really is an astounding film that so very nearly hits the buttons of perfection - had a few changes occured, this would have been virtually faultless. Instead, the close does succumb somewhat to sentimentality, but nevertheless offers some rather cold insights into existence. Spielberg's choice of Haley Joel Osment to take up the mantle for this role, though, could not have been better suited, and he certainly deserved an Oscar nomination for his performance.

              A mesmerising and visually stunning masterpiece, A.I. is among Steven Spielberg's best and most divisve films, with an astonishing performance by Haley Joel Osment. Although its ending is frequently criticised as overly sentimental, it in fact hides a far darker and more nihilistic view on existence.

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              18.07.2009 16:38
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              A whole new meaning to being human.

              This film was shown on television a while ago, and although I had heard the name of the film several times, I really had no idea what it was actually about. I was certainly expecting some sort of robot film, but from there my ideas of what the film was about turned out to be dreadfully wrong.

              There was barely anything on television so after flicking through several channels I spotted this movie and thought 'ah, a movie,' then settled on it with a T.V. dinner (shameful, I know). I don't mind Sci-Fis too much, although to be honest they are not usually my type of film, so my expectations were not that high.

              Future


              The film is set in the future, at a time where our current fears of global warming melting ice at the poles and drowning the land have become a reality. This has not stopped the human race and the good old fashioned cuddly toy we know of now is not a thing of the past, but a thing transformed. In fact, this film does feature robots, in their numbers, but robots that behave much like human beings. That cuddly toy can now walk and talk, reply to questions and, to an extent, think. Technology companies have created robots, also ones that have very realistic human appearances and textures, that can be programmed to respond how we like.
              From my rather basic knowledge of technology, I would be willing to accept that this much may be possible, but as always, a film like this needs to step right into the unknown.

              Story

              So one day a little boy robot called David is created to replace a boy who is not expected to wake from his coma. It can not only think for itself, but can feel. Consequently, the poor thing struggles to come to terms with its or his existence and is desperate to be loved. Then the comatose boy does awaken and competition sets in between the two, with robot David inevitably the one to lose. When David is cast out into the world, by the people he thought were his family, he finds himself in terrifying and life-threatening circumstances. He meets Gigolo Joe, who happily agrees to accompany him for the timebeing, while he goes on a search to find his way back home. Will he be reunited with his 'mother'?

              I found both the concept of the story and watching through the duration of the film extremely depressing. Maybe it's just a personal fear of not having somewhere to belong that brings this on, but also the idea we live in such a shallow cold-hearted society. Because of this I simply did not enjoy this film, even if I was able to appreciate it. The message it sends out is certainly sobering and very well put across, because this story really hits home the importance of family. There is also a satirical side to the film, that looks at where we might be heading in the future, given the consumer society we now live in. We struggle to let go of things we love, yet when something disappoints us, we don't hesitate to throw it out. Some people (although most of us still regard this as cruel) will throw out their own pets when they realise that they need to be fed and kept clean etc. every day. In this film, David is a robot thrown out when he becomes high-maintainance, except here he actually turns out to be more human, so could we ever be this cruel to a real boy? I find it hard to believe things could ever get this bad when we are slowly showing more, not less compassion for others. It's only really the ignorant and extremists who lack that decency to treat others respectfully and they are in the minority, but films like this do serve as a good reminder of how self-aware we need to be these days.


              Acting/Characters

              David is played by Haley Joel Osment, best known for his part in The Sixth Sense. I think his acting is on a level with some much more experienced actors, and his face has become pretty well known in recent years. In this film, I couldn't help but think that he was playing personality of a child a fair bit younger than the "11-year-old boy" he is meant to be. However, that said, I think his character would have been more effective as a younger child and this made the story all the more moving, although this was also what made me personally like it less!

              Frances O'Connor plays Monica Swinton, David's "mother". She struggles to look after David and eventually has to let him go, although she does show a great deal of despair, and this scene is probably one of the most tragic in the film. She portrays a mix of emotions well, and it does get a little confusing to understand her, but I think that is the point because from David's point of view he really wants to know that she loves him but can't be sure.

              Jude Law is Gigolo Joe, who seems to be a bit of a simpleton, and that is not hard for Jude Law to portray (sorry to his fans). In all he adds a little excitement back into the film and makes it slightly less depressing, but the effect is not lasting. In fact I found the naivety shown quite saddening as the film progressed. Although he showed a bit of his rebellious side its a shame the story could not allow for more fun.

              Film qualities

              The futuristic appearance of the film was very artificial but also had that Spielberg look about it. The graphics were really impressive, and I suppose it is already obvious that most of what you are seeing is CGI and not real, so that accepted it was well done. Personally I'm not the biggest fan of this style of film-making, but perhaps I ought to be more open to different things! The film is very vibrant yet somehow this still didn't stop me finding it depressing.

              I have to admit I have no recollection of the soundtrack whatsoever, and I think music was pretty sparse in this film.


              Classification

              The classification for this film is 12, and I find it very hard to comment on this. There was violence in the film, but it was mostly committed against the "Mecha" - or robot people, so somehow it was quite surreal. I still felt it was inappropriate for younger audiences but it is a difficult one. I don't think there were any sexual scenes or swearing. There was something I found disturbing about the whole story, so this would be a reason for kids to avoid it, because it has the appearance of a kid's film yet is clearly not, because it is more deep and serious, but also emotionally not suitable for children. I guess this is down to individual judgement, but I would not have wanted to see this film when I was 12!

              Conclusion

              I hated this film so not only am I in no hurry to see it again, but if I had known anything about it before I started watching perhaps I would have thought twice about watching it. I think, however, that this is really a very personal opinion and generally speaking I think this film has been well received. It certainly had some stunning graphics and the acting was high quality as you might expect. The ideas behind the story are very good and have a strong impact on the audience, so if you do watch it I hope you do take something valuable away from it. It's hard to say whether I would recommend it because I myself did not enjoy it and was not all that convinced, yet I can understand why others would appreciate this film. The film is also painfully long and by the end it just seemed too much.

              It is available in this 2 disc version with all its specials, but would I buy this DVD? No, but I would not recommend watching on telly either since it is so long and depressing in my eyes. Three stars because it is brilliantly done, just not for everyone.

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                04.06.2009 12:13
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                fantastic movie appealing to all audiences, 10/10

                This film is the best si-fi/robot film i have seen in years!

                The film tells an amazing story about a family whos only son is in a coma, and they 'test' a robot child as a temporary replacement. The parents grow to love the new robot, when their human son wakes. the story from there is about human relationships and a family learning to adapt. eventually the robot is abandoned and the robot child goes in search of the 'blue fairy' out of pinochio to make him a real boy.

                The story is fantastic and really thought-provoking, making you wonder what you would do in the same situation. The acting is also brilliant, it is so real you can imagine it all happening.

                the special effects of the flying cars and articfical robots are top notch!

                the film appeals to a range of audiences, from si-fi lovers to family lovers which makes it good for the whole family.

                This is the best film i have seen in years and one of the few films i have watched over and over again!! i would definitly recomend this movie!

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                  04.02.2009 11:34
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                  A robot boy goes in search of the blue fairy to make him a real boy.

                  For some reason unknown to me this film is one of my hubbies favourite, I do like the film but I have to admit that I have seen a lot better, but then again I have also seen a lot worse.

                  The film is set in the future where adults are only allowed to have children if they have a licence as they are trying to keep the population numbers down so scientists have started working on making robot children. For 20 years one scientist has been working on making a robot child that is capable of love. When he finishes the robot he decided to test it out with the family of one of his employers who already have a son but he is in a coma, where he has been for the past 5 years after an accident.

                  The family take the robot but the mother is not completely sure about it. Soon the robot boy settles in and things start to be settling down for them until one day where their own son awakes from his coma. Once their son is home he does not take to the robot boy so the parents face the decision choosing a son to keep. The real son talks the robot boy into running away to find a blue fairy which he says will help him to become a real boy like him.

                  The robot boy sets off in search of this blue fairy but soon comes across a city which is full of robots. Will the boy go home, stay with the other robots or continue his search for the blue fairy?

                  I have to say I was not too keen on the idea of this film at first but after the first 20 or so minutes I found I was completely engrossed in it. The characters were all excellent and very believable. I though that Haley Joel Osment was excellent in his character of a robot child. He managed to make me fall in love with him and at times I felt so sorry for him. I thought he did a fantastic job or making me feel so many different emotions.

                  Jude Law who plays a robot living in the robot city was also excellent with his ability to again make me laugh and then make me extremely sad. I though the way his character took to the robot boy was very good and believable. The overall story was good and although set in the future it still seemed somewhat real with the way it was about robots as scientists are always striving to make the most realistic one possibly.

                  As the film was set in the future all of the scenery and props were futuristic and I though they were all great and not at all far fetched. They kept in with the film very well and added to the whole watching experience for me. I though that the effects were very good and they all kept in with the film and did not look out of place and none of them looked noticeable, they blended them with the other footage very well indeed.

                  Without giving too much away I thought that the end could have been done differently as the one which it has had been almost in tears as it is very sad. I would have liked the film to have had a different outcome.

                  The DVD which I have is the 2 disc special edition. The second disc is full of bonus material which includes:-

                  Documentary on bringing AI to the screen
                  Interview with Steven Spielberg, Haley Joel Osment, and Jude Law
                  Newly-produced behind the scenes Featurettes on the making of AI
                  An interview with sound director Gary Rydstrom at Skywalker Ranch
                  A visit to Stan Winston studios with early Teddy footage
                  Interviews with Lucasfilms ILM special effects group
                  Trailers, storyboard, drawings and hundreds of photos approved by Spielberg
                  Interactive Menu
                  Scene access
                  And much more!

                  I have not personally watched any of these bonus features as I feel it would spoil the film but my hubby has sat and watched the majority of them and he does recommend that if you can get hold of the two disc special and you like a look at how things are brought to the screen then it is definitely worth getting.

                  The film was produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg and Bonnie Curtis and was Directed by Steven Spielberg. The running time of the film is 140 minutes which is a suitable length as I did not find I was loosing interest at any point. The film also has a 12 certificate.

                  This film is now available for just a few pounds on several internet sites and I would definitely have to say it is worth a watch.

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                    30.11.2008 18:49
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                    A brilliant DVD for the main features and bonuses

                    This is one of those films that comes along very rarely and makes you sit up and think 'WOW'!
                    The special effects alone are incredible and the performaces but all the actors involsed are brilliant, particularly Jude Law, I think Gigolo Joe is one of the best characters he's played.
                    A.I follows the story of David, a robot boy who is adopted by a family for a temporary replacement of their child waiting for a cure for him terminal illness. After the couples own child is returned, David is left to his own devices and has to find his own way in the cruel, futurisitic world in which this epic film is set. Along the way he meets the brilliant Gigolo Joe who makes an unlikely guide to help David find his mother.
                    This film was the brainchild of Stanley Kubrick who died before this film was finished and taken up by Steven Spielberg. It certainly has benefited from having two of the world greatest ever directors work on it, and for that reson alone it's made history.
                    I remember there was some controversy over the ending of this film. It's a long film and I guess there was many ways it could end. I'm afraid I'm with the camp who would have liked to have seen it finished around half and hour earlier which would have given it a bleaker ending, but I feel more enriching. I won't spoil it, watch and make up your own mind.
                    As a DVD you get your moneys worth. The second disc has a phenomenal about of bonus material including portraits of the main charcters, storyboard sequences, and documentry material on everything from visual effects to the score.

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                      23.11.2008 06:04
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                      VERY SAD!!

                      This movie broke my heart. It was just so so sad. It was a really great film that will evoke a lot of emotions in you. However, because this movie was so SAD I was only able to watch it once and have not been able to watch it for a 2nd time. I just can't stand my heart breaking for this poor poor character again. I do recommend this film if you can handle a movie that will break your heart. The actors do a really great job playing their characters and the storyline is very creative and extremely entertaining. It was just an extremely sad concept.

                      You might compare this movie to the story of Pinocchio, the puppet made out of wood who comes to life and all he really wants is to become a real boy. This movie is about a time in the future when artificial intelligence has been so highly advanced that scientists have actually been able to create robots that act, feel, and look just like a human.

                      This movie focuses on one family that has a son that goes unexpectedly catatonic. Henry, played by Sam Robards is the father and husband in this story that works for the company that has created these magnificent robots. Their current project is a prototype of a child that can feel and give love. Henry brings his prototype home in the hopes of easing some of his wife Monica's pain, played by Frances O'Connor. The robot is named David, played by Haley Joel Osment, and he walks, talks and looks like a human being.

                      When Henry brings this robot home, Monica freaks out a little bit, not sure if she would ever be able to love a robot. However, she tries and David is inducted into the family. That is, however, until Henry and Monica's real son wakes up from his comatose state and Monica and Henry devise a plan of a way to get rid of David. Now, this is so sad, because David has been programmed to love his new family and has no other function but to love these people that have just abandoned him.

                      Now David is on his own and his only goal is to find his way back to the family that abandoned him, prove his love to them, and hope that they will love him back.

                      This movie is so sad because these people just abandon this being that has pledged his love and devotion to them and it is heartbreaking when they abandon him. He is just a child, no matter if he is a robot or not, he still seems to have feelings. If you can handle a good cry and a pretty sad movie I definitely recommend this one.

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                      06.10.2008 15:02

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                      A.I. does not suck. Almost.

                      A.I is a rare beast. One of those heart-tuggingly, pseudo-neo-classic, Speilbergian efforts that actually works on almost every level. Now, us people that know a bit about films know that Speilberg is past it, making more and more beautiful yet entirely vapid movies. Excellent cinematography but where was the plot?
                      This is very nearly one of those films, except the dog-chewing-wasp based performance of Haley Joel Osment rescues it from just another well-shot Speilmovie.
                      In terms of plot, think Pinnochio via the Wizard Of Oz with rent boy robots. Robo-cock Jude Law shuffles around laying down with humans, while a perfect robot child is manufactured as to not know its robotic limitations. The pair have an adventure the likes have which have been seen many times and will be seens again.
                      Its never boring, and it never reaches greatness. But it plods along at a decent pace and never makes you regret watching it.

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                      19.09.2008 21:35
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                      A great film if you want an old classic and don't mind Jude Law!

                      **Originally written on my first account, Jackstiger which I no longer use but is still valid :)**

                      AI is the most amazing film I have ever seen because it is a fairy tale for adults. Never before have I watched a film finding myself believing every word said to realise it was all fantasy. One explanation for this would be the fantastic choice of cast:

                      *Jude Law as Gigolo Joe
                      *Haley Joel Osment as David
                      *Frances O'Connor as Monica
                      *Sam Robards as Henry
                      *Jake Thomas as Martin
                      *William Hurt as Dr. Hobby

                      You are probably scratching your head wondering who the hell these people are and to be honest so did I. OK, so Haley Joel Osment is in everything these days and Jude Law is no stranger but the others were complete strangers to me. Despite this, It's amazing how well they worked as a team and the acting was done so well that they seriously deserve Oscars, especially H-J-O.
                      Another reasonable explanation for the reality could be the films origins. Originally inspired by the short story "Super Toys Last All Summer Long" by Brian Aldiss, Stanley Kubrick bought rights and turned it into a feature length story. Although Kubrick has created many films like A.I in the past he wanted some aspect of magic in the film which is why he approached Steven Spielberg and asked him to direct. Kubrick was set to be the producer when tragically he died during the release of his new film, Eyes wide shut. Spielberg saw this as such a good idea and knew it was what Kubrick would have wanted and came up with this beautiful film. SO enough of the background.. let's get down to it!

                      The story begins with a crisis. There is a famine and the law has disallowed people to have children without a warrant due to the population crisis. professor Allen Hobby works at MECCA and puts a new idea forward. His company create computer robotic humanoids and he shocks them with a robot that is life like and can "feel" pain. His colleagues are astounded by this but are then further amazed when he anounces he
                      has finally created a doll that can love. The doll will be created as a child for the families who can not have children and will not need food or water.

                      After much discussion a search is made for a company employee profile that appears suitable to look after the first ever artificial child. That is when Dr.Hobby finds the Swinton family. They are facing tragic circumstances as they have a son who is very ill with a disease and visit his cryogenically frozen body every day. They can't say goodbye for the hope he may one day recover and they wait forever for his death. Professor Hobby advises Henry Swinton to look after his wife more and soon convinces him another child would be the answer so off he trots with a doll for his wife.. but will she like it?

                      Unfortunately Monica Swinton is so shocked at the idea of replacing her son that she goes mad. The child is called David and comes with an instruction manual that will allow her to make him love if she says the magic words. Trying to feel unattached she gets on with housework but David follows her everywhere. Eventually she locks him up in the cupboard because he walks in on her whilst she is on the toilet :) When she opens the cupboard though he tries many more antics and eventually she realised she would like the child to love. Opening the packaging she realised that this child will love her forever. When she dies it will still only love her and if she tires of the child it has to go back to MECCA to be destroyed. With a deep breath Monica makes the decision whether or not to say the seven works what will make a doll become a loving child of her own:

                      CIRRUS, SOCRATES, PARTICLES, DECIBEL, HURRICANE, DOLPHIN, TULIP

                      And does she say them? Well I will let you find out for yourself :)

                      A.I. is a higly recommended film by me because it really touched my heart. There is a reason why Kubrick chose to give this gem away to Spielberg for directing and that
                      is magic. Spielberg is well know for his special effects and fairie tale motif. You can really see how well the two have come together in this film with a few sinister scenes that bring out the works of Kubrick with all the magic of a heart warming story from spielberg.
                      Most of the ops on here tell you the whole story but i want you to go and see the film. It's one that's not to be spoilt. Just when you think it's the ending, another situation arrises and the true ending makes you feel confused inside. You don't know whether to feel happy or to cry with such sadness. For me, it really made me think about A.I and how this technology could be made in the future. The film was so real i would love to see it again just to let everything sink in.
                      One thing i have to comment on is Haley Joel Osment. My god how old is he? His acting made my heart beat fast and my eyes water. I know it sounds soppy but he trully was amazing. When you are that age how do you keep such a straight face pretending to be a robot? i remember the days of giggling in assembly and being sent out...

                      I would honestly strongly recommend this to anyone who would love to see a good film. If i was younger then i may find it a little upsetting in the sense of Titanic so watch out for the kids. A.I. came across to me as another laddish film with fancy effects and a well-known director but im glad i gave it a real chance because it is the best film i have seen in a long time - After all, what more can you expect from such a team?

                      Go see it now!
                      If you ever need a child to love - Im here :)
                      Mel xx

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                        31.05.2008 01:04
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                        Sadly they ruined a good film with a bad ending

                        Artificial Intelligence skips us forward into a future where earth is so over-crowded that they are only allowed one child each, and where robots have reached a stage that they're so realistic that they can be mistaken for humans.

                        A human couple with a dying child are therefore not allowed to have another. When the husband's company approaches them with an offer to test-drive the first of a new line - a robot substitute child - they eagerly agree. But then their real son wakes from his coma, and when he's fighting for attention with David the robot boy (played by Haley Joel Osment) there's only one choice they can make. Much like a Christmas puppy, David is dumped in the woods.

                        But he's been programmed to want his mother's love, so he sets off to search for how to get that.

                        Haley Osment does very well in this at portraying the other-worldly feel of something not-quite-human. However, the real star of this for me was Gigolo Joe (played by Jude Law). Basically a sexbot who runs off when he discovers his client has died he befriends David, taking the "boy" under his wing. Somehow this is even more touching than David's story - David's love for his mother, after all, was only what he was programmed to feel.

                        So far, so good, why've I given it three stars then? Well, without wanting to give too much away, the film reaches a point where it should end. It would be a sad ending, but it would have worked fine - in fact the friend I was watching with and I sat up stretching assuming it HAD ended.

                        ...and then they paste on the weirdest happy ending EVER. It just... it doesn't fit. I can only imagine someone high up saw it and said "No, this is a kid's film, we can't make the kiddies cry" and tried to engineer a way to end in a happy way. It's really unfortunate, because it ruins what WAS a decent film.

                        It's available for £2.97 from Amazon. Stop ten minutes before the end and you'll love it.

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                          30.07.2007 21:47
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                          Spielberg brings Kubrick's brainchild to artificial life

                          It is some point in the not too distant future. Earth has suffered environmental catastrophe as a result of the polar ice caps melting, and consequentially a large number of the planet’s shoreline cities have been flooded. Millions of their inhabitants have been made homeless, and the planet is under greater pressure from over population than ever before. In order to prevent the situation escalating, the governments of the civilised world have put in place regulations that prevent couples from having any more children unless they are vetted and licensed to do so. As countless couples across the globe struggle to cope without children of their own, attention has turned instead to technology to fill the gap and robot technology has become widespread.

                          But whilst robots have been developed to far greater specification than ever before, the greatest challenge faced by the planet’s scientists lies in the creation of a robot child that is capable of love. That is, not just the understanding and programming of what love is, but the capability to demonstrate the sincerity and loyalty of a child’s love. A leading scientist sets about the development of such a robot and twenty years later his work is complete; all that he requires is a test “family” that can trial his new product. After rigorous selection work, a couple is chosen whose own son has been comatose for over five years following a terrible accident.

                          Although the husband is an employee of the scientist, his wife is not so quick to accept the idea that a robot may replace their son and there is a short period of adjustment before she is able to accept the robot in her home. At first, the experiment is very successful, with the robot (David) becoming fully integrated as part of the household. But things do not stay this way for long. The couple’s comatose son unexpectedly awakens from his deep sleep, and suddenly the couple have two children – one real and one artificial. There are inevitable confrontations and ultimately the couple are forced to choose between the two children. Their choice is made, and a chain of events is set in motion that leads David into danger, excitement and tragedy in a world where nothing cannot be recreated in the image of Man.

                          A.I. is a truly incredible film. That is not to say that you will particularly enjoy it; that will differ from viewer to viewer. All I can say is that everyone should watch this and make up their own mind as to whether this is a masterpiece or a mistake. The film blends countless different styles and inspirations, with similarities to movies as wildly different as Blade Runner, The Wizard of Oz, and Mad Max. In many ways, the film is almost a collage of sections from other successful movies, but the culmination of the pieces is far different from anything you will have ever seen before.

                          Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film was originally the brainchild and project of Stanley Kubrick, but when he died he passed the reins to his close friend Spielberg. Spielberg has created a film that is fundamentally segmented into distinct sections of storytelling. The first part of the film dwells on the conception of the idea of a robotic child and his inception into a human family. The second part of the film focuses on the world outside the family unit, a world full of danger and cruelty that is in complete contrast to the homely environment of the first part. The final part of the film seems to move onto a higher plane, with an almost spiritual ambience and an ethereal sequence of events. Sadly, these parts suffer from a lack of fluidity – A.I. is rather like watching three different films edited into one, and in many ways the finished product is clumsy.

                          The special effects are very impressive; indeed, it was anticipation of future developments in such technology that led to Kubrick’s delay in making the film. The film is a visual treat, with virtually flawless images of humanoid robots and other bizarre man-made mechanical creatures. David’s companion throughout the film is a super technology toy named Teddy, who is extremely endearing and lends the film an almost Disney like quality. Teddy moves around in a mechanical fashion, yet is as real a person as any other in the film. There are disappointingly few sequences showing the landscape of the future, but scenes set in the submerged city of Manhattan are breathtaking, complete with submerged Twin Towers. How could Spielberg know that this would be one cityscape that would never quite look like that again?

                          A.I. is a film of so many distinct ideas and parts that it arouses nearly every feeling or emotion that a film possibly can. There are moments of great sadness throughout the film, but most notably towards the climax of the film and in the interaction between David and his human “mother”. There are also some very sinister sequences in the film – I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from A.I. but I noticed a growing sense of unease throughout the first 45 minutes when I kept getting the distinct impression that things were going to take a darker turn, rather more like a Stephen King film than a Steven Spielberg film. There are also some exciting sequences in the film. This isn’t an action movie by any means, but that doesn’t mean to say that there aren’t some well-filmed action scenes nonetheless.

                          So what is A.I. all about? Well, despite having seen the film, I’m not sure that’s a question that I feel qualified to answer. This is science fiction, through and through. The film takes an idea born of science and evolves a fictional tale around the “What If…?” questions that such an idea generates. Yet, despite the Sci-Fi influences of the film, I’m not sure what point the film’s creators had in mind. For sure, this is another observation on the dangers on playing with nature, and is another portrayal of Man’s ability to disregard common sense and manipulate natural forces for his own means. But something inside me says that the makers wanted something more from this. The “Flesh Fair” appears to be a social observation on man’s obsession with recreation and inherent cruelty, but as we see more of the fair there is more of a suggestion that the fair represents man’s natural instinct for survival. Then again, the over-riding principle behind the film seems to be a suggestion of the value of the human soul, and how creatures or objects without a soul will strive forever to become human and possess the traits of mankind. This is a complicated film, and rather like a wedding party buffet, you will be invited to take from it what you will.

                          The film is dominated by another very strong performance from (Haley Joel Osment), who we last saw in The Sixth Sense. This child actor once again demonstrates maturity beyond his years, and is as endearing as he is sinister in his role as the robotic child David. Jude Law is excellent as another robot named Gigolo Joe, who demonstrates a keen observation on the part of the makers that any society that can develop artificiality will surely employ this for sexual gratification. Joe becomes David’s sidekick, but his character exits almost as clumsily as it enters and I can’t help but think this was a wasted opportunity. William Hurt plays the professor who creates David, but was not an inspiring character for me and failed to make me believe in him. Look out also for voiceover cameo appearances from Robin Williams, Meryl Streep, Chris Rock and Ben Kingsley.

                          The DVD presentation is across two discs, with the extra features comprising mainly of mini-documentaries taking you behind the scenes of the movie. The extras are as follows:

                          - Acting A.I. – two documentaries, one about David and one about Gigolo Joe
                          - Designing A.I. – an insight into how the film was developed from sketches and a look into the wardrobe designing team
                          - Lighting A.I. – a short documentary about the very different lighting techniques used throughout the film
                          - Special Effects – an interesting documentary about how three of the most visually exciting scenes were filmed
                          - Robots of A.I. – how puppets, special effects and animatronics were used to create the many robots
                          - Special Visual Effects & Animation – five more documentaries, each focusing on a different aspect of the effects work
                          - Sound And Music of A.I. – two mini documentaries, one about the sound effects and one about the original score by John Williams
                          - Steven Spielberg’s Responsibility to A.I. – the filmmaker talks about the serious implications of A.I.
                          - A.I. Archives; Cast information; Film maker information

                          The extras are perhaps rather one-sided, comprising almost entirely of documentaries and behind-the-scenes footage. I found this interesting, and a very relevant partner for the film, but some people may prefer more interactive extras. The good thing about the documentaries is that none of them last for more than ten minutes, so they tend to be short, snappy and informative. Both the cast and the crew make some interesting observations about the film, and I think the whole package works very well.

                          I would most certainly have to recommend this film to anyone who is considering whether to see it or not. A.I. is not a children’s film. Whilst there is no graphic violence or sex, the content of the film is, at times, disturbing and would probably not appeal anyway; at nearly two and a half hours, younger viewers might find the running time excessive. I cannot guarantee that you will enjoy this, but if the measure of a good film is its ability to make you think then A.I. is certainly a winner. Without a doubt, the film is a state of the art production, and I don’t think you could fail to be impressed by the imagination and innovation that went into its creation.

                          The 2-disc region 2 DVD can be picked up for around £6 on various websites, including www.play.com.

                          Highly recommended

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                        • Product Details

                          History will place an asterisk next to A.I. as the film Stanley Kubrick might have directed. But let the record also show that Kubrick--after developing this project for some 15 years--wanted Steven Spielberg to helm this astonishing sci-fi rendition of Pinocchio, claiming (with good reason) that it veered closer to Spielberg's kinder, gentler sensibilities. Spielberg inherited the project (based on the Brain Aldiss short story "Supertoys Last All Summer Long") after Kubrick's death in 1999, and the result is an astounding directorial hybrid. A flawed masterpiece of sorts, in which Spielberg's gift for wondrous enchantment often clashes (and sometimes melds) with Kubrick's harsher vision of humanity, the film spans near and distant futures with the fairy-tale adventures of an artificial boy named David (Haley Joel Osment), a marvel of cybernetic progress who wants only to be a real boy, loved by his mother in that happy place called home. Echoes of Spielberg's Empire of the Sun are evident as young David, shunned by his trial parents and tossed into an unfriendly world, is joined by fellow "mecha" Gigolo Joe (played with a dancer's agility by Jude Law) in his quest for a mother-and-child reunion. Parallels to Pinocchio intensify as David reaches "the end of the world" (a Manhattan flooded by melted polar ice caps), and a far-future epilogue propels A.I. into even deeper realms of wonder, just as it pulls Spielberg back to his comfort zone of sweetness and soothing sentiment. Some may lament the diffusion of Kubrick's original vision, but this is Spielberg's A.I., a film of astonishing technical wizardry that spans the spectrum of human emotions and offers just enough Kubrick to suggest that humanity's future is anything but guaranteed. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com On the DVD: A perfect movie for the digital age, A.I. finds a natural home on DVD. The purity of the picture, its carefully composed colour schemes and the multifarious sound effects are accorded the pin-point sharpness they deserve with the anamorphic 1.85:1 picture and Dolby 5.1 sound, as is John Williams's thoughtful music score. On the first disc there's a short yet revealing documentary, "Creating A.I.", but the meat of the extras appears on disc two. Here there are good, well-made featurettes on acting, set design, costumes, lighting, sound design, music and various aspects of the special effects: Stan Winston's remarkable robots (including Teddy, of course) and ILM's flawless CGI work. In addition there are storyboards, photographs and trailers. Finally, Steven Spielberg provides some rather sententious closing remarks ("I think that we have to be very careful about how we as a species use our genius"), but no director's commentary. --Mark Walker