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Bams' review of
A.I.: Artificial Intelligence


A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001)
Rated PG-13; running time 150 minutes
Genre: Science Fantasy
Seen at: Jack Lokes' Celebration Cinema (Lansing, Michigan)
Official site:
IMDB site:
Written by: Steven Spielberg (based on the short story by Brian Aldiss)
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor, Sam Robards, Jake Thomas, William Hurt, Jack Angel, Robin Williams

Review Copyright Rose Cooper, 2001

(click here to skip to this movie's rating)

You know, going into a given Spielberg flick, that you'll be manipulated. But there's manipulation, and then there's Manipulation. And damnifi don't feel Used.

THE STORY (WARNING: **spoilers contained below**)
Once upon a time, there was a boy who found a pet alien and a phon...uh, no, that's wrong...once upon a time, there was a boy who could hear weird tones and saw the shape of a mountain in nearly everything around him...hmmm.

Ok, get this: sometime in the Distant Future (though still supposedly within the 21st century), the Greenhouse Effect will have melted the polar ice caps, causing the oceans to rise, climates to become chaotic, and other global Bad Stuff to happen. Because of this shift in life on earth, people have to get a license to become pregnant [hmmm...not a bad idea...] and robots - the likes of which current technology has no clue - have become essential.

But Professor Hobby (William Hurt. My, how the mighty have fallen since The Big Chill. But I digress) pushes the envelope; more than just creating helpers for Man, Hobby feels the need to play God, by creating a robot who can Love. And what purer love exists than the love a child has for his mother?

The (robot) child? One David (Haley Joel Osment), created for mother Monica (Frances O'Connor) and father Henry Swinton (Sam Robards), who are in grief over the coma that their birth son Martin (Jake Thomas) is in. David is Special, the first of his kind - and that scares the Swintons, especially when he and Martin interact. David, hoping to become a Real! Live! Boy! so that Mommy will always love him, hooks up with Gigalo Joe (Jude Law), a robot created for those who want to "get they freak on" with no muss and fuss. David and Joe ask The Wizard...uh, Dr. Know (voice of Robin Williams) to help them find the Blue Fairy so that David can click his heel three times and wind up in Kansas, complete with his own Toto in the form of Talking Teddy, The SuperToy (voice of Jack Angel).

"Manipulated" is too calm a word. ohickyfrickinpoo, I've been Slimed.

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence wasted no time pulling out all the Tearjerker stops. It was far too obvious, though; not a single tear was jerked from my eyes. In fact, my eyes were screaming out for rest (aided and abetted, no doubt, by the many snorers around me).

The two faces of A.I. - slow and plodding on the one side, and excruciatingly cutesy and manipulative on the other - arise from the two directors who've had their hand in this mess: the late Stanley Kubrick, and the ever-repetitious Steven Spielberg. And since Kubrick is no longer with us, the shoulders that must bear the brunt of this pile of feces, are Spielberg's. All the Bad Acting, all the ill-thought out plotting, all the attempts at jerked tears, all the emphasis-on-special-effects-at-the-cost-of-a-sensible-story, all the misguided and terribly unsubtle harkings-back to previous Spielberg Blockbusters, all the snore-inducing hours between the opening credits and the closing credits - all of these and more, are Spielberg's cross to bear.

-Yet Another Distant Future where the only things that are significantly different, are cars? Hookay.
-"...2000 years later..."? AIEEEE!
-Suicidal robots? Yah, right.
-"I see dead peo"...uh..."I wuv you Mommy"; "I wuv you too, David; that's why I'm Abandoning you."? GMAFB!

And if I ever see Talking Teddy on screen again, I swear I'll do Damage.

I was >this< close to triple-redding A.I.; save for Jude Law's quirky performance as Gigalo Joe (before Emoting David sucked the lifeforce out of him), and Haley Joel Osment's all-too-brief fun turn as the pre-lovestruck David in the first act, A.I. would rest in the dungheap alongside Stupornova. and Monkeyboned.

THE "BLACK FACTOR"    [ObDisclaimer: We Are Not A Monolith]

Not that it matters a whole helluva lot, but I loved my husband's prediction that the Black Scientist Chick from the first scene, would be the only Black person in this movie. Too bad he was proved wrong - by the Black Comic Relief robot. The one quickly offed at Flesh Fair. And the beat goes on...

Don't be fooled by the hype: A.I. is nothing more than a rambling, pointless, godawful boring paean to Spielberg's Neverneverland fixation. Almost makes me wish I'd given in and seen Pootie Tang instead. Uh, almost.

ET, would you take your butt home already? gotDAM, I'm sicka you.


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And that's the way I see it.

Rose "Bams" Cooper
3BlackChicks Review™
Copyright Rose Cooper, 2001
EMAIL:    ICQ: 7760005

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More 3BlackChicks™ review(s) for this week:
(movies reviewed week of 6/29/01):
Bams' reviews:
Baby Boy | A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

The Diva's reviews:
Baby Boy | A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

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