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Sep. 16th, 2002

I just watched A.I. for the first time. I cried and cried and cried. I can almost forgive Spielberg for Jurrasic Park now.

It was wonderfully heartfelt and complete and beautiful and touching. I miss feeling real sentiment and emotion in the things I watch and listen to. It was so very very welcome.

I don't care what anyone has to say about Haley Joel Osmond. He was just incredible in this. Watching his emotional shifts just *shocked* me. I don't think I've seen a kid actor anywhere close to how good he is... ever.

I can accept that I'm heartless and jaded for not liking Forrest Gump. As long as everyone who ripped up A.I. will admit that they're soulless snobs.

Update: there are now lots of spoilers in the comments.

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
dlbags
Sep. 16th, 2002 08:05 pm (UTC)
*shakes head*
hollyhollyhollyholly...
maddening
Sep. 16th, 2002 08:26 pm (UTC)
I will argue you into bits over this one, Dave. Really.

greyyguy
Sep. 16th, 2002 10:02 pm (UTC)
Wow.

We have so amazingly different tastes in movies.

I was going to write a post on how much I didn't like that movie. I thought it was great until he got to meet his maker. Then it just went off the deep end. And that is after finding out that his maker decided to market his dead son's image. No point to his lasting 2000 years or where the mecha aliens came from and the whole bringing a person back from the dead for a day was just plain cheesy. It was like the movie had two completely different writers- one good one for the first part and one really bad one with no grasp of science or science fiction to finish the thing off. As touching as "the happiest day of his 'life'" was, the idea that he was laying in bed with his dead (again) mother was disturbing.

It was one of the most impressive movies I've seen visually, and I really enjoyed the story. But the ending was lousy.
(Deleted comment)
maddening
Sep. 16th, 2002 11:46 pm (UTC)
The whole movie was Spielberg, through and through. Just because Kubrick was thinking about making it doesn't mean it was his movie that Spielberg somehow destroyed. Kubrick respected Spielberg's work and I just don't think that Kubrick could have pulled this one off.

and I don't buy that the last 20 minutes was a cop out just tacked on to the end. Nice theory and all, but it rounds out the story a little too well for that.

greyyguy
Sep. 17th, 2002 06:47 am (UTC)
Yeah, I could see how the first part of the movie was told very much in the style of Kubrick. And if it had been left with a kinda hanging ending, I think it would have been a lot better. Maybe if it just ended with the character standing amid the production line of other Davids, I would have liked it better. But Spielberg gave it a happy ending that was tacked on.
maddening
Sep. 17th, 2002 10:22 am (UTC)
Uhm... have any of us actually read the short story this movie was based on?
Isn't there a good chance that this is how it was actually written?

Again, the 'spielberg fucked up the kubrick flick' bull is uh .. hehe.. bull.
greyyguy
Sep. 17th, 2002 10:54 am (UTC)
Re:
The original story was good but a lot different fomr the movie. Essentially it was a few days in the life of the boy robot, but we don't find out he is a robot until near the end of the story. His "parents" find out that they are finally able to have a child and begin to make plans to shut down the robot, while the robot is thinking happy thoughts about loving his parents.

Just foud nthe original story. The name of it is "Supertoys..."
http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/0068.html

The author rewrote it into a novel and I haven't read that.
maddening
Sep. 16th, 2002 11:43 pm (UTC)
I don't like big stupid sci-fi spectaculars. That's one of the reasons I really hated Jurrasic Park. I took this movie at face value, presented as a fairy tale.
I liked it for the same reason I really adore love songs from the 50s. There is a guilessness there that is so utterly sincere. It is blatantly and unapolgetically emotional and sentimental. It's a slap you in the face with sadness and pain movie. If I were in a bitter, cynical phase, I probably would have hated it because it *is* so plainly a sentimental story. On the other hand though, it appeals to me on some level because it pissed off the jaded-movie-goer-looking-for-a-super-hero-with-a-bigger-gun-and-better-tagline-crowd.
It's just a really simple story and if you're a big budget sci-fi phanatic (like... if you really enjoyed Independence Day) or a staunce Kubrick defender then I can totally see why you wouldn't like this movie.
I ENJOYED the cheesy ending. I enjoy that it made me cry even more than all the parts before that made me cry.

E.T. was a good movie. E.T. was also blatantly sentimental and "cheesy".
If you're looking for an edgy, cynical, hardcore kind of look at the world... avoid Spielberg.


I didn't really give a shit about the visual *effects* , which most people have harped on as the good point. It was the cinematography in general.. the setting up of shots, the use of light, that made it really stunning.

If the idea of the ai laying in bed with its dead mother was the most disturbing thing in that movie, I think we saw different edits, dude. heheh

And this movie isn't in the realm of my usual "taste". Neither was Signs. There was just something about it that I found really touching.


And, I have to ask... *why* was the ending lousy? Because it was cheesy? Or because the bleaker ending would have been more satisfying or what?
I've heard so many people say that and haven't really had anyone say WHY it was so horrible.

greyyguy
Sep. 17th, 2002 06:43 am (UTC)
I can understand enjoying the movie because it pulled on every heartstring imaginable. But that is probably my main complaint with it.

The first part of the film is great science fiction. It takes a situation made possible by advanced technology and then shows what happens to people and society as a result. The flesh fairs, the robot prostitute, and everything else. It's the ending that changes it all. It was a fairy tale, and that is great, but it was a complete 180 degrees from the first part of the movie. For example, what was up with the fish saving him? If they wanted to show a higher power helping him out why wasn't that shown in the movie before hand? It was one throw away scene that tells the audience that god/fate/whatever was pulling for the robot but it is completely inconsistant with everything else before then.

The character decides to end its 'life' (something completely contrary to the idea of Asimov's 3 laws of robotics, by the way. Would you design a thinking, feeling machine without making some base rules in it that it can't hurt others or itself?) and then the world freezes. Do you know how cold it would have to be to have the water 300+ feet down freeze solid? Very. And then these machine/aliens come out and solve all of his problems. Deus ex machina much? I could accept that, but it completely ignores the entire rest of the film which showed a well thought out society with different causes and effects. It is like two films tied together, except each one points in different directions.

The ending was very fairy tale like, and that is ok. But nothing leading up to it indicated anything like that. They even started with a narrator just for the end to explain it. I missed the very begining so there might have been a narrator there, but I doubt it. I can think of a number of other places that a narrator could have been well used, but they didn't. Just for the ending to make sure you understood how happy everything was.

To be fair, the ending was a good one. For a completely different film :)
maddening
Sep. 17th, 2002 10:20 am (UTC)
It was a fairy tale, and that is great, but it was a complete 180 degrees from the first part of the movie.

mmm...I dunno. I thought the whole thing was very much in the fairy tale vein. ::shrug::

For example, what was up with the fish saving him?

That, I didn't know about and was wondering about when it was happening. By the time it got into the bit about the fairy and him asking and asking, I didn't care about the fish anymore.
Heh, funny how that works, eh?
It's just another fairy tale element. Read Grimm's Fairy Tales sometime. There are hundreds of instances of magical, strange, unexplained happenings in those stories. Plot devices with no basis that push the story along, but don't really have a point beyond that. dlbags said that that was one of his main peeves with the movie, that there were huge plot holes. And I can see that. Some movies require more of a suspension of dibelief than others. ::shrug::

The character decides to end its 'life' (something completely contrary to the idea of Asimov's 3 laws of robotics, by the way. Would you design a thinking, feeling machine without making some base rules in it that it can't hurt others or itself?)

Hehehehe... but this wasn't an Asimov story. I ENJOYED that it wasn't exactly like every other fucking 'robot' story that *does* follow Asimov's "laws". Not being allowed to hurt itself or others would be a pretty counterproductive insert in a creature that was supposed to love. He was as close as they could make to human. And I think the fact that he just gave up there showed that not only could he love, but he could fear, despair, hate....

Do you know how cold it would have to be to have the water 300+ feet down freeze solid? Very.

Do you know how much the ice caps would have to melt before the major city centers of the world were flooded (like manhattan was)? A lot.
You do realize the world *has* gone through several ice ages where it was exactly that cold, right?

I still don't think this was a sci-fi movie. So all the "oh that's not logical" stuff doesn't apply.

And then these machine/aliens come out and solve all of his problems.

I don't get why anyone thinks they're aliens, either. To me they were pretty obviously the evolution of the Mecha.

I could accept that, but it completely ignores the entire rest of the film which showed a well thought out society with different causes and effects.

Yeah, surely they could deal with something as simple as *weather* in short order. Silly movie people.


But nothing leading up to it indicated anything like that.

I think that's patently false. A *lot* indicated that this was a fairy tale right from the get go. I think it just got lost in all the visual sci-fi bull. The setting doesn't define the movie.


They even started with a narrator just for the end to explain it. I missed the very begining so there might have been a narrator there, but I doubt it.

There was. The narrator's voice was the voice of the latter day Mecha who talked to him about bringing back his mother.


To be fair, the ending was a good one. For a completely different film :)

::shrug::
I see where there were pacing issues in the film (and they were throughout) but the ending seemed like the logical place to take the story.

He finally got his wish. He was finally a real boy. ::shrug::
greyyguy
Sep. 17th, 2002 11:35 am (UTC)
Re:
I've read the old fairy tales and enjoyed them. I just didn't get that feel from the movie.

A part of me also liked the idea that the story didn't include the three laws of robotics, but I kept coming back to that it didn't make sense not to include them. I guess I can't suspend my belief that much.

I know that there have been ice ages, but even the frozen moons of Jupiter are believed to have a liquid ocean.

I agree about the creatures being evolved mecha, but since they were made to look like X-Files-esque aliens, that's how I think of them.

I could accept that, but it completely ignores the entire rest of the film which showed a well thought out society with different causes and effects.

Yeah, surely they could deal with something as simple as *weather* in short order. Silly movie people.


I didn't mean that the weather could be controlled. I meant that the movie created this complex society that gave birth to the main characters and then chucks it all using an unexplained freezing and extinction of the human race to end the story. It wasn't nearly as impressive as the rest of the story.
maddening
Sep. 17th, 2002 12:40 pm (UTC)
A part of me also liked the idea that the story didn't include the three laws of robotics, but I kept coming back to that it didn't make sense not to include them. I guess I can't suspend my belief that much.

But enough to believe that one sci-fi writer's idea of how robots with autonomous personalities (a mythical creature) should behave should be applied across all works of fiction including said mythical creatures?

If you get right down to it, it doesn't make much sense to build a robot surrogate for a child. It will *always* be a child, will never age, will never 'grow' and move on and leave the nest as a real child would. It doesn't make much sense to arifical intelligence in the first place, really.


I know that there have been ice ages, but even the frozen moons of Jupiter are believed to have a liquid ocean.

I don't think there was anything in this movie to indicate that it was a 'sci-fi' movie. It was just the setting, not the point. If it were being written by Greg Egan, I would expect an explanation of why and how at every step along the way as well as an in depth explanation of *how* they built the boy, what was different, how they accomplished "human" emotion being present in an artifical creature... but it wasn't. So they didn't explain.


I didn't mean that the weather could be controlled. I meant that the movie created this complex society that gave birth to the main characters and then chucks it all using an unexplained freezing and extinction of the human race to end the story. It wasn't nearly as impressive as the rest of the story.

I think that the film worked off of a lot of givens. It's been a rather accepted idea that we're going to extinct ourselves sooner or later. It happened sometime in a span of *2,000* years, not 50, not 100. The earth had already experienced cataclysmic changes in the time period the ai was 'born' into, so why not another ice age? Why not destruction of the remainders of our race?
The dinosaurs were wiped out by something we aren't even sure about, why not humans?

I dunno. The thing is, I don't think this was a movie for the purpose of taking apart as you would some sci-fi thing and examing the science behind it. It was just a story. Presented as is, cut and dry, the rest of it unimportant.

I think that it's a lot like Signs, in a way. If you went into it wanting a Sci-fi movie, you'd be horribly disappointed in it. If you went into it without expectation, you can take it as it comes. This is yet another argument I have against our obsession with movie trailers and the advertising that gives away most of the movie.

hehe.. so uh .. you didn't dig it.
Cool.


greyyguy
Sep. 17th, 2002 01:30 pm (UTC)
Re:
hehe.. so uh .. you didn't dig it.
Cool.


Yeah. That about sums it up :)
(Deleted comment)
maddening
Sep. 17th, 2002 12:06 am (UTC)
Have they made Jurassic Park 4: Even More Fucking Dinosaurs, yet?
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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