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  • A.I. Artifical Intelligence(2001): ***1/2

    Directed by Steven Spielberg

    If Haley Joel Osmet doesn't win an oscar for playing the mecha David in this movie, something is wrong with the Universe.

    This is basically an excellent movie with a couple of problems that kept me from giving it 4 stars. I'll list those problems now:

    1. Costume Design. This is supposed to take place a couple hundred years in the future, right? So why do so many scenes look like they just went out and walked around Los Angeles and asked people to come be in the movie as-is. It isn't that difficult to design a new style of dress, but it's like they didn't even try. This movie will look serious dated in under three years. The set design is a little better, but still much too much rooted in the present.
    2. The Score. This is THE BIG ONE. The music in this movie SUCKS! Well, let me rephrase that. John Williams actually wrote an excellent score. It's got some great themes running through it and it's gorgeous to listen to. But it in no way belongs in this movie!!. It's almost like Williams didn't ever see the movie before he wrote the score. Especially in the second act, the action and the music seem miles apart, and it's terrifyingly distracting. It's like Spielberg is showing us one thing, and Williams is trying to get us to feel a certain way about it that we very obviously should not feel.
    3. The Running Man. There's one scene where David and Gigilo Joe are being chased by biker robots. Them bikers just look dorky, like something out of the mid-80s Arnold movie The Running Man. I guess this one is kida related to the first problem: costume design.

    Okay, now that I got that out of my system, I'll just briefly say that this is otherwise a brilliant movie, filled with beautiful and haunting and disturbing Speilberg and Kubrik imagery (the Rising Moon sequence stands out). The performances are all top-notch, epecially Osmet and Jude Law as Gigilo Joe, the sex mecha.

    A lot of people complained that this movie was too long and kept on missing ending after ending. If the movie ended anywhere other than where it did, I know I would have been terribly disappointed. The actual ending the movie gives us is horrifying and complex and ambiguous and enormously sad all it one. It is an excellent and surprising, unpredictably third act.

    And Teddy, that creepy bear, kicks ass!

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