A.I. Artificial Intelligence

Originally posted on Sept 2, '07 at slangards.multiply.com

Many sci fi geeks will tell you that one of the things we find so enthralling about Science Fiction is a world with programmable people; a world with robots. There's a certain attraction pulling our imaginations that way and you see it in works as varied as Star Wars with its ubiquitous droids, to Issac Asimov's three laws of robotics.

AI is an exploration of another of these what-if? worlds. Like Lucas' classic galaxy far, far away, this one's got androids and robots coming out the wazoo and they do everything from the crap jobs no one wants to being the guilt-free spouse substitute in the conjugal bed. But these robotic simulacra all have one thing in common... they don't really have feelings.

Their personalities are programed into them and they follow simple logarithms that dictate their reactions to certain external stimuli. There's none of the unpredictability of living systems, none of the capacity to learn, and none of the ability to love. So when a robot comes along that can suddenly FEEL... well, I won't bore you with plot details, but naturally, things go a little nuts.

All in all, this is one of my favorite films not because of the effects, but because of the characters. I loved the little android kid (Haley Joel Osment) who just wants his mommy to love him, and the gentle Gepetto figure (William Hurt) who wants to bring his son back to life, and the brotherly android (Jude Law) who brings him home. I also loved the ending, which is just what it should be, bitter sweet. It's not the candy coated popcorn fare you'd expect, but realistic within the rules dictate by the genre.

This was supposed to be Stanley Kubrick's last film, and you see his influence throughout the film. Everyone seems creepy. The world seems like some kind of neon circus. Osment continually stares at you with his eyes wide making your stomach kinda queasy. Yet the movie is all Spielberg as you'll see once you get to the end. Still I can't hold it against them.

I never did like Kubrick films.

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