Harry's Non-Spoiler Comments on Moriarty's A.I. Review
Hey folks, Harry here... Last night, as soon as Moriarty got back to the Labs, I called him. I was dying to find out what he thought about A.I.
Was it to hear the ravings of a cynical ass? No, it was to hear from a friend that loves Spielberg films as only those that remember the euphoria over Steven's first decade can. People like Moriarty and I... we're nearing our thirties. Our earliest cinematic memories tend to be sitting with our parents and watching Robert Shaw being eaten by a shark... Or remembering Richard Dreyfuss leave his family to pursue his dreams of a flat-topped mountain and the lights in the sky. We remember walking into a theater and having RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK happen to us...
Now contrary to popular opinion... we did know these movies were coming... We read magazines like STARLOG and CINEFEX and CINEMAFANTASTIQUE... We were taught the language of cinema by folks like John Carpenter, John Landis, George Lucas and above all others Steven Spielberg. At the time, Scorsese and Kubrick and Copolla... well to pre-teen eyes, they made movies for grown-ups... Spielberg made movies for everyone... and he made them better than anyone had before. He made us want to be around film, be a part of film... smell it, feel it and bathe in the rich colors of it all.
They were the gateway filmmakers to the 'harder stuff' which as we matured.... well we moved on to.... we sought out. This is very much a brotherhood that wee film geeks share. Those 4 filmmakers.... above all others, we wish the best upon. We hope for the best from. And with every fiber of our beings we await their next film. This is why Moriarty (Drew) and I are the best of friends.
Drew was so excited to see A.I. he wanted to know everything and nothing... the real reason he had Mongo run over those two people and get those tickets was to see it before he read too much. He wanted to have the film HAPPEN to him.
Two days ago, I read Todd McCarthy's review in Variety out loud to Drew.... skipping all the spoilers and only quoting the parts that would in no way endanger the integrity of the film for him. Through the AOL TALK function I could hear little geekgasms come from Drew. The dream of Spielberg making the pinnacle film of his career as McCarthy was inferring literally shook him to the core. He was in love. In love with the film sight unseen. All the coy ways that the Ansen, McCarthy and Corliss reviews played with the film... teased the reader... and never daring to even begin to fully analyze the work... well... Drew was set to see, not an adequate film... not a good film... But for a great work of cinema that will gain in prominence with each passing year.
The voice I heard through my computer last night was the sound of a friend that had just gone through a divorce. A friend who's hero was stripped bare before him. He didn't take Kubrick with him into the theater.... He took Spielberg. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, DUEL, JAWS, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK... those films.... SCHINDLER'S LIST, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, even AMISTAD... Drew carried EMPIRE OF THE SUN in there with him. He took the films that made Spielberg Spielberg.... Not Kubrick.
Trying to get him to talk about the film was like pulling teeth. It was like asking a friend, "Why'd she leave you?" This wasn't hatred or revenge... it was sorrow... profound sorrow and heartbreak.
IT'S JUST A MOVIE
Ok... if you have a job out there in the world with no media relations... no connections to Hollywood... no aspirations to go to make movies... and you are a passive filmgoer... someone that treats movies as a hobby only... like a trip to the local tavern. Ok, I could see that.
But to someone like Drew, watching one of the reasons you got into filmmaking fail in your eyes... To be less than what the dream of him could be... That hurts. Does this mean Spielberg is dead as a filmmaker... that A.I. will be terrible... that you won't be able to hope for a film ever again? No. Not at all. Hell, you may even love the film.
I tell you how I look at going to see A.I. I'm dying to see it still. do I think it is going to suck? No. Will I be taking CEOTTK and ROTLA and JAWS into the screening with me? No. I'd say about 15 years ago I stopped taking Spielberg's best films (in my opinion) into a theater with me. Steven became a different type of filmmaker. He ceased being about people like you and me... ceased being about working class people that live in normal neighborhoods experiencing amazing things... and became a filmmaker about Hollywood and the politics therein.
Steven makes films about 'the beautiful people' now. The world up in the hills with amazing views, not the world where the houses on either side of the street look the same. The themes of his films have changed radically. He has been making, for quite some time, movies about the affluent taking the unfortunate on an extraordinary journey.
Steven made SCHINDLER'S LIST, which was about a rich and powerful industrialist helping the unfortunate. JURASSIC PARK, which was about a rich and powerful industrialist paying for the company of 'experts' on an investment. AMISTAD, ultimately became about a former President... again a rich and powerful man, helping the less fortunate to achieve freedom. HOOK is about a rich man empowering himself to again... help little lost children against the tyranny of the world. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN was about a government ordering men to help an unfortunate family.
His last 'working class' film was ALWAYS, and he had already lost the vision for what that world was. Ultimately that is why it did not resonate and a major shift in his art came to be.
I have said my adieus to the Spielberg of my dreams many years ago. And I stuck out my hand to meet the Spielberg of today. And I find him endlessly fascinating. It is getting to peek inside the head of an artist that can indulge every whim. Who admits he couldn't make a film without all the brick-a-brac of BIG MOVIE MAKING. A filmmaker that admits he couldn't make CLOSE ENCOUNTERS today because he's changed.
We currently have a filmmaker in transition in Spielberg... his producing instincts are astoundingly sharp... He recognizes talent like a great hound dog picking up the scent... He has great tastes when it comes to others' work, but he... Steven as a filmmaker, well that is evolving, changing... and is fluctuating constantly. I'm enthralled. Why?
Well, I tend to look at things with a perspective of LONG VIEW... To give you an idea.... Look at the life of any great artist.... watch the shifts... the changes... when it was great, when there was trouble, how failure affected them, how success affected them... What period of their career was the most POPULAR? What period was LEAST Popular? Which did I like more?
Some people love early DALI, some the middle DALI and still others prefer the showman DALI. And I know people that can't stand one part of that career at all... that feel he lost it when he began to crank out the work at the end of his career... Me? I find it all fascinating.
Currently we have a Spielberg that makes movies to 'do a film with ____________'. A movie with Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Robin Williams, Stanley Kubrick, Harrison Ford... etc.... It has ceased to be about a genre or type of film... but about the people he would be working with. That's a radical shift... and I find the collaborative Spielberg interesting to no end.
I see his films as 'the next film presented to an audience'. And I may very well love it as being what it is that Steven is presenting. We'll see in a week or so.
My dear Moriarty? Well, he wrote that extensive review because the fact is no critique of the film thus far has written about A.I. in an analytical fashion. Every review has skirted discussing the 'issues' of the film... at some level this was to 'preserve' the mystery of the film. Which is why Moriarty put the SPOILER WARNINGS on the piece. But his criticism was not in joy... not as a Ha Ha I knew Spielberg would suck sort of thing. But because he had to let out how he was feeling. He couldn't not speak what's on his mind, he'd read other reviews that seemed to have a grand ol time of that.
He wrote a review for those that made the film, that have seen the film and those that want a step by step deconstruction of one of the most anticipated films of recent memory by cineastes.
He honestly has no idea how I'll look at the film, only that he can't wait to fully discuss it... argue it... whatever the case may be. Drew and I often see eye to eye and often disagree passionately. As do you with us and we with you. But remember, at no point does he tell you not to see the film, it's important to see... good, bad... Spielberg is one of the premiere filmmakers in the world, and his work helps shape the perceptions we have on life, art and the world around us. Even when his films aren't quite all they could be. See you in line....
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June 21, 2001, 4:14 p.m. CST
I'm impressed, Harry. Nice analysis of Spielberg's style/career. Vic
June 21, 2001, 4:18 p.m. CST
by penniless writer
Would Moriarty's comments and experience have been different if he brought A Clockwork Orange, 2001, or Dr. Strangelove with him? Everything i've read about this film (which does not include Moriarty's spoiler filled peice, since I want to see it before I know what happens in it) seems to indicate that it is more a Stanley Kubrick movie than anything else.
June 21, 2001, 4:23 p.m. CST
How a two bit director that aims every he does now to the focus groups that write his stories for him, thinks he can step into the shoes of Kubrick, is what is wrong with the whole industry. They should have left the project alone, why would anyone want to finish a work by a Picasso? the whole industry is propelled by money and toys. The art of making films is dead, now we have music videos and long commercials for toys. I hope on day the art can come back but, why but our hopes on Spielberg and Lucas is beyond me.
June 21, 2001, 4:24 p.m. CST
by Heywood Jablowme
Christ, you got me all emotional and shit, somebody get me a Kleenex. Spielberg's movies aren't the same anymore? Well no shit. The only thing that Spielberg still retains from his phenomenal earlier works is a penchant to use gaping mouths to display awe over (insert special effect here) and Ilm's phone number. He's long past that point in his life where he could tell the story of an everyman, he's now "Mr. Spielberg". He lives in a fantasy land of celebrity where his kids go to special private schools, he doesn't worry about finances, he probably has some lacky that pages him every 5 minutes asking him if he wants his special tea that only comes from fucking Tibet or something. It's the curse of being Hollywood, they take reality away from you and, bam! the audience can spot it like a booger on a white shirt. Time to get off my soapbox and get back to my reality where I can't pay my bills and my job sucks.
June 21, 2001, 4:27 p.m. CST
by Heywood Jablowme
Hey 10q j...whatever. I can't help it if you only read at a 3rd grade level. Them's the breaks man.
June 21, 2001, 4:38 p.m. CST
Between this and "Tomb Raider," Moriarty must be downright suicidal. He's been salivating like Pavlov's dog for months about those two projects. I can sympathize with the man...I've become so jaded that I often just assume most summer movies won't be nearly as good as I had originally hoped.
June 21, 2001, 4:39 p.m. CST
One word. Magnolia.
June 21, 2001, 4:49 p.m. CST
His films have no narrative drive and are derivative pastiches of other director's much better films.
June 21, 2001, 4:54 p.m. CST
by Dr. Death
What the hell?! Everyone's jumpin the bandwagon slammin the movie they haven't even seen. "They should have gotten Paul Thomas Anderson to direct it" -- that's a lame comment--
June 21, 2001, 4:57 p.m. CST
David uses his theory of body to detect a human. In fact, two in the same location. Monica and Henry. His voice parsing unit is picking up parallel microphones and separating out content. Using perceptual and social capacites he recognizes vocal affects. These affects coupled with object recognition indicators (theory of body, face recognition and gesture identification) are high. His theory of mind guesses Monica object has emotion =agitated. The other object, Henry object says a human child object, name Martin, is frozen until ailment can be cured whenever. David's object recognition of Monica object in several different locations is low, so he deduces she is somewhere else, and David/Monica interaction =low priority. His software patch upgrade has a love directive. He feels a longing in his metal joints, but longing =not sexual for Monica object. A new object is recognized in same location as Monica object. Deduces it is Martin object by frequency of Martin in voice affect stack. David-Monica interaction drops to zero. David uses various degrees of freedom (hip, knee and elbow) in new location=forest. Light source =bright, suggesting new day. Recogintion sees Monica leaving fast in sports car. Object recognition is Gigolo Joe, a looker. Vertex of first choice deduces Gigolo=stranger, and may require special speech parsing to build vocabulary. David notices Gigolo speech equals exaggeration, boastful. Gigolo needs to recognize police object and avoid recognition when date is above today's date, suggests both leave fast to new location. But objects=Biker Hounds take them to location=Flesh Fair. Here, recognition sees Danger objects who shoot at David-like robots until movement detection=none. Gigolo Joe and David go to Rouge City. David retrieves image from personal data files, and updates task list=search Rogue City until find Blue Fairy. Secondary task on stack=get love from Monica object. Deduces feeling=loss is high until love from Monica object. David thinks. Why is world seen from recognition portal so cold and clinical. Conclusion: he is star of new Kubrick movie. Can't locate Kubrick object anywhere on planet Earth, despite fluidity of visual cognition. However, Spielberg object seems to exhibit behavior=directing objects (animate and inanimate)=human in cold and clinical locations. But what does David know? He doesn't know his QNX from an MPI.
June 21, 2001, 5:20 p.m. CST
by Blue Devil
Let's remember, when he cast Roy Scheider in Jaws, Schieder was coming off the Academy Award winning French Connection. Ford was coming off Star Wars and Blade Runner. Spielberg is not against using big names, as long as they fit the character. I don't think anyone has a problem with Hanks in Ryan- he did a damn fine job in that film (without overpowering it). Personally, I was hoping to get Spielberg's vision of AI versus Kubrick's. Someone who could take important issues and make them accessible to the public (let's face it, the average filmgoer has absolutely no care in the world for Kubrick). However, if Spielberg felt indebted to Kubrick for AI, then so be it. Let Spielberg make Kubrick's film (afterall, it was Kubrick's, not Spielberg's). Personally, I'm looking forward to an anti-ET. A sci-fi film with teeth. When was the last time we had that? If the film turns out to suck, oh well. What else is new? At least he's got the balls to try something different. Could any filmmaker in the planet have made Private Ryan besides Spielberg? Would they have had the balls? I don't think so. I just hope this new Spielberg can take Tom Cruise and make Minority Report another sci-fi film with teeth. I haven't seen AI, but good or bad, you have to admit that Spielberg is doing things differently. He's in another place now and I like it.
June 21, 2001, 5:26 p.m. CST
by Sgt. Bilko
It's not like he hasn't made a bad movie before, assuming A.I. is even that bad. It's not the end of the world.
June 21, 2001, 5:42 p.m. CST
Well, I'd feel a bit slighted if I was Moriarty. Harry seems to be implying that Moriarty can't clearly view and critque A.I. because of some "spielberg prism" he's looking through. I think I'll give M a little more credit than that. (I like some of Harry's movie points, but Moriarty IS the better reviewer, and I think a bit more open minded... not that Harry isn't in his own way, but sometimes--- he can't stand Matthew Lillard as Shaggy but Vin Diesel as Hellboy is a great idea?!? Huh?) If Spielberg WAS trying new things, and streching and changing as a director and WAS SUCCESSFUL at it, I don't think M would be so disapointed. It's just he doesn't think it works. Not on a speilberg level, a kubrik level, or any new level in between. It's like saying someone thought the Truman show or Man on the Moon was awful only because they had the Ace Ventura/Mask Jim Carrey in their head (all 4 good flicks). Personally it seems like an uphill battle for any director to try to envision a film like another director would. Is that what Spielberg is trying though? The reasoning and what was being reached for gets muddled depending who you talk to or what you read. Frankly, I am leary about Spielberg's writing. Much like George Lucas who hadn't directed for years, figured he could jump back in the saddle and deliver a classic with Episode one (which IMHO ended up fair, but not much more than that), does Steven figure his writing skills haven't possibly atrophied after many years of neglect? I'm sure he's done little bits here and there, much like Lucas might have with directing, still some awful deep water to jump into to test if you still remember how to swim. Guess I'll be in line like Harry though too... we'll see what happens.
June 21, 2001, 6:14 p.m. CST
by BEARison Ford
June 21, 2001, 6:18 p.m. CST
by Indiana Jones
Yeah, so Spielberg has matured. I enjoyed Spielberg's earlier films, but as I've matured, I've enjoyed Spielberg's new work as well. Maybe "Moriarty" should stop being such a baby and mature with the rest of us.
June 21, 2001, 6:19 p.m. CST
How does it feel, oh Talkbackers, to be talked to like children? Well now you know (and knowings half the battle) because Drew got all of our panties in a wad because he didnt like a movie. You all threw a fit and Harry had to talk us down. Its good to know the mentallity of other enlightened Kubrick fans.
June 21, 2001, 6:21 p.m. CST
Okay, this is completely off topic but it will never be ON topic. I loved Burton's Beetlejuice film and Michael Keatons performance. However, we don't have Howard Stearn on the radio here or on tv (and while I did smirk at his movie.. the tapes an avid fan of his played me of his show led me to have to say, wow, what a boring show with an untalented man at the helm). Anyway, as you can guess all these Beetlejuice references alway confuse the hell out of me until finally, someone explained it was some Stearn guy.
June 21, 2001, 6:25 p.m. CST
by Bickus Dickus
This is one film where I'm making an effort to avoid all spoilers. LOTR? I've read the book ten times! I know what happens! I don't care what changes they make as long as it's for the good of the film! I want to know what Gollum looks like! (Anyone have a copy of that Nazgul picture? It scared the shit out of me, that one day when it was available.) But AI has no meaning for me until I see it. I read the Aldiss story, which wasn't much, but who knows if Kubrick's version would have been better. As for Spielberg, I don't think he's that different now -- he makes movies for the audience. Not for the critics, not for the suits, and usually not even for himself. This time might be different. P.S, The Lost World was under- rated. Had it been some 50's b+w flick with the same script and claymation dinosaurs you'd be worshipping it.
June 21, 2001, 6:30 p.m. CST
thanks a lot Harry, I was just about to watch Jaws!
June 21, 2001, 6:36 p.m. CST
by Max Fisher Playr
I think I'm gonna cry, brother. Nicely put.
June 21, 2001, 6:44 p.m. CST
by Sith Lord Jesus
. . .I will not presume that I will be seeing a Steven Spielberg. Nor will I expect a Stanley Kubrick movie. I will expect an amalgam of both. . .and neither. Truth, I don't know *what* I expect, except that A.I. will be the first mature, adult Science Fiction film I will have seen this side of CONTACT. And that, in this world of "STAR TREK: INSURRECTION's" and "PHANTOM MENACE's" makes it very well worth the viewing.
June 21, 2001, 6:53 p.m. CST
by Sith Lord Jesus
. . .but John Lee Hooker is, too! This SUX.
June 21, 2001, 6:54 p.m. CST
by Sith Lord Jesus
"Those were the days." I wondered what brought that to mind. Weird.
June 21, 2001, 7 p.m. CST
Spielberg is sitting there telling his yes men what he wants and there all like "Brilliant idea Steven" but one of them slightly misunderstands what Spielberg is saying and ol' Steve rips lets him have it; made the poor guy feel like an idiot. The reason Spielberg is slipping is because his yes men want so badly to crawl up his ass that they'd agree with him if he thought Blair Witch 3 was a good idea.
June 21, 2001, 7:05 p.m. CST
but first a moment of silence for Mr O'conner.....................................................................................In the heat of the night....one of the best films of all time IMHO. Now as for Steven....I had no idea what to make of this film for a long time....but i had a fear in me.....that fear was based on the fact that i don't think (and please corect me if i'm worng) that Speilberg has ever made a film about the future before. The man is a history buff, even Jaws and CEOTTK had history lesson in them. Closest he got before was ET and that was contemporary......I've not seen A.I in a sneak preview or anything so i have no idea what Mori is suicidal about, I'm not the die hard fan of SS either, yes there's been some grat films, ROTLA was awsome, the second film a piece of turd with corn chunks, but he got it back for the last one.....he's human folks he can make a mistake, let him recover and he'll treat us to another gem like schindler's or ryan. But i'm gonna give him some room to move on this one, it's a genre he's never explored before, and he had some pretty impressive shoes to fill when he took this thing on.....there's my nickle...you can keep the 3 cents change.
June 21, 2001, 7:16 p.m. CST
by Tad Spaceghost
can't be too strong an opinion to believe if he thinks Forrest Gump is a trainwreck of a movie. I don't put any faith in your words fella. sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here...
June 21, 2001, 7:34 p.m. CST
damn_freemasons has a point. While i don't think Spielbergs gone completely to hell, the yes men factor is something to worry about. Look at Hook. What a bloated mess. But I feel somewhere in there is a good movie under some much needed editing. But whose gonna tell the big S to edit stuff out? Steve-o, lose the girl singing, cut down Hoffman's excesses. And Lost World! Oy! Stevey, what with this bullshit tacked on ending? What happened on the boat plotholes? The trailer scene drags, the little girl... aye! C'mon man! What are you thinking? But no, all he hears is probably, yes sir, great idea, we can do that, whatever you want.
June 21, 2001, 7:47 p.m. CST
I'm all for film critism, I mean, christ, I take film studies at University, but I firmly believe that there is a POINT where the artist work stop and just the critic's mindset sets in. Horrors of horros, I believe that stuff can over-analyized to death and that's when the critic stops reviewing and he starts projecting. I think Moriaty's review was self-indulgent and next time he should let the work speak for itself instead of putting this against the basis of every single Kubrick & Spielberg flick that has come before. I hate to say it, comming from a blue blooded film geek like myself, but sometimes a movie IS just a movie. ..
June 21, 2001, 8:01 p.m. CST
You suck harry. You babble on like a idiot who doesn't have anything to say,but who just want's to hear himself talk. A.I. won't be as great as kubrick would've made it,but it will be a good film.
June 21, 2001, 8:11 p.m. CST
Boogie Nights was the best film of the decade. It had the energy of Pulp Fiction with the insight into characther a great book would have. The last scene with ``Sister Christian'' is some of the best use of music ever. P.T.A. is the young best directer working right now.Boogie Nights is followed by 2.Goodfellas 3.Red,white and blue 4.Pulp Fiction 5.JFK 6.A Midnight Clear 7.Fargo 8.Breaking the waves 9.Trainspotting so what all their other movies sucked. 10.A thin red line
June 21, 2001, 8:13 p.m. CST
I haven't seen it yet, but the review seemed to follow most of the flaws that seemed obvious in the early plot leaks. The story has a lot of little wooden boy in it, that's not interesting to anybody who knows the original story (see Hook). The audience is supposed to love a robot, but damn that's been done to death (Bicentenial Man, D.A.R.R.Y.L., Heartbeeps, Star Wars, Lost in Space, the Black Hole... screw getting emotionally attached to tin cans, it doesn't work). There's a big Mad Max/Night of the Living Dead Flesh Fair scene at the end seemingly designed to either "kick ass" for the teenagers in the audience (which could only happen if they hate the robots and want to see them slaughtered) or be frightening (turning the film into Babe 2 for the little tikes). You've got bad future designs (the cars, the neon, Jude Law, it's all so Running Man). There's the theme of the terrible things man is capable of, but it's being done to robots so how can it be more powerful than say what Requiem of a Dream showed the audience? There's all this mystery around the film, but the now seemingly needed twist built up from the hype seems to be no twist at all. So you've got bits of the movie to appeal to different target audiences, but most of the other parts conflict causing each segment of the audience to hate the rest of the movie. How could it work?
June 21, 2001, 8:31 p.m. CST
by Critical Bill
June 21, 2001, 8:34 p.m. CST
by Critical Bill
June 21, 2001, 8:42 p.m. CST
. . . I have to admit that I'm getting more and more psyched to reserve my middle seat in the theater next week everytime I hear another negative review for this film. Why? Because when I saw Eyes Wide Shut back in '99 I was thoroughly dissapointed with it, yet I still visit it on my DVD player more and more with fascination and it is starting to grow on me. This happens with every kubrick film i have seen. I hate it when i watch it initially, yet I find myself loving all of his films after repeated viewings. By all means, I truly am hoping for a great film on the 29th, but I believe that a great film doesn't have to be initially loved at first viewing. I mean CHRIST ALMIGHTY . . think about the initial reviews for Citizen Kane, or 2001. Both films were perplexing to both critics and filmgoers worldwide, yet they are reverred as classic films that still conjure up debate to this very day. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I will be dissapointed with this film. However, it sure will be a change of pace from all the garbage that has been released these past few months.
June 21, 2001, 8:43 p.m. CST
Harry, last night i was sooooo mad about Moriarty watching the movie as a Spielberg film and not as you know what... I was sooooo angry that if i was living in the states I would take the next plane for L.A. and go piss on Drews carpet!:( I want this film to be sooooooo much, sooooooo many things, I want the same feeling i got when I was seing for the first time 2001 and Clockwork Orange on vhs and maybe some Close Encounters too. But this is totaly Kubrick(the reason i wanna become a filmaker some day, he is my most favorite filmakers of all times)with some small dose of Spielberg (my second most favorite filmaker ever)... I now ask Moriarty sorry for screaming at him back in the chats as soon as he put his review up, becoue we must respect all peoples and far most film geeks opinions... Thanks Harry for calming us down, thats why you are our leader... I just hope a.i is all Newsweek, Times and Variety say... this is our last hope to see on the big screen a ;ast real "kubrick", i belong in the genaration that all we got was T2, Jurasic Park(we were also very lucky of seing the original sw trilogy on the big screen), I want to see a "kubrick" on the big screen soooooooo much i am dieing too! Thanks harry for bringing hope back again!:)
June 21, 2001, 9:01 p.m. CST
I'm a little drunk right now, so I'm going to use that as defense #1 against any and all who argue with me about this. I also feel that I should say I haven't read the talkbacks, only the subjects, so I very well may be repeating others when I say this. There is a huge difference between PTA work and Stanley Kubrick work that makes me think the person with the PTA suggestion really hasn't thought this through if he/she wants it to be somewhat true to the original Kubrick vision. Simply put, Stanley Kubrick, especially as he grew as an artist, became less and less empathetic with his characters in the films he made. PTA, no matter what, always seems to empathize with his characters. He makes them human, and therefore somehow lovable, even as they sometimes do horrible things. Stanley Kubrick usually concentrated on making the people in his films objects of scorn and ridicule. Some of you will argue against this with his early films, and I agree, in such fare as Paths of Glory, it seems that Kubrick still believed in the ideal hero who could save foolish mankind from it's follies. However, as he grew and changed as an artist, his views one people seemed to become more and more cynical. I don't know. Like I said, I'm fairly well drunk right now. Maybe what I'm saying doesn't pertain or doesn't even make sense, but I think PTA would be dead wrong for this from a Kubrick perspective because he ALWAYS seems to bring empathy to his characters, and I don't know that that is what Kubrick would have wanted here. This is not to say that Spielberg was the right man for the job; if anything, this is very much like a Kubrick movie itself. Spielberg probably fancied himself a hero of sorts in taking the Kubrick mantle on this project and finishing Stanley's final dream. We all know, though, that the reason Spielberg got the job is not his incredible talents, though, but the clout he has in the Hollywood machine, which Kubrick detested. It's almost fitting, in a way, that the most commercial Hollywood director should get Kubrcik's final project. It isn't right, or just ... it isn't much of anything exactly, just typical life. Very Kubrickian.
June 21, 2001, 9:01 p.m. CST
How could this be a Kubrick film? He worked on it. He did a lot of preproduction, found the original story, and put the concept together, but he didn't write or direct it. It's like saying Spiderman is a James Cameron movie (not that extreme, but not far off).
June 21, 2001, 9:05 p.m. CST
June 21, 2001, 9:21 p.m. CST
by Wee Willie
Some damn fine points there. Especially about 'working class' vs 'rich man's' movies from Spielberg.
June 21, 2001, 9:25 p.m. CST
by Jack D. Ripper
First of all, it is VERY sad that both Carol O'Conner and John Lee Hooker died. Moment of Silence.............................................................There. All right, first Harry, regardless of your intentions in writing this, thanks for keeping this spoiler-free. Like most, I'm trying to go into this film knowing as little as possible, "virgin" if you will(Thank God I get to see it Thursday before ALL the professional reviews roll in)Anyway, I hope Moriarty's opinon(they're ALL opinons)differs from mine. I've never been a huge Spielberg fan(his films are too "good and evil", yay America for me, and I'm American)nor a fan of Kubrick, despite my handle. His films, which I feel are superior to Spielberg's, are too cold and emotionless for me, regardless of their almost indescribable brilliance. GenericID is right in a)his analysis of Kubrick's treatment of characters and b)the relation of PTA to his characters. However, and I may be alone in this, but I felt a lot of sympathy for Joker in "Full Metal Jacket" I am the BIGGEST Paul Thomas Anderson fan, but I can honestly say he is WRONG for this material. Also, I must ask, WHAT do we WANT here folks? Do you want a 100%Kubrick film or a 100%Spielberg film or what? Obviously we won't get either, but more likely some kind of compromise, though hopefully not an artistic one. Also, I'm still unsure of who would've made this had Kubrick held out for another 10, 15 years. I've known about this project forever, at least since 1994, and did Kubrick want to make this himself or intend to hand the reigns to Spielberg had he lived? Does anyone know for sure? Can we ever know for sure? Also, PTA is wrong for this because, if we're working with the New Breed of directors as models of the Old Breed-which is wrong in my opinion, art should be different-then PTA is more like our Scorsese, with Fincher REMINESCENT OF(NOT THE 2ND COMING OF)Kubrick. Oh, and Magnolia is the best film of the decade, not Boogie Nights. Lack of narrative drive? Yeah, right. Wait twenty years and eat your words.
June 21, 2001, 10:07 p.m. CST
everyone will have their own opinion, that is what appels to me most about movies. Discussing the highs and lows, the detail of film. Harry I think that you have even grown quite a bit here lately, your reviews are stronger, and writing a response like the one about really helps to put things into perspective. Hope to see you show soon to get a weekly dose of your opinions.
June 21, 2001, 10:17 p.m. CST
I may have smacked Moriarty a little too hard with my talkback to his post on this subject - either that or he e-Mails everyone at home to call them on thier comments. Regardless, I appreciate Harry's solidarity with this well-crafted rebuttal. Well done, General Knowles. You are truly the leader of this band of gossip hounds. One thing to remember is that with an audience comes power and responsibility, whether the FCC governs you or not. Remember when Siskel and Ebert gave up the suprise revelation in 'The Crying Game'? That was cheap journalism - and very rarely will you see me questioning the tactics of Chicago's favorite sons.
June 21, 2001, 10:31 p.m. CST
One word: Magnolia. Two words: It sucked. Now sucked may be a bit harsh because not all of it is terrible, just most of it. Granted I have only watched it on e time, but it felt like more than enough. I swear to god when all the characters were singing that song I laughed out loud in the theater, and please if anyon e can really explain to me the entire frog rain sequence( please don't waste my time with a bunch of pretentious bullshit, I will never cure cancer but I do have a brain cell or two to rub together) then maybe I could change my mind but the whole thing just seemed bloated and meandering to me. I love PTA other movies though, and I think Hard Eight is sorely underappreciated. I think Darren Aronovsky (hope it is spelled right) is the closest thing to a kubrick right now, though I do love Fincher's work. Anderson seems more like a Robert Altman type. I hate all that "insert name here" is the new "insert revered professional" stuff though. I didn't read Moriarty's review of AI as I don't want the movie ruined for me, but I find it hard to believe that between two of the greatest film minds of all time they couldn't create something at least a little interesting to watch. If nothing else every review I have read has said the kid is amazing in it. Hope there is a coherent thought in here somewhere.
June 21, 2001, 10:58 p.m. CST
Watch Requiem For a Dream and then think about who's the best young director out there. We're in an era of renewal, with great artists blossoming (PTA, Fincher, Singer, etc.) but Darren Aronofsky has proven to me that he is the leading light. I absolutely can't wait to see what he shows us next. On an aside, I have the first Kubrick dvd set, and now the new one is out which is so much cooler. I'd just like to say that this fact sucks and now I'm going to have to drop another $200 bones. SHoooooot. Peace Out
June 22, 2001, 1:02 a.m. CST
by Mac Styran
Why is it that, when a film that is hyped gets bad reviews in the first place, every geek WANTS it to suck BIG TIME? Alright, Pearl Harbor sucks. But it`s no hell of a movie like Batman and Robin or Gone in 60 Seconds. Anyway, I am not about to see Tomb Raider. Heard enough to avoid it for the rest of my life. Or at least the next 2 months. I wasn't a fan of Titanic either. But when it began breaking records, I WANTED it to break more and more and more. Why? Because people are fascinated by sensations. Spielberg film that sucks? Great, let's give it an individual golden shower. Not that I think, A.I. gonna be good. I will not see it in theatres, that's for sure. But I wouldn't have spend a cinema ticket on it, anyway. Either it's a kids film or a strange, sick wanna be "Spielbrick". Btw. bury the name "Drew". Moriarty is Moriarty. Don't crush this legend by any hint of reality. Harry, Moriarty, if you guys read this, keep up the work. It's a pleasure taking part in that what you might call your ... life. (No offence...)
June 22, 2001, 1:15 a.m. CST
Spread the word! http://www.jeaninesalla.com/movietickets/index.asp
June 22, 2001, 2:52 a.m. CST
Almost all big mags have put there review Times, NewsWeek, Variety and a few more, like EW have all put there reviews up, and all those reviews are wayyyyyyyyyyyy positive...D we don't have to worry so much, the "evil" critics gave there Ok, so relax and hear our leader Harry fight Moriarty for us!
June 22, 2001, 5:03 a.m. CST
I had skipped posting a talkback on Moriarty's review mostly because I wasn't going to be a party to dog piling on him or defending him for that matter. I want to see A.I. to a) judge it for myself and b) see if I agree with Mori (it was at the very least a well thought out, if painful to read review.).****** But Harry's comments about the maturation of Steven Spielberg and "working class" films gave me pause. If you wanted to do the whole Marxist deconstructionist claptrap, Comrade Knowles, couldn't you at least save it for a film maker like Michael Moore? I'm willing to try give Spielberg the benefit of the doubt because of the emotional quality of his films (although I abhor his politics, which seems to enjoy being heavy handed about).***********Optimism is the reigning mood of the majority of Spielberg's material. At no time in ROTLA or JAWS do feel that the everyman hero can't overcome what their facing (this doesn't mean there's not any drama, it's the mood of the films I'm talking about). But I'd be willing to argue Spielberg's maturation started more with "Empire of the Sun", which had some fairly wind-out-of-the-sails moments. But it tanked at the box office. I'm curious as to whether this shook the directors confidence in taking those kinds of risks again or at the very least, delayed them. In short, I think Spielberg really wanted to give us something different much earlier in his career, but for whatever reason didn't or couldn't. As to the implications of class, I feel these fall a distant second to emotional content. We should concentrate on that in deconstructing film, not through the filter of the biggest philosophic loser of the 20th Century.
June 22, 2001, 5:48 a.m. CST
I'm sorry for appearing aggressive in yet another talkback, but come on Harry, you really believe Spielberg's films are now about the "beautiful people" of Beverly Hills? Do you mean like a thousand starving Jews working as slaves and knowing they might not survive the day because some Nazi guy might decide to practice his shooting skills? Or are you talking about those WWII G.I.'s that die on the other side of the ocean among the rubble and madness of war? This is Steven Spielberg, a middle class Jewish kid that grew up to fulfil his ambitions and become a great director. He was never a working class hero, his movies are not about working class heroes (so Richard Dreyfus is blue collar in CEOT3K, does it make any difference plotwise?) and in the end, so what? With the sole exception of the cash-in that was "The Lost World" (Which you must not forget he did in order to greenlight "Amistad", much like the combo of JP/Schindler), Spielberg has matured beautifully and is on top of his game. I do have to agree however with your other points. Let's all wait and see how good A.I. really is. Moriarty is just a guy, he could be wrong just as well as he could be right.
June 22, 2001, 5:53 a.m. CST
"The dream of Spielberg making the pinnacle film of his career as McCarthy was inferring literally shook him to the core." McCarthy was IMPLYING; you, the reader, are left to INFER what you will. At least that's how I used to teach it in English class (ever been to one of those, Harry???).
June 22, 2001, 6:56 a.m. CST
..which it is not but so what. Skip down if you're impatient. U2 just started getting interesting once they put on the goggles and plastic pants. Before they were merely iconic. I'll tell you exactly what would have happened to this band had they NOT changed...Simple Minds, Echo & the Bunnymen, Big Country, The Waterboys, The Alarm, The Fixx, The Cult, INXS...Get my meaning? They would have simply not been around. And nothing, NOTHING would have been more pathetic than a has been U2 on Where Are They Now?. I shiver just thinking about it.
June 22, 2001, 7:30 a.m. CST
by Dan McGinty
Andrew Sarris had some interesting things to say about A.I.: http://www.nyobserver.com/pages/frontpage5.asp
June 22, 2001, 7:38 a.m. CST
by George McFly
...for your comments re: Moriarty's review. I guess my issue is this: Moriarty appears to take a LOT of Spielberg's baggage into this film. Granted, I too am a Spielberg fan, and I still remember sitting enthralled in a theater watching CE3K unveil itself before my 7-year-old eyes. So yes, I used to know what to expect when I saw a Spielberg film. Well, all that changed after I saw SCHINDLER'S LIST. I saw Spielberg hit a rare low with THE LOST WORLD, and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN shook me like no other film has ever done. It's great to see Spielberg changing as a filmmaker, but that doesn't destroy or take away the magic that his younger years brought (and still bring) me. Plus, I realize there was heavy collaboration with Kubrick on this one, and I fully expect that to play into what ends up on screen (and I'm not much of a Kubrick fan either, save for FULL METAL JACKET). Moriarty's entitled to his opinions, of course, but I for one hope A.I. is a great film, and I'll be seeing it opening weekend. McFly<--
June 22, 2001, 7:51 a.m. CST
Hey there! I know many people said it before me but, calm down people. It's just a movie and it was just Moriarty's review. Any reviews depend on the personality of the one who wrote it. It depends of his life experiences and what makes him love or hate a movie. Some will say Moriarty is the best reviewer, some will say it's Harry...You can't say that! Personnaly, my opinions about movies mostly tend to be more like Harry's...Why? I dunno...Maybe in some way, we have similar personnality. But then, I respect Moriarty's review even if I don't always agree with him on certain point! He has his reasons for not liking the movie and that's fine with me. I might love it anyway!! So, calm down and go see it and make your own opinion and discuss the movie on here afterward. Stop being scared of not liking the movie...Your life doesn't depend on it! Continue your good work Harry and Moriarty!! Long live to AICN!!
June 22, 2001, 8:40 a.m. CST
Saving Private Ryan is not a bout a government forcing anyone to do anything. It's about working class people. Sorry Harry, I think you missed the boat on that one.
June 22, 2001, 8:47 a.m. CST
I recently watched the special edition of Jaws on DVD, and when watching the documentary on the making of the film I was amazed at how much trouble that production was in, and really how lucky Spielberg was to have finished the movie at all. The studio was hankerin' to take the movie from him because they couldn't get the friggin' shark to swim, and the logistics of filming in water was a nightmare in this pre-CGI time. It really struck me then that great art is truly achieved under duress, and this is proven time-and-time again in every medium. Just look at Picasso's early groundbreaking work as a twenty-something cubist in bohemian Paris. He was poor and had to shack up with Georges Braques--another poor cubist painter. He was able to think "outside of the box" because he lived out of the mainstream. As an older, but still great, artist his work continued to shatter perceptions, but nothing like his revolutionary, paradigm shifting early work. Look at Fyodor Dostoyesvky, one of the greatest literary minds of all time (Crime and Punishment, Notes From the Underground), he virtually invented the modern form of the novel, and he was always in debt, an outcast, his wife was an adultress, and now his work is studied in academia and used as the founding principles of existentialism, a philosophy expounded on by Sartre and Neitsche (God I hope I spelled it right). All great artists suffer through an initial period of non-acceptance, and this is when they produce their most brilliant work. Now Speilberg is rich and powerful, no longer the struggling young film maker, and instead of relying on his wits like he used to, he now has every resource available. He doesn't have to allude to the invasion of Normandy, he can show you the entire goddamn battle with little effort. If he made Jaws today he would show you a CGI Jaws in the first ten minutes, instead of showing a woman being thrashed around by some unseen force underneath the surface, and even though he is no longer the brilliant young film director, he is still a brilliant entertainer, and one of the few directors that could pull of a Kubrickian-inspired enterprise like AI.
June 22, 2001, 8:55 a.m. CST
by Shug Avery
June 22, 2001, 9:48 a.m. CST
by Fatal Discharge
Those days of Close Encounters, E.T. and Raiders are long gone. Harry made some good points about the maturing Spielberg - people change over time and he has felt the need to do "serious films". Because his films made so much money he was under enormous pressure from the film community to leaves those "kids films" behind and do serious adult stuff. That was probably a mistake...no one captured the imagination of kids like his early films did. Personally I preferred Duel and Jaws to the sometimes sickly-sweet E.T. moments but whatever. Jumping into adult drama in one leap with The Color Purple was ambitious and I thought the film worked quite well but had its obvious faults too. He then went into a disappointing period with the failures Empire Of The Sun, Always and Hook. Even though Jurassic Park had some great effects stuff, the story and characters were just an excuse for those effects. Schindler's List was obviously something dear to his heart and he did a great job of it even though I had some quibbles with it. Lost World and Amistad were again not very good but Saving Private Ryan was emotionally powerful. Even though the marketing of A.I. resembles that of Kubrick films (the voiceover guy and spare images) it is trying to ape E.T. also in the "I'm a boy" line which mirrors the "I'm keeping him" line uttered by Henry in E.T. if I remember correctly. If it's a depressing or unjoyful film as Kubrick's films are apt to be, then you're setting up the audience for disappointment by suggesting a Pinocchio and E.T. connection. But then again it is hard to market a depressing film - look at how Blade Runner bombed when it came out. Eyes Wide Shut is a masterpiece in my opinion but again the marketing made it seem much more physically sexual and taboo than it was so again audiences got something that they weren't expecting and were disappointed.
June 22, 2001, 10:21 a.m. CST
This is my first time writing a response. i have been reading for a while but never felt it was necessary to discuss any of the topics. But this situation is different. this time we are talking about the core of film viewing. reading the responses above i draw one conclusion. people expect too much from a movie before they have even seen the film. Kubrick or Speilberg or whatever... are film makers not capable enough to convey more than one emotion or more than one tone or more than one issue? when one goes to a movie one should not expect anything. they should just be crytical and expect to get their money's worth. plan and simple. now i am not saying that i am not an crytical film viewer, i am. what i'm saying is that i try to go into a movie theatre without any preconceived conceptions, good or bad. now i am not perfect and this doesn't always happen but i at least try. SO STOP BLOWING YOUR WAD TOO EARLY! because speilberg can make a bad movie and it has nothing to do with his past. just look at Michael Cimino's career. everything before deer hunter was shit and everything after deer hunter was shit but deer hunter was the shit! the message refers to not only the respondants but also Harry's shit filled posting. -sl- p.s. i know my spelling is shit!
June 22, 2001, 10:24 a.m. CST
i refuse to read any reviews of AI- it just seems pointless to me to argue about the merits of spielberg or kubrick or whoever's body of work in relation to AI until i've actually seen the film. sooooo i'm basing my opinion on the trailers i've seen and the website (which clearly doesn't encompass the film either, i realize). from those two sources i think this is going to be an intelligent and provoking film. it may not appeal to every die hard sci fi movie lover but really, the whole point of filmmaking is that great movie often elict varying responses from different viewers. i for one think AI looks great, especially in terms of visual imagery!
June 22, 2001, 11:05 a.m. CST
Harry, though I'm not the first to say it, I respectfully disagree with your characterization of "Ryan" as the big government directing some soldiers to save the little guy. To me, the point of the movie was that very ordinary people chose to be there, and chose to follow orders which they knew were likely to cause their death, because they believed . Many of them enlisted. Even if they were drafted, they could have begged off as conscientious objectors or some such. And in the final battle scene they decide to hold the bridge, knowing they are outnumbered, lack ammunition, lack equipment, and will probably all die unless reinforcements arrive. That got to me. If I had been born in that time, that might have been a decision that I would have faced. I think gen x and gen y Amercains would be more likely to say "we can't hold this bridge against that tank division. Lets blow it up and get out of here."
June 22, 2001, 11:06 a.m. CST
Jesus Christ! Moriarty didn't like "A.I" - I didn't read all of his review but it's apparent he was disappointed. A lot of people have been and well be disappointed. It can't live up to the hype. But Harry comes along and feels the need to defend Moriarty not digging a movie, what's that about? "A.I" has turned into this crisis in every fanboy's life. I'm looking forward to it, I know it probably won't live up to my expectations but I'll still at least try and enjoy it. I'm happy that most of the movie-going world that sees "A.I" doesn't care who was involved in the making and don't have huge expectations that have to be so far exceded for them to even have a decent time. Every director fucks up, it happens, but I can't imagine Spielberg totally eating it. Even his weaker films were still good. But people feel like "A.I" is owed to them. I know movies are supposed to be for the audiences, but I think this is another one of those movies (after Schindler and Private Ryan) that Spielberg is making for himself. But the man is so torn between artistic integrity and profit margins that the business side of the industry impedes on his artistry. When most viewers don't like a movie they say fuck it and move on, they don't cry into their keyboard because Spielberg let them down. Everyone who doesn't like "A.I" seems offended or insulted. Harry's justification of what was just a bad review was overly dramatic. Spielberg doesn't owe his audience anything - he's given us some of the greatest motion pictures in history. Yet, even people who love Spielberg films are the first ones to lash out against him. I don't understand how it's such a personal jab from Spielberg to us. I can't wait for this to pass because this isn't interesting - it's fanboy whining and elitism. We all want to belong to this special little club that appreciates "film" and "cinema" and enjoy our high art while the masses go and enjoy their "Pearl Harbor"s and we laugh at their ignorance in taste. That's now how it's supposed to be! Everyone is expecting this revelation of a film - of course it won't deliver! Spielberg walks a tight rope - I think he could make more exclusive film geek pictures which incorporated a deeper level of content. But that would alienate a lot of his audience. It's evident in his work that he's trying to do something for everybody. He's not Kubrick. Everyone needs to stop sniveling and get over it. It's just a movie. Two and a half hours of your life, seven bucks out of your pocket. If you don't like it, fucking forget it.
June 22, 2001, 11:33 a.m. CST
Take all this with a grain of salt: Harry, you suck. You just really, really suck. For the past four years, not two days have gone by that I haven't at least perused AICN's content. After today, though, NO FUCKING MORE! Harry, my intro to this site coincided with the release of Dark City, which you loved. And Ebert loved. And, damn, I think it's one of the most brilliant pieces of filmmaking I've ever come across. Reading this site's content re: Dark City turned me into a fan -- of AICN, genre films, and geeks. Then came The Faculty. Amazing goddamn film. Sure it's flawed, but how am I going to get upset over a film I can't stop watching. Only unwatchable part of that film is Harry, not because he's fat, but because he's not nearly as cute as the little cartoon guy on the website. But I digress. Once again, Harry, your 'news' blurbs and your review were right on. Love you for it. But Harry, oh, Harry -- you have become what you despise: A HACK! You are a hack, harry. You no longer are the reviewer or even the presence you were four years ago. You are like some sort of irradiated version of yourself. You are the corn flakes I eat each morning, holding my nose because I can smell and taste the fucking lye. Seriously, man, I'm so disappointed. I don't even think I want to contribute to this shittiness by sending in a talkback, but what the fuck happened to you? FIX YOUR SITE BEFORE IT DIES, MAN. I MISS THE REAL AICN. I know I'm not being specific and just a little bit abusive, but you don't seem to be interested in what true fans of your site want anyway. Having said that, you're doing something no one else can or will. At least you're trying, I guess.
June 22, 2001, 12:05 p.m. CST
by The Little Tramp
June 22, 2001, 12:07 p.m. CST
by The Little Tramp
Andrew Sarris of the New York Observer gave A.I. a wonderful, rave review...http://www.nyobserver.com/index_go.html
June 22, 2001, 12:29 p.m. CST
Is it just me, or has the background detail in the online promotion "mystery/game" established a more interesting premise than the actual movie story? I know the online thing is based on another book... but I'd rather see that one rendered. I recall the original Supertoys short story from what seems a long time ago, and it was poingnant, but not compelling.
June 22, 2001, 1:09 p.m. CST
Well put Harry...I'm going to see AI for myself.Regardless of Moriarty's epic review (which I won't read until I've seen the film) I will get in line...and see it. Spielberg is one of my favorite film directors...regardless if he bombs I prefer to see him bomb than to see Michael Bay,Stephen Sommers of Simon West bomb.So if A.I. is a bomb...I'm going to enjoy every last minute of its explosion.
June 22, 2001, 3:12 p.m. CST
... he is a masterful technician. It has occured to me lately that you can put many creators in one of these two camps. The artist can put true emotion, passion, soul, oomph or whatever you want to call it, into his creation. The technician knows how to create the effect, and surround it with production values to stimulate the senses to get the required reaction, but we can feel the paint-by-numbers, and know it is not valid. You film/book/music lovers know what I'm talking about, don't you? Spielberg is a technician, but Kubrick was an artist. Michael Bay is a technician. James Cameron is an artist (yeah, I'm stretching a little on this one). John Woo is a technician. Kurosawa (who gets my vote for the greatest filmaker of them all - way above Kubrick) was an artist. And I recognize that Spielberg made some great movies, but they were all early in his career, when he was a bit hungry and struggling and had passion to succeed, didn't he? Now, each movie is just an exercise in form and function, with nothing to lose and nothing to gain. Sounds like the final 20 minutes of AI are not an attempt to do something different, but a CALCULATED attempt to do something different. It's a big difference - to me at least. Just a master technician showing off his skill to the rest of us, with a new show, cast and crew to get us to come back again. I'll rent AI when it comes out on DVD.
June 22, 2001, 4:09 p.m. CST
Did anyone see that AFI thing on CBS the other night. The 100 most thrilling movies. When Steve started talking about the kitchen scene in Jurassic Park, I lost all respect for him entirely. He said to the effect that HE decided to put the raptor attack scene in the kitchen because it was rooted in our mind as being a safe place that reminded us of home and that he wished to scare us by removing that safety. Or something like that. He decided? It wasn't because it was in the book? Hmmmm... seems he wants to take credit for stuff he didn't even create. OK that having been said. On to the Kubrick/Spielberg discussion. Speilberg is a cameraman who happens to direct. He gets great shots, and is successful with his actors, because they are good. But as someone has said above, most of his direction involves tricks, not so much vision. Each trick will make the audience feel a certain way, because it is supposed to by definition, not because he feels it. These tricks worked really well at first because they were done with such an energy that we couldn't help but feel excited/scared/etc. Now we've seen those tricks so many times, with such regularity, that we know when they're being pulled. They don't have the energy of a twenty-something filmmaker hoping to do a good job; they seem almost lazy. Not to say that Steve doesn't still have the knack for it, but it is apparent that his heart is else where. Kubrick would get great shots, but was more concerned (I think) with the atmosphere and what he felt it would do. He was a master of creating a mood with no action whatsoever, just the music and the actors. Quite often his camera angles were harsh, if not boring, the action laborious, but it still created tension. His movies were cold because the shots themselves were so detatched and objective, and the acting was paced slowly, with little emotion. Can the two styles merge? Sure, as long as the thought is clear. I think that is what Moriarty didn't like. (I didn't read the full review for fear of spoilers) Steve hasn't really been clear with his "vision" for quite some time. He has had flashes here and there, but not enough to create a whole film that works on the levels that others have before. And what is even sadder to me is that he speaks now about his films as though he could create any mood or feeling in the audience with the snap of his fingers. One of his greatest successes commercially and artisticly only worked because the shark broke and he had to make the movie without it. There's more to the rant, but I don't really have the time to go into it. Plus this post is too damn long as it is.
June 22, 2001, 4:49 p.m. CST
I appreciate Moriarity's review and heartfelt honesty. Harry, see the movie for yourself. This sounds like such an ass kissing, apologetic, excuse ridden trype. We'll all go in with our expectations lowered and our guard up. Maybe we'll all be pleasantly surprised. <fingers crossed>
June 22, 2001, 7:30 p.m. CST
by Sgt. Bilko
WAS the kitchen scene in the book? I don't remember for sure. Even so, wouldn't it still be his call whether or not it was in the movie? I didn't see the special so I can't comment on whether or not he was acting like a pompous jackass or not. I'll assume this was the case from your post. Of course, this is not to disagree with your point, because sometimes it does seem to me like Spielberg has lost touch. LOST WORLD comes to mind. Did Anyone hear about his Crazy-Ass idea for JP3? He wanted to have Grant found living on the Island like Robinson Crusoe. The moment I heard that is about the time *I* sort of thought Steve was losin' it...
June 22, 2001, 8:59 p.m. CST
by Johnny Dagger
Are you...you know, retarded? Soft in the head? One of Jerry's kids? Cause you're acting like it. Jesus Christ, I haven't seen such stupidity in a good, long while. Moriarty is well within his right to criticize Spielberg's filmmaking. EVERYONE has a right to criticize Spielberg's filmmaking, it's just a matter of which individual's criticism is more justified. If an ordinary guy like me says, "Spielberg is no longer capable of making a film about the working class man / woman", that's pretty much just an opinion. If Moriarty, who is supposedly a filmmaker (and I say supposedly only because I'm not familiar with his work), criticizes Spielberg, another filmmaker, that could be considered an informed opinion. Don't you think that Moriarty would have just a little something of value to add to a critique of Spielberg's work, considering he's in the filmmaking biz himself? Regardless, it's his right to dislike the film. It's his right to complain about it, and to criticize Spielberg. Don't act so goddamn elitist. Spielberg is not God, the man is infallible. Moriarty was well within his rights to post that review, and I commend him for doing so. But to all of you who are railing against Moriarty to disliking the movie and criticizing Spielberg.....why do you fucking care? You want to go see the movie, go and do it. Then you can go home and masturbate to pics of Stephen that you've downloaded off the net for all I care.
June 22, 2001, 9:05 p.m. CST
by Sith Lord Jesus
. . .I, like ":-o" (just how do you pronounce that, anyway?) feel that U2's evolution is what saved them, what kept them relevant and interesting. I like a lot of their later stuff more then I like the early. For a similar musical journey, look at The Beatles: in the space of 5 years they evolved from the "4 lovable Mop-tops" into these mutants who sang "Happiness is a Warm Gun" and ate LSD for breakfast. Bitchin'. If they hadn't, they would have wound up like Gerry & the Pacemakers. What, never heard of them? My point exactly. Token attempt to get back on subject: A.I. iz g0nn4 r4wk, d00d.
June 23, 2001, 12:39 a.m. CST
by drew mcweeny
I was banned from the Ranch for what? Are you a troll, or are you just incredibly stupid? I've never suggested anyone do anything to Lucas or his family in any forum, public or private. I was banned from the Ranch for one reason: I published a review of the script for EPISODE I months before the film's release. You can find every word I've ever written about PHANTOM MENACE if you do a search on this site, and none of it jibes with what you wrote. And no, you won't be banned. Why waste the effort? You're wrong. I'd prefer to just respond and show any other readers how wrong you are.
June 23, 2001, 1:01 a.m. CST
Let me put simple, my childhoos is all spielberg and lucas but my teenhood is all kubrick...i know that to many of you this doesn;t make any sence...When ever i watch Spileberg or Lucas i transform my self to another world, the world of magic and fantasy...but when i watch kubrick i find my self in again a fantasy world but sooooo mature and adult like, kubrick's world is the fantasy version of reality, if spielberg and lucas made us want to be jedi's and adventurers kubrick made us see the truth and what a cruel world it is, but in kubricks adult super-realistic-fantasy world there is a light in the end of the tunel(in 2001, clockwork orange and eyes wide shut our anti-heroes/heroes find them selfs in the end , after all the pain they had during the road they have taken, with a sence of hope and that things are going to get better...Now i can imagine the world of spielberg/lucas and kubrick connecting and i dream of a film that ,will not just make an effect on you or make you see the world in another way, but a film that has all that and its moving and noize poetry...something like the akira korosowa masterpieces. I know i know i make no sence but i tryied to make you see what this movie means to me, its the coonection of two of my most favorite filmakers of all time...it is for me my bible of filmaking, when magic and reality collide! Like 2001 this film will be the center of all film-geek/film-lovers/film-gores debates and i totaly love it... All i know is as a serius film-geek i am there first line!
June 23, 2001, 1:28 a.m. CST
.. very insightful and interesting, woke me up for the day!
June 23, 2001, 1:30 a.m. CST
Entertainment Weekly! Entertainment Weekly! Entertainment Weekly! Picture of....breathe....breathe....SPID.....SPIDE.....SPIDER-MAN. Major fanboygasm when I saw it this afternoon. Even more when I realized that the person standing in front of him is very likely the evil thief that killed Uncle Ben. Everyone should pick up this issue and have the pages framed or something. It was a surprise to see it in the table of contents, but Spidey looks DAMN COOL. Capital D, capital C.
June 23, 2001, 1:31 a.m. CST
Entertainment Weekly! Entertainment Weekly! Entertainment Weekly! Picture of....breathe....breathe....SPID.....SPIDE.....SPIDER-MAN. Major fanboygasm when I saw it this afternoon. Even more when I realized that the person standing in front of him is very likely the evil thief that killed Uncle Ben. Everyone should pick up this issue and have the pages framed or something. It was a surprise to see it in the table of contents, but Spidey looks DAMN COOL. Capital D, capital C.
June 23, 2001, 4:58 a.m. CST
Yea they look great...thanks for the tip man, look at peter parker and mary jane over at ew.com don't they look great together?
June 23, 2001, 6:39 a.m. CST
Harry, I take issue with your comment that Schindler's List was about a rich guy helping "the unfortunate." Yes, Schindler was a rich man but to describe that film that way is just, well, way off the mark, in my opinion. Saving Private Ryan was also not about rich people. Sure, he made a few about "the common man" who lived in suburbia (basically we're talking Close Encounters) but you can't really make such a sweeping statement about the man's career - he doesn't now makes films about the rich and beautiful - that's absurd. And as for Moriarty - give me a fucking break. Anyone who would use what teentsy bit of power or influence he has on the web to slam Spielberg (in hopes of, perhaps, wiping away the cum off the AICN windshield the shills left behind) and A.I. before it has a chance to open is obviously making a personal attack. Okay, *okay* we get it, we get it - he hated the movie - fine. But why not wait until it is released to pan it? The urge to jerk off was much stronger. Apparently.
June 23, 2001, 7:47 a.m. CST
Hi there. I'm a first time poster and long time lurker. I can't believe I'm actually typing this, but here goes. I'm a divorced man in his 30's and live in West Texas-USA. About 15 miles from Midland, Tx (yaknow, home of the big Dubya, our President) Although being a Democrat, I actually voted for the other guy. Not a popular choice around here, but anyway...here goes...I'm a computer technician, and have a custody of my daughter. About 6 weeks ago, I decided to open a savings and checking account. I took about 4000 dollars out of my safe(all of my savings), and put it in an envelope to take to the bank. On the way to the bank I was in a car accident, and suffered a concussion. I was knocked out for about 5 minutes, and the bottom line is, someone stole my money. I've pawned my DVD player, my VCR, and my computer (I'm writing this from the public library) I have no other relatives or close friends here or anywhere. I need to borrow 300 dollars for some food and gas money.(I'm down to a case of Ramen noodles and some canned goods) and to keep my electricity on or they are going to turn it off by the end of the month. If any of you guys are in a position to help a fellow movie buff(even a dollar will help) I would be most appreciative, and would pay all of you back within a few months. This isn't a scam, and I know this isn't appropriate, and Harry will probable delete this quickly (and I don't blame him for that) but I don't know what to do. I found 3 fingers of Vodka in the back of a kitchen cabinet and it's given me the courage to do this. Here's my address. Michael Davis 2720 N. Hancock Odessa, Tx 79762 ...I'm an agnostic or I'd say God bless you. What the hell. God bless you. I promise I'll pay all of you back as soon as I can. I still want to see AI, despite Moriarity's well written review.
June 23, 2001, 8:31 a.m. CST
man i know how it feels i also need like about $200 very quick, but i can't find it anywhere...really if i had any maney i would help you out even if you live in onther country, to anyone alse that may read this please help this fellow film-geek to pay his bills and feat his litle child, and maybe buy some tickets for a.i and go with his kid and forget just for a couple of hours his problems!:) May the force be with you my friend and your litle kid...
June 23, 2001, 10 a.m. CST
Shit, Harry, I love you but the sentimentality overdose is fucking ridiculous. "Oh, Drew is taking fifty tons of shit from every pissed off fan boy on the planet and I must rush him to defend him." Look, the tone of his review screams that he knew full well what he was getting into- your making apologies for him is sort of a backwards assed way of supporting a friend. It's not like he's being that guy that gets totally shitfaced and goes around puking on all the 14-year-olds he's trying to bed. He hates the film. It didn't work for him. And it didn't work in such fundamental ways that he could only discuss the true magnitude of its failings by analyzing the storyline in its entirety. And, much to my horror, his criticisms are logical, consistent, and well-articulated. For those of you bitching about spoilers, how would you have reacted if he'd simply said the film doesn't work and then left it at that? For those of you pissed off about Drew's inability to enjoy a film for its entertainment value, does anything about the marketing or what we know of the plot and structure of this film suggest that what it is going for is simple entertainment? If you want simple entertainment, The Fast and the Furious is the ticket, it promises cheap thrills, delivers them aplenty, and will deservedly become the surprise hit of the summer. But with AI we've been promised greatness, we've been promised transcendence and awe and all that the very finest in films inspire in us. Which is precisely why the possibility of this film being a colossal failure is a fear that is inspiring an almost anti-intellectual yearning in many of us. It's not baggage from Spielberg or Kubrick, it's the baggage of what this film by all accounts was apparently striving for, and which even the positive reviews suggest it missed. Hey, I hope he's wrong. I'm hoping desperately that Drew somehow missed the point, that he was looking in the wrong place when actually something elegant and enduring and coherent was playing out in front of him. But it's a hope against hope. (One criticism, Drew- if you're going to drop 100 megatons of fury and pain on us, drop the henchmen schtick just this once.)
June 23, 2001, 10:23 a.m. CST
I have come to suspect that Moriarty is playing with all of us, he is playing with our mind and i now fully realise why...Moriarty and Harry want to get back at the internet-freamworks guys who done the a.i web-game...remember when harry was all pissed off when the dreamworks guys e-mailed him asking him to stop posting stuff and clues about the game and he promised to fight them...well i came to suspect that Moriarty is the key to this war...moriarty and harry want to praise Kubrick sooooo much that they have constracted the biggest internert mind game ever...you see harry and moriarty know that who ever went to the a.i early screenings signed not to put a negative review, only after the official release of the film...so what they do now is this: they put Moriarty puting a fake-hate review and then harry in about 7-9 days will put a way positive review andthen we are going to see moriarty puting a review saying that the was wrong of the film and calling it a masterpiece(like woody alen on 2001)...It is genius! Way go guys for showing those guys that you can outrun them in the mind game...this is the best wayyyyyyyy to praise Kubrick like he deservd it with an ultimate mind game...GENIUS!
June 23, 2001, 11:43 a.m. CST
by Urine Trouble
Fuck man, when did the world come to this, people praising dumb ass fucks over the internet, arguing abour movies. Ta ta Dick Lickers
June 23, 2001, 1:27 p.m. CST
by vanishing point
Spielberg may be many things but working class filmaker has never been one of them. Harry you need an immediate introduction to Ken Loach
June 23, 2001, 3:18 p.m. CST
I find the reviews in the trades for this motion picture very cryptic and odd. No one unanimously declares that A.I. is great, good, mediocre, or bad. I am confused.... It seems to me that the only person to completely dissect the film from its very foundation is Moriarty...and he found A.I. a colossal disappointment. I am an enormous fan of Spielberg and Kubrick...a loyal, diehard fan, mind you, and I remain dubious...still, after all these reviews have been posted and poured like confetti all over the net. Entertainment Weekly gave the movie an A-, yet it is probably the most ineffectual piece of cluttered movie editorialism I have ever read. Cryptic, cryptic, cryptic...Rollingstone's Peter Travers says you should see A.I....but, did he dislike the film? Not sure. It's more than that. It's all a mixed bag. This gets me all the more frustrated, because I want to see the Goddamn movie myself, and form my own Goddamn opinion of it...because, to me, my opinion is the only one that matters. To you, your opinion should be the only one that matters, and you should stick to it, even after confronted by Moriarty's review. An intellegent person sticks by their OWN opinion, not one programmed into their unconscious by the mass media and/or moviebuffs. However, again, why I am so dubious is that the reviews from both the critics and movie goers, such as yourself, are largely unsure, or frustrated, with the movie. I am anticipating the same response. However, because now my expecations are at even par (after reading all the material on the film), I find myself with the closest thing to a clear conscience going into the picture this weekend, not sure if I will hate it or love it. The ambivalence by the majority of the reviews may have helped in viewing the picture differently from what we had initially expected. Still can't wait to be in line, but curiously, I am more reserved than I have ever been before seeing a Kubrick/Spielberg film. Until Friday, we will all know for sure....
June 23, 2001, 5:10 p.m. CST
by Lenny Nero
You know what, Harry? Every time we come close to losing faith in you, you do something like this and show your chops as a true film geek. To all the film-obsessed out there, this is the work of two homegrown geniuses with dreams and goals that many of us could never imagine. It's a true inspiration, and film analysis works perfectly with these two. Yes yes, call me a "kiss-ass" or whatever, but I mean this from the bottom of my heart, just as this article came from the bottom of Harry's heart. I salute you, ol' buddy.
June 23, 2001, 7:02 p.m. CST
by crow t. robot
Since when are the people who just write about movies geniuses? Do you consider James Lipton a "visionary," or Roger Ebert one of the "great thinkers of our time?" Einstein was a genius. Miles Davis was a genius. Picasso was a genius. Harry is a fat guy who writes about movies on a computer. James Lipton is a load. Of course, I could James Lipton-bash for hours...
June 23, 2001, 10:29 p.m. CST
by Bickus Dickus
Spielberg's a genius if anybody is. "Pretty white bread for a rich Jew."-Don Simpson. Most of his movies have this dream-like paranoid vision of government or big-business (what's the diff) agents wreaking havoc and disturbing the natural order of things -- think of the beginning of JP, the home invasion in ET, Jaws, Raiders, etc. My main problem with Private Ryan was the uncritical potrayal of army brass: we must save this woman's child? Still that was an interesting companion piece to Platoon, and one of the best war films ever. AI might not be great, but there's no reason to think it won't be.
June 23, 2001, 11:01 p.m. CST
I'm not gonna go into this movie expecting either Spielberg or Kubrick, but (hopefully) an interesting amalgam of the two. And being a big fan of both, the thought of the mixture of the 2 is very exciting. That being said, I don't understand taking issue with The Color Purple and Schindler's List, then saying Saving Pvt Ryan was so powerful...As William Goldman (writer par excellence) pointed out, Ryan totally fell apart in the third act when the decision was made to not follow their orders to bring back Pvt. Ryan, but stay with him and his new family and fight. It was a tragic flaw storywise when a much more logical line would have had the squadron (platoon, whatever, i dunno) follow through with their orders only to be trapped in the little village where the final scenes take place. It was an odd story-telling choice on Spielberg and the writers part and totally needless and uncalled for, but for the most part it went unnoticed b/c of the overall quality of the flick, particularly the first 20 mins. That said, I greatly look forward to A.I., but it is just another flick in the long run.
June 23, 2001, 11:11 p.m. CST
I thx777b aka Mr.Glass I stand up to all you felllow film-geeks and ask officialy sorry for creating this havoc and chaos...I am the one to blame and not the Professor, If i had never gone maaaaaaaad and loose my sanity in the chat rooms this would have never come to where is now. So give old Moriarty a break and make your oun opinions on the movie after you saw it, I am now not going to speak again about a.i official again! I feel like i have destroyed something beautiful and something great...please go back to your family and back to where you were before starting to write this. I again ask sorry first to all you fellow film-geeks and film-lovers and second i would like to say a big sorry to Moriarty for playing and child-like talking against what he loves doing, having his opinion ret by millions of film-geeks like yous and me! Sorry! I will never return to the talk backs again, this was my first time talk back expierence, even if i am an aicn daily for about2 years, and this will be my last...I am afraid that if i start talk-backing again I will someday loose my self again and bring hate to the board...please forgive me... thx777b now known as Mr.Glass!
June 24, 2001, 10:08 a.m. CST
Spielberg doesn't have anything to do w/ Harry Potter, unless ur talkin about it as the book he likes to masturbate to, but even that is just hearsay from Coppola----just kidding Spielberg and Coppola
June 24, 2001, 10:53 a.m. CST
After reading Moriarity's review, I'm still going to see the film. My reasons are easy: All of the reviews I've read so far--and they all mention disappointment--all agree that the film (most of the time, when Spielberg shows and doesn't tell) will make the viewer THINK. This is the first film that Spielberg has made that will do that. I've been waiting for him to do so for a long time. At Welles' and Kubrick's best (Citizen Kane, Paths of Glory; Dr. Strangelove; 2001; Clockwork Orange) and even at their worst (Touch of Evil; Eyes Wide Shut), these two directors still made the viewers think. Spielberg really never has. As great as he (usually) is, Spielberg's best (Saving Private Ryan; Schindler's List) are perfect at re-enacting and showing the horrors, but they do not offer sub-text and philosophy. Kubrick's and Welles' did that. With Spielberg, the film was what it was, and there was never more to it than that. I respect him for doing so now, even if he ultimately fails and disappoints. At least he TRIES. But the second, and more important reason, I'll go see A.I. is because it's made by a director who gets compared to Kubrick and Welles to begin with! I'll go see it, even if it is ultimately a disappointment, because Speilberg at his worst is like Pedro Martinez at his worst--still better than almost everyone else out there. 75-80% of Speilberg is still better than 100% of almost everyone else. Weak praise, maybe, but let's deal with what's out there. A great doing his Kubrick impression and succeeding some of the time is still very good.
June 24, 2001, 1:01 p.m. CST
I realized one area where Spielberg departed immediately from Kubrick: hiring a composer. Granted, Kubrick snagged Wendy Carlos for CLOCKWORK ORANGE, but from 2001 on (including ORANGE), by and large he used classical music, sometimes "classic," sometimes more contemporary.
June 24, 2001, 8 p.m. CST
Part of the problem many have with Kubrick is that they can't relate to his definition of the human condition. It is based on the false premise that man was able to successfully kill God. The problem is, once this premise is assumed as true, no objective morality exists. That's what leads to Nietzche's theory of the Super man turning into Hitler. The true logical conclusion of this definition of the essence of man is rising above the herd, and gaining power over them. Hitler actually took Nietzche to his logical conclusion. However,to say that "Man faces an awesome task to behave properly and accepts the mantle of responsibility" after he kills God does not logically follow. How does one define behaving properly in a world with no objective morality? How does one "play fair" in world with no objective morality? Such terms are subjective in the Godless world, and are terms only used by the "herd", or the weak. The only logical "moral imperative" is power. Therefore, many are confused as to how the next step from killing God is evolving to the next level of intelligence. How does treating the "monster" we created as "human" instead of killing it logically follow, and more importantly, how does this help our intelligence as humans evolve? How is artificial intelligence even potentially superior to human intelligence when it can only know what we put into it? By the time we are intelligent enough to create artificial intelligence that can think for itself, much less have the ability to feel and love, we will already have evolved to the next level of intelligence, and be far ahead of what we created. The next stage of man can't be found in artificial intelligence, because a.i. wouldn't be man, but a creation of man. So, both Man and SuperMan, and Man and SuperToy are both not logical. I think that's why large portions of our population who either don't want to kill God, or those who are unable to kill God, cannot buy into the world of many of Kubrick's films, and many sci fi films for that matter, where it is assumed God will simply disappear because many want Him to.
June 24, 2001, 8:55 p.m. CST
by Billy Talent
First of all, Stanley Kubrick was hardly a Working Class Joe. He lived in something closely resembling a bubble. He was extremely concerned with his films profitability; Michael Herr describes him as being resentful that Nicholson made more off 'The Shining' than he did. Michael Herr also seriously doubts that Nicholson actually did. I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about this film, and I am expecting one of the best movies ever made. Sarris' review particularly intrigues me, since he's long been very hostile to Kubrick's work. I'm sure that this is a very different type of film, the sort that can't really be comprehended or appreciated on a single viewing. I tend to be of the school that prefers early Spielberg, up to 'E.T.'. Along with Kubrick's films and 'Star Wars' those are the films I remember best from childhood. I was always keenly aware of Kubrick's impact on Spielberg, Lucas et al. 'Eyes Wide Shut' was such a delightful close to a century of film, and I loved the playful way it tipped its hat to Scorsese, Allen and Tarantino as well as Fellini, Welles and Hitchcock, and remained inimatably Kubrick. I'm glad 'Full Metal Jacket' wasn't his epitaph. 'A.I.' is just such a fascinating idea, such an intriguing collaboration. I'm certainly content the two shared a mutual admiration, and I don't feel at all as though Spielberg has hijacked the film from a dead man. Since 'Gandhi' robbed 'E.T.' at the Oscars Spielberg has attempted with limited success to distinguish himself as a 'Serious' historical dramatist. 'A.I.' seems sort of like the mature movie that's eluded him all along, an adult fairy tale. The fact that it's being promoted strictly as a 'Spielberg' film, the emphasis on its titular similarity to 'E.T.' disturbs. Like those encouraged to believe that 'Eyes Wide Shut' was something along the lines of 'Basic Instinct', general audiences may be put off. Children, let alone many adults, might even be traumatized by the movie. If Spielberg did in fact tone aspects of the material down in order to get a PG-13, it could qualify as an irresponsible crassness, like Stallone insisting that 'Judge Dredd' was ideal for kids. Anyways, I need to see this movie, and in five days we'll all be having a much more informed (and much more vicious) discussion.
June 25, 2001, 12:22 a.m. CST
As a hardcore Kubrick fan, I find it hard to fathom how Spielberg could improve upon Kubrick's ideas. More likely, he'll simply dumb down and sentimentalize the entire project. Kubrick was a great film artist, and a mature filmmaker. Spielberg, in his 50's, is still infantile. He is obsessed with little boys, explosions and dinosaurs. He's a charter member of the treehouse of immature dweeb directors (George Lucas, Ron Howard, Robert Zemeckis), guys who direct effects-laden epics aimed at 12 year olds. William Goldman, in a recent article in Variety, slammed Andrew Lloyd Webber as the creator of musicals that have "huge effects and phony emotions." The same charge could be leveled at Spielberg.
July 1, 2001, 3:52 p.m. CST
I saw A.I. yesterday. I haven't read the reviews of other people, execpt that I have heard that some critcs love it and others hated it. I hated it. I was unimpressed. This film is not Spielberg, and I love spielberg. Look at my screenname. I hear that some critics are raving that this is a film for intelligent people. After seeing this film, I realize that the concept is thought provoking, and people of higher intellect will like to ponder the possiblities that this film tries to present. But this film is far from intelligent. It is muddled and illogical. The screenplay has gaping holes and the directing is second rate. It feels as though Spielberg was asleep at the wheel. Its as if he wasn't himself. This might even be so, because this film was a collaboration between Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick. It seems as though Speilberg was trying to channel the deceased Kubrick. He was trying to become Kubrick and left Spielberg at the door. This film is really a Kubrick knock off. Why this film doesn't work -- 1) David, the A.I. mecha (robot)is programmed to feel and show love. Haley Joel Osmert, who gave a stunning performance in "The Sixth Sense" comes off as a robot through the whole movie. He is basically flat and lifeless and any emotion he does show seems forced and contrived (robot like). His teddy bear robot toy shows more emotion than Osmerts' David character. 2) Many of the other robots in the movie seem to have self-awareness. Jade Laws' Gigilo Joe character (as well as Teddy Bear) seem capeable of showing love and compassion, especially in the way he helped Osmert, even when he knew it might be a suicide mission to go to the underwater Manhattan. He seems more real than Osmert, who is supposed to be the first of a kind to show and feel love and have a sense of self. As an audience member, I felt no emotional attachment to robot David, and I didn't really care what happend to him. In fact, I was more concerned with the fates of Jade Laws' and Teddys characters. 3) Davids adoptive parents, Monica and Henry seem flat and lifeless. Their characters are underdeveloped and they don't seem to show any genuine emotion. They seem almost as robot like as David. The question is, did Speilberg do this intentionally? As if to say, are we all robots in some way? Are humans, although biological, according to our definition, artificial in a certain way and not so much different than David? Are we really much different from a robot capeable of thought, feeling and self-awarness? I don't think Spielberg intented this, but if he did, it didn't work for me. 4) The movie just goes haywire. Many of the scenes seem disjointed. Much of Davids quest seems like it doesn't move the story foward. These scenes seem like excuses to show of special effects. Davids plight to find the Blue Fairy is just ridiculous. The movie would have been better with no Pinocchio references while developing its own plot point which leads David on a quest to become human. In my opinion, how Spielberg should have made this movie so it would have been a Spielberg film (or at least his "own" film) -- David should have acted and behaved like a real person rather than a robot. I wasn't convinced that he was real. The other robots in the movie should have acted like robots. I couldn't distinguish David from Gigilo Joe or even Teddy Bear for that matter. The parents characters should have been thoroughly developed. We should have seen them as real, three dimensional people that we care for. We should have seen them question who they are, who we all are as humans and who David really is. Can a machine really love? Are we all human or are we all really machines in some way, capeable of self-awareness and love? There should have been no Pinocchio references and no quest for the Blue Fairy although he should have gone on some sort of quest to find out who he really is. Spielberg should have let Kubrick rest in peace and made his own movie. If any other director made this movie, and if Kubrick was never involed in the development of this film, I believe that all the critics that gave this film 4 stars have gave it only 1 star while calling it a Kubrick rip-off.
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