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Review of A.I. (sans spoilers)

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I wanted to share with you my views of Steven Spielberg's A.I.

Succinctly, the movie is long, grim, more Kubrik than Spielberg and will utterly fail in the box office.

Make no mistake, this movie is not for kids. There isn't that much graphic violence, but what there is is psychologically quite strong.

A.I. is a rather dark fairytale, balancing itself gracefully between grisly realism and the childlike innocent wonder of the world. It feels very
different from any Spielberg movie in the past. The visual language, design, sets, all hail from, or are a tribute to, Stanley Kubrik.

The acting is a mixed bag. Some of the acting in the beginning is so transparent,
the emotions and reactions seeming so artificial that I am tempted to believe this was done on purpose. On the other hand, Jude Law and Haley Joel Osment deliver truly stunning performances throughout.

The score is by John Williams, and does a very good job in complementing the story and visuals, carrying the mood flawlessly during the emotional scenes.

The visual effects are stunning in their own right, but serve the story rather than dazzle the audience just because they can.

Unfortunately, the story is the weakest part of this movie. The last half hour does seem almost glued on, and there is a clear point where the movie could have (should have) ended. Some elements in the conclusion aren't done in nearly the same style or taste as the rest, which really is a pity. Overall, the storyline is well paced and intelligent.

This is a movie that doesn't fit in the mold of the rest of Hollywood production. It is too intelligent for it, it is much too serious for it, and it demands way too much from its audience. This is why I urge you to see it while it is still in the theatres, but to approach it with a somber mind. Do not go to see A.I. for lack of better things to do, or to relax after a hard week at work. Do not check in your brain at the door, and prepare to experience a uncommonly full spectrum of emotions.

Oh, what is this review doing on Flayrah? Well, the movie has a rather peculiarly intriquing anthropomorphic character in one of the (almost) lead roles.

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I have to say that Kizeh is right -- a movie like this is probably doomed to fail at the box office. It doesn't follow the standard Hollywood formula for endings, from the sound of it. We all know how Americans have a hard time dealing with endings that don't wrap up nice, neat and happy (Look at all the movies that have different endings for releases in Britain and the like)....

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