In 1839, the revolt of Mende captives aboard a Spanish owned ship causes a major controversy in the United States when the ship is captured off the coast of Long Island. The courts must decide whether the Mende are slaves or legally free.
In the not-so-far future the polar ice caps have melted and the resulting rise of the ocean waters has drowned all the coastal cities of the world. Withdrawn to the interior of the continents, the human race keeps advancing, reaching the point of creating realistic robots (called mechas) to serve them. One of the mecha-producing companies builds David, an artificial kid which is the first to have real feelings, especially a never-ending love for his "mother", Monica. Monica is the woman who adopted him as a substitute for her real son, who remains in cryo-stasis, stricken by an incurable disease. David is living happily with Monica and her husband, but when their real son returns home after a cure is discovered, his life changes dramatically.Written by
Chris Makrozahopoulos <email@example.com>
While this movie was based on the Brian Aldiss short story "Supertoys Last All Summer Long", that short story has less influence on the movie than the famous poem by William Butler Yeats, "The Stolen Child." The text of the poem appears in the movie in two places, and certain stanzas take on literal meaning as well (for example, "Till the moon has taken flight"). There are also many surprising similarities to the Philip K. Dick short story "Second Variety". See more »
New Jersey is depicted as having tropical forest. This is due to global warming. See more »
[narrating, with ocean waves crashing together]
Those were the years after the ice caps had melted... because of the greenhouse gases, and the oceans had risen drown so many cities... along all the shorelines of the world. Amsterdam, Venice, New York - Forever lost. Millions of people were displaced. Climates became chaotic. Hundreds of millions of people starved in poorer countries. Elsewhere a high degree of prosperity survived... when most governments in the developed world... ...
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The opening logos/credits feature the sound of the ocean in the background, which leads into the opening shot of the film which shows ocean waves, with opening narration explaining about sea level rise because of global warming. See more »
For the U.S. theatrical release, the Warner Bros. logo appeared before the Dreamworks logo at the beginning of the film, and the poster credits said, "Warner Bros. and Dreamworks Pictures present." Since the U.S. version's home video/DVD rights are owned by Dreamworks, the Dreamworks logo at the beginning of the movie appears before the Warner Bros. logo, and the back of the box's cover art says, "Dreamworks Pictures and Warner Bros. present." See more »
There are many things that went wrong with this movie, but even if there weren't, it would still be a failure, because something about the very premise it is based upon does not work: the story of a `robot' that is programmed to feel love. To see what I mean, it is enough to compare this movie with a vastly superior one: Blade Runner. In that movie, replicants are not programmed to feel love, pity, sorrow or rage about injustice, but they develop these feelings spontaneously and mysteriously. As a matter of fact, these human feelings render the replicants not only unusable but dangerous, and hence, they have to be eliminated. Blade Runner is about what makes humans human: if androids can have feelings that are real and not planned, if they have memories, if they can appreciate beauty, if they have a will of their own, aren't they human? Isn't destroying them murder? In A.I., there is never a question of David being human: he is nothing but a machine that smartly apes a real loving boy. The boy robot has a chip or whatever it is that programs him to feel `love,' being such `love,' if correctly interpreted (something the movie does not do), not real love, but an unhealthy fixation. A real boy who developed such an obsession with his own mother would be a Norman Bates in the making. Unlike Blade Runner, where we empathize naturally with the replicants, it is impossible to feel anything but irritation, at best, and horror, at worst, for David, and, indeed, it is easier to pity the bad mother: who wouldn't be unnerved by such unblinking adoration? (and unblinking it is; Spielberg erased Osment's blinking, apparently not realizing that a blinking robot would have been more lifelike and therefore, more useful to its purpose, to replace a real boy. Apparently, it was Osment who suggested the unblinking thing. Now, this is what happens when you listen to child actors instead of your own judgment). That's not the way the movie thinks, however. It assumes that this pre-packaged, superficial feeling is the real deal, which is rather disturbing.
As a matter of fact, just like David, A.I. is a movie that wants to be what it is not. It wants to be profound and philosophical (we know that because from time to time some character, or the voiceover narration, says something sententious). Spielberg's unquestioning admiration for Disney has already landed him in trouble in some of his other movies, but never as devastatingly as in this one. Any hope to take the movie seriously is dashed by cartoonish stuff like the Dr. Know or the Blue Fairy, and by the sickening sentimentality that clogs the whole movie and reaches its peak in the completely stupid ending. I spent the last half-hour or so gaping at the screen, and I mean that literally. I felt (and probably looked) like the audience watching the Hitler musical in the movie `The Producers.' I was so nonplussed at the nerve of someone ending a movie in such a ridiculous fashion, I could not even feel rightfully angry as I should.
All things spoken, I did like Teddy. I wish I had one of these. But then, of course, when the only thing in a movie that keeps you minimally interested is a talking teddy bear, the movie in question is really in deep trouble.
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