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 Withdrawn to the interior of the continents, the human race keeps advancing, reaching the point of creating realistic robots (called mechas) to serve them.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>
Much of the film's early action takes place in Haddonfield, New Jersey. New York City is subsequently shown to be under water. Haddonfield's elevation (81 feet) is lower than that of New York City (87 feet), and it is near both the Atlantic coast and a river leading to the ocean, so Haddonfield should be under water too. 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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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 »
Steven Spielberg's AI fails to live up to its billing, which really bothers me, because artificial intelligence is such a rich and variegated subject, traversing the fields of biophysics, psychology, philosophy, and even religion, that the payoffs for careful consideration of this subject are potentially great, perhaps even inspiring. Spielberg, it seems, didn't even bother to make a trip to the library, preferring instead to invest awkward and incomprehensible phrases like `human beings are the key to the meaning of existence' with eschatological gravitas.
Throughout this film, Spielberg drives home one theme over and over and over: humans are more programmatic, both in their thinking, and their behavior, than `mechas.' We watch David's parents first adopt and then abandon the robot boy because of their prejudice about what is `real' and what is not, a deliberate irony seeing as how David is in many ways more human than their biological son. We see a perfectly ridiculous `Flesh Fair' thrown into the movie to embellish this point: the `artificiality' these humans seek to destroy might just as well be their own.
At worst, the movie has a psychotic message. At the heart of the film, Professor Hobby, who designed David, delivers an impassioned speech, telling him that his singular quest to become a `real' boy at the magical hand of the Blue Fairy is a human flaw which is also humanity's `greatest single' gift: The ability to `chase down dreams. ` Problem is, if a human dreamed of becoming a non-organic being, and could not find surcease from his labors to do so, he would become, if not already, psychotic. Why Mr. `Hobby' couldn't have made the boy to accept himself as he is, which is the essence of human spirituality, seems never to have occurred to him. And so one leaves the movie with a sick feeling in the pit of one's stomach, due largely to the fact that this psychotic idea is presented as an axiom, with religious fervor.
AI succeeds in being artificial, but not in showing intelligence.
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