Monday, July 02, 2001


We saw A.I. at the Rio in Gaithersburg yesterday after lunch at the Hamburger Hamlet. I had never been to the HH before, and they did produce a fine hamburger. After living in University Park for 3 years, Gaithersburg's sort of jarringly outer-suburban. But it's pleasant, I'll give it that.

In general, I enjoyed A.I., though it wasn't spectacularly good. I wonder what Kubrick would have done with it. (Though after having seen Eyes Wide Shut, I no longer believe in his infallibility. Oh, yeah, and Barry Lyndon, too.)

Warning, a spoiler or two in the review ahead.

In a word, I found the whole thing pretty creepy...can you imagine having Haley Joel Osment as your kid? I would have dumped him in the woods even if he were the real one. Cree-py.

The plot ambles on, exploring this 21st (?) century post-global-warming society. It will from time to time take big leaps. Sometimes those leaps require a certain suspension of disbelief. (Don't the future police choppers have LoJack?) But mostly it's just a fairly interesting story with fairly distant characters and pretty cool special effects.

The original story upon which this is based is on-line here. Apparently there are two other sequel stories which also figure into the plotting of the movie, but I haven't seen them. Although Kubrick and Spielberg changed a number of things from the story (I'm disappointed that they got rid of the tapeworm -- that was one of the more believable parts of the story), the movie did have the feel of a science fiction story. Most SF movies feel to me more like some other genre -- typically western or thriller -- transplated into "the future." A.I. fell more into the speculative fiction genre I'm used to reading.

Anyway, 3 stars out of 5.

There is an interesting Washington Post article about Osment today. He sounds like a bright, interesting kid. But creepy.

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