6th July 2001

Lloyd Kaufman’s just seen A.I. and think’s it’s a boring piece of trite shit!

posted in `Roids |

I’ve just seen A.I. Artificial Intelligence, which is exactly what you’d have to have to enjoy this monstrous dreck. I don’t doubt for a second that Stanley Kubrick worked on this project for years and years, looked at the incoherent assemblage of pablum he’d cobbled together and decided that it was more suited to Steven Spielberg’s particular talents. I’m not sure that was intended as a compliment.

A.I. is essentially “Pinocchio” dressed up in robot duds, although it’s a good hour-and-a-half longer than any telling of that story I’ve ever seen (though I have seen a couple of other versions where a kid teams up with a male whore). The movie’s first two acts are bad enough, with its inherently faulty premise that people will immediately love anything that loves them back unconditionally, no matter how bizarre or inhuman they may behave. But the movie’s finale is what finally sent me into fits of fury, playing out like the end of 2001 as directed by a retarded six-year-old who takes everything literally. Spielberg has crapped out some awful work lately, from the mawkish art-school pretensions of The Color Purple (which I recently re-watched to see if my opinion had changed over time…and it hadn’t) to the “emotional pornography” (David Mamet’s words, not mine) of Schindler’s List. A.I. can hold its own with the worst of them, at times even rivaling Hook, another children’s story retold by a bunch of middle-aged men desperate to hold on to the glory of their youth.

It’s astonishing how much time and money is poured into these soulless prefab blockbusters. Movies like A.I. and Pay it Forward (another movie with creepy, glazed robo-boy Haley Joel Osment) aren’t so much written or directed as manufactured by a committee intent on creating a product impervious to criticism of any type. Pointing out the flaws in A.I. is like saying you hate or love children or teddy bears. These movies are filled with innocuous lines, images and moments that do nothing in service of the story. They simply exist as calculated filler designed to tickle certain areas of the brain. One of the few times I’ve actually projectile vomited was after seeing Mel Gibson dance in What Women Want. I came awfully close to a repeat performance during A.I., when robo-boy and his anthropomorphic dildo pal consult a cartoon with the voice of Robin Williams.

A.I. is utter garbage, a sci-fi Hallmark card with delusions of grandeur thanks to its pedigree. The only thing I found remarkable about it was that Spielberg needed Kubrick’s help to come up with a movie so infantile. By now, I would have figured him more than capable of slapping something like this together on his own.

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