i saw a.i. last night at the drive-in theatre. i’m going to have to give it a big thumbs down. it’s conflicted, confusing and incoherent on a lot of levels. i’m agreeing with salon on this one:

“As much as his instincts are at war with Kubrick’s, Spielberg is also at war with his own instincts. Something in Spielberg balks when he tries to address the darker aspects of childhood. “A.I.” is as audacious and technologically breathtaking as was Spielberg’s “Empire of the Sun,” and emotionally it’s just as muddled, just as heavy-spirited, just as off-putting. Had Spielberg ended “A.I.” 20 minutes earlier, during an eerie, becalmed undersea sequence, as conflicted as the film is he might have given it the narratively satisfying shape of a tragic fairy tale. But there’s a coda, set an additional 2,000 years in the future, in which Spielberg’s worst heartwarming instincts take over. The coda might have worked if it acknowledged the echoes of the themes in the first part of the film. (Without giving anything away, I can say that the sequence features ample proof of David’s obliviousness to anything but his own emotional needs.) But you can scarcely hear those echoes amidst the weeping Spielberg elicits for his little robot boy lost.”

i’d say about the only thing that saved the movie was the fact that the drive-in allows consumption of adult beverages.

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