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Steven Spielberg

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Postby depinmad » Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:40 am

i loved the ending of a.i.
when he's reunited with his mother for a day and is then left alone with his teddy bear, i agree it's one of the saddest sequences in american cinema, in the best possible way.
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Postby TheBookPolice » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:17 am

depinmad wrote:i loved the ending of a.i.
when he's reunited with his mother for a day and is then left alone with his teddy bear, i agree it's one of the saddest sequences in american cinema, in the best possible way.


If the ending of the movie, regardless of Kubrick's intent, had been the young mecha looking up and the Blue Fairy and sitting at rapt attention as the screen faded to black, it would have left a lot more to the viewer. The last 30 minutes were an unnecessary and over-the-top melodramasplosion.
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Postby christopher_robin » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:20 am

It's heartbreakingly sad if and only if you buy into the conceit, which upon examination falls to pieces.

My reaction was first, feeling heartbroken, next feeling enraged that Spielberg had manipulated me into that state, and third, confused as to why the damn thing kept going and going, and finally dismissive of the whole mess.

The charge that is fairly leveled at this and many Spielberg films is that he will stop at nothing to tug on your heartstrings and make you cry. Everything is a "Sophie's Choice" scenario. This kind maudlin sentimentality is looked down upon for good reason. Are you making a Lifetime movie, or a serious piece of art, Steve?

Compare this to, say, Gallipoli or Of Mice And Men, which are also deeply emotional, harrowing, intense, riveting, tragic and scary but does not involve Mommy rejecting baby. Mommy rejecting baby and baby finally getting one perfect day with Mommy is, from a screenwriting perspective, a cheap shot.

Much like the cheap shot of ET dies, audience cries, ET revives. Neither play by the rules of real drama.
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Postby christopher_robin » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:26 am

I will point to a scene that does play fair, and is pretty devastating, in AI: the pool scene.

For some reason this tore me up, and I can't easily deconstruct it to understand why it tore me up. The words "keep me safe" are totally haunting--I think this passage is effective because it plays more on the terror of being a child that doesn't understand something that is frightening, and cannot get any help form those around him, and less on tired Oedipal themes.
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Postby TAsunder » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:32 am

I like the concept of the scene (at the end of AI), but it is not earned. I did not feel emotionally interested in the character enough to be heartbroken. I felt that roy in blade runner was a warmer character even. His scene was a lot more moving to me than the one in AI.

I really do think it was a problem of the director's making. Spielberg made it too much of an adventure where the character was in the background of what was happening. In the end it was like watching my roomba get stuck in a corner, because he was just a dumb robot who couldn't get over his programming.

That's sort of the problem with spielberg films in general... often he spends way too much time on making these incredible scenes of action at the expense of characters.

In some of his films, he finds a great balance. Jaws was great because of the characters, not because of the shark. The shark was done well for its time, sure, but it only had to look realistic enough to satisfy the story.
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Postby TheBookPolice » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:40 am

TAsunder wrote:In the end it was like watching my roomba get stuck in a corner, because he was just a dumb robot who couldn't get over his programming.


Post of the Day.
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Postby depinmad » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:40 am

well i totally bought into a.i. as that character's journey, and his desperate attempt to be loved in return by his mother. i never lost sight of that thru line as i was watching it, and found the ending to be exquisite and completely earned.
had the movie ended with him at the bottom of the sea, that would have been ok with me too, but that last pull back out of the empty house was perfect. and i think spielberg handled the last 20 minutes far better than kubrick ever could have. if you want to see a movie that dies on the vine in it's last half hour, check out the shining.
i hated haley joel osment in everything i had seen him in previous to a.i., but i thought his performance in a.i. was nothing short of amazing.
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Postby MadMind » Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:01 pm

I'm surprised at some peoples affection for Munich.
Sure Eric Bana was good, but c'mon, the (long) movie was a real snooze.
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Postby fisticuffs » Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:58 pm

Thanks for joining the conversation new member. Maybe I should check out what it is that you're sellin' Maybe not.
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