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    review by Luca Brasi                   Full Review List


Stanley Kubrick.

I say that to most people, and they follow it up with the most succinct of replies:


Well, Stan was a man known for making long films that really went nowhere, had little point and had endings that were really hard to understand. Then there are those few gobs who say he was a visionary, a master, a pioneer of filmmaking.

I just see it like this; "Full Metal Jacket" was good, "The Shining" was intriguing, "Dr. Strangelove" was funny and "Spartacus"... well, it's hard not to like Spartacus. But can someone PLEASE tell me the point behind "Eyes Wide Shut"?

All in all, throughout his lifetime, Stan was always a difficult pill to swallow. And, even in death, he's not stopping.

In one of the last few months of filming "Eyes Wide Shut", Stan apparently got very bored and started on a script for "Artificial Intelligence", even calling up a cartoonist to do test sketches and his mate Steve Spielberg to get pointers. Then he kicked the bucket, and Steve said to himself, "I made Saving Private Ryan, ET, Schindler's List and tons of other brill films! How can I go wrong with this"?

Unfortunately, Steve also happens to be the director of "1941", "Always" and "The Lost World". Apparently if this man can't make a film that isn't about aliens, jews or war, what is he doing making a film about a little robot yearning for maternal love?

But I digress. On to the review!

David (Haley Joel Osment. You know, 6th sense lad, in case you had been let forget for a second) is the first robot programmed to love a human like a son to a mother. The chosen mother (Frances O'Connor) is a little unsure of what to make of this, and while David is a damn good lookalike for a real child, he has a lot to learn about living like a real boy. Mammy get's picked for the job because her biological child is being cryonically frozen while doctors work on his illness. But what happens when little boy gets out of the coma? Oh, what then? What fate awaits poor naive David? At this point, who really cares?

Then the film gets really good for about an hour. David is ejected from the family and is forced to run with other fugitive robots from machine-hating rightwingers led by an evil Brendan Gleeson. He travels around in a hot air baloon shaped like the moon.


David teams up with a Gigolo Joe (Jude Law), a pleasurer robot wanted by the cops. Now these are the best bits; Jude Law is absolutely brilliant as Joe and he fleshes out his relatively small role to great effect.

Then we get the last half an hour, probably the strangest half an hour of film in film history.

All in all, in trying to make a Kubrick movie, Steve fell victim to the classic Kubrick stereotype; making a long film that really goes nowhere, has little point and has an ending that's really hard to understand.

Oh, and an animated teddy bear puppet steals every scene it's in. If that was the mission, Mr. Spielberg, mission accomplished. The film might be intelligent, but it all feels a little...

... artificial.

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