#32 | A.I. Artificial Intelligence 2: Orange Is The New Chrome

by | Sep 22, 2017

Listen to our A.I. Artificial Intelligence episode on:

Some things just stay with you as a child. From the death of Artax in The Neverending Story to the ‘dip’ sequence in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, if viewed at an impressionable age certain movie scenes can haunt your nightmares for decades after they first burn their way into your psyche.

For our co-host Harry, the moment in A.I. Artificial Intelligence when an ill-advised spinach binge causes Haley Joel Osment’s face to melt  at the dinner table is right up there in the future therapy fodder stakes…

Given its bleak themes and frequently disturbing imagery, some would argue that he never should have been watching the movie at such a tender age in the first place. But then, who is A.I. Artificial Intelligence aimed at? It’s this question that marks the movie as something of an oddity in director Steven Spielberg’s body of work. It received mixed reviews and middling box office returns on release (by Spielberg standards, anyway) and while it has been favourably reappraised by many modern critics, A.I. has never quite carved out enough of a clear audience to qualify as a cult favourite.

That said, while we were baffled by a lot of A.I‘s tonal shifts, we did find a lot to enjoy in the movie. Spielberg may be accused of leaning too heavily on sentiment, but we defy anyone not to tear up during the disturbing sequence when David is abandoned in the forest by his mother, or during the underwater encounter with the Blue Fairy that probably should have been where the movie ended. Likewise, Spielberg’s flair for memorable imagery is undiminished, even if some of his visions of the future don’t entirely hold up two decades later…

There are also some incredible performances from the central cast. Haley Joel Osment is arguably even better here than he was in The Sixth Sense, managing to make the robot child David both pitiable and deeply unsettling. Jude Law also adds much-needed levity to the movie’s second act, clearly relishing his exuberant star turn as suave sex robot Gigolo Joe.

Clocking in at an exhausting 146 minutes – stretched out by a highly divisive final half hour that feels like the worst Spielberg treacle yet apparently came from the treatment of original director Stanley Kubrick – the chances that anyone will end their A.I. viewing experience hungry for more are fairly slim. However, we did manage to pull together some sequel ideas. If nothing else, they might encourage you to look at the original in a more favourable light…

Harry’s Pitch | Artificial Intelligence 2: iA.I.

John’s Pitch | A.I. Artificial Intelligence: Orange Is The New Chrome

Our A.I. Artificial Intelligence episode is available through iTunes, Stitcher, aCast, Podbean and many other podcasting services. If you’re a fan of the show, please click subscribe in your chosen pod catcher to get a new episode every Friday morning. Reviews also really help us to attract new listeners, so if you have some kind – or even constructively critical – words to share, we’d definitely appreciate it.

Do you have a sequel, prequel or spin-off idea for A.I. Artificial Intelligence that you’d like to shout about? Maybe there’s a standalone film you love that you’d like to hear us cover in a future episode? If so, please get in touch by leaving a comment below or via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. If you make us laugh, we’ll probably give you a shout-out on a future episode…

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