Readers Put Savant On Trial

Frankly, I am shocked to see how quickly and passionately some people have responded to Savant’s dissection of AI. No story we’ve run has generated this much response. In the interest of fair play, we are giving some readers the chance to respond… of course, Savant gets to strike back.

First off, we have “Bardolph”…

No Savant, AI sucked big-time. (Or: The trial of AI.)

Yeah you heard me AI sucked. It was horrendous. One of the most discombobulated, ill planned and poorly executed movies I have ever seen. While your sleepy ass loved AI, I relegated that dog to my movie dungeon. However in the spirit of your trial of people who actually saw this movie for what it was, I will put AI itself on trial for several counts: “Sloppy Thought Process” in the first degree, “What the Fuckr!r” in the first degree, “Horrendous Writing and Editing” in the first degree and “Bad Acting” in the second degree. Let me tell you this ladies and gentlemen of the audience, I have reviewed the evidence and I am a hanging judge! By the way, although you shouldn’t really care, there will be a lot of spoilers. If I banged away randomly at a keyboard while on some extremely powerful painkillers, for me, reading that would be much more entertaining then watching AI.

Charge 1: Sloppy Thought Process, or in simpler terms: big logical flaws in the movie. The Winton’s, the people that become little Haley Joel’s “family” in the beginning of the movie have a sick son. What the fuck is he sick withr That is NEVER stated. He comes back from this mysterious illness suddenly and he is in a wheel chair, has a respirator and also has one of the finger communication devices that people who can only move a finger or two due to paralysis have. The NEXT scene we see him in, he has leg braces, and only leg braces. Pretty damn speedy recovery for some kid who was in the frozen food section (re: in a cryogenically induced coma) for (I recall the movie saying) 5 years.Next up was the spinach scene. Dear lord this bit is stupid. Haley Joel is programmed to be curious about the world and so we have scenes where he is seen watching his parents eat and is fascinated by it. He imitates their gestures whenever they eat from that point forward. Now this alone presents a logical problem. David (Haley Joel) is a robot designed specifically to interact with humans, wouldn’t you think he would be slightly familiar with something so basic among humans as eatingr At one point, Martin begins to brag to David that he can eat and David cannot. David pulls the bowl of spinach over to him with the clear intention to eat. Teddy, David’s fucking fabric-softener bear familiar, goes so far as to warn David that he will break if he eats the spinach, of course David does, and of course he breaks. As it turns out, David has an esophagus that leads right down to a bunch of unspecified, but clearly important parts. Whyrrrrrrrrrrr I mentioned earlier David is curious, if those dipshit scientists that made him and forgot to install the “Human’s Eating” files had any sense in the world they should have expected him to eat. Why in the name of all that is sane did they lead to a bunch of important metal bitsr Alright that’s pretty damning evidence right there and that’s only in the first 30 or so minutes of this 2 and half hour monstrosity.

Just so I show that it fails at every point I will point out some flaws at various points in the movie that are in the same vein. Why would the police ever expect Joe of a murder. He is programmed not to hurt, why specifically would he use a weapon the way the killer clearly didr Clearly he is not a suspect, yet he is pursued like Harrison Ford in “The Fugitive”. Why are there so many old model robots out in the woodsr How many people deposit their old model robots in the woods in the time of AIr Why do people hate robots at the Flesh Fair’s and if their hate is so deep why do they have such a sudden change of heart and spare Haley Joelr Why would a bunch of college age guys not know about a “happening place” like Rouge City, if the advertising to the places key market is that bad, why would it be so loaded with peopler Joe speaks of crossing the Delaware to reach New York, if the East Coast is flooded there wouldn’t be any fucking Delaware river. Why does Professor Hobby have his offices in the flooded remnants of New York, when NOTHING else is there. How does Haley Joel fall from central New York all the way to Coney Island (as a New York native, let me tell you, it is impossible). Why does the blue fairy statue lose NO paint after being submerged for God knows how long. Why can’t these super advanced robots (they aren’t aliens) at the end of the movie clone Haley Joel’s mom for more then (sic) a day. In the good old year 2001 we can make a brand new human being. While we’re on the subject of cloning, how come they couldn’t use genetic material from clone A to clone the mom againr And how does one clone someone from hairr Not hair roots, but hair. Hair has no genetic material. You have to keep in mind that these are just some that come to mind. This movie is loaded to the gills with crap like this.

Charge 2: “What The Fuckr!r”, in the first degree. Basically things that were not logical flaws, but just plain stupid and nonsensical. When David laughs at the dinner table and his parents laugh at that. David’s laugh wasn’t funny, it was creepy as hell. Brilliant acting on Haley Joel’s part, but what the fuck was Spielberg smoking to think that laugh would be endearing to normal humansr What the fuck was the Chris Rock-bot doing in a cannon at the flesh fair. It was jarring to hear his voice at a supposedly disturbing moment. Furthermore he is all black-faced up, looking fake as opposed to almost real, or clearly mechanical, like all the other robots in AI do. What the fuck is Professor Hobby doing modeling this robot after his dead son. I know it’s a plot point, but it’s just stupid and creepy. What the fuck is David doing killing his robo-twinr Robo-twin didn’t have the same oedipal obsession David had, he couldn’t care
less about David’s mother. But David bashes his skull in anyway. David finally realizes that he is the first of a serious of robo-kids, the male version called “David” and the female version called “Darlene”. One of the people I saw this movie with pointed out that David and Darlene were the two kids that were going out in “Married with Children”. What The Fuckrrrr I don’t care if nobody in the creative process realized this and it wasn’t intentional (and I guarantee, someone did and it was), Darlene is not exactly on the same scale as David for being common don’t ya thinkr What about Deborahr What the fuck was with the magic fish that carryr David for a little while when he jumpsr What the fuck was with the super robots that came later, talking in robot-talk with subtitles for a little bit, then abruptly switching over to English a scene or two laterr If all of humanity is wiped out, why would they need to be able to vocalizerrrrrrr And finally what the fuck was with the “Space-Time Continuum” bullshit that one robot spouted out to explain why David’s mom couldn’t be cloned. No I’m sorry Mr. Roboto, but the space time continuum is not in all of us, that was just movie bullshit. As with the first charge, this movie has loads of moments like this. This is just a sampling, but more then enough to indict. And I’m not even getting in to the fact that the Teddy bear is the smartest damn character in the movie.

Charge 3: “Horrendous Writing and Editing” in the first degree. The entire script was just a mess. The dialogue was awful and very few actors could do anything with it. David’s mom (Monica, I think) was just a mess of bat feces. She says “Silly Man” at one point. Besides being completely out of character, NOBODY would ever utter the words “silly man”, ever. A bunch of boys start prodding David. One asks him if “he peesr” David says no, and another boy tries to pull down David’s pants saying, “well let’s see what he doesn’t pee with”. Ewwwwww and once again, no, horrible writing. Joe utters the awful sentence, “We’ll go to Dr. Know, there’s not a thing that he doesn’t”, at least once. Then Joe says another winner, as the cops are hauling him away, he gives the “touching” goodbye line, “I am, I was”, that’s it, just “I am, I was”. Then the end, oh dear lord, the end was just such utterly crap writing. Besides the afore mentioned “space-time continuum” gibberish, the robots incarnation of the Blue Fairy is just embarrassing. And then the editing, well suffice it to say that I have point out all this utter dreck and yet the movie still ran an 2 and a half hours. That’s inexcusable. Glaring faults in the editing and writing were clear through out the movie.

Charge 4: “Bad Acting”, in the second degree. This would be first degree, but Haley Joel and Jude Law were amazing. The biggest offenders were David’s mother and father who were more lifeless then the machine they adopted. At no point did I care about them in any way, until I began wishing a horrible death upon them for their boringness. All the bit parts seemed to be people dragged off the streets to read lines of paper with no clear motivation. Like all those people at the Flesh Fair, they seemed to just be a big mob of extras, not a rowdy audience. Professor Hobby was completely unbelievable as a character. What he, as an actor, was trying to accomplish was completely unclear. I am an aspiring actor myself and I can tell you that a good actor should have a goal to their performances. The vast bulk of the performances lacked that in a big way. I blame the terrible writing partially, but the actors should have made an effort to give themselves a goal other than “Separate myself from this piece of trash movie”.

The movie’s defense consists of this: The look is amazing in this movie. It is immersive and good looking. There are seriously flaws in design (like the future robots) in terms of something being, say, practical, but it looked really nice. The acting of Jude Law throughout and Haley Joel at the beginning was awe inspiring. Law was truly amazing. A fun character despite awful writing. And while he was loose and charming, he was always clearly robotic, that was truly impressive. Haley Joel at the beginning accomplished the same thing. Being a real character, but with clear robotic mannerisms. By the end those disappeared though and we were left with “The Sixth Sense kid in a touching futuristic drama”. And that’s all I can think of.

Now this is not a personal attack on Dark Savant, but I really disagreed with what he said about AI and since seeing that beast I really wanted to crucify it. I saw this movie with 4 other people ranging in age from 16 to 47, we all found it devoid of any of the deep meaning you (Savant) found. And let’s say that 5 people, who burst out laughing in the final scene of that movie because it was so awful are completely wrong, and there is the deep meaning Savant talks about, but never explains. I have just listed specific examples of how this movie failed as a movie, you talked about your feelings and had no substance to back it up. Now that you are fresh and rested, try and argue with all the examples I just gave. Hell, with this in mind watch AI another time and see if I’m right. Look again, I dare you, I double fucking dare you.

Verdict: Guilty as charged on all counts.

Conclusions have passed their careers,


TheAmazin returns, with more damnation…

I read your review of AI and I only have one thing to say to you… You are 110% wrong.

AI is by far the greatest example of a film going wrong that I have ever seen and, believe me, I have seen a lot of films. Also, Spielberg is my favorite director so for me to say what I just said says a lot. (You get all thatr)

I saw AI on Friday night at the Ziegfeld in midtown Manhattan with a very enthusiastic crowd. But when that train wreck of a third act kicked in things changed drastically. I have never, in my 30 years of moviegoing, seen a crowd lash out a movie the way the folks around me did. I’m talking full blown howls of laughter and yes I was one of the loudest. When the film finally came to an end unanimous boos and hisses filled the air. It was scary.

AI is a complete failure from beginning to end, from its rushed production design to its amateurish dialogue. From its jaw-dropping plot holes to its blatant tugging of the heart strings.I don’t believe I’m about to write this but here it comes… Spielberg has lost it.

Not that everyone thinks Savant is a fucking moron. Sam thinks Savant is on the right track…

Look, (first of all, you don’t know me, but I’ve been reading your stuff for a while) I’m not sure why you are so surprised that most people (critics and the public at large) are not blown away by AI. Its all about expectations and having a brain. I would say that the majority of the people that have seen this film had expectations that could never be met, and when they were presented with a story, no, a work of fucking art, that doesn’t lend itself to easy interpretation, they, with their little brains, set themselves up to be disappointed. The American film-going public has been trained over the past several years (maybe for fucking EVER) not to think, not to interpret, to expect a fucking cookie-cutter story that is all played out on the screen, that they don’t have to take home with them. And so when someone they think they know who’s given them such feel good movies like fucking ET, easy to follow no-brainer escapism films like Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones films (while the Indy films are classics, they’re not exactly deep), mixed in with truly great films like Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan (why were they greatr because Spielberg finally started making you question your belief system and forced you to take the movie with you when you left the theater) throws you a huge curveball and makes you, god forbid, use your fucking brain, most people (even if they should be capable of doing so) don’t want to. Hence, its easier for them to write it off as average. Frankly, I’m a bit tired of all these directors being appreciated in their own time by the mass public, true artists typically aren’t, rightr And that gets me to why this film was so great Kubrick, Kubrick, Kubrick. Clearly a freaking God, an artist, and someone that (though us geeks pretend we get) no one will truly understand for a long, long time.

Anyway, my point is that clearly expectations play a huge part in our first impressions of films. The public (and I’m including most critics, I mean sheep, I mean critics) expected greatness, and then didn’t have the cranial capacity to deal with the magnitude of greatness that was given to them, so they wrote it off. I’m not mad at all, that actually greatly improved my experience when I viewed the film. I didn’t expect much and was fucking floored. Why I read reviews and watch trailers and blah, blah, blah, I don’t know. I’m guilty of letting other people’s views form my expectations sometimes and it pisses me off. I’ve let that chubby fuck at AICN do it time and time again (but at least he truly LOVES film, so you have to cut him a little slack), and I’m sure I’ll let you guys’ reviews influence my expectations as well. But I really can’t think of anything better than expecting shit and getting art.

And our long time friend Selat chimes in as well…

Savant is right on target with his assessment of AI. Its a shame that aparently more people don’t have the mental capacity to understand and apprecaite a film such as this.

Savant has asked that his rebuttal to the rebuttals be separated, because he doesn’t want the simpletons to get too confused with a running commentary of a criticism.