I remember when this film came out and the months that led up to its release. First off, this was to be Kubrick’s next film following Eyes Wide Shut. He had storyboards and production art for this film already. Kubrick wanted to work on A.I. with Spielberg and they went back and forth with each other on who would direct and who would produce. But sadly, Kubrick passed away before Eyes Wide Shut was released and Kubrick’s wife said in a press conference that Spielberg was going to helm the project himself in tribute to her late husband. Spielberg pretty much had no option.
So in the months leading up to the release of A.I. there was a GIANT online horror/thriller game that tied in with the film. There were numbers to call and names to search for on the movie posters and trailers. I remember playing the online mystery thriller for hours on end in college. It was spectacular and the first of the online viral marketing for films. But this film itself is beautiful and horrific. Spielberg really upped his game to make t look like it was actually made by Kubrick himself . This film is so hart warming and heart breaking all at the same time. The journey of a robot who you very well develop feelings for and the tragedy that is around every corner. Oh the flesh fair. WOW. What an amazing terrifying experience. Brutal. Everything was great about this film. I really liked it. I wish Kubrick was alive to see it. I think he would have been proud. A must own. In a future world of runaway global warming and awe-inspiring scientific advances, humans share every aspect of their lives with sophisticated companion robots called Mechas. But when an advanced prototype robot child named David (Haley Joel Osment) is programmed to show unconditional love, his human family isn’t prepared for the consequences. Suddenly, David is on his own in a strange and dangerous world. Befriended by a streetwise Mecha (Jude Law), David embarks on a spectacular quest to discover the startling secret of his own identity.
The stunning bluray master of this film is great. It’s not the best I have seen sadly but it is very good and far superior than the rest of the releases of this movie. Everything is fairly sharp, with a few bits of grain here and there. There are several soft spots that pop up but overall, this presentation is AWESOME.
The sound on the discs boast an impressive 6.1 surround DTS-HD Master audio. It is fairly front speaker heavy with rarely having the full surround sound take effect, but when it does it is glorious. The dialogue is the best part in the audio. I wish there was more bass though.
All the extras were transfered from the Japanese disc of the film. There was nothing added for this release which is kinda of disappointing. I was hoping for some insight to the online marketing game campaign. There is also no commentaries nor are there any extensive behind the scenes featurettes. It seems like this disc was just bundled together from previous releases with out the real proper treatment this film deserves. Hopefully this means in the future there will be an ultimate edition of the movie.
Creating A.I. (SD, 12 min) – This feature covers, briefly, the production history of the film, from concept to development.
Acting A.I. (SD, 15 min) – From the failed mechanical child to the real mechanical chi…whoops! This feature has Osment discussing the role and experience for nine minutes, and really, he’s pretty good at explaining his part. It’s also interesting that he never blinks in the film, a facet of the performance I didn’t catch. There’s also a spot for Law’s character, covering the more peculiar character, but it barely flirts with the ideas, rather than delving in head first.
Designing A.I. (SD) – This one has quite a few goodies in it, starting with From Drawings to Sets (7 min), which is an interesting piece that takes the film’s locations into account, from origins to actual. Then, Dressing A.I. (5 min) covers costuming, and Lighting A.I. (4 min) handles, you guessed it, lighting the film, which is a little more interesting, but still is pretty damn generic. Special Effects (7 min) is a bit more important, and it’s a fun watch, though it isn’t all too deep, sadly. Lastly, there’s The Robots of A.I. (13 min), which is some serious meat and potatoes, and it provides a proper amount of coverage on the subject, going deep rather than surface skimming like much of the rest of this set of extras.
Special Visual Effects and Animation: ILM (SD) – Yep, another one with a few subsections. An Overview by Dennis Muren (5 min) is a slight explanation to many things in a short window of time, so it’s not all that pivotal. The Robots (3 min) has some cool moments, like the early split face reveal, explained, but it falls too short to be of much worth. The Miniatures (4 min) covers exactly that, without going in to too much depth, while The New York City Sequence: Shot Progression (3 min) discusses the submerged NYC sequence, and what effects were what, which is kinda neat, but it’s really awesome when they show the actual models. They needed to do more of that. Finally, Animating A.I. (8 min) is great, especially since we finally get some real focus on Teddy, as well as the Blue Angel, and the beings.
The Sounds and Music of A.I. (SD) – More multi-part features, though this time it’s not many. Sound Design (6 min) is an interesting tiny grasp on the thoughts behind noises in the film, including thoughts behind some voice acting, and The Music (6 min) covers the non-sound effect sounds in the film, the score. Yes, we get the film is kinda tri-polar, and as such, the music has to be as well.
Steven Spielberg: Our Responsibility to Artificial Intelligence (SD, 2 min) – This is a funny way to sneak DVD credits onto the disc, but it is also nice to get some of the moods and ideas straight from the Spielberg’s mouth. Yes, the Spielberg.
Trailers (HD, 3 min) – Two theatrical trailers for the film.
Storyboards (HD) – Three sets of storyboards from the film, that automatically slideshow.
Chris Baker’s Portfolio (HD) – Seven groups of themed pictures, which sometimes comprise of a single picture. Again, a play all would have been nice.
Production Design Portfolio (HD) – A nine part slideshow, which is actually pretty damn neat, especially considering the things that didn’t quite make it into the film.
ILM Portfolio (HD) – Another slideshow, this time with six categories. The drill is the same, the content is still cool, even if it is presented in an annoying, time wasting fashion with all the segregation.
Portrait Gallery Photographs (4 min) – With pictures by David James. Just your basic slideshow. More on this particular extra below!
Steven Spielberg Behind-the-Scenes Photographs (9 min) – With pictures by David James. Another slideshow gallery, with black and white and color pictures that take up almost a third of the screen. The pictures aren’t on screen for any set length, with some staying for just a few seconds, and others for nearly fifteen.
Former husky model, real-life Comic Book Guy, genre-bending screenwriter, nude filmmaker, hairy podcaster, pro-wrestling idiot-savant, who has a penchant for solving Rubik's Cubes and rolling candy cigarettes on unreleased bootlegs of Frank Zappa records.