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A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

88






Studio and Year: Paramount - 2001
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 145 minutes
Genre: Sci-fi/Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 6.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French, Spanish
Starring: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O’Connor, Brendan Gleeson, William Hurt
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Music by: John Williams
Written by: Steve Spielberg based on a short story by Brian Aldiss
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 5, 2011







"David is 11 years old. He weighs 60 pounds. He is 4 feet, 6 inches tall. He has brown hair. His love is real. But he is not."



Film Synopsis:

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.



My Take:

I bought A.I. Artificial Intelligence as a blind buy when it was first released on DVD. Not really knowing much about it I sat down to watch it with my family. I will never forget my son’s reaction to the sequence where Monica takes David and Teddy “for a ride”. He simply got up and left the room. When asked where he was going he said “I don’t want to watch this anymore!” The film raises questions of morality via a disturbing narrative that examines humanity when faced with its counterpoint as seen through the eyes of a lifelike artificial being seeking to find an answer to a very humane question. I haven’t watched it in years and realized after this revisit why. A.I. makes for interesting coffee table discussion regarding the philosophical whys and wherefores regarding the events in the opening act. Beyond that it takes a darkly tragic and sad turn that can be unsettling to watch as the main character of David (Haley Joel Osment) searches for answers to define the purpose that drives him. In the final act the story comes full circle in a rather bizarre but ultimately warm and fuzzy twist that soothes the emotive burning of the irony established by earlier events. I have a little trouble with the unsympathetic nature of the plot but fully appreciate the narrative’s thought provoking conjecture. Haley Joel Osment is marvelous in the lead while Frances O’Connor and Jude Law give strong performances in support. Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski sets the stage as Steven Spielberg conducts from the podium using typically broad strokes. The result is a rewarding and intriguingly dark film that succeeds more for the total sum of its parts than for the cohesiveness of its story.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for some sexual content and violent images.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 86



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692



Video: 90


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

A.I Artificial Intelligence comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 6.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.8 Mbps.

Let me start off by saying that in my opinion this presentation appears to faithfully reflect the film’s original elements and director Steven Spielberg’s vision. Having said that it is important to understand that the way the film was shot does not necessarily reproduce the highly polished, three dimensional, and clearly resolute imagery that typically evokes the wow factor. That shouldn’t be strictly construed to indicate that it doesn’t look good in high definition. Read on.

Like many of Steven Spielberg’s films A.I was shot utilizing a visual style that gives it a distinctive look that uses lighting, film stock, and filtered chromatic schemes. Filtering is applied which gives many brightly lit or sun drenched sequences a hazy glow which can make them appear soft. Colors, especially early in the film are primarily limited to various stages of gray, sepia tones, and blues. Later in the story there is use of more inviting colors such as those seen in bright lights of the city or the “flesh fair”. When not affected by the aforementioned filtering fleshtones have a warm and lifelike complexional quality. Images are firmly resolved but perceivable resolution can be scene dependent due to the nature of the photography. Close ups fare better than wide angle shots and offer respectable detail and appreciable refinement. The video has a notably grainy aesthetic that can interfere with depth but also lends the presentation an enriching filmic texture. Contrast is boldly applied for a purposefully dynamic aesthetic during bright sequences but achieves excellent balance with black levels during low level sequences so that detail/gradations are visible which imparts a rich, delineated quality that makes them pop. I think that A.I makes for an unconventional yet beautifully crafted viewing experience that is faithful reflected in this high definition Blu-ray presentation from Paramount.

The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has excellent dynamic range, detail rich clarity and makes ample use of the entire surround platform to drive the film’s elements. John Williams’ music score, coupled along with well integrated discrete and ambient sound effects, plays an intricate role in this sometimes active surround mix. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment is notable. The low frequency effects channel is active as the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to convey the palpably rich bass and dynamic impact associated with the action based sequences. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel and clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and balance within the front soundstage. I enjoyed this audio presentation but there was little about it that left an impression on me.



Bonus Features:


  • Creating A.I. – 12 minute featurette

  • Acting A.I.: Portraits of David and Gigolo Joe (15 minutes)

  • Designing A.I. – Storyboards/costumes featurette (13 minutes)

  • Lighting A.I – 4 minute featurette

  • A.I. FX – 7 minute featurette

  • The robots of A.I. – 13 minute featurette

  • Special visual effects and animation: ILM – 4 segments with an overview option

  • The sound and music of A.I. – 12 minute featurette

  • Closing: Steven Spielberg – Our responsibility to artificial intelligence (2 minutes)

  • Theatrical trailers (2)

  • A.I. Archives – A collection of storyboards, concept art and gallery photos


Final Thoughts:

A.I. Artificial Intelligence is a rewarding and intriguingly dark film that succeeds more for the total sum of its parts than for the cohesiveness of its story. Certainly not a film for everyone, I find its warm hearted albeit misguided optimism, thought provoking message and well placed cast to be gratifying. It makes its high definition debut from Paramount Home Entertainment in a solid Blu-ray Disc offering that features excellent audio/video quality along with a worthwhile assortment of bonus supplements. A.I. Artificial Intelligence is recommended viewing. If you’re a fan this release is a must have otherwise toss it in your rental queue and take it for a spin.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS50 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Samsung BD-C7900 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Better Cables, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
post #2 of 39
Ralph,

Never saw this one the first time around. But based on your excellent review (seems this one will make a viewer think, and ask oneself "what it all means") >> I will be renting this one for sure.

Keep up the good work, I really appreciate the reviews that You and Lee are providing!
post #3 of 39
This is a brilliant and thought-provoking story. Spielberg echoes Kubrick's filming sensibilities competently, making it an interesting film for that alone. But the story is so great, you can dive deeper and deeper into it, and consider what it suggests.

Many loathe the latter parts of the movie, and I understand the arguments. I disagree with their conclusions, however. Every element of this must-see film is worthy of your time and thought.
post #4 of 39
I agree with IAM4UK. This is one of the few movies that I have seen in the theater that had me thinking about it and what it says for days afterward. Is it my favorite sci-fi movie, no, but this is not meant to be a feel-good movie (what Kubrick concept film is?). Spielberg tried to be true to Kubrick's original concept while also adding some of his sensibilities to it. A very interesting experiment.

There is HUGE debate over the last act and what it means and whether it is truly Spielberg trying to put a happy ending on a somewhat tragic story....but depending on how you interpret it and the new characters introduced in the last act (which I won't go into here to avoid spoilers) and their motives, the ending is not as warm and fuzzy as some think. It leaves some big questions of its own to consider.

(I just noticed that Ralph lists some extra features on this DVD that were not on the original non-blue ray DVD. Some of the interviews with Spielberg may shed light on what he intended the final act to say...or maybe not. :-)

If you like thinking sci-fi, it is definitely worth a viewing.
post #5 of 39
Strong first half and then falls apart in the third act. I hate this movie. That's all I have to say about it.
post #6 of 39
I loved this thought provoking movie. It's jerks at your sense of morality throughout the film and gives us a glimpse of what could be. Great performances from the entire cast including standout sex machine Jude Law.
post #7 of 39
Some good stuff (Teddy, Gigolo Joe, awesome future tech) but most of this is typical Spielberg misfire. Not that I hate the guy, when he's on target he's untouchable (Raiders of the Lost Ark) but AI is just tone deaf and tries to cater to too many tastes at once. Would have loved to have seen what Kubrick's actual take on this would have been.

Note: Spielberg totally redeemed himself with the far superior Minority Report, so he's easily forgiven for this one.

post #8 of 39
Thought the beginning was interesting and then further down the road it got kind of depressing.
post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by gridbug View Post

Some good stuff (Teddy, Gigolo Joe, awesome future tech) but most of this is typical Spielberg misfire. Not that I hate the guy, when he's on target he's untouchable (Raiders of the Lost Ark) but AI is just tone deaf and tries to cater to too many tastes at once. Would have loved to have seen what Kubrick's actual take on this would have been.

Note: Spielberg totally redeemed himself with the far superior Minority Report, so he's easily forgiven for this one.


Wow and I am exactly the opposite. I didnt care for minority report but loved this movie. I had a movie night for this one, and the girls cried and the guys held it in. A truly moving experience. Thinking back on this movie I can only remember a handful that elicited as much emotion or provoked as much thought as this movie.

On a side note, PEOPLE HAVENT SEEN THIS?!?!?
post #10 of 39
On a side note, PEOPLE HAVENT SEEN THIS?!?!? [/quote]

It was an "Ishtar" level bomb in the box office, panned by critics and moviegoers. I'm surprised reliable Ralph gave it such a good review. Yechh! Two big thumbs down!
post #11 of 39
This movie was extremely well done and interesting, but to this very day (and I saw it in the theater), I find it very disturbing and sad. I definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen it, but it forces you to really ponder the meaning of life so be prepared. But the acting is fantastic and the story will certainly hold your attention from start to finish. But every time I think about this film, I get a little uneasy feeling in my gut. Just one of those things....
post #12 of 39
I will have to check this one out. I saw Minority Report on Blu-ray which is a Spielberg film and I thought it looked excellent on Blu-ray. I am sure this one will be just as good.
post #13 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SD Vidiot View Post

It was an "Ishtar" level bomb in the box office, panned by critics and moviegoers. I'm surprised reliable Ralph gave it such a good review. Yechh! Two big thumbs down

It was well liked by the critics and had a decent box office performance (235 million). Your false memories don't become fact just because you type them out emphatically.
post #14 of 39
I bought this BD yesterday at Walmart for $15.00 on a whim and I wasn't planning on opening it until I read reviews. It came with a nice slipcover BTW for those who care.

Thanks Ralph as this one appears to be a keeper. After I get done with the Tron movies, I'll be viewing this one!
post #15 of 39
Isn't the Studio and Year supposed to be Paramount - 2001? I vaguely remember watching this one and thinking it was pretty decent. Mainly I remember Haley Joel Osment's convincing and outstanding performance.

Dan
post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertc88 View Post

I bought this BD yesterday at Walmart for $15.00 on a whim and I wasn't planning on opening it until I read reviews. It came with a nice slipcover BTW for those who care.

Thanks Ralph as this one appears to be a keeper. After I get done with the Tron movies, I'll be viewing this one!

Agree. The $15 Walmart price had me from the beginning. Now I'll open and watch.
post #17 of 39
Just picked up the Blu-ray version of AI last night at Fry's for $10, hard to pass up a deal like that. I have watched the DVD of this several times, and enjoy it more on each viewing.

The world Spielberg created in AI is fascinating, starting with its deliberate homage to the classic story of Pinnochio. AI raises interesting questions about the role of technology in society by creating robot characters we really care about--which is exactly the point.

I agree with brianbat420, I liked this much more than Minority Report, which I find I enjoy less on repeated viewing. although it did have some very good performances.
post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdferguson View Post

Just picked up the Blu-ray version of AI last night at Fry's for $10, hard to pass up a deal like that.

Damn that's cheap! Thanks.
post #19 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stereomandan View Post

Isn't the Studio and Year supposed to be Paramount - 2001? I vaguely remember watching this one and thinking it was pretty decent. Mainly I remember Haley Joel Osment's convincing and outstanding performance.

Dan

Greetings,

Typo corrected Dan. Thanks..

Regards,
post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamE55 View Post

Thought the beginning was interesting and then further down the road it got kind of depressing.

Right. But then again, I love dark sci-fi.
post #21 of 39
Finally get my copy tommorrow Im looking forward in seeing this.
post #22 of 39
The first time I saw this was in the theater when it was initially released. I really didn't know what to think of it at the time. Upon subsequent viewings I came to like it more and more. It's now one of my favorites. For me it holds up well to repeated viewings; I get something different out of it each time.

When I found out it was being released on BD, I preordered it immediately!
post #23 of 39
This movie nearly killed me. I was one who did not view the ending as a happy one and quite frankly thought it was one of the meanest endings to a movie I had seen. That said; great message and great movie, even though my chest hurts a little every time I think of it.
post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toothaiker View Post

This movie nearly killed me. I was one who did not view the ending as a happy one and quite frankly thought it was one of the meanest endings to a movie I had seen. That said; great message and great movie, even though my chest hurts a little every time I think of it.

I'm one who didn't interpret the ending as so dark or cruel. I would be interested in hearing how you and others came away with a different view.

This is one thing I liked about this movie; very thought provoking with varying interpretations.
post #25 of 39
I guess i am too easy to please. I liked this film, but it was kind of a tear jerker. Reminds me of Bicentennial Man staring Robin Williams. Well, sort of.
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCCaniac View Post

There is HUGE debate over the last act and what it means and whether it is truly Spielberg trying to put a happy ending on a somewhat tragic story....but depending on how you interpret it and the new characters introduced in the last act (which I won't go into here to avoid spoilers) and their motives, the ending is not as warm and fuzzy as some think. It leaves some big questions of its own to consider.

From Wikipedia: "People pretend to think they know Stanley Kubrick, and think they know me, when most of them don't know either of us," Spielberg told film critic Joe Leydon in 2002. "And what's really funny about that is, all the parts of A.I. that people assume were Stanley's were mine. And all the parts of A.I. that people accuse me of sweetening and softening and sentimentalizing were all Stanley's. The teddy bear was Stanley's. The whole last 20 minutes of the movie was completely Stanley's. The whole first 35, 40 minutes of the film – all the stuff in the house – was word for word, from Stanley's screenplay. This was Stanley's vision."

I love this movie. Think about it as a Fable to be read to robot children.
post #27 of 39
I think the ending is bittersweet, not sunshines and roses..
post #28 of 39
what i remember most about this movie is thinking that about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way through, it had an 'out' for a really interesting, poignant ending, but instead decided to plow ahead and muddy the waters, making it difficult to enjoy.

up until that point (and most of you who have seen it will probably know what i mean), it was a GREAT movie, and had it ended right there, i think it would have gone down as one of the better sci-fi movies of its time. but, because it continued to ramble on, it lost momentum and became a shadow of its potential.

if i see it somewhere for really cheap, i might give it a shot out of nostalgia, but that's about all i can say for it.
post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by chimpuat View Post

what i remember most about this movie is thinking that about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way through, it had an 'out' for a really interesting, poignant ending, but instead decided to plow ahead and muddy the waters, making it difficult to enjoy.

up until that point (and most of you who have seen it will probably know what i mean), it was a GREAT movie, and had it ended right there, i think it would have gone down as one of the better sci-fi movies of its time. but, because it continued to ramble on, it lost momentum and became a shadow of its potential.

if i see it somewhere for really cheap, i might give it a shot out of nostalgia, but that's about all i can say for it.

I think you may be surprised what people will remember, but then forget something else important in the film.
post #30 of 39
Hi Ralph,

I'm confused about about the audio on this Blu-Ray. On your initial description you posted that the HD Audio of the movie was

Quote:


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 6.1 Master Audio

But then, as you start to really describe the technical aspects of the disc, you put the HD Audio as

Quote:


lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.8 Mbps.

That said, which one is it? 6.1 or 5.1?

Also, if it indeed is 6.1, and seeing that I have a 5.1 setup, how important is the extra surround speaker in this presentation? Was it that noticeable/necessary? I should say that I have an extra speaker that I could hook up to my receiver if necessary. Please advise. And as always, thank you for your reviews.
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