Friday, March 18, 2011

The End of the World: In 5 Days in 5 Ways: Part 5

# 5: "A.I."

Or "Artificial Intelligence" by Steven Spielberg, is a different sort of End of the World movie. The polar ice caps have melted and much of the coastal US is underwater. The humans left have created robots called mechas as servants. One company produces a little boy robot called David (perfectly played by Haley Joel Osment) who is adopted by a couple whose own son is in a state of cryogenic sleep until a cure for his illness is discovered. When David is activated he bonds completely with Monica, his adopted mother, who returns his affection. Happy Ending? Not in this movie. The real son, Martin, wakes up when a cure is found and he turns out to be the equivalent of  Eddie Haskell on "Leave it to Beaver", and is not very nice to poor, sweet David. One thing he does is get their Mom to read Pinocchio to them so that David gets the idea that with the help of a blue fairy, he, too could be a real boy. Not long after there is an accident at the swimming pool where David is condemned for trying to drown Martin, and his Dad insists David be returned to the company to be destroyed.  Monica can't go through with this and instead abandons David in the woods with an animatronic teddy bear. From there on, A.I. becomes an incredible journey as David meets other mechas, including Jude Law, and some dastardly humans on his quest to become a real boy and return to Monica. This is a gorgeous, haunting, heartbreaking work which features a look at the end of the world and a possible new one and not to be missed.

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