I just rented A.I. and was taken by it in much the same way as I am by Bradbury's work. I know it got mixed reviews, but I found it unsettling and captivating and memorable. The saying of the seven words to imprint the boy was magical: cirrus, Socrates, particle, decible, hurricane, dolphin,tulip...followed by Monica, David, Monica.
I know Spielburg picked up where Kubrick left off. I still think Speilburg would be the best director for Bradbury, but I'm hoping Darabont can create a masterpiece movie out of an already masterpiece, the novel Fahrenheit 451.
Is Darabont filming 451? I thought he was filming SOUND OF THUNDER and MARTIAN CHRONICLES (??)
I have read a number of articles about Darabont and 451. Here's one clip:
Byline: Rebecca Ascher-Walsh Additional reporting by Cindy Pearlman
Publication: Entertainment Weekly
Issue: March 8, 2002 No. 643
Publication Date: 03-08-2002
Section: Movies/Reel World
--HEAT MISER We were surprised when Mel Gibson gave up the directing duties of his long-in-development baby, Fahrenheit 451,
and let Frank Darabont (The Majestic) step in, but Gibson says Darabont's passion won him the gig. "I had a long talk with him
and he told me [it] was his favorite book," says Gibson of the project, based on Ray Bradbury's 1953 sci-fi novel. "It became
obvious he should [do it]." Gibson will also pass on starring duties, saying, "You need someone younger to star, more in the
Brad Pitt vein. [But] I might want to take a small role."
From what I've read, Darabont plans on doing a mini-series version of "The Martian Chronicles" and a film version of "Fahrenheit 451".
Renny Harlin was supposed to be directing "A Sound of Thunder" but he wanted to take out the butterfly so he was "let go". Ed Burns stepped in to take the lead role when Pierce Brosnan stepped out...
I'm not sure if there is a new director for "Thunder" yet...
AI and the early RB Theater "Marionettes, Inc." with James Coco - are the same story set to a different form and with a twist in themes. The idea of the companies creating the quintessential android for emotional satisfaction was identical in both cases.
Other examples of robots tricking other players in the story (for any reason): Alien and Matrix - come immediately to mind. Others?
Again, RB seems to have set things in motion.
Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick, which was the inspiration for the movie Bladerunner. That film is an exellent what if of " replicants " in a grittier, dark setting. The book was a stark contrast to the film, and I highly suggest reading the book. Dick created a religion, and a background society that was believable, I will always believe in the kipple principle.
[This message has been edited by uncle (edited 04-23-2002).]
Uncle, yes!! "Bladerunner", not "Matrix" ?! as stated above. Intense story & movie as well.
Also, a classic T.Z. (cited previously in posts for other reasons) "The Lonely".
Another early robot/android thriller starred
Yul Brynner I hope I spelled that right. I think it was originally written by Micheal Crieghten, again horribly spelled. The movie was a theme park peopled by androids that went offline berserk, and started going homicidal. It had several eras, but the movie was called Westworld. The other Movie that was quite bizarre concerning
Androids/Robots is another Philip K. Dick inspired film with Peter Weller called Screamers. If you want to see a good goo, and gore organic creature flick of what could that humanoid be in the corner.
Before we all got spoiled by digital CGI check out John Carpenters The Thing. I think it still holds its own. I loved Robin Williams in Issac Asimovs Bicenntenial Man,
it made me think about humanity, and what it entailed.
Westworld was great - Yul Brynner's relentless robot character was terrifying, and obviously a strong influence on James Cameron with The Terminator. The sequel to Westworld, called Futureworld, was not as good, but interesting anyway.
The Thing is an amazing film (much-criticised on its release for 'demonising' aliens; it came out about the same time as ET).
I have to disagree about Bicentennial Man, though. It took a terrific story/premise and turned it into a sickly mess of sentimental goop (sorry!). The similarly themed A.I., on the other hand, is extraordinary - a (slightly flawed) masterpiece.
A.I.... Most misunderstood movie ever, and supposedly the best Spielberg (as a movie lover... I hate him lol). Blade Runner is better though.
Nobody mentioned "DARK CITY" by Alex Proyas yet?
Very few films have ever evoked that sense of awe and wonder I get from reading a really good science fiction/fantasy story. There is often a lack of emotional connection as well.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a good action packed SF film, and even the darker ones. But there is a certain experience that I think only SF READERS can understand, and that experience seldom translates to the screen.
Remember that moment at the end of Martian Chronicles when the family peers into the water below...that's the moment I'm talking about. It's something very human...but very mind blowing at the same time.
AI came close, but the basic premise was so hard to swallow--what parent would ever try to replace the love of their lost child with a robot?! Again, whatever authentic literary SF sense of wonder existed in the original short story got translated out in the movie adaptation. Movies like Blade Runner and Dark City evoke more darkness and despair than wonder.
Some movies that have worked for me to varying degrees are: Slaughterhouse 5, Brazil, Iron Giant, Close Encounters, Crouching Tiger, Logan's Run, Total Recall, Pi, Akira, 12 Monkeys.
Some embarassing failures: Frequency, Powder, Phenomenon.
I quite liked Frequency... it was some kinda cool in a different sense.
You just forgott: Donnie Darko
Speaking of darkness and despair, the reworked ending to Blade Runner is really great, I thought. Much more fitting, somehow.
Dark City was really underappreciated, I thought.
And A.I. is probably the most underappreciated movie in recent memory. People seemed to think of the movie in black and white- the Happy parts = Spielberg, the Scary Parts = Kubrick. Thusly, they saw an unhappy marriage of directors. I think that that view sells this movie a little short of what it is. Not without some problems, maybe, but a truly wonderful movie...
Per the above posts:
Don't forget that ...Brian Aldiss wrote A.I. (under another story-title) as a short story.
(click on, or type into finder: http://www.post1.com/home/hiyori13/harpers/aldisse.html
Kubrick got a hold of it. Brian, British writer, was a frequent contributor to a science fiction and fantasy magazine, aptly titled, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, published by Mercury Press (an off-shoot of Mercury Theater, of Orson Welles fame.)
I was mesmerized by the movie and thought the ending was magnificent. I go to work the next day, and get some totally opposite reviews that make you doubt your senses. But no go! The movie requires your attention, to take you away . Quick Question. Does the Boy really Die at the end?
Dark City was also amazing. Come on...the spookiest movie you would (wouldn't) want to see when your stuck home alone and its stormy outside...It's effectively creepy and intelligent. It's authentically spooky...
I always thought it funny that ...Dark City and Jim Carey's Truman Show ...have similar endings. Which actually came first?
[This message has been edited by Nard Kordell (edited 04-19-2003).]
I think, perhaps, that he did die at the end. The thing is, though, that this is a movie that asks the question of where the boundries of humanity lie. With that question, too, we're asking what this means to the nature of death. I interpreted that David, at the end, shows us that love is what makes us real, even if this reality is only an illusion, as the brief scene at the end with his mother was. I think, maybe, that once he is "real", by having the replicant of his mother requite his love, he "dies". Physically, he may simply have, say, "wished himself turned off", but the love makes it as real as it can be, within the larger illusion. The larger questions remain rather unanswered, though, as they do in many works of art.
The problem with the ending, perhaps, was that there were so many false places that the movie Could have ended (but didn't), that it seemed like the 2000 year leap at the end of it was a stylistic departure. I had a lot of discussion with a friend about whether such departures unbalance the work, or whether they are sometimes appropriate (a similar case is the very end of Ender's Game, where the story suddenly zips into the far future, and from personal narrative into a kind of mythology.
In Ender's case, I think that Card might have reworked the ending later, being that the original was a short story. (Working Bradbury in, phew) I wonder if any similar revisions took place in Martian Chronicles, in moving from the multiple short stories, to the conscise novel?
I sought out the Brian Aldiss short story, Supertoys Last all Summer Long, after being so moved by A.I. It's a very good, yet very small work, which underwent a HUGE metamorphosis in Krubrick's hands. There are two or three other Supertoys... stories by Aldiss, and they close the story together in a way that is reminiscant of the film, but I think they were written later and I don't know if Krubrick ever saw them.
And yeah, Dark City creeped the hell out of me. All alternate/subjective reality stuff does, but that's also why it's so fascinating. The evil aliens in Dark City reminded me of how, if you know the work, Stephen King described the Low Men in Yellow Coats in Hearts in Atlantis.
With the very best of sleepless nights,
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