Thursday, September 8, 2011
Supertoys age better than expected.
It isn't very difficult to pick holes in things, the good stuff is very often not the stuff that we cant pick holes in, but rather the stuff that we enjoy so much that we either don't notice the holes or don't care.
Case in point, the original Planet of The Apes fillum was full of holes: a discerning viewer might've watched it and asked:
Where are these astronauts going to?
Why,( if, as suggested, they were supposed to populate it )- were the crew mainly men?
Why didn't they have space suits?
How come you can smoke on board?
As scientists, wouldn't the fact that you could breath,
or that the planet had plant-life rich with earth-bound species,
or that there was humans on it,
or that the sky at night contained all the exact constellations visible on earth,
or the the 'ancient antiques' ( the toy doll, or the false teeth or the pace-maker ) existed,
or that the ape-language was american english,
... shouldn't at least one of these things give an inkling to an educated astronaut... shouldn't they have given him some indication that he was on his own planet?
Yeah they might have, but if they did... it'd kinda ruin the ending of the fillum wouldn't it?
Sometimes you gotta watch a thing and remember it's only a fillum and step around the holes.
Now A.I. has a lot of holes. Big holes. Big huge gaping ones, but I'm a fillum viewah who can handle it. I like to think that I can step around those gapers by and large, but there are a few and they bother me. Yetiboy covers them fairly comprehensibly here and I could nearly leave it at that, and perhaps I should but I wont.
I watched A.I. recently again for the first time since it's cinema release.
I was pretty disappointed with it first time-round. I had read the short-story that inspired it: 'Super-toys last all summer long' and expected something great, but it wasn't great, not even slightly good: there was just way too many of them holes.
The holes in Artificial Intelligence are so big that they don't need picking at. These holes are big: big enough that an entire audience's interest can fall out of them at any time, and, on first viewing, my interest certainly dive-bombed into the abyss at several points.
What persuaded me to revisit A.I. was seeing it on someone's list of top fillums ever. Such praise was incomprehensible to me...Top Fillum? Really?... Ever? and so I thought I'd revisit A.I. with an open mind and see if I could find this merit anywhere.... Having viewed it...well... I must admit that yes, I can see the appeal. Knowing all of the flaws in advance makes it more watchable. It is still a mess, but a repeat viewing improves it, the more you look at it the better it becomes.
It don't think It'll ever be on my top-ten ever but it's definitely an interesting film and can be read as truly dark story about humanity, love, suffering and obsession.
If you can avoid the holes.
Posted by Darren Maher at 8:38 PM