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Thread: EBERT AND ROEPER'S BEST of 2002

  1. #31
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    Welcome back Cinemabon. I missed reading your posts. Even when(especially when?), as it turns out, we have more disgreements than I thought. As you can tell from my post on page 1, I find AI thought-provoking image-making of the highest quality. We also have one or two philosophical differences: basically I WANT cinema to tell me about "the most unspeakable fear and terror". For me, Cinema should never call itself "entertainment"; that's why we have television. Basically I'm a pessimist snob and you're not.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 01-31-2003 at 10:04 PM.

  2. #32
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    I Agree With Chris Knipp

    I like how Chris describes how Kubrick A.I. and as such it is to Spielberg's credit that such a description is given to the movie. I think that Clockwork Orange had a certain "cute sickness" to it too as Cinemabon describes A.I. It's possible that by being so enamored with Spielberg one might get to focused on the person and one particular style and expectation so that when a movie comes along that like a book adaptation, if the movie doesn't reflect the book then the movie is bad and as with Spielberg, if one of his movies like A.I. isn't like Spielberg then it's a bad movie. And well many people as well as children probably went to see A.I. intending to see a completely different type of movie.

    Personally, I enjoyed the movie completely, and liked how the humans ended up the emotional imbeciles when it came to other life forms and being human-centric to the point of extinction. It is A.I. who really is the saving grace of the movie and a credit to mankind's ability to create and surpass man himself.

  3. #33
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    A.I. & SS

    A.I was a huge risk for Spielberg and he should be commended for doing what he did with the materials Jan Harlan gave him.
    Trying to be "Kubrickian" is a task no director can really take up without knowing the man and his methods. Spielberg was good friends with Stanley, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt even though I thought it was a major mistake.

    In truth, Spielberg couldn't sniff Kubrick's director's chair. He shot that film so fast that I felt there was no way he could come close to a "Kubrick feel". Kubrick's films took so long to make that they had an etheral quality about them. A.I. has glimpses of that, and that's all I really needed. I have an inner smile knowing that people were squirming in their seats during the movie. As soon as I saw those waves and Ben Kingsley's voiceover, I knew it was going to be great.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  4. #34
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    I'm glad some others are beginning to speak up for A.I. I just cannot see this film as a writeoff. There is so much in it that is beautiful and thought provoking. I'd rather have failure on this level than many successes. A.I. is also "Kubrickian" in the grandeur of its failure, for a number of Kubrick's films are grand failures, or have been called that.

  5. #35
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    P.s.

    I also want to say that Oscar Jubis has expressed better what I said more timidly earlier: "I WANT cinema to tell me about "the most unspeakable fear and terror". For me, Cinema should never call itself "entertainment"; that's why we have television." The difference in my position is possibly that I wish to cast my net as widely as possible and I have plenty of room also for "Cinema" that does "Call itself 'entertainment,'" but it need never feel obligated to do so. If it takes you somewhere you've never been to before and makes you think and feel new things, it doesn't need to "call itself 'entertainment.'" Example: Michael Haneke's "La Pianiste." It was certainly not a fun watch, but it was wonderfully acted and it took me somewhere I'd never been before; I was drawn in, and made to think, and it was intelligent. When it was over, I was left impressed by the way the director challenges viewers (as he does in "Code Unknown") to think, make connections that aren't obvious. I walked out feeling as though I'd been given my money's worth and then some. Likewise with "A.I." There was so much to think about. It never occured to think after "A.I." "this is a flop." That didn't describe my viewing experience at all.

  6. #36
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    When a friend and I left the theatre after A.I. (we were last to leave) the manager asked us what we thought. I said it was a masterpiece and I still feel that way. We waited until the final credits rolled to see "For Stanley Kubrick". It was worth it.
    I will always love A.I. It represents all the great things about cinema: story, editing, visuals, acting, music, and attitude. The Flesh Fair with Kid Rock was totally un-Spielberg. (another reason why his huge fan base were baffled) He made a film that didn't cater to his career- I wish he'd do it more often.
    I'm sure Kubrick would have approved.
    Last edited by Johann; 05-17-2007 at 11:06 PM.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  7. #37
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    Bravo! Thank you.

  8. #38
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    Butt Kicked

    While I am not one to conceed defeat, I will admit to intelligence of this group. I am not one either to want to sit and let a film lull me into comfortability (is that a word?). Still, I am disturbed by certain images of violence as "entertainment". Please don't misunderstand. If you take a film like, "Potemkin" which used violence to demonstrate the brutality of the Russian Army, or "All Quiet on the Western Front" which uses violence to demonstrate the futility of war, or "Platoon" which uses violence to demonstrate the horrors of a senseless war in Viet Nam... that kind of violence I am for, because it is a tool of the filmmakers to emphasize a point in the story telling process.

    What disturbs me about A. I., then I promise I will shut up about it, because too many people LOVE this movie, is this:

    Images of children suffering. That's it in a nutshell. Personally for me, I can't stand to see children suffer. I didn't like the way those images were exploited to further a plot device. They had nothing to do with telling the story. I hated Steven for making me watch that part so I could see the rest of the story. Perhaps that is my weakness. I also find disturbing the overwhelming acceptance of the level of violence in "Gladiator", but I also found myself alone in that camp as well. Ok, enough said. I find everyone's comments here a welcome addition to the voice of film comment. Please feel free to cut me down and chop me to pieces but....

    not the kids. please....

  9. #39
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    Violence Against Children

    I don't think that it's possible or even reasonable to avoid the issue and minimize the media spotlight on a very real and huge problem of violence against children. Today, in our real world, hundreds of thousands of children are dying, brutally tortured, made to do slave labor and forced into prostitution all over the world, including the United States (though illegally). A.I. only presented a future, fictional possiblility that did not reflect reality and was not targeted towards children in the audience. It represented the possible degradation of the human race, its subsequent fall from grace and the actual rise of artificial intelligence to a level beyond mankind - beyond the cruelty. As with gladiators of old, of today's extreme sports that young people participate in today, it is only through maintaining a stream of hard-edged images, that partly reflect reality, and A.I. I feel portraying this potential future can a message without condoning it (even if the humanity around it does) can the clear message get out about discrimination and prejudice, the evil that mankind might create and devolve into.

  10. #40
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    I agree. A.I. is very delicate in dealing with the issue of cruelty to children when one compares the story with what actually has gone on and continues to go on with real children. The mother after all believed that her true birth child was in danger from the mecha boy David. But then the issue arises that David, having been made capable of love, is also therefore capable of suffering if his love is not returned; and if there can be cruelty to animals, why can't there be cruelty to robots, particularly when the robots resemble humans in so many respects as David does? The problem does not end there, however, since there is also the question of how a human can come to love a robotic creation that is not organic, no matter how complex, and how doing so can be regarded as healthy or normal? These are issues that are really coming upon us more rapidly than we realize, and A.I. is the ultimate test of the morality of human technology -- of issues that were crudely but powerfully laid out in the Frankenstein story. I was relieved to hear in a discussion on the radio today with an expert on A.I conducted by Dr. Michiyo Kaku, that it may be likely that humans will neither dominate nor be dominated by but simply merge with their A.I. creations. Because if they do not, there is this danger, that we will either create or become slaves, and that our worst impulses will be encouraged to come out with the excuse that "it's only a robot, not a human," or "it's not organic," or some other such justificaiton for inhuman behavior toward our own creations, themselves the fruits of our own hubris.

    As I have said here before, A.I. is a thought provoking film, and the story has endless ramifications. To reject the story out of hand as incoherent or ugly is to miss its delicacy and complexity and the richness of its implications.

  11. #41
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    You're not alone on Gladiator, cinemabon. I felt NOTHING for Russell Crowe in it, and the only reason I set foot in the theatre was to see Oliver Reed's final performance. You wanna see a Gladiator movie? Watch Spartacus.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  12. #42
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    Ebert & Roeper didn't include "The Pianist!"

    I'm quite honestly SHOCKED that Ebert & Roeper didn't put "The Pianist" on their list. I liked "The Pianist" more than most of the films on their lists. I don't understand why Ebert would think "13 Conversations About One Thing" or "Adaptation" are greater films than "The Pianist" or why Roeper would believe "About a Boy," "One Hour Photo" would get a higher rating. Not that I disliked any of those films but for me they just don't stick in with me emotionally.

    In case you all were wondering, "The Pianist" was my pic of the best film of 2002.

    But thank goodness Ebert gave high recognition to "Spirited Away."

  13. #43
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    Ebert & Roeper's picks are a little strange this year. No Chicago? No Pianist? No Frida?

    I'm glad Ebert picked a Herzog film (he's biased toward Werner- don't mind that at all.) I can't wait for that film to arrive here. I felt the Lost in La Mancha was a better film than One Hour Photo-even though it was a documentary.

    Let's see who AMPAS nominates tomorrow....We should do a Film Wurld oscar picks thread-the winner gets bragging rights :)
    Last edited by Johann; 02-10-2003 at 05:35 PM.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  14. #44
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    If Gene Siskel were alive...

    ...I'd think he would definitely include "The Pianist" on his list.

  15. #45
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    Originally posted by Johann
    Ebert & Roeper's picks are a little strange this year. No Chicago? No Pianist? No Frida?
    Ebert is the one of the few mainstream critics who is passionate about cinema. His opinions matter to me. You may feel better knowing he awarded 3 1/2 stars to each film listed above. I appreciate how he resists the common trend to ignore foreign film in favor of 30 year-old slick razzle-dazzle, star vehicles, and other Hollywood fluff.

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