Artifical Intelligence, in my opinion, is a classic movie. A visual masterpiece from Steven Spielberg, this movie is set in the near future, in which the manufacturing of robots occurs; but these aren’t any type of robots, but advanced, realistic, life-like robots (named mechas), which have been programmed to be as human as possible. However, although many types were manufactured, they still lacked some of the main elements that truly make a human, human, with one in particular - emotion. However, a further advanced prototype robot was created, called David (Haley Joel Osment) – a robot, created in the image of a young child, which has the ability to have emotions, in particular, the emotion of love towards his mother, Monica (Frances O’Connor), who adopted him as a substitute for her child who is in cryostasis due to having an incurable disease.
Problems begin to arise within the family, as a cure had been created for the child in stasis, meaning that he is able to return back home, and as a result, both David, and his now step-brother, Martin, feel obliged to compete for their mother’s love. Through this, Martin tricks David into doing several things which would make him appear unsafe to have as a ‘son’, and so Monica decides to return David back to the factory at which he was created, to be destroyed. However, a permanent imprint from Monica was put into David as she decided to permanently keep him, and being destroyed would be the only way to remove this imprinting. But David shows such genuine emotion towards her, even calling her mommy, to the extent that she cannot bear to have him destroyed, and so she drives him out to the woods and leaves him there. All the while, David, producing child-like emotions, becomes scared and worried, wondering why he has been abandoned by his mother, before wandering further into the woods.
David remembers a book his mother once read him before bed, the story of Pinocchio, and how the Blue Fairy granted wooden Pinocchio the wish of becoming a real boy. David, wanting nothing but the unconditional love of his mother, goes in search of the Blue Fairy, along the way, meeting countless different types of mechas, who have human appearances. He realises they are all discarded robots, and are being captured for recycling. Luckily, with the help of a few friendly and caring robots, including a robot programmed to please women – Gigolo Joe (Jude Law) manage to help. Joe decides to tag along with David, leading him to Rouge City, where Joe is convinced he will find the Blue Fairy.
The movie continues through a visually stunning, emotion-provoking futuristic journey, before David finds the Blue Fairy, only to be told it isn’t real by Professor Allen Hobby (William Hurt) – the man in charge of the company, Cybertronics, who created young David. David, in an attempt to escape from pursuers, travels underwater in an Amphibicopter, to an underwater city, which is in fact Coney Island. He becomes stuck in some rubble, but in the distance, sees a statue of a Blue Fairy. Two thousand years pass, and David is still there, staring at the fairy, before he is suddenly found and taken out of the water by an Alien species. This species has the ability to bring people back, but they need a DNA sample. David reveals he has a strand of hair from Monica, which he cut off her head (one of the things Martin made him to do try to get him into trouble).
His mother is brought back, and as David wished, he has been granted the wish by the mysterious yet graceful species, to become a real boy. However, the downside is that such resurrected people, as his mother, can only be brought back for a day. David finally lives a life in the day of a human, with his mother Monica, having the best day he has ever witnessed, laying with his mother at the end of the night, as she “falls asleep”…
This movie is perhaps one of the most realistically advanced movies I have ever seen. Throughout the movie, you can tell how much effort has been put into it, not only through the amazing special effects that have been used, providing brilliant visuals, but through the simple, yet brilliant storyline, adapted from the story of Pinocchio, ironically, being brought to life, in this beautifully crafted movie. There isn’t a lot of dialogue in this movie in comparison to most other movies, but such an amount is not required. The majority of this movie is heavily carried forward through its beautiful visuals, emotions, and its storyline, which even provokes emotions in the audience, as do the mysteriously eerie, yet brilliant futuristic representations.
However, the acting in this movie, especially on Osment’s part, is brilliant. How he manages to appear as an actual robot who has emotions, and being able to present these emotions in such a clear and strong manner, is spectacular. Throughout the whole movie, you actually feel as if he is a robot, determined to become a human. Ironic, that he has determination, something a human would have.
The main thing about this movie, though, is its representations of emotions, upon which it focuses on massively. It not only addresses the philosophy of emotions, connecting it to a sentient being, but also delves into these emotions, opening them up, and immersing you into them, through the movie and great acting. Throughout the whole movie, it provokes your emotions, making you feel the suitable emotions that are being focused on in each given scene of the movie. It reflects our emotions as humans, through a being that isn’t actually human, in such a way that it makes you think about emotions, and what is actually is to be human. The idea of a robot feeling emotions digs even deeper into other topics of debate, including those of God and religion, and the value of life, and not just human life.
This is one of the most defining movies I have seen. One which definitely keeps you feeling a range of emotions throughout the movie, and thinking afterwards. A fantastic production, with a great cast, allowing a range of emotions to be provoked throughout – something a great movie should be able to do.
By Manpreet Singh
Memento, is another brilliant movie from a brilliant director, Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight), along with help from his brother, Jonathan Nolan. Memento, focuses on the character, Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce), who has short-term memory loss due to an incident in his life, therefore failing to produce new memories (anterograde amnesia). Through the use of notes written down and tattooed on his body, he goes through his day-to-day life, in search of the person who raped and murdered his wife.
Another well-thought and cleverly directed piece of film from Nolan, this movie occurs in different segments, with the first scene of the movie being the last scene of the story; and from here, it works its way backwards to the beginning of the story, piecing together the events that lead up to its preceding part of the story. And all the while through this, there are numerous scenes shown in black and white, which are in fact in chronological order, showing events soon after Leonard’s injury, as opposed to the rest of the movie. As you keep watching, you soon realise that the coloured scenes and the black & white scenes alternate, and soon enough clash half-way through the movie, bringing both storylines together as one. An incredibly clever way of depicting a story, which I imagine must have been quite difficult to correctly put together.
The first scene of the movie (the last scene of the story) shows Leonard having killed Teddy Gammell (Joe Pantoliano). As the story goes on, it shows Leonard acquainting with a woman, Natalie (Carrie-Anne Moss). All the time, Leonard uses the application of taking photographs of the people whom he meets, leaving little notes with these photos, within the 2-3 minute timeframe that he has before the new memory disappears from his knowledge of existence.
As the movie goes on, the events continue to unfold, and as we get closer and closer to the first scene of the story (the final scene of the movie) we learn what is actually going on. For those of you who have scene the movie, you will know that at the end, it turns out that Leonard had in fact found the killer of his wife, whom he had killed over a year ago; and all the mean while, it was in fact he who killed his wife, with an insulin overdose (which he confused with the story of a made up patient with whom he believed he was involved with, who suffered from a unique and severe case of anterograde amnesia, Sammy Jankis). Leonard had somewhat created another reality to ignore this fact, and due to his amnesia, forgets the true events and everyday, beginning the same cycle, looking for the ‘killer of his wife’. Although, there are numerous suggestions for the ending as to why he leads the life he does every day of his life. It would seem that he realises this at the end, but as a result of his condition, fails to remember it.
Memento is perhaps one of the most complexly made movies I have ever seen; and for that, I love it. It requires you to stay alert throughout, having to think about what is going on. As one scene finishes, you see its preceding scene, which overlaps with the scene you have just watched, allowing you to realise the scenes are linked, concurrently, somewhat resembling the memory of an amnesiac, being confusing and having memories missing, thus making little sense. This is another movie that really makes you think once you’ve watched it, with it questioning reality and what you believe to be real.
It allows us to live the life of someone experiencing anterograde amnesia, but with an amazing twist to their life, which in effect, really makes you think about the weirdly wonderful, yet sometimes unfortunate, way in which the human mind works, whilst at the same time leaving the audience thinking about what is real and what isn’t. The story also leaves a lot of areas open for debate. This movie very much concerns the idea of creating another life, to deny the facts of a true life that was lived to be able to cope with living. And although similar to other movies, this movie manages to do this in a very unique and intriguing manner, which I loved. With great performances and a brilliantly designed storyline, it’s just another classic from Christopher Nolan.
By Manpreet Singh
- 1999: The Matrix (moviehart.wordpress.com)
- 1995: Toy Story (moviehart.wordpress.com)
- 1993: Schindler’s List (moviehart.wordpress.com)
- Michael Caine, You Still Haven’t Given Up On Batman. Never! (moviehart.wordpress.com)
It was a tough choice to select the Monumental Movie of 1999, what with there being so many brilliant movies from this year. However, I made the decision to go with The Wachowski Brothers’ classic, The Matrix. Although to many, it may just be seen as another action-packed gun-fest, this is not the case at all. The Matrix, starring Keanu Reeves as Neo, Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus, and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity, focuses around a computer hacker, Neo, who soon learns that the life he has seemingly been living all along, isn’t what he thought it was, and in fact, was all an artificial life, in which his mind had been trapped within. Morpheus, awakes Neo to this realisation, right after one of many famous scenes from this movie – the choice between the red pill, and the blue pill; whether he wakes up to the bleak reality that is, or to stay in his fake world that isn’t real – The Matrix.
Neo soon comes to witness the reality that is, a dark world, overtaken by The Machines, who are artificially breeding humans as an energy source for their sentient, yet mechanical existence. A small human rebellion that remains hidden on Earth, living in the city of Zion, are all that’s left, in the war between humans and machines. Neo, along with the rest of the team, must go back in to the Matrix, in order to destroy The Agents, a set of incredibly powerful computer programs, with the primary objective of destroying Neo and the remainder of the human race.
This movie is full of classic scenes. In fact, almost every scene of this movie is a classic, but a few of the ones which stand out a little more than the rest include the bank vault shoot-out. This is one of the scenes that revolutionised the action genre – shooting the crap out of the bad guys, whilst in slow-motion, doing crazy flips and cartwheels and shit. Proof that this movie appeals to our adrenanline-filled, gun-toting manic side, as well as our sc-fi nerdy sides. The scene where Neo is waiting to speak to the Oracle (the now deceased, Gloria Foster), where he has a conversation with one of the other ‘potentials’, a young child, is probably the most defining scene of the movie. The young, gifted child makes Neo realise that anything is possible, with the line ‘there is no spoon.’, which indicates that in the Matrix, nothing exists, but his mind, and so he must change only himself.
The movie ends with Neo and Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) fist-fighting to the death. Smith appears to have won, but Neo, having finally learnt the true nature of what the Matrix really is, rises up, and destroys Smith, combining himself with Smith, becoming more powerful than ever imagined. The war isn’t over yet, but now the Humans have a better chance than ever in the war to reclaim the Earth that once was theirs.
Now, although this may sound similar to movies such as The Terminator, what with Humans vs Machines and what not, and that it just seems like another action-packed movie, there really is so much more to it. Although movies such as Fight Club question our sanity, and movies such as American Beauty tackle the dramatic and life-defining aspects of life, The Matrix, questions life, and our existence. Yes, it has a science-fiction basis to it, but it opens our minds up and allows us to think ‘outside the box’ in such a way, which many other movies have not managed to do. The Matrix, revolutionised movies; it was the first of its kind. The classic line, “There is no spoon.” signifies this aspect, focusing on the idea of what is and isn’t real, and that with the brilliant capacity of our minds, anything is possible. It is one of those amazing movies that inspire us, as humans, to strive to be more than just ordinary, and to realise that we have the potential to be whoever we want to be. This movie has the power that so many movies do not hold, to make us evaluate our ideas on what we perceive to be real, and what reality is. This is definitely a complex movie, but one that you need to watch.
By Manpreet Singh
- 1995: Toy Story (moviehart.wordpress.com)
- 1993: Schindler’s List (moviehart.wordpress.com)
- 1988: Rain Man (moviehart.wordpress.com)
- Red Pills… Blue Pills… Wonderland! (theashhole.wordpress.com)