REVIEW: SLEEPSTALKER

CAST

Michael Harris (Santa Fe)
Jay Underwood (Uncle Buck)
Kathryn Morris (Cold Case)
Michael D. Roberts (American Dreamz)
Marc McClure (Superman)
Caryn Richman (Hollywood Safari)
William Lucking (Sons of Anarchy)

Seventeen years after slaughtering all but one member of a family, “The Sandman” (Michael Harris) is pending execution. Before his execution the jailers allow a minister (Michael D. Roberts) to visit him. The minister is a voodoo priest and an ally of the prisoner which the jailers did not realize. A hex is placed onto The Sandman so when his execution is over his soul can travel to a new body made of sand. The Sandman then plots to kill a young man named Griffin (Jay Underwood), who was the last survivor of the family he attempted to slaughter. The film features Ken Foree in a cameo role as a police detective.51RJ76XAJALThe acting and direction is fairly average but doesn’t lower itself to being bad or too cheesy. Fairly good, watch it if it comes on TV but don’t go out of your way to see it.

Advertisements

REVIEW: THE PROPHECY II

CAST

Christopher Walken (Pulp Fiction)
Russell Wong (Romeo Must Die)
Jennifer Beals (Lie To Me)
Brittany Murphy (Sin City)
Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight)
Steve Hytner (Roswell)
Bruce Abbott (The Net: The Series)
J.G. Hertzler (Star Trek: DS9)
Tom Towles (The Devil’s Rehects)
Danny Strong (Buffy)
Kathryn Morris (Cold Case)

bfb1c-theprophecyiibrittanymurphyLucifer (Guri Weinberg) ejects Gabriel from Hell, claiming the War of Heaven isn’t his to fight and Hell isn’t big enough for Gabriel and he. Gabriel’s new mission is to prevent the birth of a child, a nephilim, the offspring of an angel and a human. The coming of this child, said to precede reconciliation between the warring factions in heaven, has been prophesied by Thomas Daggett, now a monk. The child’s conception takes place when Valerie, a nurse, is seduced by an attractive stranger (the angel Danyael) whom she hit with her car. She finds a few days later that she is pregnant.prof-2Gabriel attempts to find the whereabouts of the child from Daggett, but kills him when he refuses to help. When Danyael kills members of Gabriel’s army of angels, Gabriel instead employs the assistance of a teenage girl (Izzy) who has just committed suicide. Gabriel keeps her alive to help him in his search for Valerie (despite his powers as an angel, he is completely naive about technology, and is unable to drive a car or work a computer and has her use her computer skills to find her and drive him around). Gabriel’s war against Danyael and the other angels climaxes in a battle in Eden, now an industrial wasteland. Danyael and Izzy are killed, but Valerie defeats Gabriel by seizing him and jumping from a building, confident that God will protect her as He told her He would (she reveals that Gabriel is unable to hear His voice as he simply does not listen); she is indeed unharmed, but Gabriel is impaled on a spike. As punishment, Gabriel is turned into a human by Michael. Valerie raises the child by herself, accepting the risk that the angels may come for her. The film ends with Gabriel as a derelict; a face in the sky and ominous clouds show that the war in heaven is not over.The-Prophecy-II-BealsI actually enjoyed this sequel. Walken may well be the only actor capable of truly portraying Gabriel, and he is absolutely at his best in The Prophecy II. There’s even more dark humor this time around in terms of his relationships with humans and their technology, and I found this ending even better than that of the first movie.

REVIEW: MINDHUNTERS

CAST

Kathryn Morris (Cold Case)
LL Cool J (Deep Blue Sea)
Jonny Lee Miller (Hackers)
Patricia Velásquez (The Mummy)
Clifton Collins Jr.(Westworld)
Eion Bailey (Stalker)
Will Kemp (Reign)
Val KIlmer (Batman Forever)
Christian Slater (Mr. Robot)

The titular Mindhunters are a group of young FBI students who are undergoing training as profilers. Their instructor, experienced profiler Jake Harris (Val Kilmer), employs a highly realistic training approach by assigning the group variants of real investigations, including elaborate sets, props, and FBI actors to play out each scenario.The students include Bobby (Eion Bailey), a young man with a talent for fixing things; Vince (Clifton Collins Jr.), a wheelchair-using ex-cop who goes nowhere without his gun; Nicole (Patricia Velásquez), a smoker who is attempting to quit; Sara (Kathryn Morris), a talented but insecure profiler who is terrified of drowning; Rafe (Will Kemp), a very intelligent, caffeine-powered British investigator, Lucas (Jonny Lee Miller), a supposedly fearless man whose parents were killed when he was a child; and J.D. (Christian Slater), their leader and Nicole’s lover. Nearing the end of their training, the group’s over-all morale is high, though Vince discovers that neither he, nor Sara, will make the rank of “Profiler” after secretly reading their training evaluations.image-w1280The group travels with their instructor to a small island off the coast of North Carolina to complete their final training exercise. At the last minute, they are joined by Gabe (LL Cool J, listed as James Todd Smith), an outside observer who has requested to see Harris’ teaching methods in action. The island, used by the Navy to train for hostage rescue and outbreak scenarios, has an existing “population” of target dummies, vehicles on mechanical rails, and small town storefronts. Similar to their earlier training scenarios, Harris plans on using the town for their final exam, tracking a serial killer calling himself, “the puppeteer.” The team settles down for the evening and practice their profiling skills on each other and Gabe, who reveals that he is also a skilled profiler in his own right. Sara and Lucas briefly bond over losses in their families; Sara reveals that her sister was murdered and drowned, creating her persistent fear of water, while Lucas shares that his parents died when he was 10. The two resolve to use the scenario to confront their personal fears.5000495601_2467495f9bThe following morning, during the initial investigation of the “puppeteer” scenario, J.D. dies after triggering a clock mechanism that causes a tank of liquid nitrogen to freeze him instantly. Convinced that J.D.’s death is neither accidental, nor part of the training simulation, the group heads to the dock to leave the island, but the boat explodes. After returning to base, the group realizes that broken watches and clocks found at each scene point to the fact that there is a real serial killer on the island, who has co-opted the training exercise and is now hunting them down. The killer’s M.O. indicates that he or she plans to kill someone at a time designated by the broken clocks. After a thorough search of the island reveals no other personnel, the group concludes that the killer is one of them.3185_8_screenshotAt first, suspicions seem to point to Gabe, as Lucas found maps and documents of the island; however, before the group finishes confronting him, they each pass out, realizing that their coffee was drugged. They awaken to discover that the killer murdered Rafe while they were unconscious, and suspicions again return to Gabe. He temporarily deflects these suspicions when he saves Vince from another trap involving broken water pipes and lights electrocuting the water. However, Bobby is killed by a secondary trap when he goes to turn off the water. Sara, meanwhile, deduces that the traps are based on their strengths, talents, and weaknesses; the remaining profilers elect to stick together, to keep an eye on each other. After more clues are discovered, suspicion shifts to Sara, who insists that she’s being framed. Nicole, suspicious that the killer is among the group, leaves to be alone, but she becomes the next to die after she smokes a cigarette laced with acid.054650-264Unexpectedly, the island’s speakers begin to broadcast a taunting message from Harris, making them realize that he did not leave the island, though he led the profilers to believe that he had; convinced that Harris has been the killer all along, the remaining profilers search for him. Vince refuses to join the search party and stays behind at the lab. Sara, Gabe and Lucas find Harris and two other FBI agents next to him, all dead; Harris has been strung up to wires from the ceiling as a sort of marionette, just like the fake “puppeteer” crime scene that they were to investigate. The three turn on each other after triggering another trap, and Lucas is shot during the ensuing gun battle. Vince finds himself trapped in a freezer after he tries to reload his empty gun, but he escapes and then dies when his gun backfires on him in the elevator.egygyilkosagya22Sara finds Vince’s body, but she is ambushed by Gabe, and the two struggle physically and mentally to profile the other, each believing the other person is the killer. Gabe manages to overpower Sara but is then attacked by Lucas, and the two of them get into a protracted fight. Sara eventually recovers and hits Gabe over the head with a fire extinguisher. Lucas reveals that he had been wearing a bullet-proof vest, allowing him to survive getting shot on the street. With Gabe subdued, he expresses doubt that there’s enough evidence to prove that Gabe was the killer. Sara, however, reveals that she found a way to get one step ahead of the killer. Knowing that the killer was relying on timed mechanisms and remotes, as well as enjoying watching their anxiety under pressure, she changed one of the clocks to appear slow by fifteen minutes, and covered it in a powder that glows phosphorescently under blacklight. Reasoning that the killer would not be able to resist setting the clock to the correct time, she grabs a black light to scan Gabe’s hands and reveal him as the killer. Sara instead finds the marking powder on Lucas’ hands instead of Gabe’s. Lucas confesses that his parents did not die in an accident, but that he killed them. Struggling ever since to find more thrilling targets to kill, he joined the FBI and planned to kill his brilliant fellow profilers, the only people he thought would be “worthy prey.” Lucas tries to drown Sara, but she manages to kick him into the water. The two both manage to recover their weapons underwater, but Sara manages to shoot Lucas first. Lucas recovers and begins to taunt her about the evidence he planted blaming her until Gabe reappears. In a last desperate effort, Lucas attempts to regain his weapon, forcing Sara to kill him, shooting him through the top of the head as he bends down to retrieve his weapon. The following day, Gabe and Sara flag down the U.S Navy helicopter to leave the island, determining that they’ve sufficiently secured the scene.getImageAll in all there’s a little something for everyone in this movie, there’s the horror, action and a bit of CSI, well recommend this movie to anyone

REVIEW: THE ASSASSINATION (AKA Assassination of a High School President)

CAST

Bruce Willis (Sin City)
Mischa Barton (The Sixth Sense)
Reece Thompson (Dreamcatcher)
Michael Rapaport (Hitch)
Kathryn Morris (Cold Case)
Luke Grimes (American Sniper)
Robin Lord Taylor (Gotham)
Zoe Kravitz (Divergent)
Zach Roerig (The Vampire Diaries)

Bobby Funke (Reece Thompson) is a less than popular high school sophomore with a dream to get into Northwestern University’s summer journalism program. Although Bobby claims he’s a great writer, he’s never finished an article for St. Donovan’s School Newspaper. The editor-in-chief Clara, (Melonie Diaz), assigns Bobby to do an article on Paul Moore, the student body president. Bobby attempts to get an interview, but is unable to get a story out of Paul and is bullied by Paul’s friends. Paul is the star of the basketball team and on a game night, Paul takes a fall and injures his knee. The next morning Principal Kirkpatrick (Bruce Willis) discovers the SATs have been stolen from a safe in his office. Kirkpatrick rounds up his “usual suspects” of high school misfits along with Bobby to question them. The group is innocent but Kirkpatrick warns them all to watch their step.When senior Francesca Facchini (Mischa Barton) solicits Bobby’s help tracking down the set of stolen SATs, Funke uncovers a story. He sets on a large scale investigation and links Paul Moore to the crime. He writes an article pointing the finger at Paul. Kirkpatrick forces Paul to open his locker and the SATs fall out. As a result of his sleuthing, Funke becomes one of the most popular kids at St. Donovan’s. Clara decides to submit Funke’s article to Northwestern which earns Bobby a scholarship to the summer program. Funke wins the respect of everyone from Principal Kirkpatrick to the kid that farts on him in Spanish class and Francesca takes Funke to homecoming. As Funke’s popularity grows so do his suspicions. Paul confronts Bobby, proclaiming his innocence, stating that he got into Cornell but decided to take the test again to see if he could get a better score. Funke begins to wonder if the president really stole the SATs or if he’s just a pawn in a conspiracy.Funke investigates even deeper into the lives of Paul’s shady friends, all members of the Student Council. He discovers their involvement with drug dealing. The Student Council had actually stolen the SATs along with other tests throughout the year, modifying the marks of the best students to make them doubt their test-taking abilities and turn to the Student Council for speed-like “study drugs”. Funke says that while Paul wasn’t a part of the scam, group ringleader Marlon Piazza (Luke Grimes) has Paul framed to avoid being caught. Funke also finds out that Francesca led him along the entire time to keep him from finding out the truth. Francesca and Marlon, step-siblings, are revealed as lovers.Funke confronts the group in the principal’s office. Marlon threatens to have Funke thrown out the window and frame it as a suicide, but his threat and confession are heard on the school’s intercom system. When Funke entered the room, he secretly turned on the microphone; Funke’s friends save him from being thrown out the window and Kirkpatrick rushes into the office, followed by the student body and Francesca. Francesca attempts to gain Funke’s trust again, only to be shut down and left to deal with Kirkpatrick’s punishment.The script is tight and interesting, if very slightly predictable (anyone with even a cursory knowledge of film noir could guess the direction that Micha Barton’s character was going to take in the end), but the actors did a great job with their material, and the director kept the visuals interesting without going over the top on sex appeal or exaggerating the lifestyles of high school students; nobody drives a Porsche, nobody lives in a mansion, none of the girls are perfect barbie dolls, etc. The director deserves credit for staying away from these tropes and the characters benefit greatly for it. Overall, a very good movie, and very much worth watching.

 

 

REVIEW: AS GOOD AS IT GETS

CAST

Jack Nicholson (Batman)
Helen Hunt (What Women Want)
Greg Kinnear (Movie 43)
Cuba Gooding Jr. (Boat Trip)
Skeet Ulrich (Scream)
Shirley Knight (Paul Blart: Mall Cop)
Yeardley Smith (The Simpsons)
Brian Doyle- Murray (Groundhog Day)
Missi Pyle (The Artist)
Jamie Kennedy (Son of The Mask)
Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids)
Kathryn Morris (Cold Case)
Julie Benz (Angel)
Harold Raimis (Ghostbusters)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)

jack-nicholson-as-good-as-it-gets-1997Melvin Udall is a misanthrope who works at home as a best-selling novelist in New York City. He suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder which, paired with his misanthropy, alienates nearly everyone with whom he interacts. He avoids stepping on sidewalk cracks while walking through the city due to a superstition of bad luck, and eats breakfast at the same table in the same restaurant every day using disposable plastic utensils he brings with him due to his pathological fear of germs. He takes an interest in his waitress, Carol Connelly, the only server at the restaurant who can tolerate his behavior.maxresdefaultOne day, Melvin’s apartment neighbor, a gay artist named Simon Bishop, is assaulted and nearly killed during a robbery. Melvin is intimidated by Simon’s agent, Frank Sachs, into caring for Simon’s dog, Verdell, while Simon is hospitalized. Although he initially does not enjoy caring for the dog, Melvin becomes emotionally attached to it. He simultaneously receives more attention from Carol. When Simon is released from the hospital, Melvin is unable to cope emotionally with returning the dog. Melvin’s life is further altered when Carol decides to work closer to her home in Brooklyn so she can care for her acutely asthmatic son Spencer (“Spence”). Unable to adjust to another waitress, Melvin arranges through his publisher, whose husband is a doctor, to pay for her son’s considerable medical expenses as long as Carol agrees to return to work. She is overwhelmed at his generosity, and they agree there will be no physical relationship.
4881_4_screenshotMeanwhile, Simon’s assault and rehabilitation, coupled with Verdell’s preference for Melvin, causes Simon to lose his creative muse. Simon is approaching bankruptcy due to his medical bills. Frank convinces him to go to Baltimore to ask his estranged parents for money. Because Frank is too busy to take the injured Simon to Baltimore himself, Melvin reluctantly agrees to do so – Frank lends Melvin the use of his Saab 900 convertible for the trip. Melvin invites Carol to accompany them on the trip to lessen the awkwardness. She reluctantly accepts the invitation, and relationships among the three develop.
as-good-as-it-gets-1997Once in Baltimore, Carol persuades Melvin to take her out to have dinner. Melvin’s comments during the dinner greatly flatter—and subsequently upset—Carol, and she abruptly leaves. Upon seeing the frustrated Carol, Simon begins to sketch her semi-nude in his hotel room and rekindles his creativity, once more feeling a desire to paint. He briefly reconnects with his parents, but is able to tell them that he’ll be fine. After returning to New York, Carol tells Melvin that she does not want him in her life anymore. She later regrets her statement and calls him to apologize. The relationship between Melvin and Carol remains complicated until Simon (whom Melvin has allowed to move in with him until he can fully heal from his injuries and get a new apartment) convinces Melvin to declare his love for her. Melvin goes to see Carol, who is hesitant, but agrees to try and establish a relationship with him. The film ends with Melvin and Carol walking together. As he opens the door at an early morning pastry shop for Carol, he realizes that he has stepped on a crack in the pavement, but doesn’t seem to mind.as_good_as_it_getsDirection is first rate, Brooks made Terms of Endearment so it’s well established that he’s quite capable of making great films. As Good As It Gets is very nearly as good it gets.

REVIEW: PAYCHECK

 

CAST

Ben Affleck (Gone Girl)
Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight)
Uma Thurman (Kill Bill)
Paul Giamatti (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Colm Feore (Gotham)
Joe Morton (Smallville)
Michael C. Hall (Dexter)
Kathryn Morris (Cold Case)
Fulvio Cecere (The Tortured)
Ivana Milicevic (Vanilla Sky)
Callum Keith Rennie (Legends of Tomorrow)
Michelle Harrison (The Flash)
Krista Allen (The Final Destination)
Peter Shinkoda (Daredevil)
Ryan Robbins (Arrow)
Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica)

In the near future, Michael Jennings (Affleck) is a reverse engineer; he analyzes his clients’ competitors’ technology and recreates it, often adding improvements beyond the original specifications. To protect his clients’ intellectual property and himself, Jennings, with the aid of his friend Shorty (Giamatti), undertakes a memory wipe to remove knowledge of his engineering.

Jennings is approached by his old college roommate, James Rethrick (Eckhart), the CEO of the successful Seattle technology company Allcom. Rethrick proposes a lengthy three-year reverse engineering job to Jennings, requiring him to live on Allcom’s secured campus until its conclusion but rewarding him handsomely with company stock. Jennings agrees and, after arranging for his long-term absence, arrives at Allcom, turns in his personal possessions, and is given a brief tour of the facility where he meets and flirts with botanist Dr. Rachel Porter (Thurman). He is injected with a long-term memory marker for the post-job memory wipe.

Three years later (June 2007), at the conclusion of the memory wipe, Jennings is sitting in Rethrick’s office, being thanked for a successful job. On returning home, Jennings finds that, although his Allcom shares would have been worth around $92 million, he had signed them away near the end of his tenure. Furthermore, he finds that his personal possessions have been replaced with an envelope containing a random assortment of everyday items. Soon after, the FBI captures him; and Agent Dodge (Morton) interrogates him on charges related to the death of physicist William Dekker. Jennings is able to escape custody, finding that the items in the envelope can be used at the right time to evade capture. After warning Shorty of his plight, he finds the items pointing him to a café meeting with Porter. Rethrick, who has been watching Jennings’ movements, discovers a message to Porter about this meeting and sends a body double to take her place to try to recover the envelope. The real Porter shows up and helps Jennings escape from both the FBI and Rethrick’s men.

They take shelter at a local school, examining the remaining items in the envelope while Porter tries to convince Jennings of the relationship they shared during his tenure at Allcom. One of the stamps holds a microdot that, on enlargement, reveals several pictures of newspaper headlines taken from a machine’s display showing Allcom becoming financially successful with a device that can depict future events, but the resultant doomsday visions ultimately lead to a series of self-fulfilling prophecies resulting in financial panic, political strife and America launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike. Jennings realizes he must have built this device based on Dekker’s invention and, on realizing the horrors that will come, prepared the envelope, using the forecasts from the machine to allow his future self to return to Allcom and destroy the machine. Furthermore, as Rethrick shortly discovers, Jennings rigged the device to malfunction, preventing Rethrick from anticipating Jennings’ actions.

Jennings and Porter return to Allcom and make their way to the machine room undetected, jamming the door behind them. Jennings determines the location of the defective circuit and removes it, subsequently rigging the machine to explode in a few minutes. Jennings uses the machine one last time, seeing a vision of himself being shot by an FBI agent in the catwalks above the machine. Soon, Rethrick’s men storm the room and, after a brief shootout, Jennings and Porter escape to the catwalks. Rethrick is waiting there, holding them at gunpoint, the same tableau Jennings previously saw. When Jennings’ watch, taken from the envelope, beeps, Jennings ducks in time to avoid the FBI Agent’s bullet that then kills Rethrick. The machine is destroyed, and Jennings and Porter escape the FBI in the chaos. When Agent Dodge and his men arrive and investigate, they take sympathy and report Jennings killed in the destruction.

In the film’s conclusion, Jennings, Porter, and Shorty have opened a greenhouse nursery. Jennings recalls a fortune cookie note from the envelope and discovers one last act he had done with the machine, foreseeing the results of a $90 million lottery and leaving the winning ticket in Porter’s birdcage

This is a good movie for spending a couple of hours entertained, but it is not one I would enjoy seeing repeatedly.

 

REVIEW: A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

CAST

Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense)
Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes)
Frances O’Connor (Bedazzled)
Sam Roberds (American Beauty)
Jake Thomas (The Cell)
William Hurt (Captain America: Civil War)
Brendan Gleeson (The Smurfs 2)
Ashley Scott (Birds of Prey)
Jack Angel (Transformers)
Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3)
Robin Williams (Hook)
Meryl Streep (Into The Woods)
Chris Rock (Rush Hour)
Ken Leung (Lost)
Clark Gregg (Agents of SHIELD)
Kevin Sussman (The Big Bang theory)
April Grace (Whiplash)
John Prosky (The Devil Inside)
Kathryn Morris (Cold Case)
Daveigh Chase (S.Darko)
Justina Machado (Final Destination 2)
Adrian Grenier (Drive Me crazy)
Paula Malcolmson (Capria)
Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars)

A.I. began life as a short story by Brian Aldiss, but it blossomed into something more sprawling under Kubrick. It is the story of the first-ever robot boy. Set in a future where climate change has left multiple major cities underwater, a refocused society has made many technological advancements since the cataclysm–including synthesized life. Robots have different functions in society, but largely act as servants, be it of the more traditional kind (maids, chauffeurs) or less domestic (sexbots). At the start of the movie, a scientist (William Hurt) proposes a new function: true love. What if they could create a simulacrum of a real child, one that could be programmed to love its adoptive parents unconditionally? Could then the humans love it in return?The prototype is David (Haley Joel Osment), a specially built android that looks real in every way. He is given to a married couple (Sam Robards and Frances O’Connor) whose own child is currently in cryogenic stasis until a fatal health problem can be solved by medical science. Stuck in her grief, the mother, Monica, takes to her new “son,” developing a strong attachment to him. Only, when her actual child (Jake Thomas) is healed and returned to her, the human boy’s jealousy makes it impossible to keep David. Monica is unwilling to send David back to the factory for destruction and so lets the robot boy go instead. Devastated by this rejection, David takes his animated toy teddy bear (voiced by Jack Angel) and goes looking for the Blue Fairy, the angel who turned Pinocchio into a real boy at the end of the story Monica read to him. If he can become real, she can love him as much as her flesh-and-blood offspring.What follows is David’s fairy-tale journey. Like Pinocchio, he will run into many hazards, including a destructive carnival where robot-hating humans dismantle artificial life as a form of entertainment. There David meets Gigolo Joe (Jude Law), a pleasure robot who is on the run, as well. He agrees to help David find the Blue Fairy, detouring to a dazzling futuristic city where all manner of carnal delights can be found before finally heading to Manhattan and, supposedly, the edge of the world.The philosophical question at the core of A.I. Artificial Intelligence is the difference between authenticity and artifice. Are they mutually exclusive, or is that just a matter of perception? Kubrick famously put off making the movie for over a decade in hopes that an actual robot could be built to play the part of David. Spielberg came into the mix after Kubrick had seen Jurassic Park. It apparently made Stanley realize that if an approximation of a dinosaur was good enough, fake robots would be, as well. Extending the metaphor into the creative process, he embraced the idea that artifice could stand in for the authentic. One could even take it further to say this necessary balance was also the difference between the two directors, why it took both of them to make this extraordinary picture: the authenticity of Stanley Kubrick lent credibility to the artifice of Steven Spielberg, and vice-versa.

Spielberg doesn’t so much repress his style for A.I. as he tries on another man’s clothes and walks around in them for a while. The final movie has the chilly rigor of a Kubrick movie, but with touches of Spielberg’s slick storytelling. The teddy bear that serves as David’s Jiminy Cricket is perfectly integrated into the live action, and the fully imaginary Rouge City, inspired as it was by European comics, is just as believable–and indeed, indistinguishable in terms of craft–as the version of New York City that Spielberg sinks into the Atlantic. One is created from whole cloth, the other uses reality as its starting point–and neither is more real or unreal than its counterpart.

In terms of acting, it’s easy to see why Osment was viewed as the leading actor of a new generation. His performance as David is remarkably subtle. He uses carefully choreographed body language to convey the character’s “otherness.” He carries himself awkwardly, maintaining a blank naïveté that is essential to illustrating David’s lack of experience. It’s a far more complex construction than it might appear. Also good are O’Connor as the grieving mother (she has the widest range of emotions of anyone in the movie) and Jude Law as the charming hustler. He brings a touch of classic Hollywood style to the role–a gigolo is just another type of actor, after all.

There is nothing else quite like A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and given that once upon a time Stanley Kubrick showed us the dawn of humanity, it seems fitting that his career should end by showing us what the world would be like once humanity was gone.