Steven Spielberg takes on Stanley Kubrick in this love it/loathe it sci-fi pic that gets the five-star treatment on disc.
Picture There's barely a scene in this movie that isn't filmed through a slight smoky haze, and the diffused effect looks stunning on DVD. Although some may think it a little grainy, it contributes to the textured Kubrick-inspired look of the film.
Sound Those of you with an additional rear centre speaker on your set-up will be pleased to find this disc carries a 5.1EX mix. It's a stunner too, with plenty of bass enhancements for the action sequences, and a collage of subtle effects during the quieter moments.
Creating "A.I." (Disc One) This featurette offers an overview of the project, which disc two then dissects in detail. There is interview footage with Spielberg here, as he discusses the long collaboration between him and Kubrick on this project that went on for years, much of it over endless fax communications.
Disc Two Special Features
Acting "A.I." There are two featurettes in this section, one exploring the acting work of Haley Joel Osment, the other covering Jude Law's performance. Osment's contains a flurry of tributes for his work, but then it's almost impossible to do anything but praise him. Despite this, he comes across as very level-headed, and certainly seems to have had a good rapport with Jude Law, both on and off set.
Designing "A.I." Here you'll find featurettes covering the set and costume design. Chris Baker was the mind behind the look of the film, and was flattered to get the work, having never done a movie before. His graphic novels brought him to Spielberg's attention, with the director giving him the freedom to explore ideas that Rick Carter would then turn into reality.
Lighting "A.I." Those of you wondering if we'll come to sections like 'Catering "A.I."', or 'Cleaning "A.I."' will just have to make do with this mildly interesting featurette on the cinematography of the movie.
Special Effects Yup, they had special effects in this movie, and here you can see plenty of behind-the-scenes shots on how they were achieved.
Robots of "A.I." As with most of the previous featurettes, there's a lot of behind-the-scenes footage, but the pace is fast and there's plenty of interest. Here we get a look at the work of Stan Winston's studio on the film.
Special Visual Effects and Animation: ILM There's some great material here splitting into five sections, including footage on the development of the incredible New York sequence, and the highly complex robot chase.
Closing: Our Responsibility to "A.I." Spielberg talks about his work on the movie, but this is badly presented, with disc credits running throughout.
"A.I." Archives The last section of the DVD, and the place where you'll find trailers, storyboards, behind-the-scenes photos, and hundreds of conceptual drawings.
Ratio: 1.85:1 (anamorphic)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1EX
Technical Features: Scene selection, animated menus, multiple languages and subtitles, and English captions for the hearing impaired.
This DVD was reviewed on a JVC XV-S57 DVD player.