Blu-Ray Review: Steven Spielberg’s Spectacular ‘A.I.: Artificial Intelligence’

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CHICAGO – When I was first introduced to the world of Blu-ray, I went through the mental rolodex of films that I knew I would one day want to see in HD. There are obvious choices like “Lord of the Rings” and “The Matrix,” but I actually remember thinking about the controversial final act of “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence” and how incredible it would look in 1080p. Years later, the film has finally been released on the format and while it may not live up to the high expectations, the movie alone makes this a worthwhile purchase. Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0

The HD transfer for “A.I.” is good but not great. Clearly, it’s a straight transfer with no significant restoration or remastering. Some of the darker, interior scenes look a bit grainier than I would have expected. The film doesn’t have the visual pop that I remembered, but that could just be a byproduct of memory. Still, there’s noticeable line detail missing in some scenes that actually had me tinkering with my video settings for the first time in awhile.

Never mind the video, if you’re one of those people who wrote off “A.I.” on its release or in the decade since, I implore you to revisit a movie that I think is so good that it made my top 100 of the ’00s. People have ignored the quality work of Spielberg’s post-“Ryan” work almost because it’s become cool to dismiss one of the best filmmakers that ever lived. History will recognize that “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence,” “Minority Report,” “War of the Worlds,” and “Munich” deserve to stand next to (and, in some cases, above) his most beloved work from the ’70s and ’80s. All four made the aforementioned top 100.

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence was released on Blu-Ray on April 5th, 2011
A.I.: Artificial Intelligence was released on Blu-Ray on April 5th, 2011
Photo credit: DreamWorks

“A.I.: Artificial Intelligence” has become one of his more controversial films largely I think due to audience expectations. It was sold as a futuristic action adventure movie and I think audiences expected a summer thrill ride and they got what is often a very subtle drama about identity, parenthood, and the dreams of a young boy. It is a lyrical piece of science fiction about what it means to be human. And it is far more ambitious and accomplished than most people give it credit for. If there’s one recent film that I could beg you to revisit this year on Blu-ray, it’s “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence.”

Special Features:
o Creating A.I.
o Acting A.I.
o Designing A.I.
o Lighting A.I.
o A.I. FX
o The Robots of A.I.
o Special Visual Effects and Animation: ILM
o The Sound and Music of A.I.
o Closing: Steven Spielberg: Our Responsibility to Artificial Intelligence
o A.I. Archives
o 2 Theatrical Trailers

“A.I.: Artificial Intelligence” stars Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O’Connor, Brendan Gleeson, and William Hurt. It was written and directed by Steven Spielberg. It was released on Blu-ray on April 5th, 2011. It is rated PG-13 and runs 145 minutes. content director Brian Tallerico

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