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I Am David
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danchia
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 6:54 am    Post subject: I Am David Reply with quote




I think it was Busara who first brought our attention to this little gem of a film. Unfortunately , that particular thread was lost during the last major computer glitch that we had. Crying or Very sad





Well, anyway , I was really excited when I finally got my copy of the DVD release of I am David , and I must say that I was not disappointed .

Fans of Spielberg's A.I. Artificial Intelligence ( that means all of us on this board ! Laughing ) will find I am David an extremely interesting film , because it shares so many similarities and parallel themes with Artificial Intelligence.





First of all , both feature a young protagonist called David . David the mecha in A.I. played by Haley Joel Osment, and David in I am David played by British actor Ben Tibber in his film debut.





Both Davids are on the quest of their life , in search of their mother , and both go through an incredible journey , helped along the way by strangers who manage to touch their hearts in deep ways.

Even the trailer of I am David is reminiscent of that of Articificial Intelligence, even ending with an animated silhouette of a boy walking and forming part of the logo . You can view the trailer here :

http://www.comeawayohumanchild.net/recommendedfilms/I%20am%20David/i_am_david_m480.mov

It takes time to load, but it's well worth seeing just to see how similar it is to the trailer for Artificial Intelligence.





Apart from this , that's where the similarities between the two films end. First of all, I Am David scriptwriter/director Paul Feig ( who did the short-lived but critically acclaimed tv series Freaks and Geeks ) is no Spielberg , and I am David , while not at all a bad film , suffers from having too simplistic a screenplay, and an ending so rushed that it leaves viewers really frustrated over what could have been an emotionally resonant ending to a powerful saga.

Reviewer Wade Major of Boxoffice Online was spot on when he wrote this of I Am David :

Adapted from Danish author Anne Holm's 1963 novel of the same name, "I Am David" is one of those well-intentioned misfires that so frustrate both audiences and critics -- brimming with thematic potential, yet consistently unable to establish and maintain an effective tone.

It's a great pity, because I found the beginning of I am David extremely powerful , and I guarantee that the first 10 minutes of the film will have you gripping your seat as you watch young David escape from the Bulgarian prison he has lived in most of his life.

The film also boasts cinematography that is absolutely stunning, and this is one beautiful film to watch . I watched the DVD on an 80 inch screen and a Barco 3 gun projector and the visuals were absolutely breathtaking.





AND then there is the performance of Ben Tibber as David . Ben Tibber , in his debut film role, is onscreen from the first frame to the last , and this young actor has a pair of the most soulful eyes one has ever seen onscreen . Many critics have described his performance as wooden , but I found his performance to be mesmorising . Of course, Tibber's performance is a far cry from that of Haley's in The Sixth Sense and in A.I. , but for a first time actor , I feel that Ben Tibber brought a lot to his role in I am David .


[/b]


So.... is I am David worth seeing at all ? I would say , most definitely , yes. Although far from a perfect film, I think it still has enough going for it to warrant a viewing, especially from fans of A.I. As for me, I am looking forward to seeing it a second time in fact , and I would love to hear what you all think of the film. Very Happy


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Busara
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many, many thanks for posting that review Daniel! Smile

Indeed, I think I posted a message here when I witnessed the trailer. I was so dazzled about the whole atmosphere it brought that I thought I should let you guys know. I've been trying to track down a European DVD release ever since, but without any luck so far. Also, the film hasn't seen our theatres. What a shame.

Now that I've read your wonderful review, I really want to see the film as soon as possible. While I'm sure the film could be flawed in some departments, to me it looks like a wonderful experience with, indeed, great cinematography. When I first saw the trailer, I thought the images were stunning, and reading your post strengthens my belief that this is a very rewarding picture. My search for the I Am David DVD is unleashed again.

By the way, the comeaway internet store page is awesome! It's wonderful, excellent work there. Smile
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the extremely kind compliments, Busara. I wanted to gather together all the films recommended at this forum by like-minded fans and make it easy for other fans to locate and buy those wonderful films.

I really think that you will enjoy I Am David. It got some really bad reviews on the internet, and I didn't understand why. I do agree that it's not a perfect film , after all , this was the debut film for both the director as well as for the lead actor, but I loved the heart behind the film , and I still think that it is a wonderful little film.

Ben Tibber especially, was said to be wooden in his performance, but I felt something else in his performance, something in those soulful eyes of his that really touched my heart , and I personally am thankful to the filmmakers of I Am David for the opportunity to watch a performance like the one Ben Tibber gave. Smile
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pazu7



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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a note to say I rented "I Am David" last night with the intention of watching it this morning. But my fuel pump went bad and I will be spending my morning working on the car which is sitting a few blocks away fro the video store. Mad

I'll get back with my thoughts after I watch.
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danchia
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pazu7 wrote:
Just a note to say I rented "I Am David" last night with the intention of watching it this morning. But my fuel pump went bad and I will be spending my morning working on the car which is sitting a few blocks away fro the video store. Mad

I'll get back with my thoughts after I watch.


Aaarrrggh... sorry to hear about your fuel pump, man. Hope you get it fixed soon !

I'll be looking forward to your review of I Am David. Sure hope you like it..... ( wringing hands nervously Wink )
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I still have my van but when it comes to gas, that thing sucks worse than FOX TV reality shows. We're sitting at an average of 2.50 a gallon now and I average 120 miles a day so I need to get my little 30mpg Toyota going again.

I will watch the film tonight.
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(I came back to edit my numerous typos, but I gotta leave real quick again.)

First off, I have no problem adding this film to my collection. It is genuinely moving and well told. Without spoiling, the twist was original and unexpected. The spirit of the film is totally admirable and the story is one we can all relate to on a fundamental level. It is easy to become engrossed in David plight and the loneliness he must feel in a huge world of which he knows nothing. But I think the idea for the film was better than its execution.

As the central character Ben Tibber has a face that seems to be made for just this part. His constant expression of worry creates an automatic sympathetic response in anyone with a heart, and in the scenes where he finally manages to smile his face contrasts so sharply that he seems to light up the screen. On the downside, I am afraid that I have to agree with the idea that his performance was a bit stiff. I wouldn't go as far as wooden, or if I did I would say it was a soft wood... balsa lets say, as opposed to Oak or Mahogany (lol). But to amend that opinion, I don't really think it was his fault. To me almost all of the characters seem stiff except Joan Plowright and the man who played the Guard at the camp, the one who shoots Caviesel... I won't say anything more about that... no spoilers here.

You all know I love Haley, so there should be no need to defend myself when I say that, IMO, this film suffers from the same thing as "Edges Of The Lord" (but not to the same degree). Edges had great performances from all the kids but for me the poor direction and dismal score killed the experience. But where Edges just had a bad score, this one was good but overdone and there were plenty of places where the scene carried its own weight, but then the music sneaks in seeming to try and manipulate a response that was inherent in the scene. Like the scene where he is sitting in the bed in the house where he saved the little girl (only watched it once, can't remember her name, sorry) as the camera pulls away I am thinking, 'great scene, he looks like Bowman waking up in the blue room at the end of 2001'... it shows his isolation, his unfamiliarity with this environment, he just looks like a little lonely boy in an alien environment... then enters the music and overdoes something that was inherent in the scene. I love great scores, but I think they just used too much of it in this film.

Also, he fills the frame too much. On the scene where he is in the wild they could have used more wide shots, dwarf him in the landscape to show this little fragile child so small against the world.

The story flow here is frenetic in the opening, I suppose to create a sense of danger and pursuit. It is successful in that. I was immediately drawn in and completely accepted the premise of the narrative. But the pacing never seemed to reach a cruising speed... not until Sophie enters the screen.

For me Joan Plowright is the best screen presence of the film and her scene with Tibber is the best moment of the film, the first one where I really feel his isolation. The bad part is that it eclipses the meeting with his mother. I reacted to that scene too, and it seemed very much like the end of his long suffering, but the moment with Plowright was the big one for me. I really think that they should have yanked a couple of tears from him there. I mean here is a kid who has lived through stuff we could not imagine, is roaming the wilderness alone, surrounded by people he cannot afford to trust and he finally finds someplace he feels safe. But some of the time Tibber looks as if he is walking around for a stroll in the park. Once again, not his fault IMO, but the scene with Plowright has a tear jerking factor of 10+ and IMO Tibber missed a beat on that one. Still it was good.

There were a few anachronistic moments like when his Mother turns on the light in his flashback and we see the plastic light switch. That could have been handled better LOL. But none of these things are distracting enough to ruin the film for me at all. The twist that will remain unmentioned is an excellent device and one that I'd never seen before. There was a film called "The Conversation" which rest on a similar premise, but this was original.

I have to go. It was a good film and I enjoyed watching it. I think it could have been executed much better on many fronts but I thank you for the recommendation and I have added it to my collection.

Bryan
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michealangelo



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the tips Daniel & Pazu,

I'll look ahead to this film
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Busara
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm also still looking forward to check it out. It's a shame there's no european DVD release yet. I loved reading your reviews guys.

But... Edges having a dismal score ? Shocked Heh. I thought it was really quite powerful. It isn't John Williams, but it sure was moving where needed. I loved it. It fitted the film very well.

Can't wait to see I Am David. I await impatiently. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2005 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, OK, Busara, hehe... we'll just have to agree to disagree on the score for Edges.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
we'll just have to agree to disagree on the score for Edges


Hehe - we're indeed disagreeing to agree on this one. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

finally I can watch I am David (IaD)

This movie is VERY good for all audience, especially a young child who may ask what is the meaning of life.

IaD consent about bad people around the good people. 'David' appears to be a boy with courages and presume as good subject for the lesson of story. He's nowhere to go & confuse to believe people arounds him. By his own believe David set a journey to find his own destiny

The film was abit rush at the end. It was too simple which abit is ruin my emotion Laughing . I figure "David" act by Ben Tibber needs to polishing because he has soft boyish voice with a serious face Shocked.

...If Haley bring the film for sure my eyes would overflows Embarassed .

Verdict: 4/5½ Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your review, Michaelangelo.

Imagine if Haley had been cast instead of Ben Tibber ! Shocked
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's excellent to see you liked that film michealangelo!

I am slightly going nuts because I cannot buy (even rent) the film here in Europe. No European DVD release is available, so I think I'm going to purchase the region 1 version. But the U.S. version seems to have Spanish-only subtitles...

Sometimes I am growing rather tired of the movie distribution system. I want to see the film, but here it's not showing in theatres. I want to purchase a DVD, and I cannot. *sigh*.

Same as with "Empire of the Sun". A film that I so dearly love. I had to get a region-free DVD player to see the DVD, because no region 2 (European) release is available. I've been emailing Warner for months now, but all I hear is "there are no plans to release a European version". How silly is that. Ugh. Sad

Ah well, the region 1 version of I Am David will do I guess. It will have to. Smile
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bummer, Busara ....

Well, if it's any consolation , the Region 1 DVD has a beautiful transfer to DVD, and the picture looks amazing when played on a good home theatre system.

It's worth getting, my friend....

daniel
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