Just rewatched I Am Legend today

Discussion in 'Entertainment and Movie Talk' started by Wes R, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    It's still not going to win a constant rewatching spot on my movie list. Visually I loved the look of the city with no people and even the interior sets with the warning flyers about the infected is great. Smith didn't do too bad with portraying a guy who has been alone way too long. My major complaints are that the infected get very little screen time or character development aside from the animated comics they had online and in the bonus features. I mean the one that shows that to the infected they're still normal and everyone else is a monster makes it all the more horrifying because they don't know what's going on in reality.
    Sadly once the kid and woman show up the movie kind of tanks in my opinion. Firstly because I hate kids in scifi movies for the most part and secondly because it just seemed like a cheap attempt to end the movie fast. I'd have like to have seen it a bit more like the original novel and less like a remake of "I am Omega" with Chuck Heston. I found the box set one with the art book for 8.00 at a local store so i might grab it just for the art book. I heard there is a prequel in the works so hopefully it would be a bit better.
    The movie had huge potential as it could have shown his struggle with being a lone survivor and how he survived by trial and error as time went on. It would have been great as a character driven movie as you can only imagine the emotions he has to struggle with each day ranging from fear to hopelessness. The one interesting thing is that the alternate ending that is far happier and more hopeful got the worst reaction than the gloomy ending. Sadly the gloomy ending is different than I am Omega where as Chuck Heston's character gives the other survivors he found a little hope that the plague could be stopped.
    This type of setting, maybe minus the typical aliens, zombies and such could be a nice change of pace in movies but rare explored due to a lack of action.
     
  2. CB2001

    CB2001 Master Member

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    I agree with you on the beginning of your comments. I agree that they did a good job with the creation of the derelict and empty New York City. Will Smith is also a pretty good actor in the film. But my big issue isn't that the story slightly sucks. My biggest issue, as you pointed out with your points about the plot, it was more of a remake of The Omega Man (another adaptation) than an adaptation of Richard Matheson's novella. I swear, if they did another adaptation, they're going to make it even farther away from what the story was. And what makes matter worse, for me, it took an independent film not even based on Matheson's novella to capture the type of world that he was writing about back in the 1950s! For once, I wish Hollywood would grow a pair and make Richard Matheson's I Am Legend the way he written it.


    FYI, I Am Omega, is the B-Grade rip-off movie from The Asylum that went straight to video.
     
  3. ursus43

    ursus43 Well-Known Member

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    I think Vincent Price did the first version in 1964 "The Last Man on Earth" Good ol Black and white sci-fi.
     
  4. CB2001

    CB2001 Master Member

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    Probably the closest you could get to the novella's story. And even then, that's barely (and Matheson stated that Vincent Price was the wrong choice for Robert in the story).
     
  5. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    Yeah I saw I am Omega for sale online. Doesn't have the "chairman" from Iron Chef America in it? He's big b movie star it turns out.
     
  6. CB2001

    CB2001 Master Member

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    Yeah, he is in it. As for him being a big B-Movie star, I can't really say.
     
  7. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    There is a new game coming out that reminds me of I am legend in the setting but sadly it has monsters in it. I'd love to play one where you have to just survive day to day and deal with the occasional other survivor. You'd have to deal with wild animals, weather, not to mention the crumbling of towns and cities and chemical plants causing havoc.
     
  8. Wolfie138

    Wolfie138 Well-Known Member

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    Didn't like IAL at all, as all have said the deserted city was great, but the plot wasn't. there was a load of stuff that just wasn't explained (i saw it on TV, dunno if the DVD is a restored cut?) : like, what was he spraying around the house? What was that bit where he goes to bed, and the next thing you see he's in a bathtub?

    stake LAnd...bleh. i'm provampire, i don't like films where they're just dumb stake fodder.
     
  9. ralphee

    ralphee Sr Member

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    Im pretty stoked you DIDNT see the infected much.....pathetic, lame looking CGI, think the best thing about them was the Mike Patton vocals, HATED this film, the ending is a COMPLETE cop out.

    lee
     
  10. CB2001

    CB2001 Master Member

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    You mean what he was pouring on the steps? Basically, that's some sort of cleaner. He was using it to cover up his smell at the steps, since the infected's smell became sensitive and were able to know where he been (which is why they used "Fred" from outside the video store for their trap outside Grand Central Station, because he had gone there multiple times and didn't clean his smell from there, as he had no reason to because it wasn't as important as his house was).

    The bed to bath thing, it's basically the fear of the possibility of them finding him. Fear can make you want to do strange things. For example, when I lived in Orlando, during my third month there, I had my apartment broken into while I was away one weekend. The night I got back and found my door hanging open, I not only called the police to report it and called night-time maintenance to replace the lock, but I pulled the couch in front of the front door and slept on it out of fear that the person would come back and use the front door to do it. I did it for two days until ADT came to install a security system. After that, I felt secure one again. Him sleeping in the bathtub with the door with him and his gun in his hands was his attempt, at that particular moment, to feel comfortable. He probably did it multiple times. Some times it may have been the bathtub. Other times, it may have been in the basement.

    Honestly, I'm not talking about the stake fodder thing when it comes to Stake Land, I'm talking about how it portrays the story of characters surviving in a world comprised of vampires and how the world the humans knew was slowly decaying around them. That's the kind of world Matheson written about when it came to I Am Legend (scavenging for supplies and hunting vampires by day, boarding yourself up at night and praying for daylight to come quickly). If you haven't read the novella, I definitely recommend it (if you're not into reading novellas, there was a comic book adaptation done, the story adapted by Steve Niles of 30 Days of Night fame, which sticks true to Matheson's story scene for scene, word for word).
     
  11. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    I don't think he ever really realized that they traveled so much either. I figured it was bleach or ammonia that he used. I never saw the I am legend comic. I also think after a while of living like that Smith's character really was starting to lose his marbles which is understandable since he's technically living in a wide open prison of solitary confinement. I did laugh that he would bother to take videos back to the video store. I think the way he did things was his way of making sure he didn't become totally reclusive or insane. The one thing this movie had was interesting little details on his daily life and just odd stuff like he never really stockpiled fuel but would go to a gas station (did you see those prices? They made me laugh as when I first saw it gas prices were rising like a rocket).
    Looks like I Am Legend 2 comes out next year. I have a feeling it's going to be more action packed as it is a prequel.
     
  12. Wolfie138

    Wolfie138 Well-Known Member

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    seems a bit odd to me. in a totally empty city, one house totally reeking of bleach has got to be as much of a giveaway as his own scent?!
    The bath is plausible, but it just didn't connect to anything in the plot and it jarred.

    as for petrol, i'd assumed there was the safety factor. i'd prefer to prep a station and go to it for easy fuel whenever i needed (which would probably be often w/ that car, lol) rather than have gallons around the house.

    oh yeah - and, prequel?! WTF?! The whole interest of the story is what happens AFTER!
     
  13. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    I dunno I'd like to see the prequel as it shows him surviving up until the first movie as I'm sure there was a lot more action going on. I'm not sure that maybe they can smell the bleach, it might actually just destroy the scent in a way they can't notice it. They didn't' give the infected much of a back story so there is little way to know how their senses work. I'm assuming it might just dull it enough for them not to notice in some way or it acts like the garlic did in the original stories and they hate the smell. Plus the smell doesn't stick around very long so by the time night falls and they start prowling it might fade, plus it could just be a precaution in case they actually manage to follow him. Sort of a better safe than sorry type of thing just like all the traps he set up around the house.
     
  14. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Never cared for this one, and as far as a true adaptation of Mathesons story forget it, it will never happen. :(
     
  15. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    Sadly even if it got a green light most audiences wouldn't go for it since there isn't much action and crap isn't blowing up.
     
  16. Scareb

    Scareb Sr Member

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    My biggest problem is the use of CGI. They had a cool practical appliance done up that made it look creepy as hell and they scrapped it do will smith could be chased around by video game characters.
     
  17. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    I agree even if they'd used cg to augment the makeup. Now some stuff like the city and the wild animals you really couldn't get around doing it with CGI. Well you could but there'd be a lot of eaten animals from mishaps lol.
     
  18. Scareb

    Scareb Sr Member

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  19. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    For sure they should have used practical with CGI for the stuff that just wasn't feasible.
    I am Legend - Shelter - YouTube
    This is one of my favorite of the 4 animated comic tie ins to the movie. Orson Scott Card worked on this one and the story shows it. I like that it's a love story that shows a side of the infected the movie barely touches on other than in the unused ending as well as it shows that to them we're the monsters.
     
  20. tain669

    tain669 Sr Member

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    Now don't get me wrong.. I love thid film.. And Will Smith deserved an Oscar nod. But I too feel that the infested could have been done better. I kind of wish they wont for more of the vampire look form the novel but make them more veral like in Stakeland.Otherwise a great film
     
  21. ShadowX81

    ShadowX81 Well-Known Member

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    I think I am one of the only ones that likes the theatrical ending better.

    While yes, the alternate ending does make the film make more sense, but I refuse to believe that the infected were better off as they were rather then being cured.
     
  22. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    The thing is that one of the endings is more in line with the book and other movies while the "happy" ending is more to show that the infected aren't as feral as Neville thought and that they have adapted and created their own society.
     
  23. CB2001

    CB2001 Master Member

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    Trust me, the novella's ending (which survived the adaptation into The Last Man on Earth) is the best ending of all.
     
  24. darthgordon

    darthgordon Sr Member

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    I actually think this movie could have been great... but I get pulled right out of the moment, as soon as the CGI monsters show up. It becomes too video game like. The ending also stinks, compared to the original story...
     
  25. ShadowX81

    ShadowX81 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe they aren't quite as feral as he thought, but it was still very clearly a huge step backwards for humankind. There is no way society as a whole is better off with us regressing into vampire cavemen.
     
  26. ColdSteel

    ColdSteel New Member

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    I think it's all a matter of suspension of disbelief. We've become spoiled with some of the better special effects and can't just go with it. In the end, it was the lame ending which spoiled this movie for me, rather than CG.

     
  27. DavidS

    DavidS Sr Member

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    I always interpreted the alternate ending to mean that humanity is coming BACK into them. that eventually they will become human again and essentially cure themselves.
     
  28. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    I kind of saw it as a version of the humans that Neville finds in the original novel and Last Man on Earth where they're infected but have come to cope with it. They're still not fully human but they're no longer as feral as they were when the outbreak happened, which i'd probably guess would be due to the sudden changes they were all going through and the fact that their bodies weren't fully adapted to the mutations.
     
  29. CelticRuins

    CelticRuins Sr Member

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    I saw this a long time ago and had wished that they had used it over CGI. Like others have said, the CGI was stiff, lame and far too fake looking.

    My boyfriend and I love the books, and he even loves Omega Man. I'm ashamed to say we haven't seen I am Omega, but really need to. Other than that, I like Will Smith's performance and the set design, but the infected were neither scary or believable. I also wish it ended like the book did.
     
  30. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    I still prefer the omega man, especially the music as it's very much fitting of the time it was filmed in. Plus Chuck Heston could make any movie better.
     
  31. Noeland

    Noeland Sr Member

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    I bet they thought the practical effect looked too much like an alien gray. I think if they had just applied FX to a person, and used contacts and such, and let a real performance shine through, it would have been quite effective.

    The book is one of my favorites and it took me a long time just to watch the Will Smith film because I knew it was going to stray far from the source material. I didn't hate it though, but it was a disappointment for me to see that they didn't really do anything all that interesting with the film otherwise. But Will Smith did try and make it work. His performance was the best thing about the film, easy.
     
  32. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    I think it's one of his best acting parts as it can't be easy to play a guy who hasn't seen another human in years and is just barely staying from going nuts by doign his research. Apparently he met with former POWs and a guy who had been in solitary for years to get an idea of what his character would have gone through. I'm not sure if the prequel is happening or not anymore. It was supposed to have been out last year. Smith keeps saying its going to happen. Apparently the idea is that it shows him and some others trying to find a cure as the plague gets worse and ends with him setting up shop alone.
     
  33. Aussie66

    Aussie66 Member

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    I quite like I am legend :)
     
  34. Werstrooper

    Werstrooper Well-Known Member

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    I must agree the cgi really let this film down ,but ******* it has some freaky moments. like when the dog takes off into the building and he goes in after it.

    first time I watched that scene I almost **** myself, but when you see the group of infected standing around the dear did anyone else think it looked like they're all fapping over it?
     

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