Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Movie Review: I Am Legend

“My name is Robert Neville. I am a survivor living in New York City. I am broadcasting on all AM frequencies. I will be at the South Street Seaport everyday at mid-day, when the sun is highest in the sky. If you are out there... if anyone is out there... I can provide food, I can provide shelter, I can provide security. If there's anybody out there... anybody... please. You are not alone.”

I Am Legend is a sci fi horror film that takes place in a post apocalyptic America. This is the third attempt at a film adaptation of Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel of the same name. The first two were…well, they were stinkers, so I won’t even mention their names here, but in this case the third time really is the charm.

Dr. Robert Neville thinks he is Earth's only surviving human not affected by a vicious man-made virus. He works to create a cure while living in a city inhabited by mutant victims of the virus that appear to be a mix of zombies and vampires.

We are given a glimpse into the life of a man who has spent three years with only his dog as a companion and the effect it is having on his sanity. It isn’t pretty.


In I AM LEGEND, Will Smith joins the ranks of Vincent Price (in 1964's THE LAST MAN ON EARTH) and Charlton Heston (in 1971's OMEGA MAN) as the star of an adaptation of Richard Matheson's 1954 novel of the same name. Often surprising in its focus on loneliness and loss, this thoughtful, eerie, and restrained sci-fi horror film provides a parade of startling visuals, but never allows special effects to overcome the human element. Smith, in a strong performance very different from his usual persona, is Robert Neville, the lone survivor in a New York City where streets are overgrown and deer gambol among deserted automobiles.

Following an epidemic, the Earth's population has been turned into an army of nocturnal zombies. Immune to the virus, military scientist Neville searches for a cure in his Washington Square townhouse. Haunted by visions of his family leaving quarantined Manhattan two years prior, he drives through the city with his German Shepherd, Sam, by day and barricades his home from the monsters nightly. But when Anna (Alice Braga)--another immune stranger-finds him, they will have to fight the onslaught twice as hard.

Akiva Goldsman and Mark Protosevich's emotionally-charged script showcases the charisma of Smith, who commands the screen alone for most of the picture (aside Abbey, a talented German Shepherd). Director Francis Lawrence (CONSTANTINE) uses music minimally, wisely allowing the eerie cityscapes to remain mostly silent. The set pieces, including an overgrown, deserted Times Square and a lion hunting a deer in the Flatrion District, are goosebump-inducing moments of stark beauty. Though some may question the rendering of the monsters in CGI instead of using actors, it does allow them to be frighteningly acrobatic. A chilling and effective adaptation of a horror classic, I AM LEGEND is also a thought-provoking piece of Hollywood filmmaking.

I highly recommend this movie.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars



At 11:05 AM, Blogger lime said...

it sounds like an interesting flick for sure. now here's my snarky side coming out...how come the only two survivors are a goodlooking man and a good looking woman? just once i want to see one of these movies made where the only two survivors are scrappy, homely people. (i dunno ..steve buscemi and the lady who was the mother in "throw mama from the train" maybe) they repopulate the earth with all their scrappy, homely offspring and since that is the norm it becomes the definition of beauty and the shapely bodies with fine, chiseled features are considered grotesque. hahaha, ok...i am rambling crazy now...just tell me to shaddup.

looks like a good movie though. i may have to check it.

At 11:10 AM, Blogger James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

lol, now THEY would make some awesome looking babies. :D

Definately check out the movie. Not exactly a feel good flick, but definately gives you something to think about.

At 2:48 PM, Blogger Donnetta Lee said...

Sounds like my kinda movie! Seems as if I read the story a long, long time ago.

Remember the Twilight Zone episode where the girl is having plastic surgery? When the bandages are taken off, she is beautiful and everybody else is ugly--BUT, everybody else believes they are beautiful and SHE is the unlovely one. Oldy but goody.


At 2:55 PM, Blogger James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

Oh, I do remember that one, Donnetta. TZ was some good watching back in the day. Heck, I still catch an epsiode or two from time to time.

At 2:57 PM, Blogger Breazy said...

I have been wanting to see this movie since I saw the first preview. All of the reviews from friends have been that it is an awesome movie so I definitely need to find time.

Hope you had a great Easter!

At 3:03 PM, Blogger James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

I hope you find the time soon. I'm sure you would groove on this flick. :D Easter was great, quiet, but great. I hope yours was great as well. :D

At 10:20 AM, Blogger ciara said...

i saw the vincent price version 'the last man on earth', and it felt kind of macabre. then i went and saw 'i am legend'....it left me feeling very sad (i could feel tears welling up LOL). i'd give it 5 stars, too. :)

At 10:21 AM, Blogger ciara said...

p.s. oops, i mentioned one of the other films name ha ha ha

At 11:08 AM, Blogger James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

oh, yeah...it was the better of the two and yes...it's quite alright that you mentioned it. :D lol.


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