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Mithfânion
December 26th, 2007, 05:28 PM
Just saw this film and had to post how much I loved it. Incredibly good. Head and shoulders over any other 2007 release that I have seen. I was really looking forward to this film because I'm a sucker for post-apocalypse setting, and then it turned out to be even better than I expected, which almost never happens.

Pros:

Excellent atmosphere. This really came across as how the world would look like if we'd all been hit by a plague. I recently bought "The World without us", the acclaimed non-fiction book on what the world would look like if we were all struck by a virus, and this film completes the picture for a good part.

Superb interplay between Neville and Sam.

Some decent storytelling at last. First, get your viewers to sympathize with and really care for the main character ( and his pet). When you've done that, then the bad **** happens and the viewer actually gives a damn what happens. The sort of storytelling that you'd find normal if you read a lot of good books but which are so often absent in films.

Genuinely freaky and scary zombies. Now, I admit I have not read the book and will be doing so after seeing this, but I thought the book featured vampires, which these were not. Having said that, who gives a toss when they are that scary. I see someone saying that 28 days and the recent 30 Nights film were better and honestly, they were not even in the same league as this one, or half as frightening. The mass of zombies looks genuinely ****ed-up here.

Some incredible individual scenes. Sam chasing that deer into the tunnel......where he should never go. Neville in that same tunnel showing us our first encounter. Neville finding out that the zombies are not dumb like he thought. There are plenty, though the first half of the film feels a bit stronger.

Incredible tension throughout. I just felt like bad **** could happen at any time. And indeed it often did.

No happy endings.

cons:

The film could really have used some more background info. Who destroyed the bridge with all those people on it when the US army was guarding it? No info. Why is a very small percentage of people immune? Work with that a little. Why do some become darkseekers when 90% of those infected dies? The movie could use a bit more flesh on the bones sometimes.

Also, stop the God preaching, so many US films have it. It is becoming such an annoyance to have the preaching there. Just believe and it will be ok. Sigh.

Finally, and we know this has been said a thousand times already and nothing will change, I know, but if you have a global catastrophe, if you are really the Last man on Earth as advertised, you might want to show the state of the rest of the world instead of just assuming once again that New York= The World, like in every other Hollywood disaster movie. Why of why do they make the same mistake in all of them? So self-centered.

Overall:

Incredibly tense film with good characters and genuinely scary villains. Didn't think it would be this good and my expectations were high to begin with.

Hobbit
December 26th, 2007, 05:57 PM
It's good to read a positive review, Mith. Be interesting to hear what you think when you've read the book in comparison.

I recently reviewed the book here (http://www.sffworld.com/brevoff/408.html). I'm still not sure its filmable in the way that the book ends, but it'll be interesting to compare. I do like the book, even with its bleakness.

(And yes, your vampire question is answered there.)

I try very hard not to compare films with books: two different mediums, not always mutually compatable! - but I'm pleased to read here that it may not necessarily be the Hollywood copout I fear in the review.

Mark / Hobbit

Andols
December 27th, 2007, 08:14 AM
I felt it was relatively close to the book. Not an exact replication by any means but the feel seemed to be the same. I read somewhere that Matheson had his hands in a few things and was on set for a lot of it.

I think it could have used another 30-40 minutes between back story and a better ending.

Miriamele
December 27th, 2007, 08:58 AM
Finally, and we know this has been said a thousand times already and nothing will change, I know, but if you have a global catastrophe, if you are really the Last man on Earth as advertised, you might want to show the state of the rest of the world instead of just assuming once again that New York= The World, like in every other Hollywood disaster movie. Why of why do they make the same mistake in all of them? So self-centered.


Oh man, I hate that! It's true, every disaster movie centers around New York City. One time I'd like to see what's going on in Tokyo or Moscow or Sao Paolo instead! It would be so much more interesting.

Glad to hear you liked the movie overall though. I think my husband and I might be going to see this this week.

cougs
December 27th, 2007, 01:39 PM
Just like all of Will Smith's movies, it was a good, slick, fun to watch Hollywood flick. I expected it to deviate from the book in almost every way except the basic premise, and it pretty much did...but I still enjoyed it a lot.

Suspenseful, scary, intense, and funny (at times), easily one of the best movies I’ve seen this year, 4.5/5. Go see it (at IMAX if you can :) ).

Hobbit
December 27th, 2007, 02:22 PM
I must admit that that does annoy me. Still haven't recovered from Independence Day's view of the world, myself. ;)

To try and cover the global dimension a little more (we are a global forum, after all!) the film's publicity department have tried to show effects in other places on he posters: have a look HERE. (http://filmonic.com/i-am-legend-global-banners/) Not ideal, but it is a step in the right direction.

Mark / Hobbit

Fung Koo
December 28th, 2007, 11:19 AM
While other cities would also look spectacular in a state of desertion, New York has a level of cultural precedence that few other cities have. Times Square and Central Park are two of the most recognizable places on earth. Also, there are very few cities that occupy an entire island with sky scrapers, dwarfing the size of an individual human. Keeping the story centered in the city with the character whose loneliness we are supposed to identify with was a very smart move by the filmmakers. If it panned out, the narration would have gone to third person and most of the character identification would probably have been lost.

I agree the ending was a bit abrupt, and the religious overtone was a little annoying, but it's better than if it was all just fate. Then we'd criticize it for being airy-fairy whereas religion is culturally pervasive. But, the ending was appropriate. He lost his ability to recognize humanity, and in the end sacrifices himself as testament to his renewed recognition of the humanity of others and his own. While the introduction of the mother and child seemed a deliberate plot device, the filmmakers pointed out that it was a plot device by superimposing the images of his loss onto the new characters. That acknowledgment validates their introduction into the story. To acknowledge humanity he has to comes to grips with his own. If he didn't sacrifice himself, he would have been selfish, and the film would've downgraded to a cheesy action-hero flick. Plus it was in keeping with the religious tone, creating a martyr, thus the legend. Overall, I thought the ending was the right one.

Davis Ashura
December 31st, 2007, 08:43 AM
Great movie. What Fung said.

James Carmack
December 31st, 2007, 05:13 PM
Oh man, I hate that! It's true, every disaster movie centers around New York City. One time I'd like to see what's going on in Tokyo or Moscow or Sao Paolo instead! It would be so much more interesting.

If you want to see what happens to Tokyo, watch just about anything that comes out of Japan. Just as they like to make NYC or LA the center of the universe in American stuff, the Japanese have Tokyo as the center of the universe. Every. Single. Time. For once I'd like to see Sapporo be the frickin' mystical nexus of everything.

My experience with media beyond the US and Japan is limited, but I imagine the phenomenon is pretty much the same elsewhere. London for the Brits, Paris for the French, etc, etc. Am I right?

xvart
January 1st, 2008, 12:31 AM
I thought it was pretty good. My wife loved it. I haven't read the book either. I plan on reading it soon. I also agree about comparing books and movies and since I Am Legend is considered by some to be the second best vampire book I'm pretty excited. I especially enjoyed the publicity in the promotion of this movie as the first several trailers did not have any vampires in it. In fact, I only remember seeing the "vampires" in one trailer or news clip. That's the way trailers should be.


Oh man, I hate that! It's true, every disaster movie centers around New York City. One time I'd like to see what's going on in Tokyo or Moscow or Sao Paolo instead! It would be so much more interesting.

Or Wichita, Kansas!

xvart.