“ Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Science Fiction / Theatrical Release: 2007 / Suitable for 15 years and over / Director: Francis Lawrence / Actors: Will Smith, Dash Mihok, Charlie Tahan, Salli Richardson, Alice Braga ... / Blu-ray released 2008-04-21 at Warner Home Video / Features of the Blu-ray: PAL, Special Edition „
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The end of the world is a premise that has been used over the years in cinema to good effect, whether it's used as a more cerebral approach or a more of action orientated film. If you have seen the films that are the original source material for the recent fashion of re-makes you may get the impression that the remakes aren't actually worth doing based on the grounds the original is better, with I Am Legend the remake rules have been rolled out in force. This being the third remake of the story, probably the best known version is the Charlton Heston film called The Omega Man released in 1971, a film that is considered to be a cult classic for its style and characters. However the latest version takes the same premise of a viral disease being let loose yet does the approach in a totally different and modern style reflecting a more brutal fashon of story telling.
Will Smith plays the main character of Robert Neville, a Military man who as we discover is the last human in New York City, Neville's back story is explained in flashbacks showing the mass evacuation and the loss of his family in a helicopter accident. Neville remains in the city and attempts to find a cure for the disease that initially was a cure for cancer, but evolved into a viral strain that turns humans into nocturnal predators. Smith has no one to talk to except his German Shepherd that he uses as a friend as well as security. You see the man go through a lot of changes in an attempt to bring some normality in life, after all the worlds population has decreased by 90% and so loneliness is the only thing that Neville has. This is shown to quite dramatic effect when he is walking around the city hunting for food, vast stretches of New York lie empty and barren with the city caught in some horrific snapshot of emptiness. These shots are chilling in nature when they are shown on screen. Smith plays the part well, thankfully the approach taken is serious in nature and so we have a more mature Smith playing the main character of a Military scientist attempting to bring an end to this apocalyptic event. He is a man on the edge and so the majority of his dialogue is either aimed at his dog or at immobile objects that Neville has set up in shops to try and raise the levels of his day. This alone sets the bar and shows the audience just how far down the road the man has travelled. Every day Neville attempts to try and contact the outside world by means of Radio, you see a man desperate for some kind of response. The films take a suspenseful turn when one of the many traps that Neville has across the city successfully captures one of the changed humans and so Neville takes it back to his lab, this in turn brings him face to face with the beasts that he is trying to save.
The film is clever in how it tells the story, the film opens with a number of sporadic flashbacks and you see how the world has been changed, interestingly the scenes in the flashbacks are powerful statements that show panic, chaos and desperation with what is happening. Whilst the scenes set in the present are empty and lonely, it is quite a chilling comparison that certainly delivers a message. I was quite shocked at the lengths that the US Military go to secure the city as a quarantined area, by destroying all bridges and paths that can be used as a way out and seeing as the film was set just a few years after 9/11 thought that this would still be fresh in peoples minds, in fact the scenes of chaos and destruction did just that for me and it was the first thing bought to my mind.
This isn't a bad film at all, but given the subject has been done time and again before the film is somewhat diluted before it is even seen, obviously if you haven't seen any of the predecessors for this film then this film will deliver a high amount of entertainment and suspense that is perfect Saturday night viewing. However, if like me you have seen the films before then the films pace is something that isn't necessarily consistent till last third and even though the first third is basically setting the foundation for the story, the film itself does tend to grow and evolve with what it has to offer and by the end you'll see that it is something better than the usual Will Smith offering that Smith knowing he is the main man in the film tends to cocky and quite ignorant in nature, it is Smith that holds the film and for the better part makes the film his own and carries it of well, after all it's a "one man and his dog" show at the beginning. One thing I did notice was that there is still a lot of product placement in this post apocalyptic world and for me I found this quite distracting in nature as it just so happens that he drives a well known brand of car or drinks a premier beer!
The special effects in the film are another aspect that is surprising and well done; these are seen throughout and used to the right capacity and to the right tone. The explosions are big and the sound is loud, which is how it should be with regards to the story, after all the film has the whole of New York to play with and the story doesn't necessarily go out the boundaries at all and even though the film is set in a citywide landscape the loneliness does make the film quite claustrophobic in nature. The use of music is done in the right places and so the vast emptiness is explored in virtual silence which on its own is powerful to behold on screen.
As this is a Smith film and the level of production is high as expected with his films, the extras on the Blu-ray is expected to reflect that fact. Sadly the expectations I had were not met and the extras will leave you saying is that all that they could deliver from a film such as this? Probably the best thing on here is the Alternative Ending to the film which is more upbeat and understanding than the one in the film, an ending that could have had possibilities and something that should have been an option rather than the downbeat ending that I was left feeling quite numb about. The Alternate Ending can also be played as an option and it is watching the film with this to grasp the difference. Also included in the package is the production of the film and the efforts that Smith went to obtain the ripped physique he shows off with pride. But the documentary that I watched called The Science of I Am Legend goes through and matched the science of the film with reality; if it doesn't confuse you then you must have a PHD! The picture is crisp as you would expect from Blu-ray and the colours are rich and dark, even the more pastel colours in the film are presented very clearly.
If you've read the books or seen the other films then you'll know the ending straight away and probably feel this is a cop out, however putting that aside then the film is entertaining and presented in a slightly different manner to some recent action films that seem to be rather thin on plot and story. It starts high and by the end seems to run out of steam where the use of the suspense has been overused.
I Am Legend.
Will Smith giving a top class performance.
The story follows Robert Neville who is a scientist working for the military, well that should be worked for the military. Now he is the only normal human left alive in Los Angeles, or is he?
The film flashes back and forth in its attempt to explain how Robert is alone.
But for now he hunts the insane Vampiric humans at night and barricades himself into his house at night.
He is desperately hunting for the answer to why he alone is unaffected by the virus that has turned all other humans into cannibalistic animals who hide by day and hunt at night.
Soon he will find a cure but will he be able to use it while he fights for his life and the lives of any unaffected humans anywhere in the world.
An incredible remake of an original and originally poor film of the book, got that?. This film is stunning to see and the CGI is state of the art. the film deals with the ultimate sacrifice and what price a lone man will make to save his fellow man.
The acting is superb and Will Smith is at his best All in all a movie I enjoyed and would watch again and again.
The Blu Ray
The blacks are much, much deeper and the colours crisper and brighter, whilst the imagery is beautiful to experience. Worth the extra cash I felt for this eye bulging film.
You have Dolby True HD audio which is teeth rattlingly good.
The deep bass rumbles around your living room is amazing and compliments the on going action in the film and definitely adds to the movies enjoyment.
Very highly Recommended.
Here is one of my top movies in my collection and now I have it in Blue Ray I can see all of its beauty and in 1080p HD clarity.
The opening doesn't really give anything away and keeps you watching to the end. The flash backs give most of the details of how and why the city of New York is the way it is.
I was very impressed with the plants in the city and looked quite real and lifelike even in Blue Ray which tends to bring out the flaws of the film. The quality of the special effects and the monsters is incredibly good and you don't seem to be able to notice many flaws in the film at all, even with the high quality Blue Ray format.
There were some real edge of your seat moments and some points which made you jump, which in a thriller is quite good. I did like the action scenes and there was a lot to take in.
Overall a fantastic film, even more so in Blue Ray.
I thought I would write a review on my most recent Blu Ray purchase; I Am Legend.
The picture quality of this BD is extremely good and the reviews were spot on. It's a brilliant transfer and looks amazing throughout. The difference between DVD and Blu Ray can most definitely be seen.
I Am Legend is about a man named Robert Neville who is investigating "Dark Seekers", where he is the only human left in his area. It's a very emotional movie and almost follows the book. The most disappointing part of the movie is the end. For some reason, the ending from the book was changed and to put it simply... the film makes no sense with this ending.
I advise you to watch the Theartrical ending, or just watch the alternative ending because it is SO much better. The whole concept of "legend" is explained.
Will Smith is flawless in this movie and as usual makes the movie a masterpiece. I honestly would be much less interested in the movie if it wasn't for Smith starring. This is an absolute must have in everyone's Blu Ray collection.
i am legend was one film that I very much enjoyed. Before seeing that film I had heard many mixed views on the film but on seeing the film myself I have to say That I very much enjoyed it.
The film starts off with robert neville(will smith) and his dog trying to live in a cith which is now infested with vampire like zombies. of course these zombies only come out after dark and every night he has to lock himslef into his home. Throughout the film he trys to make a cure for the disease, while at the same time he is trying to survive.
The film has a real great atmosphere to it and you really get that feeling of him being the only person left on the planet with a real errie sense to it all.
i am legend is a film that i enjoyed very much throughout, the special effects are pretty decent and the whole film is pretty enjoyable throughout. overall the film was a great experience and it was made even better byt the fantastic sound and brilliant picture quality of blu-ray which really cant be beaten.
I Am Legend.
I remember watching the original film 'The Omega Man', starring Charlton Heston. It was a bit poor and massively different from the book.
This latest version starring Will Smith is slightly different from the book but closer to the mark.
Robert Neville is the last 'Normal' human alive in the city of Los Angeles and possibly the last in the world.
His mind is constantly prayed upon with doubts and agonies of why only he survived, if he should carry on alone and if there is a cure.
Whilst out one day he encounters a wild dog but it soon becomes his companion if only for a short while.
Every night he has to barricade himself inside his home with his dog whilst undead roam the streets.
In the act of slaughtering as many of the undead as possible he fears he himself is becoming a monster and instead turns his keen mind to finding a cure.
He discovers there are 2 distinct stages to the virus or vampirism, The infected and the un-dead.
His struggles are as much in the mind as physically against the creatures of the night.
The ending of the movie was explosive and had a good twist.
The acting is superb and Will Smith is at his best. The sense of loneliness for a good 3rd of the film is eerie and the amosphere is superbly done.
The flash backs to his family are at times disjointed but are clearly a requirement to the plot.
~The Blu Ray~
~Video Blu Ray~
The Blu Ray Edition is simply stunning to see. The start of the movie where he is around the city in and amongst the wild life is amazing.
The contrasts are clear and Blacks are deep across the entire scale
It is worthy of the title Blu Ray.
~Audio Blu Ray~
The Blu-ray comes in both Dolby Digital EX Surround and DTS-HD High Resolution. And both tracks are Very good, There is apparently newer things on the way such as Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks, so even this may soon be surpassed.
Worth the money and a film to be watched again and again
All in all a movie I enjoyed.
Having previously watched the standard DVD version of 'I Am Legend', I was interested to see how the blu-ray version compared in terms of both picture quality and special features.
Dr Robert Neville (Will Smith) is one of the last men on earth, due to the mutation of a potential cancer vaccine which has transformed the majority of mankind into vampiric creations known as 'Darkseekers'
As a military scientist, Neville spends his days with his faithful dog, looking for a vaccine to the virus, in the hope that he can re-humanise the world's population.
Directed by Francis Lawrence, 'I am Legend' is actually the third movie version of Richard Matheson's book - after 1964's 'The Last Man on Earth' starring Vincent Price, and 1971's 'The Omega Man', starring Charlton Heston.
The movie begins with a post-apocolyptic vision of New York, showing deserted city streets with wild animals roaming the area. These opening scenes really have a powerful impact and set the scene and tone of the movie beautifully.
In fact, the movie gets off to a great start on the whole, up until we're introduced the films 'baddies'. Unfortunately, the quality of the CGI seriously deteriorates from this time onward, with the 'Darkseekers' looking like they've been taken straight from a low budget computer game. If the film makers were at all concerned about the effectiveness of their CGI abilities, they should have used prosthetic effects on human actors, which would have added realism instead of making the audience laugh at the dodgy effects.
In the lead role, Wiil Smith is excellent as usual, and beautifully conveys the emotion and slight insanity of being the 'last man standing'. Without giving too much away, there is a scene featuring his beloved dog which really is upsetting to watch near the end of the film.
I Am Legend has received a lot of criticism from viewers, as it has apparently strayed from the plot of Richard Matheson's book. Although I haven't read it, i've been told that the twist at the end is that Robert Neville is the villain, and the 'Darkseekers' fear him as if he is the bad guy - destroying their lives for no apparent reason - it asks questions about how good and evil is portrayed - an element which isn't played upon in the film. As such, many people have claimed the ending has been seriously 'dumbed down'.
The first half of I Am Legend is far better than the second half, which ends up being just another slayer, explosion-fest, and the ending is far too 'Hollywood'. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the majority of the movie, and Will Smith really does carry the film throughout.
The picture quality of this blu-ray disk is excellent, and the colours are much more vivid than the version of the movie which I first saw in the cinema. There's only a slight grainyness to the picture, but this is only noticeable in the darker scenes - and it's only a fine amount.
In terms of the extras, the disk features an alternate ending, which is a nice bonus, and a feature called 'The Science of I Am Legend' which makes for fairly interesting viewing.
You can get the blu-ray disk for £16.98 from Amazon.
Based a short novel by Richard Matheson, I Am Legend is set in the near future when scientists announced they have altered the measles virus so that it kills cancer cells. Cut to three years later and the virus has destroyed civilization as we know it. Scientist Robert Neville (Will Smith) is immune to the virus and seems to be the sole human survivor in a New York that is going back to the wild. With only his trusty German Shepherd Sam for company, Neville is attempting to locate any other survivors, broadcasting a meeting place where he waits every day. He is also attempting to find a cure for the virus, by using his own blood to create an inoculation and experimenting on the mutant creatures that haunt the city. Isn't it lucky that the one remaining guy is a scientist? Phew! Thank goodness for that!
There are some fantastic scenes where we see Neville travelling through a New York where abandoned cars are turning to rust and wild animals roam (although I remember reading in the press that New Yorkers bitterly resented the streets being closed off for filming!). A herd of deer and a lion leaping through the streets are done with breathtaking realism.
At night, Neville races to return to his house, covering up any scent trail to prevent the creatures finding out where he lives. Will Smith is good in this role. We get a real sense of the urgency and the fear of not getting back in time before the nocturnal creatures come out. He spends a good part of the film acting with just the dog and fortunately a charismatic actor like Will Smith carries this off well (so does the dog!), portraying the fear and loneliness of his life. However this is broken up Neville's memory flashbacks showing his life before the virus, a useful way of giving the viewer some backstory.
The one big weakness in this film (and it's huge!) is the computer generated mutant creatures. Think of the first Spiderman film where the computer generated Spiderman is swinging through the buildings and you just know he's not real. Spiderman got better with subsequent sequels, so I would have expected better with this, but no, it just doesn't work. The creatures are just so unreal and improbable they just don't instill any fear. A pity really, because I had really looked forward to this film. They could have used human actors and I think it would have worked much better. The vampires in 30 Days of Night were made to look fantastically horrible, and were much more scary, but weren't computer generated, apart from necessary special effects scenes.
Another weakness, is that the ending is somewhat different to the Richard Matheson story, so if you're a fan of the author you might be disappointed. The meaning of the title becomes different as well. However, sometimes a book doesn't entirely translate to screen and I do think it was a necessary change. I kind of prefer the book though.
I am Legend is directed by Francis Lawrence, who also directed Constantine.