1.13.2008

The I Am Legend Post

Finally saw I am Legend last night in Imax. I find that holiday releases never manage to fit into my schedule with all the end of year goings on so it was no surprise this one slipped thorough the cracks. Unfortunately, after seeing it I don’t know if it was worth catching. I never saw the ads and thought that it was a must see, but it did look like the kind of film that would be well received and would benefit from the Imax Experience™.

Turns out that the film underperformed to the degree where even 9 story screens cant make it engaging. While not a horrible film, I am Legend simple doesn’t excel in any particular category. The visuals where ok, but nothing phenomenal by today’s standards, and I find that the main efforts where dumped into making New York look deserted. They do a good job of this, but seem to think that panning over their work over and over constitutes a scene. I was impressed with the setting initially, but after seeing it from every possible angle at the beginning and end of every scene I quickly got fed up with the slow pace and found myself wondering what the plot was going to be. The dark-stalker zombie characters where rather poorly done and dripped with CG. They didn’t look like they where part of the same scene as the live action at all. The modeling what nicely executed, but the end result was a really fake looking interaction with the world around them that could have been avoided with some prosthesis and physical props. They look exactly like the Mummy monster from 1999’s film by the same name, which is a shame considering the leaps we’ve made in movie effects since then.

I am Legend has an interesting premise (cancer miracle cure turns bad and makes zombie people out of 99.9% of the population), but nothing particularly interesting transpires during the film. You can imagine how hectic and cool all the zombie mutation/evacuation aftermath was… but wont see much more than a few flashbacks from Will Smith’s p.o.v. which is a shame. Its pretty much an after-the-action-thriller, not an action-thriller itself. Unfortunately they filmmakers took the same approach with the ending, and leave a lot to be assumed by the audience, rather than actually see anything take place, which left me feeling gypped.

Characters, though well acted where shallow and overly linear. Even Smith’s character was flat and routine. You do meet additional characters, but do so too late in the movie to the point where what happens to them really doesn’t affect the audience very much. The best character interaction comes from Will and his dog, which they put allot of effort into, and succeeded on that front. Everyone else is cliché and dull. Will included.

On the plus side they where bundling a 5 minute preview of Batman’s latest; Dark Knight, which will be absolutely amazing. I found myself totally sucked into the scene they showed and felt cut off when it ended, and disappointed that I had to then watch a different film. Consider my appetite whet Mr. Wayne.

1 comment:

jevan said...

Wow, would have thought this would have been right up your ally. I was contemplating seeing it, but if there is a movie about zombies and even you don't like it, there is no way I'm going to. There are so many potentially excellent films out in theatres right ( this is when all the best films come out *to keep fresh for oscar buzz*) I'm having trouble picking which ones to see.
I'm definitely going to see "There Will be Blood" tomorrow. I just hope I haven't hyped it up too much for myself. Daniel Day-Lewis is probably the greatest actor ever, and he only does a film once in a blue moon (this is his 3rd in ten years)..when something comes along the really strikes his fancy. So you know it's going to be good. But that and combined with the fact that reviewers are calling this the performance of the century... We'll see. I also need to see The Kite Runner, The Diving Bell & Butterfly,I'm not there, Before the Devil knows your dead and the Savages pretty soon. I've seen Atonement, Juno, Sweeney Todd and No Country for Old men in the last few weeks. All really good movies. I'm seriously overdosing on good movies right now...


Anyway here are some Netflix recommendations. It will be fairly long...but these are all MANDATORY movies to watch. And I'll put them in some kind of order in which I think you would like them. But I would give every single one of these 10/10 or a 9/10.

1. City of God---I've shown this movie to at least twenty people. Every single one of them has added it to their 'favorites of all time' list. One of if not the best 'gangsta/crime/drugs' movie ever.

2. Elling- a smart, funny, feel good comedy. You would love it.

3. The Graduate- won best picture as a comedy, and has the greatest soundtrack of all time.

4. The Prestige & The Illusionist-- two movies about magic in the 19th century that came out at the same time.. And both them are amazing. Watch closely...


5. Annie Hall-- Woody Allen's most revered comedy. Highly intellectual, neurotic jewism at it's best. Beat out Star Wars for best picture back in 77'.

6. Match Point- Continuing the Woody Allen theme. Except this isn't a comedy. It's a thriller. And an edge of your seat one at that. Plus Scarlett Johansson gets fucked really hard.

7. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest-- Jack Nicholson is my favorite actor because of this movie. It's laugh of out funny all of the way through and makes you think at the same time.

8. The Lives of Others--- An intense thriller about intellectuals living in east german communism. Best foreign film of 2006.

9. Apocalypse Now-- This movie is so intense I almost can't take it. Maybe you've seen it already. The chair of my philosophy department at radford thinks this is the single greatest movie ever made. He showed this and American Beauty as examples of the finest cinematic ART.

10. Good Will Hunting -- Matt damon, Robin Williams. Everyone loves this movie. I'm assuming you've seen it. If not..get to it.

11. Y Tu Mama Tambien--This is in my top three films of all time. Two teenagers go on an a road trip with a hot older woman...Sexy, funny, thought provoking..the complete package in a movie..

12. Stand By Me- best movie starring children ever. Written as a short story by Stephen King. The Shawshank Redemption was also a short story in the same book.

13. As Good As it Gets--- Jack Nicholson in another oscar winning role..Hilarious...

14. The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly. ..The quintessential Clint Eastwood western. You've seen a million parodies..but this also happens to be very, very good.

15. Lage Raho Munna Bhai- bollywood film. Feel good, happy comedy. I think you would reeally like it.

16. Schindler's List--seen it?

17. Eastern Promises-- I walked out the movie theater and my first words were.."that was fucking awesome".. 2nd best movie of 2007 that i've seen so far..(into the wild being tops)

18. The Sea Inside- Emotional powerhouse film about euthenasia

19. Hotel Rwanda---emotional, scary film about Africa that is also inspirational

20. Rudy...You've seen it yea? I'm putting in on here just in case..

So there you go...21 movies to keep you busy for 21 weeks. Keep me updated on your Netflix films. Let me know what you've been watching.