Thursday, December 13, 2007

Guest Review: "I Am Legend"

Top Abbott, one of the winners of the premier tickets to see "I Am Legend" has written a most excellent review of the film, and sent pictures from the premier. I am so pleased to have such quick feedback and a review! I AM LEGEND NYC Premiere Review By Top Abbott On December 11th at 1900 hrs my son and I attended the NYC premiere of I AM LEGEND. The head of Warner Bros., the director, the screenwriter and Will Smith were all in attendance. Also showing up were Mary K. Blige, Russel Simmons, LL, Bow Wow, Ty Diggs (I heard, but didn’t see him), David Blain (which could explain why my watch is missing), Tom Cruise and I BELIEVE the really pretty woman that I didn’t get a picture of was Alice Braga, co-star of the film. I AM LEGEND is a Warner Bros. Film. It’s apparently a remake of The Omega Man, also a Warner Bros film which starred Charlton Heston. See the trailer here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-MosmUseSY and wonder how movies in the 70’s made any money considering the effects. Richard Matheson wrote the book on which both movies are based and it was titled, I AM LEGEND. There was another incantation of this book. First to film was Last Man on Earth starring Vincent Price. The plot; a plague started by a vaccine virtually wipes out humanity. The story; The survivors fall into two camps: immune and infected. The infected are vampires. In the latest version there is no reference to vampires, the word is not even said. The movie starts with a newscast, then breaks into action. There are action sequences scattered throughout the film, and Will Smith is a machine gun carrying hero who feels the weight of finding a cure for those infected. The story movies quickly, and if you enjoy vampire flix and think there should be more, overall this one should satisfy. Cool action, strong cinematography, and Will Smith is in form (seriously, he’s does some pulls w/o a shirt and he’s one buff dude!) I’m a fan of Will Smith’s. I think he’s a very talented actor. This movie gives him some great acting opportunities. He’s actually scared, which hasn’t been seen by him at all in action movies previously. He’s upset, frustrated, angry, funny, driven and boarding on insanity. But why his character is so driven is never explained or answered. The character feels it’s completely his responsibility to “fix” this situation, but we all know it did not come about because of him. I think that would have been a great plotline, where he feels the weight of responsibility because he IS responsible. There’s plenty of scenes that made the audience jump with fright. The bad guys are intimidating, and there is some suspense, but overall it felt like this movie was trying to be something else. I think very much it was an attempt to be Children of Men but with heavy action and vampires. The movie is being tagged as a sci-fi, but other than the premise that this is a few years in the future and the inciting problem is biological in nature, I don’t see the science in this fiction. There’s not enough action to call it an action movie, and not enough horror to call it a horror movie. Will Smith is great to watch, but I don’t think this movie lives up to the hype. In the Omega Man I’ve read that the head of the bad guys wants to kill the protagonist because that character represents science and that’s what’s caused them to become these monsters. The bad guys here are just really fast strong bad guys seemingly only motivated by the desire for blood. The main bad guy, who is not given any type of name, starts to show intelligence and a desire to get at Smith’s character personally, but that’s as far as we get. The bad guy is intimidating, and really starts to become scary as we realize he’s showing that he’s making plans! But that’s as far as we get. There’s no dialogue from the bad guys. Again, they’re just really fast, strong vampires. How are they so fast and strong? Because. That’s what I took from this movie, it’s good because. It’s fun because. It’s scary because. I believe the because it’s Will Smith is supposed to be what followers, but when Smith announced that he had the project for 10 years, I was hoping for more than because, but what we get is a fun little action pick sure to rake in tens of millions of dollars, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with paying the bills while having some fun too. One last note; the “experience” of seeing this film was great! My son came in on the bus. It was dark and rainy and we were running late. Literally running because we were late. The movie started at 7 pm and we were 10 New York City blocks from the theater at 6:50. We ran there, got squished into a huge crowd and struggled to find seats in a room not designed as a theater but a basketball arena. The ushers were struggling as well, since this event was apparently way over booked. My son and I decided to go up front and we were three rows back and to the side of the screen. Terrible seating for watching a movie, but great seating to watch my son get star struck as the celebrities filed by. I am very thankful for this experience to SQT for having her contact at Warner Bros send me tickets! A great night overall!

5 comments:

furiousBall said...

Awesome, can't wait to see this. Thanks for the review

SQT said...

Great review! Most of what I've read/heard seems to back up your impressions from the film. I haven't read the Matheson book, but those who have say the tension in the book doesn't come across in the movie.

I'm glad to hear you had a great time though!

Top said...

Thanks again so much SQT! It definately was a great time and the movie was fun, more intensity would have been great, BUT then again, I was sitting in the breakneck row right in front of the screen. :)
Hey Furiousball, hope you enjoy the movie!

SolShine7 said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the experience Cary!!! Thanks for the the review. I still can't wait to see this movie.

Charles Gramlich said...

This is kind of what I figured it might be like. I'm going to be hard to convince that they needed another remake of this story. But I'll probably rent it when it comes out on video.