Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

I Am Legend

53 posts in this topic

Posted (edited) · Report post

I don't think we have a thread devoted to this film (I searched, honest!). After years and years spent in development hell, and at one point having Ridley Scott's name attached, I Am Legend is in the midst of pre-production. Francis Lawrence (Constantine) is directing, and Will Smith is the lead, but it looks like Johnny Depp may/is playing a vampire villian in the movie.

ANd if so, this just moved up to my must-see list.

Edited by Clint M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

This reminds me, my wife has the Vincent Price version (The Last Man on Earth, 1964) on DVD, but I have not watched it yet. I have, at least, seen the Charlton Heston version (The Omega Man, 1971).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I had no idea that The Omega Man was a remake of The Last Man on Earth. How did I not make that connection?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Haven't seen The Omega Man, but I have seen The Last Man on Earth. I think it was on one of those uber-cheap DVD collections you can pick up at Best Buy for $5. I remember liking it a fair amount. If anything else, it was interesting to see Price in a slightly different role, one where he isn't leering and rubbing his hands together with sadistic glee all of the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I had no idea that The Omega Man was a remake of The Last Man on Earth. How did I not make that connection?

I've only seen the Omega Man, but they're all based off of Richard Matheson's short novel (which is, I may add, very different detail-wise than the Heston flick).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Depp Not in Legend?

In fact, the part that Depp was rumored to play -- Phillip, friend of Smith's character Neville -- may not be written into the movie. The new Legend will reportedly be closer to the 1971 adaptation called The Omega Man than the original 1954 novel. In related news, Blackfilm.com reports that "Salli Richardson has been cast as Ginny, the wife of Will Smith's character, and that Alice Braga (niece of legendary Brazilian actress Sonia Braga) has been cast as Anna."

IGN FilmForce, September 19

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

The new Legend will reportedly be closer to the 1971 adaptation called The Omega Man than the original 1954 novel.

:( I'm completely convinced that no one is ever going to do a proper movie version...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I've watched the trailer a few times since it came out several months ago, and I'm convinced that the movie will at least be OK. Some of the shot's of Neville walking alone really conjure up the same creepy feelings I got from Matheson's story. I hope it turns out well!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

CHUD.com says the junket is happening at the end of this month ... but they were still reshooting the ending LAST WEEK!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

The trailers have me pumped. I've never seen any previous version, nor read the novella, and this sounds like a story I will enjoy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Kyle Smith: "a rare Hollywood movie in that it contains a pro-God message in the midst of a scientific inquiry into the nature of the cure for a supervirus"; "Call this the first movie of the post-stem cell-debate era."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

"GOD STILL LOVES US ... BUT DO WE STILL LOVE GOD?"

- - -

Smith has new box office 'Legend'

Warner Bros.' Will Smith topliner "I Am Legend" made history at the box office yesterday, posting a whopping $29.7 million from 3,606 sites - the biggest opening day ever for the thesp.

In addition, the sci-fi/actioner registered a few more records in Warner Bros.' B.O. ledgers: not only was it the second highest opening day for the studio this year behind "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (first day take $44.2 million), it was also their top December opener of all-time, besting the $14.7 million generated by 2004's "Ocean's Twelve."

Among post-Labor day releases, "Legend's" first day is the fourth highest of all-time and the third best for a PG-13 release behind 2005's "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" ($40 million) and the Wednesday bow of 2003's "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" ($34.5 million).

The top three-day opening for a Will Smith vehicle belongs to "I, Robot" which generated $52.2 million in the summer of 2004. Hands down, "Legend" will beat that figure by Sunday.

The actor's previous opening day high belonged to the Wednesday bow of "Men in Black 2" which generated $18.6 million in 2002. . . .

Variety, December 15

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Just got back from a screening, and overall I thought it was decent. The first two-thirds or so are really good. The film creates a very strong, even haunting post-apocalyptic tone that is perfectly inline with the novel, and the effects are stunningly realized. The ending, however, felt rather watered down to me, especially compared to the original ending. Which, while considerably more downbeat, does give the story a nice mythic and complete feel.

The ending's spiritual components -- the "pro-God" aspects -- were pretty weak, IMO, and didn't add much resonance or substance. The movie wouldn't have suffered much if they hadn't been there at all.

When

the survivors appeared in the film

, I had a brief thought that the film might be heading down a final stretch similar to the novel's (in the novel, Neville

encounters what he thinks to be a survivor, but who is in fact, a spy sent by the other side to figure out his weaknesses and to trap him somehow

), but alas, such was not the case.

Also, did anyone else get a serious 28 Days Later vibe during the monster attacks?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

I haven't seen it yet, opus, but I'm as a fan of the novel, I have to ask:

does Neville die in the end, like he does in the book? I think Matheson does a great job with how he wraps it up. It's one of the few endings in literature that still haunt me.

Edited by Jason Panella

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I haven't seen it yet, opus, but I'm as a fan of the novel, I have to ask:

does Neville die in the end, like he does in the book? I think Matheson does a great job with how he wraps it up. It's one of the few endings in literature that still haunt me.

Yes, but in a way that's very different than Matheson's ending. I'd describe it as an "inspirational" or "warm fuzzy" ending, rather than a "haunting" one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

I liked the film at the theological/psychological level. It clearly belongs within the "Remnant Theology" of Scripture where God acts to protect his people and let them start again.

That these survivors "behind the wall" place a church in the center of their compound is indicative of such a remnant people as they are called to carry on the creation.

Here is wikipedia's explanation of "Remnant Theology."

The remnant is a recurring theme throughout the Hebrew and Christian Bible. The Anchor Bible Dictionary describes it as "What is left of a community after it undergoes a catastrophe."[1]. The concept has stronger representation in the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) than the New Testament.

I had some questions for those of you who read the book -

why are the mutated humans superhuman in strength? And if the dogs could get it why not the deer, or lions? Did Will's character no longer see these humans as human? Who was the leader of the mutated humans? Why didn't the mutated humans eat each other or the animals? How did the virus spread around the world in 3 years?

Denny

Edited by Denny Wayman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

I liked the film. The first 2/3 made it worth watching, even though everything involving

woman and her son strained all credibility, from how they got into Manhattan with all the bridges blown up to how they survived the final explosion. Talk about

dues ex machina.

And I agree the God stuff felt tacked on and wasn't fully explored.

Will Smith makes the film work, though, due to his believable performance. I could buy that he was really the last man alive, and he even almost sold me on the ending, but not quite.

I wish the

survivors had looked more real instead of just being CGI vampire/zombie/monster/whatevers,

but I did like the scene where

Will Smith faces off with them across the single beam of sunlight

Edited by Crow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I had some questions for those of you who read the book -

why are the mutated humans superhuman in strength? And if the dogs could get it why not the deer, or lions? Did Will's character no longer see these humans as human? Who was the leader of the mutated humans? Why didn't the mutated humans eat each other or the animals? How did the virus spread around the world in 3 years?

The movie diverges quite a bit from the book in some ways.

The mutated humans don't really have super strength, nor are they mindless zombies. For example, they know where Neville lives, and much of the tension in the book occurs as they try to break his spirit by surrounding his house, mocking him, keeping him awake, etc. Also, the stuff about the animals catching the virus or not isn't even touched on, IIRC, nor is how the virus spread.

You can find a nice overview of the book's plot at Wikipedia (though it obviously contains spoilers).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I used to be so much better at staying on top of this stuff...

Anyway, today I finally got around to watching The Last Man on Earth (1964), which stars Vincent Price in the role that was later filled by Charlton Heston and Will Smith. And I am tempted to say something in my (short) review about the Will Smith movie being the most obvious in its use of religious themes but also the shallowest and the least convincing. (Don't you hate it when a screenplay throws in a really HUGE coincidence, and then has one of the characters say "It isn't a coincidence! it must be God!" as a way of trying to distract you from how bad the screenwriting was?) The thing is, I haven't seen the Heston film in AGES, so while the only religious motif I can remember is the climactic bit with

his blood being shed, and in such a way that it might spread and bring healing to the contaminated people

, it is possible that there are OTHER religious motifs in that film that I DON'T remember.

What I'm getting at is, I don't think the Price or Heston movies make a big deal of the CHARACTERS being religious in any way, but they hint at a religious subtext in their use of a church as a setting or in their characterization of the protagonist as a sort of Christ-figure, at least at key moments in the story. The Smith film, on the other hand, has characters engage in superficial religious discussions and uses crucifixes and church bells to identify specific characters as Christian, but it never EMBEDS the religious elements into the subtext in any way. There's no subtext; it's all text, and poorly written text at that.

I have never read the book, but based on various people's comments about it, it looks to me like the Vincent Price movie might be the closest to the book, albeit in a sort of B-movie-ish way. Yes?

I have to say, I also didn't care for the way Will Smith's sheer stardom overwhelmed whatever it was his character was supposed to be and/or do. During the earlier portions of this film, I found myself thinking, "Hmmm, this is an interesting departure for Will Smith, I wonder if his fans will follow him on this interesting artistic and/or dramatic experiment." But alas, Smith tends to revert to his pop-culture-citing, brand-name-promoting, naked-muscular-torso-displaying ways. And he does it often enough that it takes you out of the movie and, when he starts getting all dramatic and suchlike, you find yourself thinking not of the CHARACTER'S emotion, but of the ACTOR'S simulation of that emotion. "Oh, look, on top of everything else, Will Smith can ACT, too!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

...I am tempted to say something in my (short) review about the Will Smith movie being the most obvious in its use of religious themes but also the shallowest and the least convincing. (Don't you hate it when a screenplay throws in a really HUGE coincidence, and then has one of the characters say "It isn't a coincidence! it must be God!" as a way of trying to distract you from how bad the screenwriting was?)...

My thoughts exactly.

What I'm getting at is, I don't think the Price or Heston movies make a big deal of the CHARACTERS being religious in any way, but they hint at a religious subtext in their use of a church as a setting or in their characterization of the protagonist as a sort of Christ-figure, at least at key moments in the story. The Smith film, on the other hand, has characters engage in superficial religious discussions and uses crucifixes and church bells to identify specific characters as Christian, but it never EMBEDS the religious elements into the subtext in any way. There's no subtext; it's all text, and poorly written text at that.

Ditto.

I have never read the book, but based on various people's comments about it, it looks to me like the Vincent Price movie might be the closest to the book, albeit in a sort of B-movie-ish way. Yes?

Well, I haven't seen The Omega Man, but my gut feeling is yes. I watched The Last Man on Earth a few years ago, after I'd read the book, and was surprised at how faithful it was. Yes, it's sort of B-movie-ish, but still very good -- and it was nice to see Price play something a little more straightforward and "normal" than what he is usually associated with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

As I wrote here:

FWIW, I Am Legend now has the biggest weekend-in-December gross ever -- but whether you count it as the biggest December *opening* ever depends on whether or not you count the money that the second and third Lord of the Rings movies made *before* their first weekends (they were both released on Wednesdays and had made over $100 million by their first Sundays).

And as David Poland put it, I Am Legend, which has the #20 opening weekend of all time, also has the #5 non-summer opening weekend, behind three Harry Potter movies and The Passion of the Christ. (But if we count those two Lord of the Rings movies, as well as Toy Story 2, which opened on a Wednesday in November, then it would be behind those, too.)

BTW, thanks for the reply, opus. I am wondering what significance we are to make of the Vincent Price film's use of the church setting. It doesn't really make him a salvific Christ-figure like the Charlton Heston movie does, so I am not sure how to read that scene by the altar. Does the novel flesh this out more? Or was the church original to the film?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

BTW, thanks for the reply, opus. I am wondering what significance we are to make of the Vincent Price film's use of the church setting. It doesn't really make him a salvific Christ-figure like the Charlton Heston movie does, so I am not sure how to read that scene by the altar. Does the novel flesh this out more? Or was the church original to the film?

IIRC, the church was original to the Vincent Price film. In the novel,

Neville is arrested by the "new society" and scheduled for execution. However, he swallows some poision given to him by one of the members of the "new society" that is sympathetic to his plight. The novel ends with him ruminating on the irony of his situation, that vampires and whatnot were once terrifying legends and now he is a terrifying legend to them

. Hence the title.

Suffice to say,

there's nothing in the novel that makes Neville out to be some sort of "salvific Christ-figure". In fact, I don't recall there being much of any religious symbolism in the novel

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Opus,

Thanks for your information on all of this. From your comments it sounds as though I would like the book better than the film. The name finally makes sense as well.

I'm not as upset with the inclusion of the "God sent me" and "I know why you came" kind of talk as you and Peter seem to be. But there are so many holes in the film that I'm still struggling with it. I usually know how to rate a film but this one is a quandary. The more I think about it the more I find things that just don't work.

Like why, if he found a cure for the young woman and her blood is now going to save the rest of them, why is she still sedated? Why not wake her and let her talk to her "hive?"

And so on.

Denny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I know this is something minor compared to some of the thoughts that have been expressed here but a couple of the continuity issues I had were with the CARS in the film. Unless Will Smith is outside on a sunny Saturday after noon washing his Mustang, that thing looked really shiny and clean for being about three years old. Plus the car Anna was driving (at the end of the movie) was all polished up as well! I dunno, that became very distracting as well. Both didn't seem to "fit" very well in any sort of apocolyse scenario.

Also, shouldn't the vial of blood (at the end of the movie) have been in some sort of cooler so as it would not become contaminated and no good?

Well, there you go. Just when we thought the world was going to be saved

they make the mistake of not protecting the anti-virus via some basic medical practices.

Also the scenes in which he is at the harbor running down mutants had a "I Robot" feel to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Not that it matters, but, with this film, Will Smith may have tied a box-office record. It all depends on whether we count cameos, cartoons, and so on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0