Thursday, March 20, 2008

Movie Spoiler, Coffee, and more

What a gorgeous view!

I really haven't had enough coffee this morning, but I'm going to attempt to string together a few coherent thoughts and sentences. Tomorrow is Oldest's first day of Spring Break, so I'll be home daily with both boys. Oh my. You'd think with them being so far apart in age they'd ignore each other, but instead, both of them have no trouble stomping on the other's territory and getting the other riled. It's amazing you have to shout at these two to "knock it off and go to your corners!" but sometimes it's a must. For the sake of my sanity.

After Mini went to bed last night, hubby and I watched I AM LEGEND. Now, if you haven't watched this movie yet, you might want to avert your eyes. Here's your official ::SPOILER ALERT::

I've been looking forward to I AM LEGEND since I first saw the trailer. Will Smith is an awesome actor, he rocks my socks in I, Robot; MIB; and Independence Day. Just about everything he touches is gold. I like futuristic movies like that, and he seems to give them added punch.

I know the movie I AM LEGEND is based on a novel by Richard Matheson, and since I figured I would possibly like the book better than the movie - which is usually the case for me - I did NOT read the book beforehand. I decided to wait to do that until after seeing the movie so it wouldn't ruin it for me. Now a run down for the movie itself....


At the beginning of the movie a researcher/doctor (actress Emma Thompson) is shown on a news broadcast stating that they have discovered the cure for cancer. It is explained as a modified virus, and that over 10000 research patients have been cured. The vaccine is apparently a success.

Skip forward in time and Robert Neville (Will Smith) is trying to rush his family out of NYC before it is quarantined. He, of course, plans to stay behind (since NYC is ground zero) to try and find a cure for the virus - which has proved to cause intense rage and vampiric behavior. Oh yeah, it's also "possibly" made the jump to being airborne. His family is killed in the helicopter lift off, and thus sets the stage for the modern world. Darkseekers - infected, pasty, bald, CGI vampiric cannibals - run around at night looking for people to eat. During the day, Robert Neville roams the streets of NYC, hunting deer and riding around with his dog, Sam.

Now I will say this, any movie of this kind with a dog in it, I'm usually prepared for the animal to die. It was a given in this film, and while I wasn't shocked that it happened, that was really the sinking point for me. Why? Because in other movies, like the Road Warrior, and a few other post-apocalyptic movies, the dogs are used as guard dogs. They are like patrol officers walking the fence for their humans. They are raised and trained to serve in this way, and it seems like when they die, they have fallen in the line of duty.

In I AM LEGEND, though, the dog is more of a pet. Yes, Sam is trained, but she's not a guard dog in any real sense despite the fact she is a German shepherd. When Sam goes in for her final moment, it's a bit like seeing a child go in somewhere dangerous. You know nothing good is going to come of it, because this character is totally not prepared for this kind of thing, and unable to defend itself. The situation was realistic, I guess, but it bugged me and pissed me off quite a bit. Expected, but again, definitely not my favorite cinematic moment.

After Sam's death, Neville goes off the deep end and decides to stay out after dark and kill a few hemocytes - another name for the infected humans. He quickly finds himself in a world of trouble, and is about to become a cannibal appetizer when he is rescued by a bright light. The bright light is actually a woman named, Anna. She manages to pull him to safety and gets him to tell her his street address before he loses consciousness.

Anna and a young boy named, Ethan, stay with Neville at his house. They tell him they heard him broadcasting his whereabouts on the radio, and his claim that he would wait daily at a specific spot for anyone living to come. But of course, he didn't the day they arrived. They came to find him, and instead ended up rescuing him. From there, Anna and Ethan hope to push on to Vermont where there is supposedly a safe colony. Neville is convinced there is no colony, and says he will not least until the infected humans track them to his house and they have no option but to try and get out alive.

They escape downstairs to the Neville's in-house lab and lock themselves behind a plexiglass safe room where Neville experiments on the the infected to try and save them. A moment after they lock themself inside, Anna notices one of his patients is actually in the early stages of reverting back to a human. The compound he's been using for her, along with lowering her body temperature, has worked as a cure. However, by this time the house is swarming with hoardes of the infected, so he takes a quick vial of the patient's blood, gives it to Anna, and shoves her and Ethan into a coal chute. Neville stays behind while the hemocytes break through the plexiglass, and uses a grenade to blow himself up.

At the very end, Anna and Ethan arrive at the safe colony in Vermont, which really does exist. They go in and hand over the blood sample, and the movie goes into a closing narrative how the survivors, and the cure, are Dr. Neville's legacy.

I do like post-apocalyptic movies, and I expected some sadness with this one, but I thought I AM LEGEND would be a bit more in the way of Along The Waters of Babylon. I assumed there would be a definite feeling of desolation at the hero's moment of epiphany, or that he would discover he could not save everyone after all.

What I didn't like; however, was the way Neville sacrified himself at the end. I know that's meant to be heroic, but couldn't he have dropped the grenade and climbed into the coal chute? There is a three second count once a pin is pulled - couldn't he have tossed the grenade toward the plexiglass and closed himself in with Anna and Ethan? It would've had the same effect on the infected, I guarantee.

It seemed at the end Neville just gave up. Hm. After everything he'd gone through, he finds hope in a cure, so he blows himself up? Come on! What happened to that inquisitive, scientist's mind? That very persistence that has kept him at ground zero through the whole movie? Even with a blood sample, there would still be so much lab work to be done - tests and trials out the wazoo. I can imagine even while killing off those hemocytes to escape the house, Neville's mind would already be jumping ahead to synthesizing a vaccine. I just cannot buy the hero's exit with this one. Neville's character was in no way a defeatist. He was a survivor.

Overall I AM LEGEND is a good movie, but it's not something I'd watch over and over again. I'm planning to sit down today and watch the alternate ending. Maybe that will be better for me. If any of you watch the movie and post about it, please let me know in the comments. I'd love to come read your take on it.

:::ending spoiler alert:::

That's about it for me today. I need to write out the bills and get them sent. In case it's relevant to anyone who has Friday plans - tomorrow is Good Friday. Your local banks, etc. might be closed. Now would be a good time to check and see. Just mentioning it in case you need to get a check cashed, call a business, or do other businessy things.

Happy Thursday, everyone!


  1. You know, I just got the feeling that he lost his mind and had nothing else to live for. But you make a valid point as well. Finding that cure would have given him a new lease. Would have sparked a new drive. All I saw when I looked at him though was this insane thirst for revenge. For death. He looked mad, by the end of the movie.

    Love that picture, btw! And good luck with the kiddos tomorrow. :D

  2. Well crap....I'm gonna watch this movie anyway but girl, after reading YOUR review...mine would be mush compared to that awesome one;o)

    We're off tomorrow, WOOHOO!!! I ain't going anywhere! Hope you have a wonderful holiday and weekend!!

  3. So far so good with the kiddies. Oldest came home today in a great mood, no work to do over the holidays, so I'm going to take that as a positive sign. ^_^ I'll be by in a few minutes to pay you a visit!

  4. Crystal, it's a good movie, you should definitely watch it! I just pointed out the moments that got to me, so ignore my review. Girl, I'm hardly a film expert! I hope you'll write what you think of it; I want to hear whether or not it worked for you!

    Woot, on being off tomorrow! Hope you have a fun day lounging with the kids!

  5. Hey Cora! I've read the book and watched the movie. Of course, the book was better for me. I loved it. The movie was good and Will Smith, awesome. It's definitely worth watching, that's for sure.

    Happy Easter!

  6. I haven't seen the movie, but I'll give it a try. It sounds interesting. Have a great Easter. :)

  7. Yeah, I saw I Am Legend at the theater and was pretty underwhelmed. I enjoyed the cinematography and camera work, but the movie, not so much.

    It was more like
    I Am just a Rumor.

  8. Hey Cora, I changed my URL site name. Its

    I noticed that Google engine hits on me WAY too much and just to protect my site I made it a little more difficult to do. Anyone can just type in my name and it pulls up. For people like the EX husband i'd rather not make it so easy. Just change it in your links section and it should change it. Hope your having a good day;o)

  9. Happy Easter, Yolanda! Good to hear from you - and thanks for adding to the I AM LEGEND debate! :)

  10. Happy Easter, Ann! :)

  11. Happy weekend, Jenji!

  12. I took care of it, Crystal. No problem! *thumbs up*


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