Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm Much More Burgess Meredith Than Will Smith.

Tonight's DVD viewing was I Am Legend, which I quite liked, although I remember just enough about the book version to be pretty sure that I preferred the original's ending.

What kind of got me about the movie, though, is that I spent much of the first half hour or so thinking, "Dude, the only good thing about the 'last person on Earth' scenario is that there aren't any damned people! I used to have guilty fantasies about that sort of thing! But... Oh. Oh, you poor, poor extrovert." I have to say, it's rather nice to know that in one significant respect I'm more psychologically equipped to deal with the apocalypse than a guy played by Will Smith. Of course, my complete lack of survival skills or physical fortitude would doubtless ensure that I didn't last more than a day and a half, anyway. But, still.


  1. I'm with you -- or, in the case of you being the last person on earth, I'm not. :)

    Ever since seeing The Day After, I've hoped to be one of the first to die in a catastrophe, since I have no hope of hunting for food, building a fire, or even restarting the treatment plant to get clean water. My best hope will be to follow the river south, until I find a place with warmer winters. That, or hole up in the library. At least that's inside.

  2. Holing up in the library sounds good to me, but I'd be terrified of breaking my glasses. ;)

  3. I liked Matheson's ending, too, and there's actually an alternate ending (on the DVD and YouTube) -- plus some other stuff here and there -- that suggests that's the direction where they were headed. But, given the film and its differences from the book, I'm sort of glad they went a different route.

    The ending, though, was problematic either way. And the CGI. But I really liked the rest. Legend was probably my favorite movie of last year.

    And Smith had a little more than just being the last man on Earth to deal with. An introvert might take longer to go stir crazy, but there would still be those pesky vampires to deal with.

    And hey, with everyone else dead, couldn't Meredith have eventually found another pair of eyeglasses? Presumably his weren't the only prescription lenses of their kind.

  4. Warning: Possible I Am Legend spoilers below, although they're a bit vague.

    Unfortunately, I didn't realize the alternate ending was on there until after I sent the disc back, so I didn't get to see it. Maybe I'll look for it on YouTube.

    I'm not sure how well Matheson's original ending would have fit the movie -- although now that I think about it, there were some intriguing hints they could have done something worthwhile with -- but if they'd gone with a bleak, downer ending, I would have been entirely satisfied. That feels to me like it would have fit much better than the tacked-on happy ending we got.

    And, see, the vampires are the main thing that would have lowered my survival rate to a day and a half -- max -- but at least I would not remotely feel the need to have social interactions with mannequins, and would be far less prone to suicidal loneliness. Especially if I could keep on blogging. :)

    And, dude, do you wear glasses? Mine fall under the bed, and it takes me fifteen minutes to locate them again, never mind scouring the world for an approximately matching prescription.

  5. Well, I did find the alternate ending on YouTube, and have watched it now. And, wow, that was much closer to Matheson's original. It's difficult to judge its impact out of context like that -- I could see it provoking either a "whoa, holy shit!" or a "huh?" in audiences -- but it definitely has the advantage of being significantly different from every other post-apocalyptic zombie movie ever, and that on its own would be enough to make me prefer it. The ending they went with strikes me as quite a cop-out by comparison.

  6. I didn't like the tacked-on happy ending too much, but I did like the ending with Will Smith's character right before that, at least in context of the movie. It's not a perfect movie, but I did find it very effective. My "favorite movie of '08" is entirely subjective.

    And yes, I wear glasses, but I just have a slight astigmatism in one eye. Meredith's character may have very well been blind without his.

    If only there were a Lenscrafters next to that library...

  7. If only that library had a book that tells how to grind lenses...

  8. Fred: I was surprised by how much I liked it, actually. If the ending had been a bit stronger, it'd probably be one of my favorite movies of the last year or so, too. Not that I've seen that many, admittedly.

    I tend to assume poor Meredith's eyes were at least as bad as mine, and I can't focus on anything more than two or three inches away without them. Basically, the world is a giant, headache-inducing blur.

    Captain C: Of course, he'd have to read the book first... Which does seem like a Twilight Zone type of irony, really.