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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Try the alternative ending, then read the book
Just to add a little note to go with other comments - I thought the film was good in its own right, but changed too many things from the book for my own liking... The ending and subsequent twisting of the 'legend' meaning from the one in the book was a bit trite, I thought. I have since found the alternative ending, which I much prefer. It is available on the web...
Published on 1 May 2008 by K. Fearnley

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite Legendary.
Positive.
The deserted city streets gives the film a atmospheric isolation of Manhattan.
Will Smith is exellent as Robert Neville.

Negative.
CGI vampiric Darkseekers look awful, It would've been better going for practical make up effects.
The Script needed a tighter pace especially in it's last act.

Trivia.
There is an...
Published 19 months ago by Timelord-007


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Try the alternative ending, then read the book, 1 May 2008
By 
K. Fearnley (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: I Am Legend [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Just to add a little note to go with other comments - I thought the film was good in its own right, but changed too many things from the book for my own liking... The ending and subsequent twisting of the 'legend' meaning from the one in the book was a bit trite, I thought. I have since found the alternative ending, which I much prefer. It is available on the web (search for it) and also on the 2-disk edition (apparently).
I would recommend getting the 2-disk edition just for the alternative ending, which adds a layer or two to the story that the original theatrical ending didn't even hint at.
I would recommend the book strongly if you want a much more than usually thoughtful take on the vampire/zombie take-over idea.
BBC radio also broadcast a full reading of the book a while back, so look out for that being re-broadcast - it was very good.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this version, NOT the 1-disc edition!, 7 Sept. 2009
This film got a lot of bad press when it first came out, but I'm a big fan of post-apocalyptic worlds so decided to check it out. Fortunately I bought the 2-disc edition; if I had only bought the single-disc my rating of this film would be a lot lower.

Why? Well, the 2 discs are essentially different films. Disc 1 is the version shown in the cinema, which is great up until the last half hour when any semblance of plot, logic or good writing is thrown out the window in exchange for lots of death and big explosions.

Disc 2, however, is the *director's cut* version of the film: while 90% of the film is exactly the same, that final 10% makes all the difference. Having watched through both, it's obvious that this is how the director/writer intended the film to be all along. No doubt somewhere along the way the studio said "this ending makes people think; get rid of it and just put a big explosion instead." (Don't you just love it when Hollywood does that?)

My advice would be to throw Disc 1 away as soon as you open the case and just watch Disc 2. It ties up loose ends in the plot, answers questions raised earlier in the film, and also engages your brain just enough for it to excrete that little feeling of 'I've done something thought-provoking, so feel less guilty about vegetating in front of the TV for the last two hours.'

That is, of course, unless unanswered questions and plot holes don't bother you and you would much rather see things go boom, in which case stick with Disc 1.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NOT 28 Days Later Redux!! An Intelligent Study Of Loneliness.., 25 April 2008
By 
Adam Jackson (Stoke On Trent , England) - See all my reviews
This surprised me! Id seen an awful lot of negative press for this film so i didnt have the highest hopes. I was expecting an american take on 28 days and this film is nothing of the sort. Yes there are action setpieces and theres lots of atmospheric location but this film centre's on a stunning performance from Will Smith. I never thought that he could have carried (almost singlehandedly)this film as well as this - acting of real depth & emotion - and not one line of 'Bad Boys' style dialogue!!! Couldnt be more different than previous scifi offerings, Men In Black & Independence Day. This is not a popcorn movie by any means! This films central topics are isolation, loneliness & the inherited need for human contact
Much has been said about the Mutated Plague Victims & the CGI effects used to render them - well ive seen a LOT worse. There are a few shots (in particular when they are seen running in packs) where the movements are a little 'off' but generally they work well especially in close up ie skin tone etc. Id best describe them as physiologically similiar to the Reapers as seen in Blade 2. Pale, hairless & emaciated with the same wide open mouth type scream (a bit like the monster in Aphex Twin's Come To Daddy video). They move fast, VERY fast, mostly in packs ala 28 Days but they are different from those films.
One thing that isnt here is gore - theres no flesh eating or eye gouging here. There is action but not at the brutal level of Danny Boyle's films, Theres more blood & guts in the Romero films but this doesnt impact the film as its more about mood and short,sharply executed bursts of action than gleaming entrails. There are also a pack of mutant feral dogs that are a highlight although only seen briefly in the movies most tense setpiece
Some scenes depicting crowds panicking, civil disturbance & National Guard deployments kind of reminded me of War Of The Worlds (2005) & Cloverfield. The New York locations, both before The Plague & 3 years after in which the film is set are both vivid & disturbing. One area where the CGI has been highly succesful is enhancing the decay of Manhattan's post-apocalyptic Avenues & Skylines. Director Francis Lawrence effectiveley recalls the opening scenes of the 70's Omega Man adaptation starring the late, great Charlton Heston (Classic film)
Very good cinematography & editing too. The film looks fantastic.
I loved the alternate (more optimistic) ending to be found here on Disc 2 & isnt it great when an alternate ending is intergrated seamlessly into a complete version of the film instead of tacked on as a stand alone 10 minutes hidden in the deleted scenes sub menu?!! Top marks here.
Theres also a very interesting & informative documentary detailing the science of Viralogy & its relation to this film to be found on Disc 2.
Disc 1 offers little bar the theatrical cut but both discs offer superb transfers
WARNING:(SPOILER) IF YOU ARE A DOG LOVER, THERE IS ONE SCENE THATS A BIT OF A LUMP IN THE THROAT (you can see it coming a mile off but its still very sad and Smith really tugs at the heartstrings - if youve seen the Fly 2 you will know how it goes)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite Legendary., 11 Oct. 2013
By 
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: I Am Legend [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Positive.
The deserted city streets gives the film a atmospheric isolation of Manhattan.
Will Smith is exellent as Robert Neville.

Negative.
CGI vampiric Darkseekers look awful, It would've been better going for practical make up effects.
The Script needed a tighter pace especially in it's last act.

Trivia.
There is an alternative ending on the 2 disc set.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was due to originally star in this with Ridley Scott directing.

Review.
I loved Vincent Prices The Last Man On Earth, I also enjoyed Charlton Hestons The Omega Man both had tension & scary themes running through there story versions.

This 2006 movie after many attempts to get it to screen came to fruition starring A-lister Will Smith as Doctor Robert Neville a virologist who's work to find a cure on a mysterious plague thought at first to be a cure for cancer wipes out 90% of the earths population, The 588million humans that survived are turned into ravaged Vampiric Darkseeker creatures who hide during the daytime as exposure to daylight is lethal but can come out at night in the dark.

By day Neville scours the wastelands of Manhattan seeking suppiles with his only ally Sam the Dog for company & Neville also uses his AM radio broadcasts daily trying to communicate with any survivor's in the barren wastelands of America.

By night Nevilles house becomes a fortress, Barriers raised shutters closed with he & Sam braving out the Darkseekers violent rampage of the night.

Neville failing to find a cure & his family believed dead Nevilles obsession in finding a cure he uses Rats as guinea pigs but needing a mutant ravaged Darkseeker as a test subject Neville seeks out a plan into capturing a Darkseeker.

This is rather a tense scene as the capturing of a Darkseeker like creature for Nevilles experiments back at the lab he injects the Darkseeker with a new serum although the serum doesn't appear to be working.

During a run for supplies Neville is caught in a snare trap by the vampiric Darkseekers waiting in the dark until nightfall to claim Nevilles life for his previous attack on them.

Although Neville manages to escape his trap it is becoming dark & he & Sam are attacked by the vampiric Darkseekers infecting Sam.

Neville manages to escape getting home & trying to cure Sam with the serum but it doesn't work & Sam starts mutating resulting in Neville having to strangle & kill his only friend in a harrowing emotional scene.

Neville in anger attacks The Darkseekers using UV lights on his car & weapons againt the Darkseekers but eventually due to their huge numbers they gain the advantage on Neville.

All is not lost as a mysterious survivor comes to Nevilles aid saving him,
Her name is Anna & with her son Ethan whom have heard Neviles AM radio broadcasts in Maryland.

While Neville Recovers Anna tells him her & her son are going to a retreat were fellow survivors have set up camp Vermont, Neville is sceptical about this camp even existing.

Unfortunately that night the Deathseekers attack Nevilles house as Anna didnt know that Neville used to block his scent & the Darkseekers have picked up upon hers & her sons scent leading them to Nevilles house.

Neville & Anna battle the Darkseekers barrage of attacks resulting in them killing many Darkseekers, Overwhelmed by there numbers they head for the basement & there Neville notices that the Vampiric Darkseeker he captured & injected with the serum is turning more human looking in it's appearance his new serum does work & is the cure he's been seraching for.

Taking a sample of the blood from the recovering Darkseeker into a vial which is the cure to the virus, Neville locks them in a glass filled laboratory gives the vial to Anna & her son to take it to camp Vermont placing them in a coal chute for safety until daylight approaches.

With the Darkseekers attacking the Glass eventually breaking through Neville detonates the M67 grenades destroying the remaining Darkseekers & sacrifices his own life too.

When Daylight approaches Anna & her son Ethan leave to find camp Vermont, Eventually finding camp Vermont she hands over the vial Neville gave to her which is the cure to the plague telling the surivivors Roberts fight for a cure became Legend.

A great set up, Will Smith bringing his A game this film has 60 minutes of excellence ruined by some awful CGI effects of the Darkseekers making the film lack integrity & tension.

It would've been a better idea maybe to go for practical make up effects which would've resulted in a creepier tone to the vampiric Darkseekers.

The final battle against the Darkseekers lacked any scares or tension partly to the poor looking creatures.

The 2 dvd set has a completely different ending with Neville surviving going with Anna & Ethan to the camp with the cure although i find the original ending better as it has the shock factor.

A good film but not the classic i was hoping it to be let down by some appallingly CGI effects.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A let down, 26 July 2008
By 
A. Willmer (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: I Am Legend [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
First off I loved the book and when I heard they were adapting it for the big screen I was pretty excited. The novel is about vampires though it's not really a horror story as such. It's much more than that, it's about lonliness and despair. About realising your whole outlook on life is wrong. This film is about none of those things. Instead it is a cheap, hollywoodisation. Smith does okay but he's not really the best for the role. But worse than this is the fact that the vampires are dehumanised! They are literally monsters! Making the vampires real, sympathetic characters is partly what makes the book great and sets it apart from other horror novels! What we could have had is a really intelligent movie (with a killer twist that is criminally removed in the film!) but instead what we've got is purile drivel. A real shame.
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57 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5--Three Times A "Legend",, 8 Feb. 2008
By 
This review is from: I Am Legend [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
I was really looking forward to seeing "I Am Legend", from the moment I found out earlier this year. In preparation to seeing the movie, I watched Vincent Price in "The Last Man on Earth" and Charlton Heston in "The Omega Man". Even though the main ideas of the two prior versions were the same (last man, virus, night creatures, etc.), the delivery varied for their particular time. So I was intrigued to see how the storyline would be adapted to our time.

The first thing that struck me was the set. Growing up in New York City, it really hit me hard to see the devastation and isolation of the city that "Never Sleeps". The streets, the abandoned cars, the bridges, the U.N.,etc. It really hit home. Then we see a much slender, leaner Will Smith trying to cope with the fact that he was alone. His portrayal of Robert Neville is great. Very moving. I find the origin of the virus quite interesting as it comes as a side effect for a cure for cancer. The prior two movies used a plague (The Last Man on Earth) and germ warfare (The Omega Man) to explain the virus. The use of a cure that transforms into a virus gives it an ironic twist.

The film opens well, and continues that way until the introduction of the other two human characters, but that's about an hour or more of Smith, alone in Manhattan after a genetically-altered version of the measles has either killed or mutated the rest of humanity into super-violent creatures who prey on those unaffected, but only at night. They're killed almost instantly when exposed to sunlight. Smith, playing Robert Neville, was an Army Lieutenant before the virus was unleashed three years prior, and he spends his lonely days walking and stalking on the grown-in streets of Manhattan with his dog, Sam. At night, he locks himself in his apartment and attempts to find a cure. It's interesting seeing Smith carry the movie with only himself, Sam, some various wild animal species, and some mannequins. He does an excellent job, and I'm sure that's not an easy task for an actor. This is easily the most likable character he's ever played, and he brings a lot of great stuff to it, including humor and a scene that had me on the verge of tears.

Will Smith and the strength of the story outweigh the two mot glaringly bad things about this film. However, the creature effects are WAY too over-reliant on CGI, but then again, so are most horror films these days, so you might be used to it. Animatronics and foam rubber latex effects pioneered well over thirty years ago look a lot more believable than this cartoonish junk. And the other thing is the ending. It's not terrible, and it won't make you dislike the rest of the film, but the original story's ending is very sad and ironic, and this, like the other two adaptations, just can't seem to cope with the magnitude of the situation, so they always leave you with something WAY to hopeful for what we've seen throughout the rest of the film, and also, it seems that they're afraid to teach you the incredible lesson the original Matheson story had to offer. This is a good adaptation of Richard Matheson's 'I Am Legend.' So far, none of the three have nailed it, due to the inability to just use the story's ending, but this one comes close and is certainly one of the best of the three (the other two are good flicks so I recommend them all).
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars fourth time lucky?, 29 April 2008
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Ok, let's talk about the film first. I will admit first of all that I love the book this is based on, so my expectations were coloured by that. The story involves a man called robert neville who is the last man alive after a plague has turned people into vampire style creatures. He fights to stay alive whilst trying to find a cure for the plague.

Previously filmed in 1962 as the last man on earth starring vincent price, and in the 70's with charlton heston as the omega man. The first gets awful reviews and I've not seen it. the second is an okay action film but not a patch on the book. and it was due to be filmed in the 90's by ridley scott with arnold schwarzenegger in the lead but that version was cancelled when the budget got too high.

this latest version stars will smith and is directed by frances lawrence.

Good points:

stunning scenes of a deserted city

will smith turns in a good performance, foregoing his usual cool dude persona to show a guy suffering from crippling loneliness. this really comes out well in some scenes.

He has a lovely alsatian dog.

When seen in the dark, the vampire creatures are absolutely terrifying.

not so good points:

changes to the book. neville was an ordinary man there. making him a tough soldier and skilled virologist here rathers goes against the point of him being an ordinary man.

cgi. used for some of the wild animals in the city and the vampires it's very good cgi but it's far too obviously cgi. it doesn't convince [except in the dark]

the last quarter of the film. forgets a few subplots it's been setting up and goes off in a completely different direction that rather spoils the point of things.

The ending, though....is not bad. even though it's a bit too hollywood for my tastes.

However:

everyone else I know who saw the movie has never read the book. and they loved the film! so it may be worth judging for yourselves.

Does the dog survive, you ask? let's just say this is a not a movie to see if you want to come out smiling.

So, not bad but still not quite the film the book deserves. hope it gets done again. and right. and that it sticks to the ending of the book, which goes with the title far better.

This two disc edition comes with a nice lenticular cover. it has dozens upon dozens of language tracks and subtitles in lots of langugages. but that's only on disc one. that disc contains the movie, with direct scene access, and four animated comics. all these are stories set elsewhere in the world as the plague starts. The first is a bit too short for it's own good, the second starts well but rushes it's ending, the third is a tad inconsequential, but the fourth is an excellent horror story. All the animation in this is paintings being made to move rather than traditional animation. it's pretty effective.

the second disc has a copy of the film that you can legally download to a pc and keep forever. however it has a different ending to the cinema version. This ending starts well, being more in keeping with the book, but then rather spoils the point. but again, that's all a matter of opinion.

And fifty minutes worth of production features on the making of the film aren't even on this disc. there's just a weblink which allows you to access them on the internet. Dropped points for that as I'd prefer them to be on the disc.

but the one documentary on the second disc, about viruses, has to be seen. it's superb. running for almost twenty minutes it's fascinating, you'll learn a lot from it about viruses and how they work [such as how hiv got started] and it's downright scary as well!

an okay film. a dvd package that could be slightly better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ONE MAN AND HIS DOG!!!!!!, 2 Mar. 2009
By 
Jason Thorne (England / Oxford) - See all my reviews
This review is from: I Am Legend [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
I was in two minds whether to give this a go for one reason it had Will Smith as the leading actor. I have never been a big fan of his but I will say I am glad I did because I thought he was brillant in this. His friend Sam the dog was great as well, as for the rest of the cast there wasn't really any. There was some great camera work and special effects which resulted into some great scenes of empty streets etc and the zombies / creatures were brillant. It reminded of the film 28 Days at the very start of this and comparing the two I would give 28 Days the nod on the empty streets etc. My only moan in the film was the ending it was very average which let the film down slightly but, if you haven't seen this give it a go it is well worth a watch if you can pick it cheap.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good intentions, but doesnt live up to the book!, 28 Feb. 2008
By 
Gazza Wills "Gareth" (Kingston Upon Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
When I first heard of another movie adaptaion of the "I am Legend" book I had high hopes. Will Smith has made some excellent movies throughout his career (Wild, Wild West aside!), and is a likeable leading man. All the early preview reviews seemed positive, so it was with some disapointment that I left the cinema shaking my head upon its release. The reasons for my consternation... the ending! I fully realises why Hollywood makes changes to some adaptations of books, but in this case it seems an absolute travesty to change it so massively. The book contains what I hold to be one of the best gut wrenching endings ever written. I dont totally hate this movie, it has some nice touches, but to so fundementally change the stories ending I'm suprised they were allowed to call it "I am Legend". **Update 21/5/08** The "alternative" ending show cased on this version of the DVD release doesnt improve things for me... its an ending further removed from the book than the one on the theatrical release version! In closing, its an okay movie, but I implore you.... PLEASE PLEASE READ THE BOOK!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Effective post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller, 11 July 2014
By 
Mr Baz - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: I Am Legend [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
I like a good science fiction film and rented this out a few years back. Despite some reservations about the second half of the film, overall I think it works and represents one of the better examples of the genre in recent years. It's an adaptation of Richard Matheson's 1954 book of the same name (and it departs from the book a fair bit)

Will Smith plays Dr. Robert Neville a former US Military doctor, seemingly alone in New York bar his trusty dog companion "sam". We see a scene of devastation in the city and it's devoid of other humans, though at night there are "infected" people who roam the streets (they burn in daylight so hide during this time) We see a series of flashbacks showing events leading up to the outbreak, and learn a virus has infected most of the planets population, though Robert remains immune to it.

Robert has a routine in his day, despite being on his own bar his dog he makes trips to the video store, watches recorded TV footage and tries to maintain as much as possible an existence that is some way to being normal given the circumstances. But he has not given up hope and continues to work on a cure for the infection, and makes daily broadcasts via radio to try to find other "survivors". I won't spoil the rest of the plot for new viewers, just to say there are encounters with the infected and Robert eventually finds another survivor.

You'd be forgiven for thinking this is "just another tiresome zombie flick" but that's a little unfair. I'd call it a "thinking person's zombie film" Direction is good, and the scenes are convincing in portraying the devastation of the city and environment. I have no real complaints with the story either, it makes for solid viewing. Opinions are a bit divided on the second half of the film, some feel the intelligent aspect takes a back seat to the zombie action, and I'd agree with that to a point the film could have been a slower burn more analytical movie as it is in the first half.

Will Smith gets into the role well though, and you can certainly feel the isolation in the city. The ending doesn't come as a huge surprise, many will prefer the alternative ending which offers a slightly less obvious way to conclude the film. Well worth a watch though and despite some flaws makes for fairly strong viewing.
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I Am Legend [Blu-ray] [2007] [Region Free]
I Am Legend [Blu-ray] [2007] [Region Free] by Francis Lawrence (Blu-ray - 2008)
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