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I Am Legend [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
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Robert Neville (Will Smith, Men in Black) is a brilliant scientist. But when a man-made virus can't be contained, Neville finds himself the last human survivor in New York City and potentially the world. For three years he faithfully sends out daily radio messages, desperate to find other survivors. But he is not alone... Mutant victims of the plague (The Infected) lurk in the shadows, waiting to catch Neville out. As perhaps Earth's last hope for mankind, Neville is driven only by the desire to somehow reverse the effects of the virus before it's too late...
Stills from I Am Legend
There are many striking sequences in this latest take on Richard Matheson’s book, I Am Legend. The most memorable? A deserted New York City, overgrown and abandoned with Smith walking right through the middle of it. The sheer logistics of staging such a scene are staggering to behold, but the film benefits enormously from moments like this. They help get across the solitude that Smith’s character faces, as seemingly the last human being left on the planet Earth.
But is he alone? It certainly doesn’t appear to be the case, even though Smith is pretty much front and centre of everything the film does. It’s a strong performance too, and it really has to be. But for at least two thirds of its running time, I Am Legend is a terrific post-apocalyptic thriller.
The film, sadly, peters out a little as it heads towards its final act, not aided by some troubling computer effects work. But for the most part if looks glorious, and proves to be a rich home cinema workout. Superb visuals dominate much of the what the film does right, and the haunting surround soundtrack is both eery and very, very effective. And while I Am Legend is clearly a film with problems, it’s an interesting project for a big budget blockbuster, and one that wins more battles than it loses. It looks terrific on Blu-ray, too.--Simon BrewSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
The opening half of the movie...in which New York is vividly recast as post-apocalyptic dystopia.
Smith's portrayal of a man slowly going insane. Considering this is a big-budget Hollywood movie, this is subtle and quietly moving. Flashbacks to pre-apocalypse confusion are interspersed with care and inform Smith's character and the plot.
The idea that it is Smith who is now the monster. After all, from the perspective of the other residents of the new New York it is Smith who is the outsider. He lurks in his basement like a Frankenstein conducting lethal experiments on innocent subjects he captures.
The sense of dread. This is built slowly and cumulatively. The scene where the dog runs into a dark, seemingly empty building is exquisitely tense.
Sam the Dog. Seems strange to praise a dog for its acting, but for most of the film it's just Smith and Sam and they make a fine double act.
The second half of the movie. Once the monsters are revealed in all their CGI glory the movie turns into a loud, shouty action flick. The psychological and moral arguments are shunted out of the way and we are left with a series of ever-louder explosions.
I'd consider this an interesting but flawed movie. The first half is great - filled with loads of striking imagery and interesting thoughts about isolation, survival, personal morality, the boundaries of sanity and human arrogance. The second half is more interested in bombs, guns, and monsters. Worth watching for the performances of Smith and Sam.
However, as you can grab used Blu-ray copies for barely £2 I thought I'd give it another try as the benefits of HD might improve my view, especially as this movie majors on sound and visuals - but that is not to say that the plot is thin.
I have not read the book that this film is based on.
Happily, this time in HD my 2nd viewing vastly improved my opinion of this film, the image and sound presentation is first-rate and really does depict the expansive visual settings and action very well - I'm just not that sold on either of the endings...
The Amazon synopsis for the film on this webpage describes things very well and even manages to avoid spoilers !
The story is also well conveyed and, whilst we quickly know what has happened to provoke the main plot and the predicament of the 'survivor' (played by Smith), the use of flashbacks is effectively employed to bolster the effect that the issues surrounding the present situation has on you and understand more about the 'history' of the survivor and what he is up to.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I watched this free on prime. You owe me roughly 1.5 hours. Or thereabouts.
Nothing happens in the whole film. Read more
A desolate New York, where the clocks stopped at Christmas, is the background to this nightmarish science fiction film . Read morePublished 6 days ago by Miss Money Pennies
Not as meaty as the book but well worth a couple of hours of your time if you like the genre of filmPublished 23 days ago by Andy B.
Waste of time watching it. Kept going in case a story developed or something happened. It didn't.Published 1 month ago by G. Bos
Third time watching this since it came out. It's not just ''a man and a dog'', it is way more than that. The ending always bring me in tears. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Miss. Fortunate
And here we go again.... A very,very good,thought-provoking book. Rights purchased by a corporate monster and then re-written to appeal to the dumbest of the dumb (no, really -... Read morePublished 2 months ago by randombob