This is my 1st of 2 entries in the The End of the World Blogathon being hosted by Movie Movie Blog Blog and The Midnight Drive-In.
Tnx for letting me take part!
“My name is Robert Neville. I am a survivor living in New York City. I am broadcasting on all AM frequencies. I will be at the South Street Seaport everyday at mid-day, when the sun is highest in the sky. If you are out there… if anyone is out there… I can provide food, I can provide shelter, I can provide security. If there’s anybody out there… anybody… please. You are not alone. ” – Neville
Number of Times Seen – 2 (23 Dec 2007 and 29 Mar 2018)
Brief Synopsis – A research scientist who is the only survivor of a plague in New York City, tries desperately to find a cure.
My Take on it – This is a film that is a prime example of how not to adapt a film to the screen.
The idea of having one character with no one to talk to be the sole character is not a new one yet it gets quite boring watching Will Smith wander around New York seemingly aimlessly.
Some of his scenes work better than others but some of them come across as being too over the top even when taking into account the situation that his character is in.
The cinematography of this film is great and I loved seeing a deserted New York City that looked quite real.
The book this is based on probably deals much more with this character’s thoughts and things might have been more interesting in this film if they had much more narration by the main character instead f us having to try and guess what is going on in his head the whole time.
Bottom Line – Story that doesn’t work so well onscreen as it probably does on paper. Smith is fine here, but some of his scenes are a bit over the top even when taking into account the situation he was in. The cinematography is brilliant because they really give us the feeling that he is truly living in a deserted New York. Needed much more narration by the characater instead of us having to guess what he thinks about tings going on around him.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In one scene in the deserted street, a billboard can be seen with a large Batman and Superman logo superimposed over each other, and the date “5-15-10.” This is an in-joke at the expense of screenwriter Akiva Goldsman. Goldsman did script rewrites for a “Batman Versus Superman” project in 2002. This was just one of the countless attempts to revive the Superman franchise that culminated in the release of Superman Returns (2006). It would not be until 2016 that Superman and Batman would share the silver screen together in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). Will Smith later played Deadshot in Suicide Squad (2016), which takes place in the DC Extended Universe of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)
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None of the four attempts to adapt the original Richard Matheson novel have been all that true to the source material. By far I am Legend is probably the worst as far as being true to the novel. Special effects are its saving grace. I don’t know for sure how Matheson reacted to any of them, although Dale Sherman, who dedicated an entire chapter of his book “Armageddon Films FAQ” says that Vincent Price’s “The Last Man on Earth” was the closest to the source. But Matheson had also opined that he didn’t know why people avidly sought to buy the rights to his novel and then chose to ignore it for the film they actually made. Still the Will Smith version is entertaining as long as you don’t expect it to be an accurate version of the novel. Good review.
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I’m not much of a Will Smith fan, and based on your critique, this is one more movie of his that I should avoid. Nevertheless, thank you for contributing this to the blogathon!
The earlier versions both worked and didn’t work for me to greater and lesser degrees. I haven’t been able to work up any enthusiasm for giving this one a look. After your review, I’m not going to feel bad about it.
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