Monday, August 16, 2010


1. I liked that dog, Samantha. In a world with no humans, that dog was a great companion, (this from a non-dog person). I cried a little when he had to, you know, kill her.

2. Despite not liking the ending at all, this is one of my favorite films. The director, Francis Lawrence, did BRITNEY SPEARS VIDEOS before this? Wow. The pacing, the effects, the flashbacks, the dialogue? All aces. Nice work.

3. This sort of story is seriously one of the greatest joys in my narrative life. Isolation? Memories? MANNEQUINS STRATEGICALLY PLACED ABOUT THE CITY? (my favorite!)

I have always strongly identified with protagonists like these, most of them men. I think my Daddy issues have contributed to my constant seeking of powerful characters and my disdain of weak, sappy female leads. I mean, I grew up wanting to be Betty Childs (cheerleader from Revenge of the Nerds) like many others, I suppose, but there was always something more appealing about the powerful guys, the strong guys, the guys that actually DID something. Will Smith very much DOES SOMETHING in this and I was mesmerized.

4. Speaking of Will Smith, WOW! (delicious!) I have always thought he was a decent enough actor, but something different was going on here. Is he getting a little gray? It very much works for him. And the pull ups in the doorway? What a body on this guy! He was doing a one man show for a lot of this film, and he nailed it, extremely. Conversing with the mannequins? Genius. ("Please say 'hello' to me. Please say 'hello' to me!" or "BOB? WHAT THE HELL YOU DOING OUT HERE? ARE YOU REAL?" etc.)

5. Film vs. Book? I really hate to say this, but I thought the film was better. I loved Richard Matheson's story, which was riddled with Vampires, not rabid, cohabitating Zombies, but the film somehow resonated more with me. For one thing, using mannequins always earns an A+. Also, that opening scene where he's hunting deer in the mustang in downtown Manhattan? Very, very cool. And while I kept waiting for Will Smith to actually say the words, "I am Legend," I'm okay with just being shown it rather than having it stated outright (the book ends with this final declaration by Robert Neville as he's about to die, which is almost the coolest fucking thing I've ever read.) That said, the book's ending was much more satisfying. Regardless, I'll say both are legendary (hee hee).

6. My new goal? To make that treadmill downstairs my bitch the way Smith (and his dog) made theirs.
And to always have extra bacon, just in case.


Justin Garrett Blum said...

I'm loath to attempt film versus book comparisons with adaptations like this, in that the stories are so different. Matheson's novella proposes a similar scenario, but it's more intimate and in the vain of the stuff he used to do for The Twilight Zone--the story is primarily about what's going on inside the protagonist's head, and the rest is almost window dressing.

The film version with Will Smith attempts something much more comprehensive, and by and large, I agree with you that it's successful (I own the film on DVD--I like it a lot). In fact, you've made me want to watch it again.

Donald said...

Well, I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you there, Peter. I'm a fan of the novella (but I think Anna loved it more than I did. I just thought it was pretty good), but I thought the movie sucked for the most part. They made it overly complicated, it was boring, and the "vampires" looked like crap and weren't scary at all.

Also, I hate Reggae and think that Bob Marley is boring.

Justin Garrett Blum said...

The vampires did look stupid--I'll give you that. But I thought the film did an excellent job of portraying a guy who's the last survivor of a vampire epidemic.

Donald said...

I definitely give props to my boy Will Smith, who's never been bad in any film, TV show, or music video in which I've seen him. Absolutely, 100%, brilliant actor. He made this movie watchable -- and even entertaining -- but it still sucked. Also, as Anna said, he's a super fucking hottie. Amazing body. I'm secure enough in my manhood to admit that. Nobody has a better body than this guy.

Anna said...

i suppose this is because dude has his roots in music videos, but I really liked the LOOK of this film more than anything, Will Smith AND the city AND the mannequins. The vampires were icky. Kind of like that kid POWDER on a crack binge. I kind of wished they would try to ridicule him and taunt him with their sexuality as in the book. . .