This Week's Review: "I Am Legend"

Ive always found that some people like to be alone or rather, dont mind being alone while others dislike it very much. I fall into the first category. Ive never minded situations where Im alone. Left with an entire day and no commitments and Ill revel in the opportunity to read, watch a movie, work on a project, or putz around the house fixing things. In fact, when these rare days arise (I say rare because I have a young son) I might never speak unless interrupted by a phone call or neighborly salutation. Yes, I genuinely enjoy me time, so much so that Ive often fantasized what it might be like to be the last man on earth. While this scenario might frighten some, I honestly think I would revel in it (at least for a little while). I mean, imagine the time spent in libraries and museums or the impossible opportunities like shooting baskets in Madison Square Garden or kicking a field goal in the Superdome. Think about driving the worlds most pristine sports car while unimpeded by a speed limit. And how about the unending supply of clothing, gadgets, and tools just there for the taking. Certainly food wouldnt be a problem as canned goods and naturally occurring fruits and veggies could sustain one person for an entire lifetime. Shelter would be easy since you could simply hop from house to house (or mansion to mansion if youre smart). Power wouldnt pose too much of a dilemma since theres bound to be plenty of generators and spare gasoline left around. No, to me the whole concept sounds rather do-able. However, what if an unknown was injected into the situation? For instance, what if another entity existed that required you to be on guard every minute of every day, living in constant fear for your life? Suddenly this dreamy scenario doesnt sound so appealing. I mean if I cant live in relative peace, then why bother? Well, this is exactly what Will Smith is up against in this years most anticipated holiday thriller, I Am Legend. Based on the 1954 science fiction novel by Richard Matheson, I Am Legend chronicles the life of Robert Neville, the last man remaining on earth after a devastating virus decimates the worlds population. When we first meet Robert we follow him on his day-to-day activities through the streets of Manhattan. It all looks very appealing until the sun sets and Robert starts to mysteriously lock himself away. Ive really been anticipating this film, having seen the alluring trailer several times over the last few months. Thankfully, I Am Legend did not disappoint. I was literally in a state of constant tension throughout this film. Its been a long time since Ive been that on edge in a movie theater. And as Ive said many times before, whenever a film can evoke a strong emotional reaction, it generally means the experience was positive. Unlike your typical thrasher film that only survives on tension, this picture added an involved storyline and superb acting from its superstar leading man as well. Like Tom Hanks in Castaway, Smith was able to hold the audiences attention for nearly half this picture without the aid of another cast member (trust me, there are very few actors in Hollywood capable of this difficult feat). Not surprisingly, Smith pulled it off with his typical style and grace while also adding a touch of the emotional imbalance that would be obvious in a person in his predicament. Those familiar with the book have been critical of the film, stating that it deviates too much from the actual story. This is true, as much has been altered to accommodate a mass audience. However, as a stand-alone film I Am legend is a lot of fun to watch. I was captivated by the initial situation and completely mesmerized once the story took shape and the antagonist was revealed. If youre in the mood for a great departure film that roots itself in a realistic scenario, then I highly encourage you to give this film a try. Its fun, scary, full of surprises, and one of the most tension-filled films Ive seen in a long time. An apocalyptic A- for I Am Legend. Cant decide what to watch?
Check out Doms Video Pick Of The Week

A Face in the Crowd

Heres a gem from 1957 whose subject matter is even more poignant today than it was fifty years ago. Set in the Deep South, A Face in the Crowd analyzes the story of a roaming hobo who suddenly gains national fame (his rags-to-riches story is common in todays YouTube society). Things look wonderful for the main character, played brilliantly by a young Andy Griffith, until he becomes sick with power. Unfortunately, the drama surrounding director Elia Kazans communist activities kept this film from being recognized as fully as it should have been. Every budding media star should be required to watch this film, not only for its message of self-destruction, but simply because it is a true classic of the American cinema.

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