Sir Toose's Maggot Pie Reviews

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I Am Legend (2007)
IMDB Details I Am Legend

Craft (Look & Feel):
I Am Legend is definitely one of those films where the backdrop of the locale/setting is as much a character in the film as are the casted roles. The post apocalypse New York setting in IAL is among the best I've seen. My chosen career involves heavy use of blueprints, CAD drawings etc, so I always naturally find myself looking at architectural details (which is a hobby of mine) as I watch a film. The building scapes were very artfully done and I personally couldn't pick apart anything that was fake looking. I especially liked the weeds shooting up through the pavement, the abandoned scaffolding and window washing equipment left scattered about, and the Brooklyn Bridge scenes. I thought that the lighting (and lack thereof), the artful placement of abandoned vehicles, etc all encompassed a flawless backdrop for this story.

Obviously, the premise of this film and its projected success or failure is dependent upon the performance of a single lead actor. I personally felt that Will Smith was a great choice for this role and I believe that he delivered and then some as Dr. Neville. This role is about far more than a guy surviving by himself in a post apocalypse world filled with monsters (natural and un-natural). I think in this context Smith performed beautifully but was hindered by his supporting cast (CGI boogeymen) and a faltering storyline. Now, about those boogeymen, they were awful to put it in a word. The CGI is actually better in many video games I've seen of late and IMHO NON-CGI beasties are far more frightening than those created in cyberspace. To draw a comparison, I'd face 500 of those horribly executed CGI vampire/zombies in I am Legend over exactly one of the zombies from the 28 Days/Weeks series. The things that inspire fear in human beings are obviously mysterious to whomever marked the checkbox for creatures on the film's to-do list. To me, this was the most serious negative aspect of the film. There's no compassion for the zombies and barely a connection to humanity from them. They don't look like former humans who I would pity in the situation they're in, nor were they scary.

Toose's Take:
I like the premise of the movie (story/book) quite a lot. There is a lot of juxtaposing going on and examining things in different lights is always interesting. For example, Dr. Neville is in a position where he's always avoiding the dark yet he seems to be in the dark (figuritively speaking) about the gravity of the situation he's in for most of the film. Of course he does comprehend it in the end but you'll get no spoilers from me. I also personally took this story, as filmed, as a lesson in faith. In my faith, we're taught that we're created for a purpose and that the steps along our path are meant to build us up to that. Dr. Neville, conversely, is always taking things into his own hands to fix and much of this ends badly for him. Of course I'm not saying that in a situation like Neville is in that one should just sit back and wait for a divine resolution, but his regrets from start to finish were indicators (to me) of him losing his connection to faith. On the other hand, of course, it's easily understandable why he did lose faith, it's all too human.

In the end, I found myself pining for what this film could and should have been. The new Hollywood, in their rush to use CGI, seems to have forgotten that in order for a story to be truly powerful we, as humans, need to connect to both sides of a conflict. If there was any humanity at all exhibited by the creatures, perhaps a flash of recognition of what once was or something of the like, it would have multiplied the power of this film tenfold. Frankenstein was a powerful film because we felt compassion for the creature as well as for the creator. This one had the potential to be great but ultimately fell flat.

Will your system be alright, when you dream of home tonight?
Nice name lol and nice review
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Very nicely done Sir Toosie... thanks for sharing and, given the thread title, I'm assuming there will be more...
You never know what is enough, until you know what is more than enough.
~William Blake ~

AiSv Nv wa do hi ya do...
(Walk in Peace)

Very nicely done Sir Toosie... thanks for sharing and, given the thread title, I'm assuming there will be more...
Well, it did take me 7 years to get one up. I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you

You didn't like the movie because of the CGI monsters . I'll be sure to keep that in mind .
Thank you for the consideration. Do you think my gripe isn't legitimate?

Why expend such great effort in getting the sets/background renders/etc to such a state of perfection only to ruin it with cartoonish looking monsters? This film is its own worst enemy.

Sure, it would've helped. That and a reason to care about them. There is a definite emotional disconnect with the monsters, they're presented more as animals than as humans. I think the original handled this aspect better, you should watch that one if you haven't yet. I thought that overall it was a better film than this new one even though the new one sure had potential.

Aye boy don't spit in my drink!
You're spot-on about the creatures being trash, Toose. They look like something out of a videogame. If the filmmakers had spent a little extra time on making them look more menacing and changed a few stupid plot twists near the end, this would've been a really good movie.

I really did enjoy this film and I think if the "infected" were just extras with some tatty clothes and makeup it would have been a bit better. Some of the scenes would have had to of been CGI, but the scenes I am thinking of really were not needed. Either way I would still recommend it. Nice review.
“The gladdest moment in human life, methinks, is a departure into unknown lands.” – Sir Richard Burton

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
I had the same gripe with the monsters, it really took me out of the film.
"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews

Well, it did take me 7 years to get one up. I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you

I've actually written two since I've been here... of course it was about two years after I joined when I wrote them... and if anyone has been holding their breath waiting for me to write another one... well, someone move the cobwebs and call the coroner...

if anyone has been holding their breath waiting for me to write another one... well, someone move the cobwebs and call the coroner...

Good thing I got big lungs, and a broom.

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Certifiably troglodytic.
I agree with you Toose about the monsters....their brightest spot was really when you couldn't see them all that much (such as in the warehouse). IAL generated some genuine, albeit, fleeting interest in the monsters for me when..
WARNING: "Legend" spoilers below
...Neville was likewise hoisted and captured in an ankle noose, which not only displayed heightened intellect on behalf of the monsters, but the scene was a major transition for the film.

Beyond that, it was as you said with the monsters from there. Perhaps IAL should have taken a Shyamalan-esque cue and left a bit more to our imagination for the fright.
"Hey Rachel...wanna see something cool?"

I agree with you Sir Toose about the cgi 'monsters' in I Am Legend . These were supposed to be human beings, not some super creatures. The infected were so much better in 28 Days Later. My feelings were that you didn't need to have the infected being superhuman, just that they were out there, gaining intelligence and needing meat was scary enough .

The People's Republic of Clogher
I don't usually read reviews about new films I've not seen yet (an ego thang dressed up as trying to enter with as few preconceptions as possible I suppose) but I'm glad you've finally got a review thread up.

Never know, if you do enough of them and they're good enough a nice mod might come along and sticky them for posterity.
"Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how the Tatty 100 is done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves." - Brendan Behan

Some of you folks just need to watch more movies on the Sci-fi channel , you want to see some bad CGI, sheesh! I didn't think it was great CGI either but it wasn't that terrible either. To me what translated really well on the big screen was some of the scares, I actually jumped a little a few times, which is extremely rare. I watch way to many of these types of films to not know what's coming but this movie did a decent job of taking me to a deserted city, a silent city. And at times I was a little jumpy and creeped out. This movie just further proves to me that Will Smith really is a talented actor, I really was pulling for him. Sure I knew how it was going to end. But come on really, it's almost impossible to have a; "Wow, I didn't see that coming", type of ending these days isn't it? Especially for folks like us that have seen one or two movies before.
We are both the source of the problem and the solution, yet we do not see ourselves in this light...