Skip to main content

Coming soon: I Am Legend

This looks neat.

Apparently based on the book by Richard Matheson, it ends up looking like a version that starred Charlton Heston, namely The Omega Man. We shouldn't forget, however, that there's an even older version titled The Last Man on Earth, starring Vincent Price in the lead.

If the trailer is accurate, the premise of I Am Legend follows that of The Omega Man and The Last Man on Earth. Namely, a plague gets lose. A good chunk of humanity is annihilated, while most of the rest...mutate. Standard zombie movie stuff, really, except that in Matheson's book -- and pretty much in the previous two movie versions -- things are more complicated. In both the book and the Vincent Price film, survivors mutate into vampires; Charlton Heston didn't face vampires so much as albino religious fanatics who can't tolerate daylight.

What makes all interesting to me, however, is Matheson's underlying question: If everyone has mutated, isn't the lone "normal" man the aberation? I can't recall if there are any other "normals" in the Price film, or the novel for that matter, and there are precious few in the Heston film. Again, though, the queston we keep returning to is just what is normal?

I wonder if the 2007 rendition of I Am Legend, now officially titled after the book and complete with Will Smith, will ask the same question. Somehow, I doubt it.


Popular posts from this blog

Not the Hero We Deserve, But the Hero We Need

The Dark Knight is the best film I’ve seen in years. Not just the best “superhero” film, but the best film of any type. It’s not perfect, not quite a masterpiece, but it’s flaws are, to me, tiny and overwhelmed by the time the film ends. While relatively bloodless, it is consistently brutal, not just in what it depicts but in the themes that drive it. TDK is a film for adults, please leave the kids at home.Let’s deal with those “flaws” first, the largest being the character Rachel Dawes. In Batman Begins, I blamed Katie Holmes. Her acting was weak, to say the least, which is regrettable in that who she is and what she says and does are important to the film. Critics agreed and either for that or other reasons, Katie was replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal, who is a better actress. Yet here she’s weak, real weak. Maybe it’s the character, not the actress, which is frustrating because Rachel is a pivotal character. The film, at almost two and a half hours, might be a shade long. Having said t…

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

With its release on home video, we come to the unsurprising and yet still bitter disappointment that is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Unsurprising, because of a lousy director. Disappointing, because it should have been great. To explain further will involve light spoilers; I will avoid larger giveaways. In a galaxy far, far away, the Empire continues to consolidate its power after the fall of the Republic (see Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith). Toward that end, they are assembling a giant battle station, the Death Star. The Rebel Alliance plots a way of finding out what’s going on and perhaps, in the process, save their collective butts. Rebellious galivanting ensues. All of the elements necessary to craft a good story are here, yet none of them work. The blame lies almost exclusively at the feet of director Gareth Edwards. This is his third film (after Monsters and Godzilla) and his failings as a director stand out in each. The major problems with each film involve the peopl…

Conspiracy (2001)

The Holocaust remains an unfathomable atrocity, the unholy benchmark by which all such are measured. Stalin and Mao both make Hitler look like an amateur when it came to sheer body count, yet the Holocaust remains unique. It seems to boil down to two reasons. First, the Nazis were terrifying in their systematic approach to the slaughter of Jews, driven by their ideological belief that they were acting for the greater good of all mankind. And second, they hunted Jews in any land they conquered; the goal wasn't merely to "purify" Germany, but the world. Few films have captured these points as well as HBO's 2001 film, Conspiracy. On January 20, 1942, a group of senior officials of Nazi Germany met at a lovely house in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee. The purpose of their meeting was to determine the "final solution" for the Jews. The Wannsee Conference developed what is referred to as the Wannsee Protocol. A single copy of the document remains. Conspiracy, drawi…