1. Uberwatch
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    Uberwatch Active Member

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    I am Legend needs a movie it deserves

    Discussion in 'Entertainment' started by Uberwatch, Sep 30, 2013.

    So I have read the book by Richard Matheson and seen all three adaptations. Unfortunately, there still hasn't been good version that the book deserves.

    Vincent Price's Last Man on Earth was good. It has the same messages. In fact, the screenplay was written by Matheson himself under the pen-name Logan Swanson. The problem is, : it's outdated. '64 was too long ago. There needs to be an updated version.

    Then came in 1971, The Omega Man starring Charleton Heston. Personally this was my favorite out of the three films (or 4). This film however deviated too much from the novel. They never explored the fact that Neville is "legend". I did like how the screenwriters put an ideology into the vampires but "The Family" weren't really vampires. Just mutants spawned from warfare. If the Family were bloodlust vampires while believing technology and science is evil, would have been the best enemies against Neville. (I honestly did not like the brain-dead ones in LMOE)

    And now the modern adaptation is here (or was). 2007 came the release of I am Legend using the same title as the original. It has always boggled me why this movie was commercially successful. Yes, it had an A-List Actor (Will Smith). Yes it had mind-blowing scenery of a post-apocalyptic New York, sort of like the show, Life without People. And yes, it was one of those films where post-apocalyptic films were making a huge comeback in cinema at the time. But I'm going to be very critical of this version and I'll explain why.

    1.) It's the weakest of the three. Omega Man may not explained why Neville is legend but Smith's version changed it. Instead of being the sole survivor against vampires and the infected which made him have legend status, the movie's ending explained Neville is legend for finding a cure. Although the cure was important in many of the films, Neville being the last man was the most important of all.

    2.) The vampires. I'm sorry but fast-running superhuman hairless vampires just won't do it. The worst of it is that the vampires don't even talk, eliminating important story material from being explored in 2007's I am Legend. A huge disappointment.

    3.) No infected. In the book, Vincent Price's LMOE and Heston's Omega Man, there were a group of survivors in a community that looked more human than the vampires, but still were infected. While the book and the two films explored the infected differently, Smith's version did not. In fact, the two other characters Anna and Ethan in the film were immune like Neville and basically delivered the cure to some community in Vermont.

    4.) Just the fact that they were immune like Robert Neville was did not make him feel more important than the rest of the survivors. I always thought the infected people in the book, LMOE, and Omega Man gave you the illusion that Neville wasn't really alone and the only uninfected man.

    5.) I don't know if this is relevant to bring up, but this whole thing with Bob Marley in the film took a lot of screentime away for Matheson Material to be injected into the movie.

    So yes, I am Legend itself was a good movie, it did raised questions about diseases and outbreaks and helped show the isolation of Robert Neville, but there was a lot of things left out from the book that weren't even executed in. It's a shame a lot of the high-budgeting of the movie was aimed at effects and Smith being an A-list actor.

    Oh and speaking of the 4th movie. It's called I am Omega and it's absolutely terrible. It's just a rip-off movie that came out the same year I am Legend did attempting to capitalize on a huge film. Nothing to do with Matheson's book.

    So coming to conclusions, I really feel like I have the vision for the perfect version of the movie yet. It should basically have the core areas of the book, but taking inspirations from all three films.

    I just hope the next time an adaptation of I am Legend comes out, it would outdo all three.
     
  2. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    You didn't like I am Omega? The best of The Asylum productions! :)
     
  3. Uberwatch
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    Uberwatch Active Member

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    Well, I heard the Asylum makes pretty bad movies. The recent one I saw was Sharknado. Even if I am Omega was considered the best, it can't compete with the real I am Legend adaptations.
     
  4. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    Man, The Asylum rocks... their "films" are usually not good enough to be called "films"... but still beat the Sci Fi Pictures products :)

    Seriously: of the three adaptations of Matheson's work, I think I prefer the Vincent Price film - because, I have to admit, I prefer V. Price's type of bad acting over C. Heston's, and I can't sit and watch W. Smith without a serious ammount of ganja... "Ali" was just barely watchable, and seeing his face smacked a lot made it even enjoyable (but then again, I prefer honest pornography) :)

    I think "I am Legend" would work just fine as a limited-budget flick, like an expanded episode of "Twilight Zone" (which Matheson actually wrote for)... There are, what, two and a half roles? and most action takes place in and around Neville's house... If I gad any money, I think I'd do it myself :)
     

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