I Am Legend (2007) (DVD)

Francis Lawrence has an incredible eye for details and visuals in all the movies I’ve seen from him. Even his worst movies have some of the best surreal stark visuals I’ve ever seen, and the man knows how to implement CGI to enhance his films instead of rely on them to provide entertainment. I just wish the man made better movies. What’s it going to take for this man to bring us something spectacular? As for “I Am Legend” it’s wholly unspectacular, but without a doubt one of my favorite guilty pleasures of 2007.

It’s everything the book and its prior adaptations were not, and yet it’s still a damn good time… up until the last half hour. “I Am Legend” is a visual marvel succeeding in setting the tension and atmosphere in the first five minutes through a television interview which then sets down on a deserted New York city where Robert Neville is now a man living alone with his dog. He’s the last man on Earth, and my goodness if I didn’t feel for this character.

Will Smith gives a stunning performance as this man suffering from loneliness, isolation, and claustrophobia and can only seek solace in his one friend, a very responsive and in tune German Shepherd who keeps him and his sanity grounded. The conflict between Neville and Samantha makes for the most dramatic material in the film, with their relationship being the basis for drama, comedy, and surefire suspense, and the tragic end to it makes it all the more heartbreaking in effect. “I Am Legend” is far from faithful to its source material but it definitely entertains for most of the story it places on screen.

One Disc DVD Features: One of the treats of the DVD and all the “I Am Legend” DVD is the trailer for the upcoming “Lost Boys” sequel, which seems like hooplah for a stinking trailer, but really, it’s a movie that many, including myself, are looking forward to. There’s also the trailer to the upcoming “Speed Racer” movie! Which, by my book, looks damn good. There’s also a trailer to “The Dark Knight,” which is still rather incredible. There are four rather interesting animated comics that are there to act as gap fillers to the story chronicling four other survivors of the infection other than Robert Neville.

It still devalues the entire notion of the title of “I Am Legend” but otherwise act as interesting glimpses at the other remaining people in different sides of the world including Hong Kong and Central America who dealt with the loneliness, loss, and isolation in their own ways; incidentally, they’re also more engaging than the movie. My favorite would have to be “Isolation” about a terrorist being shipped out of prison who comes across the hordes of infected who inevitably chase him back to his old home to become a prisoner yet again when he views this “new race” of human he once wanted. In spite of the fundamental story problems and troubles finishing the second half off, “I Am Legend” is a fun guilty pleasure with great performances, and a genuine horror atmosphere. This single disc edition is interesting for the casual fan.