I Am Legend (2 Disc Edition) (2007)

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Released 7-May-2008

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Featurette-4 Animated Comics
Alternative Version
Featurette-Cautionary Tale: The Science of I Am Legend
Featurette-Creating I Am Legend
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2007
Running Time 96:00
RSDL / Flipper No/No
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Francis Lawrence
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Will Smith
Alice Braga
Charlie Tahan
Salli Richardson
Willow Smith
Darrell Foster
April Grace
Case ?
RPI ? Music James Newton Howard


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    I Am Legend is the third theatrical adaptation of Richard Matheson's 1954 sci-fi novel,  previous adaptations being  The Last Man on Earth (1964) starring Vincent Price and The Omega Man (1971) starring Charlton Heston. Not having seen the earlier versions I have nothing to compare it to, but from all accounts this film is darker in tone to the previous films and much better reflects the novel's sombre setting.

    Measles has been re-engineered to cure cancer and the results are devastating. Cancer is cured, but mankind is essentially wiped out. Will Smith is the star of the show and holds up well, virtually carrying the entire film himself as he believes he is the last person alive on Earth. At the very least he is the last non-infected human in Manhattan and spends his days farming, hunting and trying not to go insane. Flashbacks show how his life has been impacted and the events leading up to the cataclysm.

    This set is the two disc release. Disc 1 is the same disc as the single disc version, while the second disc has extra special features and an alternate version of the film which has an extra four minutes. That four minutes is at the end of the film - it's an entirely different ending. Personally I prefer the ending in the theatrical version, but I know quite a few people that prefer the alternate one too.

     The film desperately wants to be more important than the typical blockbuster and for the most part it succeeds. Ironically, the alternate ending does a better job of bucking the blockbuster trend and tries to offer up a more thoughtful ending that works on a few different levels. Sombre in tone, featuring a reluctant and damaged hero (but not too damaged, it is Will Smith we're talking about) the movie does genuinely try to buck the blockbuster tradition. It is well shot and the scenes with a post apocalypse New York are amazing to see.

     Fans of the film will definitely want to get this 2 disc edition, it's worth the second disc for the alternate version and bonus features.

     Definitely worth checking out.

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Transfer Quality

Video

   The transfer is pretty darn good.

   For the most part the picture is pretty sharp, even when the image is quite dark. A lot of the film is set at night (or in dark settings) so thankfully shadow details look pretty good.

   The outdoor shots make the most of the natural light and are quite stark in contrast to the interior and night scenes. At different stages, filters are used with good effect.

   The lighting and colour really add to the mood of the film. Skin tones look natural. Black levels seem right.

   There were no other problems with MPEG or film artefacts.

   Overall, a beautiful transfer.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The 5.1 Dolby Digital track (384 kb/s) sounds very impressive, has a great range and adds a lot to the viewing experience.

    The dialogue comes through clearly and is never drowned out.

    Surround usage is constant throughout the movie and really makes the most of all directional noise. There is a lot of action, shooting, explosions etc and you really get the feeling you are smack in the middle of it.

    The subwoofer gets a really good workout in the as well. My house was shaking under the pressure.

    The soundtrack is both sombre and exciting, it's well balanced and certainly adds to the mood of the film.

    I'd prefer a dts option, but overall this Dolby mix is very impressive.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    Disc 1

    Animated Comics

    Four brief animated comics showing the holocaust from different perspectives from around the world.

    Disc 2

   Alternate Version

   Essentially it's the same movie but with 4 extra minutes and a totally different ending. One that works on a lot of levels, but I think I prefer the theatrical one. Not sure why the ending wasn't just viewable as an alternate ending instead of a whole other 'version'.

    Cautionary Tale: The Science of I Am Legend (19:47)

    A look at some of the research done to make the film a little more realistic approach to the science and to get an idea of how a virologist works. Interesting stuff, there's a combination of interviews with the cast, crew and scientists.

    Creating I Am Legend (49:00)

    Covers a lot of the elements of the pre-production, shoot and effects that went into the film. You can choose a play all option or go by chapter. The logistics for the NY scenes are amazing.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    It's close - the R1 version gets some DVD-ROM content that we don't, but the R4 version has two featurettes that are probably more significant than what the US gets.

    A win for R4!

Summary

    Overall the movie is quite riveting and there are some freaky moments.

    The video is very good.

    The audio is also very good.

    The special features are pretty decent too.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ben Smith (boku no bio)
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Review Equipment
DVDMarantz DV4300, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL HS10 projector on 100 inch 16x9 screen + Palsonic 76WSHD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-DE685. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationPioneer
SpeakersDB Dynamics VEGA series floor standers + centre, DB bipole rears, 10" 100W DB Dynamics sub

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
another hollywood creature movie - Mike
Why do you prefer the theatrical ending? - Toby Clark
Thanks for the review - abz