Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I Am Legend with Alternate Ending is AMAZING

I've been a big fan of this movie since my first viewing (on the IMAX screen eight blocks from my house -- yes, it's good to live in NYC) and I've defended it endlessly against the strangely lukewarm reaction it got from geeks (despite its overwhelming box-office success). People say things like, "Well, it was a lame movie but the empty city was cool," and I'm like, "But the empty city WAS the movie!" Then people complain about the ending (and refer to the novel and the other versions) and I say, "Who cares," because I liked the movie so much and I didn't read the book, and I'm not about to see a Charlton Heston movie if I can possibly avoid it. Anyway my point is that I wasn't really aware of the story's original ethos, so I wasn't really equipped to understand everybody's judgments.

But it turns out there was supposed to be a different ending, and it's on the Blu-ray that I got last week. (And you don't have to fuck around with your remote or anything; you can just watch the whole movie either way, seamlessly.) I didn't get around to watching it until last night (because there's one sequence I just didn't have the emotional stamina for, and I'll bet you can figure out which one I mean). Now I've finally seen it and the difference it makes is overwhelming. It's a completely different movie this other way, and my admiration for it is vastly increased. I won't give anything away but I strongly recommend what I consider to be a true horror/sci-fi masterpiece; maybe my favorite in the apocalyptic genre. (This all may be old news to everybody here, but I'd never seen this before and it's just terrific.) It's just so great when sci-fi and horror gets the royal big-budget A-list treatment like this...it happens all too rarely as we know.

10 comments:

Jordan said...

I didn't give a shoutout to Handsome Stan but of course he already knows all of this and a lot more besides, with regard to IAL and its different incarnations.

JPX said...

If you haven't seen The Last Man on Earth (1963) I highly suggest that you do so. I think you would dig it. I wonder if this alternate ending you are talking about is more in line with The Last Man on Earth's ending?

Jordan said...

I don't want to say anything because I don't want to give anything away!

JPX said...

Fair enough.

Jordan said...

I'll just give one detail. Remember early in the movie when he's harvesting his grain in Central Park (God, what a great movie!) and Sam, the dog, is mesmerized by a butterfly? That's actually a foreshadowing of the ("real") ending.

Octopunk said...

I watched the original ending when the dvd came out and I overwhelmingly prefer it to the one they went with. For one thing, there are hints about it throughout the movie that are still there in the theatrical version, but they get no payoff. For another, if they used the original ending then maybe (but probably not) they wouldn't have grafted on the valentine to Bob Marley that justifies the title.

Jordan said...

Continuing the delicate discussion (which is delicate because we are giving nothing away) I think the Marley still fits in.

As I said, I don't just think that the alt. ending is better; I think it completely elevates the movie to masterpiece status. It's as big a change as the Blade Runner theatrical vs. Scott's director's cut.

Jordan said...

Octo, we have to talk about this on the phone or something. I'm absolutely blown away by the "real" I Am Legend.

I KNEW I liked this movie! I'm so glad it's so much better than I'd originally thought.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

I'm so baffled and frustrated and intrigued! I was worried that it was a blue ray only thing but judging by Octo's comment you can see it on the DVD. I loved it and I'm ready to watch it again. Bob Marley, really?!?! The hell you on about?

Jordan said...

Johnny, let's get into this via email or phone (I'm at mail@jordanorlando.com). I don't want to spill the beans in any way on this thread!