(aka 'I Am Legend: The IMAX Experience (IMAX version) ')

Directed by Francis Lawrence
USA 2007

 

I Am Legend, the third cinematic adaptation of Richard Matheson's novel, has been in development for a very long time. Originally slated to star Arnold Schwarzenegger and be directed by Ridley Scott, this movie has kicked around for so long that by the time it has finally reached the screen, Schwarzenegger is out of the business altogether and the director is someone whose career in music videos hadn't even started when Michael Bay was being touted as possible replacement for Scott. Nevertheless, all these years later, we finally have this new version of I Am Legend, starring Will Smith as the Last Man on Earth and directed by Francis Lawrence (Constantine).

I suppose it's a common fantasy - believing that you're alone on the planet. The reality, if it ever happened, would be more the stuff of nightmares. When Matheson wrote I Am Legend; from which this movie takes its name, its main character, and certain events and themes; he was interested in exploring the hard aspects of what this kind of existence might really mean. Loneliness can drive a person slowly insane even if they guard against it. That lies at the core of I Am Legend - the psychological torment endured by the protagonist. That, and the vampires.

Matheson's book has often been credited as the "inspiration" for many of the modern-day zombie movies; his "vampires" have a kinship with George A. Romero's dead. Cinematically, the creatures of this film most evidently echo (perhaps because of the circumstances) those in Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later. In fact, there are numerous similarities between that movie and I Am Legend, not the least of which is that both feature a scenario in which an apocalypse occurs because of a disease and those who don't die turn into slavering, raving monsters.

Excerpt from James Berardinelli's review at reelviews.net located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 5th, 2007

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (2-disc Special Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:40:18 
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.94 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), DUBs: French and Spanish
Subtitles English (CC), French, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Animated Comics (see thru PC) - Death as a Gift, Isolation, Sacrificing the Few For the Many, Shelter - total 21:41
Disc 2

• 3.5 minute longer alternate version
• Digital copy (accessible through computer)

DVD Release Date: March 18th, 200
8
Keep Case inside cardboard sleeve
Chapters: 27

 

Comments:

As anticipated this is a very strong image on Warner's I Am Legend film transfer to SD DVD. It has some fairly dramatic visuals - and I expect the Blu-ray to be superior in the usual areas - fans may wish to indulge this way. Contrast and detail are top-shelf. My only complaint would be colors look a smidgeon dullish at times and there is some visible noise in monochromatic darkness. As far as SD goes though - this is about as good as it will get on a dual-layered, progressive and anamorphic (in the original 2.35:1 ratio) DVD. Expectantly the image is super clean, maybe a shade dampened at times but I'll wager it does a grand job of representing the theatrical presentation onto digital. This DVD is coded for region 1 in the NTSC standard. There are French and Spanish DUB options and the original English (in a 5.1) sounds very buoyant and explosive when called upon with some shattering(s) delineated to the rear channels with gusto. The audio is supported by optional English (CC), French or Spanish subtitles (see sample below).

Note: Disc 2 has both the digital version (for your PC or related device and have an internet connection) and an alternate version of the film... varying from the theatrical on disc one. Without giving away spoilers - it IS different and runs about 3 1/2 minutes longer. I think I might have enjoyed it a bit more. This 2nd disc has no DUBs (only English track) but offers the same optional subtitles as the first disc. Without a specific comparison of images I'd say it looks exactly the same - or not different enough for anyone to make issue.  

The only supplements aside from the 2nd disc are some animated comics strips (with other extras visible through your computer). They run about 20 minutes and seem to fit-in with the appeal of this genre. There are also some trailers that start the feature presentation. 

I usually can get right into these apocalypse flics - but maybe it's just the nostalgic ones (Heston in The Omega Man and Vincent Price in The Last Man on Earth - both, like I Am Legend, are adapted from, sci-fi icon, Richard Matheson's classic novel... I even love Panic in Year Zero! from 1962) but this wasn't my cup of tea for one reason or another. I thought Will Smith was very good but it just missed some ingredients (not enough 'kitsch'?) to sate my eclectic taste. Others may feel different but most should also consider the single disc version widescreen HERE if they are unsure about how much they will enjoy this one.

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus


Disc 2


 


Subtitle Sample

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

 


 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 


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Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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