Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

I Am Legend

(Francis Lawrence, 2007)













Theatrical: Warner Brothers Pictures


Blu-ray Review by Leonard Norwitz

4K Ultra HD Review by Gary Tooze



4K Ultra HD Disc:

Region: FREE (as are all UHD discs)

Runtime: 1:40:26 (alternate version only)

Disc Size: 57,901,449,216 bytes

Feature Size: 55,824,558,156 bytes

Bitrate: As high as 84.3 Mbps - average around 73.0 Mbps

Chapters: 27

Case: Black Blu-ray case

Release date: December 6th, 2016



Aspect ratio: 2.4:1

Resolution: 2160p / 23.976 fps




DTS-HD Master 5.1 Surround
Dolby Digital Stereo English descriptive track
Dolby Digital
Stereo English commentary

11 Foreign Language DUBs (French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Russian etc)



29 options including English (SDH), Chinese, Danish, German, Spanish, Latin Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Brazilian Portuguese, Finnish, Polish, Hungarian, Swedish etc.



Commentary by Director Francis Lawrence and producer-screenwriter Akiva Goldsman

Leaflet for Ultraviolet digital download


Blu-ray Disc:

Region: FREE (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:43:54.269 + 1:40:31.650 (alternate version)

Disc Size: 40,331,320,660 bytes

Feature Size: 17,440,892,928 bytes + 16,347,887,616 bytes (alternate version)

Video Bitrate: 16.14 Mbps

Chapters: 27 + 28 (alternate version)

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 11th, 2008



Aspect ratio: 2.4:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video


Blu-ray Bitrate:




Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1428 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1428 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB)
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB



English, Spanish, French, none



Creating I Am Legend Documentary (51:58)

Cautionary Tale: The Science of I Am A Legend – Exploring the History of Viral Pandemic Infections and the Reality of Life-Threatening Microbes Lying In Wait for Humankind - in HD (20:41)

• 4 Animated Comics - in HD


1 Disc in Standard Blu-ray case

Release Date: March 18, 2008



I Am Legend ~ The Score Card


The Movie : The time is our near future. Dr. Alice Krippen has just announced a vaccine cure for cancer.  Three years later, the planet’s human population is either dead or running amuck in disorganized rapid packs, intolerant of light and hungry for whatever they might be able to feed on.  One man, Lt. Colonel Robert Neville, appears to be the only human immune to the virus.  Being both scientist and military, he rigorously and obsessively searches for a cure, gathering specimens of small animals and “darkseekers” by day; and holing up in his home at night – a fotress that he has carefully kept secret and well-defended from the infected. In what passes for one of its lighter moments, Neville frequents a video store to pick up a DVD to while away the time at home.  There he has arranged several manikins who stand in for his social contacts when his pet German Shepherd, Sam, is not enough.  It's quite touching, really.   One day, his dog runs carelessly into a building where Neville follows, fearing Sam will almost certainly become the victim of some rabid humanoid or canine animal. But little by little, the implications of his circumstances and his lack of progress toward a cure take their toll, until one day Neville finds Fred, one of his manikins, standing in the street where he oughtn't.



NOTE: The below Blu-ray and or 4K Ultra HD captures were taken directly from the disc but are limited by the computer display (see below) which they are viewed.

ADDITION: Warner - 2-disc - Region FREE -  4K Ultra HD (May 2018): The Warner includes the previous Blu-ray - which has both versions (not seamlessly branched).


DVDBeaver have over 5,000 Blu-ray reviews on this website and over 10,000 disc reviews in total. This is our fourth 4K Ultra HD review. I am big on the post-apocalypse film genre so I've always liked I Am Legend.

The problem with reviews that use screen captures are standardization of the methodology used to obtain them - and while we have recently made an adjustment to improve representation in this area - both un-standardized, un-calibrated, computer monitors and a variety of home theatre viewing systems become a factor. This actually justifies comparisons all the more important since the images are all viewed on the same monitor and the differences are apparent despite the system.


4K Ultra HD produces another significant issue - it is likely that the monitor you are seeing this review is not an HDR-compatible display (High Dynamic Range) where each pixel can be assigned with a wider and notably granular range of color and light.


So we have made an attempt to replicate the image of our 4K HDR - Dolby Vision system. Our adjustment is trying to simulate the same strong color scheme - we cannot - but it is definitely closer than the 4K UHD captures as viewed on a standard computer monitor. We have included mostly RAW 4K Ultra HD captures as they do faithfully represent the detail, if not the color on your monitor display.


We are using an LG B6 65" 4K UHD HDR OLED TV display supporting both HDR & Dolby Vision:



and an Oppo UDP-203 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Player with HDR & Dolby Vision (UHD, Blu-ray, 3D, DVD, DVD-Audio, SACD and CD).



A Standard computer monitor cannot due justice to the 4K Ultra HD image. Likewise our simulation split-screen capture does not give a valid representation - yes, the 4K UHD is superior to our simulation.


We suggest using the native 4K Ultra HD captures to see the presentations for grain texture (where applicable), detail, sharpness and even framing BUT to use our simulated split-screen to get a general idea of the color improvement. 


The captures we have taken are native resolution: 3,840 by 2,160 pixels which you can see when you click on them. The resolution in 4K movie theaters is marginally higher at 4,096 by 2,160 pixels. To appreciate the advancement mathematically it is 4X the number of pixels on a 1080p Blu-ray display, and almost 24X times the resolution of your old SD Sony Trinitron tube television (standard definition).


While the 4K Ultra HD of I Am Legend easily looks far superior to the 1080P Blu-ray - which had two versions but not seamlessly-branched and hence the bitrate is significantly lower (a puny 16.4 Mbps). I wouldn't say the 4K Ultra HD is the height of this format in terms of image. This was a relatively early UHD package which only offers only the alternative version of the film. The 4K Ultra HD visuals are 2.4:1 like the Blu-ray. Detail rises quite significantly, colors seem to warm in UHD and it has impressive depth. Contrast, likewise is a leap up with brighter whites and inkier black levels. 




Image :


The below Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD captures were taken directly from the disc but are limited by the computer display (see below) which they are viewed.


The average bit rate for the Blu-ray is lower than we generally find - sub 20s, mostly – but that didn’t keep me from giving it a fairly high score.  Tonal range is excellent, with appropriate information in the shadows.  Sharpness is variable, as the image on film would have dictated with the use of extensive CGI.






1) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE RAW 4K Ultra HD - BOTTOM



1) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE RAW 4K Ultra HD - BOTTOM



1) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE RAW 4K Ultra HD - BOTTOM



1) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE RAW 4K Ultra HD - BOTTOM



More RAW Warner - Region FREE 4K Ultra HD Captures



More Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray Captures









Audio & Music :

The main Dolby True HD audio mix is amazing, even if it only comes into dynamic play from time to time, as much of the film is spent on Smith thinking, worrying, muttering, testing, wandering about.  Atmospherics are nicely placed and subtly articulated. But when those moments of truth come, this is a dynamite audio track. There are optional subtitles and is a a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.


The 4K Ultra HD disc has DTS-HD Master 5.1 (no Atmos etc.) and it sounds solid - Zombie shrieks are piercing - also notable in Bob Marley & The Wailers' Three Little Birds, Stir It Up, Redemption Song and Stevie Wonder performing Superstition. Plus the excellent score by James Newton Howard (2005's King Kong, 8 Million Ways to Die, Batman Begins, The Bourne Legacy, I Am Legend, The Lookout etc.) benefits from the lossless. Warner add multiple foreign language DUBs, a descriptive audio track and many subtitle options - looking like it must be the same disc sold worldwide. Like all 4K Ultra HD discs it is Region FREE.




Extras :

This Blu-ray disc offers two versions of the movie, both in 1080p: the Original Theatrical Version and an Alternate Version that takes the finale to a different dramatic and emotional place.  While I object to the easy-solution epilogues in both versions, I find the alternate more satisfying on balance even though it addresses none of the logic problems noted above.  The four short thematically related animated comics, happen to look very good indeed in HD.  The SD documentary of just under an hour is informative, if not all that well put together.  Its fairly high quality image of behind-the-scenes footage is intercut with brief interviews of the principal players in  front and behind the camera.


As stated, the Blu-ray is included as a second disc in the 4K Ultra HD package where all those extras discussed above are housed. But the UHD disc has a surprise with an optional commentary by director Francis Lawrence and producer-screenwriter Akiva Goldsman not found on the original Blu-ray, or DVD. This is standard fare discussing the production hurdles and visual secrets to what we are seeing. There is also a leaflet for Ultraviolet digital download.



Comment: Will Smith is certainly getting his retrospective due on high definition DVD of late.  On March 11 Fox released Independence Day (1996) and I, Robot (2004).  The following week, Warner releases his most recent and darkest film to date, I Am Legend.   Smith is nothing short of mesmerizing as a man straddling hope and despair.

To the extent that you buy into its last-man-standing story, I Am Legend - based on the 1954 novel of the same name by Richard Matheson - is one of the scarier horror films of recent years - not only because of its theme, but also the way it’s realized on film.  The effect on one’s psyche in its more compelling moments can be more like watching a film about the Holocaust than a straight-out horror/thriller film such as 28 Days Later The surviving infected humanoids are among the most frightening ever put to film: rabid as well as relentless; strong, quick, and stripped of most human attributes including color and articulate speech – all of which are a considerable improvement, aesthetically speaking, over the previous film adaptations: the 1964 film with Vincent Price, The Last Man on Earth, and the 1971 Charlton Heston vehicle, The Omega Man.  Director Lawrence (Constantine) certainly knows the genre: dripping water; shadowy interiors where the infected gather – for the most part, unseen; close-ups of the protagonist in various states of anguish and numbing fear.  Smith's pet dog hasn’t enough genetic history behind him to know just how threatened he ought to be, and thus places himself in harm’s way more than once – scenes which are scarier to Smith than attempts on his own life.  Scenes of Manhattan gone to seed, zoo animals racing though otherwise empty streets with Smith and his dog zipping along in one vehicle or other in hot pursuit look like something out of an apocalyptic nightmare.  Because of their verisimilitude to reality they come across as scarier than the CG effects in the film's climax.  [BTW: Lions in Manhattan?  I wonder how they got there?  I could be wrong, but I didn't know there were any in the Central Park Zoo; and the Bronx Zoo is across the river.]

Of course, I Am Legend has loftier goals than to merely scare you into never leaving your home or from taking another antibiotic.  The screenplay by Akiva Goldsman and Mark Protosevich is a study of loneliness and what it means to be human – at least in its first hour or so.  It also takes a moment, less successfully I thought, to consider God’s Plan.  Lofty or no, I Am Legend cannot escape the shortcomings of it own logic.  Taking some of the more obvious: Why is Neville so convinced that there are no other survivors, considering the evidence of his own eyes and his daily calls into the ionosphere for someone to find him?  How does he expect anyone to get to him with all the bridges into the city blown?  And why, with all Neville's electrical and radio devices still functioning, do none of the survivors over the years have a way to contact him?


If you want a good fright and major special effects in high definition, you’ve come to the right place.  The movie may have its problems. But the art direction, Smith, and the dog make it all worthwhile.  I recommend the Alternate Version if you haven't seen it yet.


I remain a big fan of I am Legend and the HDR and 4K resolution is a giant leap in quality on a large viewing system. It was one of the first 10 4K Ultra HD discs I bought. It is priced well, has the commentary and includes the Blu-ray. Certainly the way to go even if you don't have a 4K system... yet.             

Leonard Norwitz
March 15th, 2008

September 2010 (updated)

Gary Tooze

May 19th, 2018














DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze


Thank You!