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A movie WTF

Our housemate is an avid movie watcher, and is constantly getting me to watch movies. I've gained the reputation of someone who doesn't like to watch movies, but don't get me wrong - I do love movies, but when I'm at home I always have this nagging feeling like I shouldn't be wasting my time watching a movie, I should be doing other, more important things that need to be done around the house*, so I tend to resist what I sometimes feel as "wasting" 2 hours. I know it's silly, and usually once I start watching I'm fine with it, but it's just the way I feel. Watching something on TiVo during dinner at least is multi-tasking, but it's hard to do anything else productive while engrossed in a movie. (We also don't go out to a lot of movies, but that's mostly because I hate that it's so expensive anymore. I'm a penny-pinching Scotsman, so sue me.)

Anyway, he's one of the high-usage NetFlix subscribers that's actually harmful to their business model, so he's got something new about every other day. Once in a while he hooks me with a movie that I actually do want to sit down and watch, so Sunday night we watched I Am Legend.

Obviously it had been a loooong time since I'd read the novel, because I was irked by the ending.

Why? Well, we watched the DVD alternate ending version, not the version they actually showed in theaters. In the theater ending he realized he'd found the cure, gave it to the girl and the kid and sent them on their way, and sacrificed himself, leaving them to bring the cure to the human colony, therefore supposedly saving humanity. In the DVD version he lets the female darkseeker revert and gives her back to the alpha male darkseeker, and, seeing they've retained the emotion of love, decides it's time to leave NYC and heads to the human colony with the girl and the kid.

My first thought was, "Well that was stupid." I mean, he had the cure, and now the darkseekers were going to leave him alone. He also had clear evidence that the darkseekers had not reverted to complete savagery, and had retained some of their humanity. Why the hell did he leave? He could have stayed and cured them all! WTF?

Then, of course, I re-read the synopsis of the original book, and of course the whole point of it was that this was the "new human race," and the existing humans were now the ones who would disappear (becoming legend).

However, that's not how the movie played out at all. It just seemed like he did a complete 180 from his original obsessive train of thought ("I can fix this") because they weren't as animalistic as he'd first assumed. If anything, you'd think that would strengthen his resolve to cure them (as well as looking at the wall of darkseekers that had died during clinical trials - "their deaths will not have been in vain").

So, yeah. Good film, but the ending definitely left me WTFing all over the place. After finding out the theater ending, I'm not sure that would have been much more satisfying for me, either. I mean, I really did like that whole last scene, with the interplay between him and the darkseekers, right up until the point that he became an entirely different character in the last 30 seconds of the film, but if there was no clear evidence that the darkseekers still had some humanity left in them, I likely would have chalked the whole thing up to another horror flick; finding out they misinterpreted the source material probably wouldn't have helped, either (i.e., in that version, they wouldn't have accepted that humanity had fundamentally changed).

So there's my movie review for today. :)

*Playing City of Heroes, for example.


( 9 comments — Comment )
[no subject] - colinblackthorn - Apr. 1st, 2008 03:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 1st, 2008 04:17 pm (UTC)
Never saw that version, but might be worth looking into, just to watch Vincent Price again. He was awesome. :)
Apr. 1st, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC)
That's the Last Man on Earth. Free for download from the Internet Archie, btw.

In that version, he cures the woman and then is killed by the infected mob.

Omega Man is the version with Charlton Heston.
Apr. 1st, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC)
Oops, sorry, had them flipped. Damned dirty apes! :)
Apr. 1st, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC)
Having seen the film first in the theater, I was impressed as hell by the first 2/3s. The last 1/3 was so weak in comparison to the rest of the film, the lame ending didn't bother me as much as it could have. They'd already fumbled the ball, so what the hell.

Having watched the alternate ending, I'm actually surprised that it was a *much* weaker ending.

The only version of this film that has an ending that comes close to the book is Vincent Price's version, "The Last Man On Earth"
Apr. 1st, 2008 04:17 pm (UTC)
They just don't make apocalyptic end of the world movies right anymore, ya know? Sometimes, everyone just DIES, and there's no hope. :)
Apr. 1st, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
though is it just me or was this movie the absolute best "history" for the H.G.Wells time machine.

I could so see the darkstalkers becoming the Morlocks and of course some sections of humanity becoming a new fundy train of thought that Technology did this so technology be damned so while they could still use what was left they were forbidden and then just forgot the ability to read and make things like the humans from that time.
Apr. 1st, 2008 09:00 pm (UTC)
I could see that.
Apr. 9th, 2008 10:32 pm (UTC)
Heh, you need to put your TV and computer closer together so you can watch movies while...y'know...getting that other important stuff done. *wink wink*
( 9 comments — Comment )

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