I Am Legend
Collector's Edition, Ultimate Collector's Edition
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Robert Neville is a brilliant scientist, but even he could not contain the terrible virus that was unstoppable, incurable, and man-made. Somehow immune, Neville is now the last human survivor in what is left of New York City and maybe the world. For three years, Neville has faithfully sent out daily radio messages, desperate to find any other survivors who might be out there. But he is not alone. Mutant victims of the plague -- The Infected -- lurk in the shadows... watching Neville's every move... waiting for him to make a fatal mistake. Perhaps mankind's last, best hope, Neville is driven by only one remaining mission: to find a way to reverse the effects of the virus using his own immune blood. But he knows he is outnumbered... and quickly running out of time.
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The quality of 4K films, in comparison to the regular Blu-ray version, often depends upon two things: (1) the quality of the original that they have to work with; and (2) how much effort the people put into the project. Here they must have started with either the original film or a first-generation print of it. Being that the theatrical version was released in 2007, these are easier to locate than for older films.
The upgrade from regular Blu-ray to 4K is very noticeable in a side-by-side comparison. Viewers will notice the improvements in 4K immediately. You will particularly appreciate the differences in the scenes shot outdoors in well-lit areas versus indoors or nighttime outdoor scenes. That's because details like seeing leaves on trees in the distance jump out in 4K in bright sunlight while darkened scenes fail to reveal details--it's simply too dark to see much in 4K or any other format. The other complicating factor is that HDR darkens dark colors and brightens light colors which makes darkened scenes darker still--too dark in 4K for some films in my opinion.
However here the film looks great throughout much of it and should seriously be considered as an upgrade candidate, assuming you like the story which I do and many others do. In addition to sharp details, the color saturation is great, contrast is great, and the sound (Dolby DTS-HD digital) all are better than the Blu-ray version. My only negative is that several scenes were too dark in my opinion--partly due to HDR darkening darks too much and part due to the restorers efforts. For these scenes I actually preferred the standard Blu-ray version because it was brighter despite the drop in resolution. However you will notice an improvement in 4K over the standard Blu-ray for most scenes. The set includes the 4K version, Blu-ray version, free digital download, and a number of extras.
I now have about 40 feature films and documentaries in 4K and have the Blu-ray versions of all as well. In general those movies or documentaries with a lot of outdoor scenes or well-lit indoor scenes (e.g., Bridge on the River Kwai, The Quick & The Dead, Predator, Planet Earth II, Flight of the Butterflies) will jump out the most as dramatically improved from the standard Blu-ray version. For other films you may have difficulty in seeing the difference. Many people are doing this conversion for the first time and did not do a painstaking restoration or had copies of copies of the film to do the restoration with and the results are less impressive (see my review of the boxed set of Jurassic films for details on the good and the bad within this one set). I am contacting some studios and restorers to caution them that HDR is turning some dark scenes simply too dark and they should take this into consideration during restoration.
There are so many things I liked about it I don't know where to begin. The special effects were great, although a number of people dissed the CGI, I thought it worked well. The story follows a logical line for the situation, I liked that a lot too. Will Smith.... 'nuff said there.
The first half and the second half of the movie did, for me at least, fit together. In his travels one day, Will Smith notices one of his mannequins where he did not place it. He is distraught and investigates. While he is investigating, he's pulled into a trap similar to one he used on one of the vampires. As evening closes in, his watch beeps and wakes him up. A battle ensues between him, his dog and the 'night seekers'. During the battle he's rescued by a stranger who takes him to his home unaware that the 'night seekers' watched and now know where he and she are. They come back later that evening for the final confrontation.
So, there is a transition that takes place. It takes the movie from a peaceful but lonely route into a dangerous one. The vampires that Will Smith had been able to avoid can now locate him.
The moral and ethical implications this film stirs up are tremendous. Scientific experimentation to cure cancer seems to have been the cause of the transformation in this story. That in itself brings up endless wagers and exhaustive arguments over right and wrong. Will Smith's character states 'God didn't do this. We did.' Placing the blame for the destruction of mankind onto mankind in a way that's different from other similar movies.
Although this is not really a classic film, it is indeed a fine film and well worth watching. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys sci-fi or movies that can be debatable afterwards.
The filmmaker here carefully crafts his scenes to create nail-biting suspense-- it's artfully and brilliantly done.
Will Smith is his usual strong presence. Most of the movie, he is alone in the scene and he carries that task beautifully.
See this movie for the dog, Sam. This animal has such a powerful presence on screen--probably unlike anything you've ever seen.
**Really want to be freaked out?? Pay close attention to the very opening scene where the doctor is being interviewed on a news show. Then see what's next. Probably one of the most quietly stunning opening 5 minutes I've ever seen in a film.
**Suggestion: Watch it at night with all of the lights out in your house for full effect.
Kid Factor: Some intense and scary scenes-- a few bloody moments. Might be too frightening and disturbing for young children. Probably good for 13 and up.