So, maybe I'm a little obsessive. It's not my fault. Anyways, a day or two after I wrote about 30 Days of Night and proceeded to pin all of my hopes for the future of awesome vampires movies on I Am Legend, they released a new trailer for it. This trailer was a little unusual in that it basically gave the entire plot of the movie from start to finish. For this reason, I'm not going to link it in case you didn't want to know what was going to happen.
Besides, it's like the second hit on Google, so if you want to, you can find it easily enough (although you have to click an additional link if you want to watch it in HD instead of crappy Flash Player).
Anyways, this trailer surprised me. A lot. It took me more than a week to organize my thoughts about all this.
So, before I go any further, I want to just throw out one of those SPOILER WARNINGS things (although you ought to be pretty well warned, considering I'm talking about something I've already described as full of spoilers). However, you should probably take these spoilers with a grain of salt, since I haven't seen the movie yet (I've only read the book). But then again, I've seen the trailer, and you might not have yet.
So, if you haven't bothered to go watch the trailer, now would probably be a good time, since that's what I'm going to be talking about. But if you want to go into the movie fresh, stop reading this post and don't go find the trailer on Google and don't go see any upcoming Warner Brothers movies or horror movies in general because you might be exposed to the spoiler filled trailer against your will. Upcoming Warner Brothers movies are: Fred Claus, August Rush and One Missed Call (which is also a horror movie, so that one's almost certain to have the trailer ahead of it). Current Warner Brothers movies that might have the trailer on it are Michael Clayton and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Also, probably don't accidentally read I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, which can be found new at Amazon for 7.99.
So, now I'm actually getting to the post.
First of all, the trailer is kind enough to finally show us the vampires. This is a good thing, since we all really wanted to know how they were going to turn out. Personally, I had been ever-so-secretly hoping for the vampires to all be wearing white make up, like in The Omega Man, just so that it would be the last black against a world taken over by whites. I would have found that awesome. I'm not sure what anyone else would think.
But, well, these vampires aren't just people wearing white make up, which is probably actually a good thing. These babies are definitely scary looking. I appreciate the naked, hairless, veiny, but-still-wearing-pants look. I also like that they all seem to look well over 6 feet tall in the trailer. That's totally cool. The sheer massive number of them that we see is nice as well.
On a side note, at Comic Con this past summer, Warner Brothers was distributing a free little comic book collection of short events leading up to the events of I Am Legend (primarily during the society crashing down part). One of them was even written by Richard Matheson. Anyways, I guess that gave me my first glimpse of what the vampires were going to look like, so their reveal wasn't as big to me as it possibly could have been.
On a barely even related side note, if you didn't happen to go to Comic Con and pick up this free little collection, Apple Trailers has animated versions of at least one of them (listed as I Am Legend: The Awakening). This is done in that same cheap, flash animated style as a pseudo-internet sensation that nobody's ever heard of called Broken Saints. Personally, I hate that style, because it's incredibly boring. You can literally read the entire little free comic book in about the same amount of time it takes them to do the single selection they picked. This isn't surprising because reading the comic books doesn't take very long, but slowly moving little paper cut-out looking characters and narrating it apparently takes forever. But, whatever. Feel free to check it out and agree with me. In either case, the original little free comic book was actually pretty good. Broken Saints and stuff that's done in the same style pretty much isn't.
Okay, back on track. So, they show us the vampires. Awesome. And we like, them. Cool. But, really, did they have to show us the dog dying? I mean, really, that's totally unnecessary. Obviously, we knew the dog was going to die (what else is going to get him to start changing his pattern after three years? Unless, they're actually keeping the girl he meets in the book, and they've just been keeping it a surprise). But, why show it? It's not going to make me want to see it more (like that's possible). It'll probably even turn some people off because some people like watching people die more than watching animals die (but at least the animal is getting well-mourned). So, yeah, unnecessary.
Lastly, and I'm serious on this one, why show him captured by the vampires? I mean, we're talking last 5-10 pages of the book here. It really feels like they decided to just give me the entire movie in that trailer. I mean, I totally still want to see it, but that was still too much. Just the scene of the mass of vampires in the distance coming at his car would have been good enough to make me start thinking about it all the time and planning my December schedule around the release date.
So, instead, now I'm in a similar situation as I was in a couple of summers ago as War of the Worlds was approaching. I was excited and stuff and I thought it would totally be cool. But, I got even more excited when I read an interview saying that they were really excited about the ending because it was totally different from the book and blah, blah, blah. So, I came into the movie really excited because I wanted to see just how it would end (the end of the book was totally cool and clever back when HG Wells wrote it, but that was a while ago, and it needed a fresh perspective). And, well, apparently quoting the end of the book as you use the same ending is considered a totally different ending than the book (I mean, the book can't quote itself, that would be way too meta to even contemplate). So, yeah, I was disappointed with the end. I thought the movie was pretty good, but the end really let me down.
So, flash forward to I Am Legend. Technically, I don't know how the movie is going to end. But here's the situation, the trailer is basically yelling out: "We're following the book!" The title is also shouting to everyone who can read: "This one is going to be like the book!" But then the question becomes: do they have the balls to follow through with that promise? And, well, I'm not sure they do.
I mean, Francis Lawrence is directing it. And, well, I'm willing to put a fair amount of faith in his first name, but not everything. And I actually liked Constantine, but he totally wussed out of letting Constantine die (admittedly, that's at least probably because he was hoping to turn that into a franchise, and franchises don't usually work when the title character dies...Pirates of the Caribbean doesn't count because Jack Sparrow's name isn't in the title and, besides, Jack can do whatever he wants in my book). So, that's what we've got. I'm pinning my hopes on the balls of a former music video director named Francis (admittedly, things could be worse, but they're definitely not good enough).
I've also been more than a little confused by selection of the release date. It's kind of hard to make sense of that choice. Less than two weeks before Christmas, they're releasing a "Will Smith against the vampires" movie, and it's not supposed to end well. I guess they want it to be this year's King Kong, but that doesn't seem like the best goal (I was always under the impression that it under-performed...and was just okay anyways). But, I guess December might give it better odds of not taking the easy, and by easy, I mean stupid, crowd-pleasing, ridiculous, way out compared to being released in July (where humanity is required to win, no matter the odds, and it better be at least as patriotic and uplifting as Independence Day). But, whatever, I just want it to come out sooner (I hear October is a good month for horror movies, even ones whose titles don't start with Saw and end with a number...and well, November probably isn't too shabby either).
So, yeah, I'm excited and so I'm thinking about this way too much. That is all.
PS - SPOILER WARNING: I didn't want to go into the ending in case you hadn't finished accidentally reading I Am Legend over the course of the post, but by this point, I've probably gone on long enough for you to catch up, assuming it was accidentally purchased with one-day shipping. The question I can't help but ask is whether, after being captured by the vampires, Will Smith is going to find out that they have started building their own society and that they consider themselves to be the humans and him to be the monster. Every morning, they go to sleep afraid that he might find and kill them, even as he goes to sleep each night afraid that they will do the same. Equally important, is the question of how he is going to come to this realization and bravely face them and their execution, knowing that he will be immortalized in their fear and loathing of him (the book concludes with this realization and the very last line is, in fact, "I am legend", which is why I'm excited they're actually using the title).
Unlike with War of the Worlds, I don't want this ending to be modernized. I would love it if it finishes by quoting the book.
Okay, that really is all.