[This was originally published on attrition.org.]
I Am Legend
I like post-apocolyptic flicks. The idea of large cesspools we call cities being completely wiped of humanity is great. Let the animals run free, let the buildings fade away. Unfortunately, that movie isn’t appealing to the masses without a lone survivor to fight some bad guys, zombies in this case. After some super virus eliminates 99.999% of humankind, Will Smith is the last person left in New York. Hunting the new native wild life, ‘renting’ movies from his local video store and talking to his dog. All the staples of a healthy life.
Apparently, I’m a bit backwards from the rest of society, as I thought the movie was fantastic for the first half and declined rapidly toward the end. I’ve been told that everyone else in the free world thought the movie was slow and boring to start, and got good at the end. I think that means I would be Will Smith and they would all be dead if this really happened.
To sum it up, the virus makes some people all zombie-like, but they don’t like sunlight (UV). One thing leads to another and Smith becomes blatantly stupid and finds himself fighting a lot of the zombies, getting wounded, saved and his safe home lair (and huge lab because he’s smrt and a scientist too!) destroyed. Entertaining flick and worth a rental at least. Overall, I’m glad I downloaded the flick though. Hey MPAA, have an address I can send a few bucks to since I was too lazy to hit my local rental store and I refuse to deal with Netflix?
Rating: 2 O’hara’s Irish Stouts out of the 4 pack
Perhaps it’s my bad memory and childhood being so long ago, but I recall there being a lot more Vietnam/POW flicks from the 80’s than we see today. I think time has healed that ‘wound’ a lot, so we only hear about it from McCain or the occasional movie. Rookie pilot on first mission gets shot down in Vietnam and subsequently captured where he spends years in captivity. Despite the rookie pilot being played by the superior actor Christian Bale, the character is just not likeable or believable. The other POWs are shallow or annoying, their captors not even that despicable.
Somehwere in all of that, an hour lingers by and you barely notice as you browse porn on the computer, pretending to watch the flick. The time for the great escape rolls around and you really could give two shits if the folks get away or not. I think a few of them do, but I don’t really remember. So if you like boring and predictable POW flicks, grab this. Else, go rent the classic Missing in Action which I think is the peak in POW flicks.
Rating: Crumbs in my big bag of Tostitos
The car-robot-thingies are more than meets the eye, the movie isn’t. Relatively entertaining flick about these neat robot-thingies that come from another planet in search of some relic that crashed into our own very Earth. Suspending disbelief and accepting that is easy, but getting over the rest of it may be problematic. The two ton small car turning into a fifty ton robot, the amount of abuse a human body can take after getting hit by such a beast, the American-centric personalities some robots take on (Jazz), the overly cheesy dialogue from the leader of the good robot-thingies, the completely over-the-top Sector-7 commander guy, the hot delinquent chick that knows about cars, the notion that the our most secret of secrets are stored on a trivially breached Air Force 1.. the list goes on.
Ok ok, its a cheesy action flick, look past all that! Now you have to deal with the most annoying of cast members. Start with the lead role played by Shia LaBeouf, who could annoy people listening to a debate between Gilbert Gottfried, Bobcat Goldthwait and Kathy Griffin. Throw in a superb actor (at least, with his role in The Shield) who apparently only knows over-the-top acting otherwise, Anthony Anderson to play an annoying computer hacker. Hell, even a cameo by Bernie Mac puts him in an annoying role.
So now that you are past the laundry list of suck, and the cast of annoying over-actors, you’re left with a cheesy story and some good special effects. Like I said, relatively entertaining.
Rating: 3 out of 5 insults made at Lyger