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Thread: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

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    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    I finished the book several days ago (turns out I was close to the end, not the middle; the second half of the book is a collection of other, shorter, and believe it or not STRANGER stories from the author).

    I liked it a lot better than the movie. I'd give the movie a B- and I'd give the book an A-. I love that the author goes to great lengths to create a scientifically explainable vampire. The story also has a big twist I wasn't expecting (which the movie doesn't even touch, nor could it considering how it portrays the infected). I also like how the book's infected act compared to the movies.

    The movie OK, but the book was quite good.

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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    I am still trying to find time to watch 'Lost in Translation.' That's how far behind I am, so I haven't seen this...did see the Omega Man long ago, based on the same book.

    I just wanted to give a plug to a couple of collections of strange stories, since Mal mentioned some. 'Space by the Tale', by Jerome Bixby (wrote some of the original Star Trek episodes), and 'Dangerous Visions' edited by Harlan Ellison (A Boy and His Dog). Really fine weird stuff.

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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
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    I finished the book several days ago (turns out I was close to the end, not the middle; the second half of the book is a collection of other, shorter, and believe it or not STRANGER stories from the author).
    I liked it a lot better than the movie. I'd give the movie a B- and I'd give the book an A-. I love that the author goes to great lengths to create a scientifically explainable vampire. The story also has a big twist I wasn't expecting (which the movie doesn't even touch, nor could it considering how it portrays the infected). I also like how the book's infected act compared to the movies.

    The movie OK, but the book was quite good.
    I didn't realize that either going into the book. It kinda pi$$ed me off at first, I was reading a story about a guy throwing ping-pong balls into a fishbowl at a carnival and thought it was some sort of flashback. I read half of the next story before I knew what was going on. If the writer would have put more in about how the vampires were so afraid of him,( maybe Neville escapes for a while and women and children vamps run away screaming in fear) the ending would have been much better and the book would have gone from an A- to an A+.

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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    I read the book, and like both of you guys I was mislead by the length. I was planning on reading the other stories but I left the friggin book at my parent's house in Indiana on accident, does anyone know if they are worth reading?

    The book and the movie both have their pros and cons, both give an intimate view of Robert Neville albeit in VERY different ways. I actually think Neville's human emotional response to everything that has happened to the world is better illustrated in the book rather than the movie, his constant drinking and tirades and such.

    Also the way the book ends is totally different than that in the movie, the ending is much more intriguing in the book I think and much more in tone with the story's initial sci-fi bend. Many science fiction stories are transformed into drama stories when they are released to the bigscreen, to make them more easily accessible to the masses. All I'll say without spoiling the book is that the original, more scientifically explained ending opens up many more avenues for the story.

    I favor the book slightly over the movie, if only the book had utilized Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" so well. I have all of Bob's CD's and have seen many Jamaican and other foreign films that utilize his songs and his legendary appeal, but I am Legend ranks right up there with the top of them.

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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    Quote Originally Posted by dcpacersfan View Post
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    I read the book, and like both of you guys I was mislead by the length. I was planning on reading the other stories but I left the friggin book at my parent's house in Indiana on accident, does anyone know if they are worth reading?
    The book and the movie both have their pros and cons, both give an intimate view of Robert Neville albeit in VERY different ways. I actually think Neville's human emotional response to everything that has happened to the world is better illustrated in the book rather than the movie, his constant drinking and tirades and such.

    Also the way the book ends is totally different than that in the movie, the ending is much more intriguing in the book I think and much more in tone with the story's initial sci-fi bend. Many science fiction stories are transformed into drama stories when they are released to the bigscreen, to make them more easily accessible to the masses. All I'll say without spoiling the book is that the original, more scientifically explained ending opens up many more avenues for the story.

    I favor the book slightly over the movie, if only the book had utilized Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" so well. I have all of Bob's CD's and have seen many Jamaican and other foreign films that utilize his songs and his legendary appeal, but I am Legend ranks right up there with the top of them.
    I don't remember them all, but I'd wait until you come across the book again rather than putting any effort into tracking it down just to read them. From what I can remember they aren't that good.

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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    I was frustrated that the main story was over so I gave up reading them after a handful. I did enjoy the one about the Hunter doll, though; that was good.

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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    I still haven't picked up the book...I got Quiet Strength (Tony Dungy memoir) for Christmas and have been reading that for a couple weeks. I usually only read when I'm in the bathroom, so it is slow going, although it is a fast read. I will definitely be picking up I Am Legend soon and hope to be having some conversation about it.

    Thanks to all who read the book for posting thoughts on it; you all have definitely motivated me to acquire it and devote time to reading it.



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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
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    I was frustrated that the main story was over so I gave up reading them after a handful. I did enjoy the one about the Hunter doll, though; that was good.
    I forgot about that one. I think that there was a movie made about that one too, I kept getting flashbacks of the movie while reading it. I have no idea what it was called, I was probably 5 or 6 years old when I saw it.

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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    It was in a trilogy, "Trilogy of Terror". There is alot about Matheson that I didn't know, He wrote some of the most popular "Twilight Zone" stories and alot of movies (Stir of Echo's, What Dreams May Come) as well as alot of books. Steven Spielberg got his career jumpstarted with "Duel", another one of Matheson's stories. He was a busy man. http://www.scifistation.com/matheson...son_index.html

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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    I Am Legend was half Oscar caliber, half epitome of what is wrong with current filmmaking.

    Given the strength of films like 28 Days Later why in the world would you opt for total CGI human mutants created basically the exact same way (virus)?

    But hey, why stop there when you can CGI the deer, lions and even a freaking car (or two I assume)? Rather than learn to edit, do some in camera tricks and pony up for an interesting practical why not just hand it over to the computer geeks. Freaking UGH!

    And then you see the hands of Akiva all over this script. There is no good reason for a mutant "leader" with his own attack dogs and a plan to get Smith, not as the mutants are portrayed otherwise at least.


    They were sitting with this homerun story of isolation ala Cast Away with Smith more than capable of delivering (which he does), paired with some slightly pushy but nonetheless solid religious/fate undertones, and apparently for the sake of meeting standard script motivations they forced in a literal protagonist to drive things forward when the situation itself was more than enough to handle this on it's own.

    Pull a Dawn of the Dead situation, let the dog get killed just by chance, let Will honestly hurt himself while out, the risk of just being alone in the world when it's falling apart and unsafe, and let him go on a losing-his-mind rampage of zombie killing more like the Dawn sniping sequence or something.

    This freaking brilliant film was just sitting there to be taken and some a'hole tried to turn it into a Bruckheimer film. A+ for all the stuff that wasn't that (including the Marley angle which worked well), and a big F you to the stuff that was.

    I will drive to CA and punch the next filmmaker that features a humanoid opening his mouth to unreal proportions (ahem Raimi, you made the list for Spidey 3).
    Last edited by Naptown_Seth; 01-14-2008 at 01:31 AM.

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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    I thought he gave the dog pain medication so he could spend the final minutes with it before having to kill it when it turned. That situation didn't strike me as one where he was hoping for something to work as his efforts were pretty minimal.

    I assume the girl was from Sao Paulo, Brazil (on the Atlantic) and they docked the boat in Baltimore to come find someplace safe. The boat was out of supplies, and they say explicitly in the film it was never meant to be a long term solution.


    Heston might have struggled in Omega Man, but his efforts in Ben-Hur, Planet of the Apes and Soylent Green were powerful and emotional. People forget his character's pessimism in PotA for example. The idea that actors of other eras were lesser is just ridiculous. Some of it is style and method actors did change that, but quite a bit of it is also the fact that people spoke and behaved differently then too.

    Grant, Bogart, Gable, Cagney, the Barrymores, etc were all more than capable actors. They played the act as it was meant to be played and to perfection. This is why The Roaring Twenties is still one of the great gangster films ever, why we think that Rick (edit: Jay, thanks for the smack to the face) really was PO'd that she walked into his gin joint and why everyone agreed that Rhett really probably didn't give a damn anymore at that point.


    Besides the best version is not Omega Man but rather Price in Last Man on Earth.
    Last edited by Naptown_Seth; 01-15-2008 at 02:24 PM.

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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    Heston might have struggled in Omega Man, but his efforts in Ben-Hur, Planet of the Apes and Soylent Green were powerful and emotional. People forget his character's pessimism in PotA for example. The idea that actors of other eras were lesser is just ridiculous. Some of it is style and method actors did change that, but quite a bit of it is also the fact that people spoke and behaved differently then too.
    Got that coming in from Netflix this week.

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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    I thought he gave the dog pain medication so he could spend the final minutes with it before having to kill it when it turned. That situation didn't strike me as one where he was hoping for something to work as his efforts were pretty minimal.

    I assume the girl was from Sao Paulo, Brazil (on the Atlantic) and they docked the boat in Baltimore to come find someplace safe. The boat was out of supplies, and they say explicitly in the film it was never meant to be a long term solution.


    Heston might have struggled in Omega Man, but his efforts in Ben-Hur, Planet of the Apes and Soylent Green were powerful and emotional. People forget his character's pessimism in PotA for example. The idea that actors of other eras were lesser is just ridiculous. Some of it is style and method actors did change that, but quite a bit of it is also the fact that people spoke and behaved differently then too.

    Grant, Bogart, Gable, Cagney, the Barrymores, etc were all more than capable actors. They played the act as it was meant to be played and to perfection. This is why The Roaring Twenties is still one of the great gangster films ever, why we think that Sam really was PO'd that she walked into his gin joint and why everyone agreed that Rhett really probably didn't give a damn anymore at that point.


    Besides the best version is not Omega Man but rather Price in Last Man on Earth.
    I was going to disagree with you about actors of the past, but realized it is pointless to argue with you. I can agree that Heston is much better in the films you list. Still kinda cheesy in POTA and Soylent Green, but Ben-Hur is great work. All three of those had better screenplays than The Omega Man.

    I will at least say that I don't agree about Vincent Price. I thought The Last Man On Earth was a complete and utter TURD. I can never get past the amateur filmmaking when watching old movies. I can agree on some of your points about I Am Legend. I especially agree that they had so much opportunity for it to be far better than it turned out to be. I still thought it was damn good and I really like Will Smith. Just about anyone else, and IAL would've been a complete failure.
    Last edited by heywoode; 01-14-2008 at 08:59 AM.



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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    Quote Originally Posted by heywoode View Post
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    I was going to disagree with you about actors of the past, but realized it is pointless to argue with you. I can agree that Heston is much better in the films you list. Still kinda cheesy in POTA and Soylent Green, but Ben-Hur is great work. All three of those had better screenplays than The Omega Man.

    I will at least say that I don't agree about Vincent Price. I thought The Last Man On Earth was a complete and utter TURD. I can never get past the amateur filmmaking when watching old movies. I can agree on some of your points about I Am Legend. I especially agree that they had so much opportunity for it to be far better than it turned out to be. I still thought it was damn good and I really like Will Smith. Just about anyone else, and IAL would've been a complete failure.
    Amatuer filmmaking? I guess we can agree to disagree. I like that sort of filmmaking, especially in old movies, it gives it sort of an edge. Having everything crisp and clear is nice, but there is something to be said for the grainy feel of old films. One man's trash is another man's treasure, I suppose, and we'll agree to disagree.

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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    Quote Originally Posted by dcpacersfan View Post
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    Amatuer filmmaking? I guess we can agree to disagree. I like that sort of filmmaking, especially in old movies, it gives it sort of an edge. Having everything crisp and clear is nice, but there is something to be said for the grainy feel of old films. One man's trash is another man's treasure, I suppose, and we'll agree to disagree.
    I don't mean the clearness of it...I mean the bad angles, the bad lighting, the contrived concepts, the no attention to detail. I have no problem if technology was a hindrance, and if they did the best they could with the tools that were available. I have a problem with cheesy delivery that was such the norm back then that it is a cliche now. I have a problem with not doing a good job as an editor.

    Yes, I know that the profession and all aspects of filmmaking have advanced greatly, but that is precisely my point. It has advanced greatly.



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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    You have to start somewhere, historically speaking. I think calling it amatuer is off the mark, even though I think I see why you say it that way.

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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    Well, it isn't the use of what tools were available at the time...that I can live with. It's where they (actors, directors, editors, etc.) could've done better, and that missed opportunity is obvious, that I have a problem.

    I equate it to much lower expectations back then. I hesitate to even say "back then" because I don't know when the line in the sand was crossed. It hasn't completely been crossed even now, I don't think. There are still plenty of missed opportunities in current movies....Seth pointed out that even a movie that was a decent hit, and the subject of this thread, could've done quite a bit better given the material that was there to work with.

    Maybe amateur was the wrong word, but I don't know how else to put it.....lacking in attention to detail? I dunno, that seems to point to just one facet of failure. Amateurish speaks more to several different areas of not measuring up, and not from a technical standpoint...

    Not sure what else to call it...



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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    Maybe this is worse, but "primitive" comes to mind. I don't knock them for it any more than I'd knock the pioneers of any field.

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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
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    Maybe this is worse, but "primitive" comes to mind. I don't knock them for it any more than I'd knock the pioneers of any field.
    I would agree with that sentiment.

    I agree that it may seem worse, but it is more fitting of a description for what I'm talking about...

    How about "Early Attempts At Cinematography"??!!



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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    This is why...we think that Sam really was PO'd that she walked into his gin joint
    That's borderline unforgivable. You are now on ignore.
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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    Quote Originally Posted by heywoode View Post
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    I would agree with that sentiment.

    I agree that it may seem worse, but it is more fitting of a description for what I'm talking about...

    How about "Early Attempts At Cinematography"??!!
    This isn't just me saying this, it's pretty well accepted in film theory that cinematography hit it's peak circa 1927-1930, and that a focus on sound was a massive setback in visual filmmaking.

    Passion of Joan of Arc is one prime example of this pinnacle. Toland's later effort in Kane, exaggerated as some aspects were (more tricks were used than is usually credited simple as deep focus), was still one that set the standard also.


    And while direction is often confused with this field, that area also hit it's stride by this point. Again one need only look at Kane for numerous examples of brilliant camera staging. And just about everything coming of out Germany from 1917-1921 and Russia from basically the 20's fits this as well.

    Hitchcock cribbed quite a bit from stuff he saw while working in Germany for about a year. You can watch Lang's "M" and see similarities to what Hitch then did just after that.


    Don't confuse the horrible state of some prints with the quality of the filmmaking. If anything the 1970's represented a low point in film stock quality. Contrast Hitchcock's own Family Plot with his Notorious or Rebecca. They went cheap on film technology and it wasn't pretty.

    I mean right now if you get a 70mm print it's IMAX only and special. Back in the day 70mm was a fairly standard shooting stock. And by the way the resolution off 70mm is far beyond HD pixel resolution. A good quality 70mm of 2001 or Lawrence of Arabia dwarfs HD still.


    There is better/worse and there is what you are used to or what recently passed. I mean Mann went digital to get some great dark shots for Vice, but it also introduced plenty of grain. It's a style, not an absolute better or worse. People used it then and now.

    Film technology has been pretty impressive for a very long time. As much money as there is in it today, that's nothing compared to the relative money maker it was back in 1920, 30, or 40. Back then you had film factories and tons of effort into making top notch product.

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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    Quote Originally Posted by JayRedd View Post
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    That's borderline unforgivable. You are now on ignore.
    Sam Spade, what's the problem. When Brigid comes into his office I mean.



    I feel ill. I must now also put myself on ignore. Although in my defense I bet Sam did think "oh great, just what we needed". Sure he was nice to her, but he knew this was going to send Rick on a bender.
    Last edited by Naptown_Seth; 01-15-2008 at 02:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    This isn't just me saying this, it's pretty well accepted in film theory that cinematography hit it's peak circa 1927-1930, and that a focus on sound was a massive setback in visual filmmaking.

    Passion of Joan of Arc is one prime example of this pinnacle. Toland's later effort in Kane, exaggerated as some aspects were (more tricks were used than is usually credited simple as deep focus), was still one that set the standard also.


    And while direction is often confused with this field, that area also hit it's stride by this point. Again one need only look at Kane for numerous examples of brilliant camera staging. And just about everything coming of out Germany from 1917-1921 and Russia from basically the 20's fits this as well.

    Hitchcock cribbed quite a bit from stuff he saw while working in Germany for about a year. You can watch Lang's "M" and see similarities to what Hitch then did just after that.


    Don't confuse the horrible state of some prints with the quality of the filmmaking. If anything the 1970's represented a low point in film stock quality. Contrast Hitchcock's own Family Plot with his Notorious or Rebecca. They went cheap on film technology and it wasn't pretty.

    I mean right now if you get a 70mm print it's IMAX only and special. Back in the day 70mm was a fairly standard shooting stock. And by the way the resolution off 70mm is far beyond HD pixel resolution. A good quality 70mm of 2001 or Lawrence of Arabia dwarfs HD still.


    There is better/worse and there is what you are used to or what recently passed. I mean Mann went digital to get some great dark shots for Vice, but it also introduced plenty of grain. It's a style, not an absolute better or worse. People used it then and now.

    Film technology has been pretty impressive for a very long time. As much money as there is in it today, that's nothing compared to the relative money maker it was back in 1920, 30, or 40. Back then you had film factories and tons of effort into making top notch product.
    You obviously know far more about this subject than I do...

    I'll go back to using 'amateur-ish' as my description for movies as late as the 1980's that didn't try very hard to have any sort of realism even if the story was a work of fiction and heavily contrived. Little things like Vincent Price pretending to hit a stake with his hammer with the end of the stake off camera and obviously not hitting anything...They could've used a dummy or had something to rest it on so that he could actually hit the stake with the hammer and have it seem like he was actually hitting it, and that it was actually going into something. High school films are more convincing than some of the stuff I have seen. I'm not focused on that one particular example, it is just a good example.

    That kind of stuff is what I keep posting about.

    I can appreciate the art (that is definitely what it is) you post about above, and that is not what I was making derogatory comments about....



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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    I am Legend was entertaining in a Will Smith way.

    The CGI boogeymen and the thing about whether a God is out there made a joke of the film, though.
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    Default Re: Official "I Am Legend" discussion thread (SPOILERS GALORE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)

    Quote Originally Posted by heywoode View Post
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    Now that I watched that part again, she said she was from San Pablo (or maybe still Sao Paulo, I can't make it out 100% with her accent)...San Pablo is just outside San Francisco, so she would've had to cross the entire continental US with all the darkseekers and she didn't look like she had been through that kind of an odyssey...

    She did say that they had come from Maryland after hearing him on the radio, and that they were going to Vermont to the survivors colony.

    If you want to know what she said, turn on captioning and just read it.

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