I Am Legend

Featured In Issue 138, January/February 2009

WSR Score3.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Warner Home Video
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Intense sequences of Sci-Fi action and violence
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Not Indicated
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Francis Lawrence
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
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When a man-made virus ravages Earth's population, it is up to the last human left in New York City to try and find a cure for the pandemic. Robert Neville (Smith) is a brilliant scientist, but he was unable to stop the terrible virus before it left him the lone survivor in the Big Apple, with only his faithful dog as a companion. Now mutants—humans that survived the virus but were genetically altered by the disease—watch Robert's every move, waiting for him to make the fatal mistake of moving into the shadows of the city. Desperate to connect with any humans that may remain, Robert broadcasts daily on AM radio channels, letting anyone who can hear know that I Am here and not just a Legend. Based on the novel by Richard Matheson. (Stacey Pendry)

Disc One (Theatrical Version HD 100 minutes) special features include a new audio commentary by Director Francis Lawrence and Screenwriter/ Producer Akiva Goldsman, the Cautionary Tale: The Science Of I Am Legend featurette (SD 20:41), Creating I Am Legend—21 featurettes (HD 51:36), which can be watched separately or in its entirety, Focus Points—four animated comics (HD 21:49), and the theatrical trailer (SD 2:46). Disc Two (Alternate Version HD 104 minutes) special features include an alternate version with a controversial ending, I Am Legend: The Making Of Shots—Visual Effects Highlights (HD 10:02), Alpha Male (HD 3:40), Times Square Hunt (HD 3:12), Seaport Evacuation (HD 4:05), an alternate ending (HD 5:04), 12 deleted scenes with commentary by Lawrence and Goldsman (SD 19:46), and the theatrical trailer. Disc Three contains a digital copy of the movie. Also included in the box set is an exclusive 44-page Concept Sketch Book, six art cards showing international cities devastated by the Plague Virus, and a collectible Lenticular.

The 1080p VC-1 2.41:1 picture quality is superbly rendered with deep, solid, and inky blacks and finely delineated shadows, even in the darkest of scenes, though at times intentionally darkened to the limits of visibility. This is actually quite impressive and enhances the tension. Colors are bold and vibrant, while still looking natural, and fleshtones are perfectly accurate. Contrast is excellent and balanced well. Resolution is impressive, with a three-dimensional sense of depth. Pixilation is rarely noticeable, and edge enhancement is minor enough that it is rarely seen. Facial details and textures are nicely rendered throughout. This is a wonderful, reference-quality presentation—the same as previously released on Blu-ray Disc and reviewed along with the DVD edition. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby® TrueHD 5.1-channel encoding is fantastic, with incredible resolution and dynamic range to go along with the impressive mix. The sound and Folely effects are superbly rendered for an uncanny sense of realism in each scene. Dialogue is nicely recorded and receives spatial integration support, even if subtle, in the stereo channels, for enhanced naturalness and realism. Even the ADR dialogue is nicely integrated. Surround envelopment often contributes to a holosonic® soundfield, with aggressive directionalized surround activity. There are many quiescent scenes, though, as is expected in an "empty" city, but atmospheric effects are mixed well to help create a sense of "being there," along with incredible detail. At times, a phantom center back surround image is presented as well. The soundstage is broad and deep, and when all channels are engaged, atmospheric envelopment is superb. While not prominent, the symphonic orchestral music score is beautifully recorded with a wide and deep soundstage. Dynamic range is impressive, from complete silence (with no audible noise) to full-on SPL levels. Deep bass is delivered nicely when needed, and the LFE .1 channel is incorporated well, at times below 25 Hz. This is a superb, reference-quality soundtrack. (Gary Reber)