Director Francis Lawrence is responsible for one of the stupidest ideas in comic-to-movie adaptations: to turn John Constantine from Hellblazer into a guy from Los Angeles, who wears black clothing and has brown hair, and to give him all sorts of beyond-ridiculous super-gadgets. And Lawrence was also responsible for making a decent movie out of that. "Constantine" was very flawed, but enjoyable, thanks to the cast (yes, including the underrated Keanu Reeves) and Lawrence's excellent direction. Which led me to think that maybe Lawrence is a talented director who made a very serious mistake.
Apparently, though, it seems he's building a trademark: to make a stupid decision in every one of his movies, and then direct the shit out of it. It's what happens in this "I Am Legend". He made two serious mistakes here: the first is the CGI vampires. The second was letting Akiva Goldsman anywhere near the script. Aside from that, the movie is excellent.
The story's already well-known, but hey, fuck it: military scientist Robert Neville (i.e. good with chemicals AND with guns) is seemingly the last man on the planet, after a virus bred from a presumed "cure for cancer" spread throughout the world and turned the population into a kind of vampire. Living with his pet dog, he has a lot of food in stock, but hunts for some deer meat whenever possible. And at night, he hides in his house, while the vampires roam the streets.
The movie starts very, very well, and goes on brilliantly until the middle. I can bet this first half was completely written by Mark Protosevich (responsible for the efficient Poseidon and The Cell, which I have yet to see): he builds the tension slowly and eases us in into Neville's life. We learn he talks to his dog and pretend mannequins are real people so he won't feel so lonely. We learn how amazingly careful he is not to be discovered by the vampires. Without many words, the script shows us every detail of the man's life.
Lawrence also shines: giving us information via old newspapers and etc. instead of using expositive dialogue, he creates nice visuals and conducts every scene very well. The warehouse sequence is fantastically filmed, with only two angles: Neville's face and the aim of his flashlight. Using the sound effects efficiently, this is easily the most tense sequence in the movie. Lawrence also creates a beautiful scene at the end, using a successfully dramatic slow-motion (although the theological meaning of it is annoying, which will be discussed later. No spoilers.)
And then the first mistake comes: the CGI vampires. Obviously this was done so the vampires could move faster and be more bizarre, but really, an actor in makeover would have kicked some CGI ass. It's painfully obvious we're looking at virtual creatures, which takes away a good deal of the tension. The good direction and the excellent performance by Will Smith (which will be discussed later) help, but the CGI is really bad quality. Gollum is ten times more real than any of those creatures. Fuck, even the DEERS look artificial. Terrible job on the special effects department. And even if it wasn't: actor in makeover would be much better.
But despite that, the movie goes on very well, featuring a very touching scene in which Neville begs for a mannequin to talk to him. It might sound funny, but believe me, it's anything but.
Then Akiva Goldsman steps in.
How do I know part of the script here was written by him? His other movies, like Batman and Robin, Batman Forever, Cinderella Man, Da Vinci Code, I Robot and etc. have a lot of his ridiculous style here. First, the girl Anna and her son, Ethan. The way they come into the movie is way too forced and unlikely... and the movie establishes very well the kind of person Neville is, so what he's doing when Anna appears is something we know he'd never do no matter what.
Back to Korea. Happily, Yellow Dust Season also coincides with Spring. So there were millions of little pink cherry blossoms blowing about. Made for some great pictures. I remember when I got this roll of film developed, the man behind the counter*who spoke almost no english* seemed really concerned that all of my pictures of Korea were sad or nasty looking. He then proceeded to give me a stack of photos of someone's garden out in the country. There was a lake, reeds and a sickening white picket fence. I think they even managed to jam a cherry red bicycle in. I just smiled and told him thanks, but I cherish my dirty photos so much more than some sap you churned up. Times when I was happy for a language barrier +1.
I end up caring about my meaningless job, hoping that when I apply to actually do something relevant to my studies and experience, that I have a realistic chance of getting the position, that my experience and qualifications actually matter. That my ability to meet deadlines and tow my own weight, to be proactive and look to meet needs and get shit done would be seen as assets.
Fucking bullshit session timed out, stole my blog entry.
'You cannot post this entry because you're not part of the discussion or POSTDATA or some bullshit.'
You want the short can't-let-the-session-time-version? Here it fucking is:
I left the house last night, like an idiot.
I went home regretting leaving the house, because I came back with even more doubt and more self-loathing than I had before I got in the car.
Fuck social interaction.
Fuck having a social life.
Fuck having fair-weather friends too far away to be bothered with me.
My brain is buzzing with too much bullshit to keep track of, and too much time to myself. The insects are crawling out my ears and tearing me apart from the outside in. The ones remaining inside are working their way out through my stomach and eyes and my face make me exhausted, bleary, not-hungry, and aching.
I. am. tired.
No, I don't have another story. No, I'm not going to be fine-just-fine. And no, I don't want to laugh at myself anymore, I've laughed so hard at myself I've caused myself to vomit.
The next time I laugh that hard, I'll hyper-ventilate myself into a state of unconsciousness.
In fact, I might try that now; I desperately need the sleep.
I'm using a new notebook and I can't seem to get the hang of the new keyboard yet. In order to write an interrogation mark, you need to press right alt + W. Really. So I won't be in the chat for some days. Will be lurking in the forum, though.
In the sciences, I am not a saint. I had that beaten out of me on the second lab report we did in complete scientific paper style, down to citations. I was decent at writing papers, and early on got into the habit of supporting my words with references, citing other articles bigger, more badass scientists had done.
Now to Psychology, which I'm treating as Biology Lite. I'm in an upper level course, though it feels more like a 101 course in tone, and in my classmate's primary responses to things. We're told to chew on each other's thoughts and ideas and to respond.
This is where it gets tricky, you see: One of my classmates is butthurt, because she made a rash, blatantly untrue statement, and got corrected for it. (cont.)
I wrote a piece as an audition for the website Elephant Words. It's called "Broke Down" after the photo all participants auditioned from. Check it out here: http://elephantwords.co.uk/category/auditions/