I am Legend

I’m going to start off by saying ‘I liked it’. Will Smith does a good job in very difficult circumstances. One only has to look at how Tom Hanks portrayed the lead character in Castaway to see how difficult it is to play a role based mostly upon solitude. Admittedly, Smith is not in the same league as Tom Hanks as an actor, but he does play the part well and is suited to the role of Robert Neville. I’ve always thought of Will Smith as a one trip pony, able to play slightly comic characters and not much else, but this was a much more serious ‘action role’ and the boy done good. The scene where he chases Sam into the nest, you can feel the claustrophobia he must be feeling. His fear is palpable. The relationship he has with the mannequins dotted around the city, especially the final ‘trap’ mannequin (Frank??) is well portrayed. You have to remember that this is a guy who has been without human contact for three years. That has to be a difficult thing to deal with.

When he meets the woman and the child he has difficulty communicating with them not just because of the three year human absense but also consider;

~ His ONLY companion has just been killed
~ He just tried to kill himself
~ The house he lives in once had his wife and daughter in it and this is the first time someone else has been there
~ It has been three years, and that can’t be easy.

However, due to the pace of the movie we do not get to see this relationship move forward so I can understand why Kory suggests Smith cannot pull it off.

I think the way the story is told fits perfectly. Jumping straight into the action and not giving us a chance to read too much into the story allows it to unfold through the flashback scenes and the little dialogue that occurs between Neville and the woman. It’s a fitting method for releasing the information to the audience (although a real bitch if you’re watching it with a woman; ‘Why did that happen?’ ‘What is he doing?’ ‘Why is he taking blood?’ ‘watch the movie, Jesus!!’) Maybe it’s just me, being a fan of all dystopian ‘end of the world’ type of stories, but I thought it was a story well told.

The action set pieces were well done too. I mentioned the first encounter with a hive. That was an intense scene. The ‘trap’ and the infected dogs attacking Sam, that was pretty cool too. I was ‘Will’ing (sorry ’bout that) him to get up and run to the car. I actually found myself caring about the character by that point. The paranoia and delusions, ‘Tell me you’re not real, Frank!!’, were well crafted and well presented. The house attack was impressively scripted too, and the flight to the lab through the ruined house with the infected in pursuit was paced just right. It wasn’t too rushed and it wasn’t too drawn out.

Maybe the movie was a little short, but then I think to have extended it over a longer period of time would have made it lose some of it’s impact. I’ve watched it twice now (once alone on Christmas Eve and once with Jenny on Boxing Day) and I can’t think of anywhere I would add additional content. The flashbacks were sufficient for telling HIS story, the action was well done and intense enough without being another Die Hard. The relationship between Smith’s Character and the desolation was explored just enough to give us a taste of his loneliness without hinting too much at the abject boredom someone must feel alone for three years with just a dog for company. The only thing I wasn’t too pleased with was the science bit, but it’s fantasy, a story, and amidst cures for cancer and vampire-zombies it doesn’t take too much of imagination to suspend disbelief enough to make it workable.

In all, it was an enjoyable piece of story telling and passed two hours in a suitably entertaining fashion. I enjoyed it and Jenny enjoyed it, for different reasons. I enjoyed the dystopian future-vision and the ‘what might happen if’ aspect of it and Jenny enjoyed being scared by the monsters (who, okay, weren’t ‘the best’ but were passable). I would recommend it for viewing, but maybe not for being added to your ‘top movies’ list.

I’ll give I am Legend a satisfying 7.5/10.

[I based this review upon I am Legend the 2007 movie without reference to the book or to the other two movies based on the book, ‘The Last Man on Earth’ and ‘The Omega Man’. I have not read the book but I have ordered it and will do when I have got through my current pile of to-be-reads.]

Merry Christmas to all

I’m all set now. Got all the gifts I needed to get and got everything wrapped up. Have ‘the big day’ planned too. It’s Thomas’ first Christmas and therefore it is going to be special. Naturally I’m the first to point out that he won’t remember any of it, will be unaware that it is a special day, and won’t care what gifts he has as long as he gets fed. But that’s babies for you. On one level you have to admire their self-centred attitude to the world.

Anyways, I hope that you and yours have a good one wherever you may be and whoever you may be spending it with. I hope that you have not been sucked in by the cold impersonal corporate crap christmas but instead have chosen to spend this time with people who matter to you. At the end of the day, it’s the people you love who are important, not a truck full of gifts.

So yeah, Merry Christmas to one and all.

Al

If you’re going to blog you better start blogging.

No point in having this if I don’t use it, so here goes a little bit of a recent update about life and circumstance. I have a lot of details I need to fill in. I went from ‘baby on his way’ to Thomas is now three months old’ in the space of two or three entries so I know I’m being neglectful of the details of the situation. When I have time I’ll sit down and up date you/me on what has happened since July. However right now I feel like writing about something else. I mean, the entire Tom thing has been mostly a joy. It’s great being a Dad and I wouldn’t change that. But right now I don’t feel especially joyous. I have work stuff going on and I left the house this morning in a bad mood because Jenny was in a bad mood. So here is a little bit of a rant.

Let’s start with work. I was supposed to have an interview today but I have cancelled it:

Sorry for the short notice but I have decided to withdraw my application for the position of Demand Planning Analyst and won’t be attending the interview this afternoon at 2. I had a lot of time to think about it last night and I realised I would be doing you and your team a disservice if I was to be successful at the interview and take the position as it isn’t an area of the business I am interested in moving to at this stage in my career. My sincere apologies if you feel I have wasted your time in any way.

I’ve been pushing for a management role here and I’ve had two interviews in the last few months for positions but have been unsuccessful. The jist of the rejection is thus: You have good ideas, you come across well, but you lack the experience. I have been doing all I can to increase the level of experience that I have in people management by picking up as many little things that I can. Moving out of this area would mean I would lose all momentum and waste my time. I want a manager position here and moving to another department is not the best way to go about this. I had a chat with my boss about this today and she agrees that it would be the wrong route to go down if I am serious about pursuing a manager role.

So here I am, back at my desk, bored. I think that is why I applied for the other job. It’s the boredom and the ‘being nice to people who you don’t really know or like all that much’ that gets to me. I don’t mind it all that much, I suppose. I mean, let’s look at this a different way. I’m writing this, I’m checking out the forums and reading the news and checking out the ladies who are dotted around the building and not actually doing very much. And getting paid for it.

It isn’t a bad trip, to be fair, and as much as I bitch and complain about it, as much as we all bitch and complain about it, it’s good pay for what we do.

I just have to be patient and believe that my time will come. I am sure it will and even though I have been passed over twice, it was in favour of more experienced candidates. As my experience grows so will the opportunities to prove that to the powers that be and get noticed. I’m wishing myself good luck, hope you’ll all join me in that.

The other thing on my mind this morning is my home life and relationship. Jenny is pissed off at me. I’ll rephrase that. Jenny was pissed off at me this morning and I don’t know why. I almost asked her, but I didn’t want to spoil what had been – so far – a good morning. As it happens it was spoiled anyway, because as I was driving to work listening to the Plain White T’s (great band IMO) all I could think about was why she was being that way with me.

Tomorrow morning I have to be up at 6 to catch a train to London for work. Despite that I got up this morning at 7 with Tom so that she could have a lie in. I took him downstairs, made him a bottle, changed his nappy, winded him, played with him for a bit then made a cup of tea, ironed a shirt for work, cut up some melon to bring to work. At 8 o clock I went back upstairs with Tom and dropped him into our bed so I could go get ready. I had to be here for 8.30.

She came down the stairs with us at 8 and all I got was attitude. It wasn’t that she wasn’t talking to me it was that she made it blatantly obvious that she didn’t want to talk to me and that she was pissed off with me for some reason and that she was bloody well going to make me know it — without actually telling me. It’s as thing women do. They display disapproval in such a way as to be both subtle and obvious.

Annoyed the hell out of me and I was going to say, ‘what’s your problem?’ but I thought better of it. Tom and I had had a good morning so far and I had to come to work and leave them and I didn’t want to leave after an argument.

But now I am sat here wondering why I am even bothering with this relationship. I don’t want to live with someone who makes me feel like that just because she’s in a bad mood. I don’t want to live with someone who can turn on me, even though I have done nothing wrong, and put me in a bad mood as a result. I don’t want to live with someone who I grow to despise because I trapped myself in a loveless relationship.

I’m really trying to make a go of this relationship with her. I’m really putting a lot of effort into it and she seems to either not care or not realise. Not too long ago, with Tom only a month or six weeks old, we nearly went our separate ways. That was two months ago and since then things have been a lot better. We talk more about stuff and actually reach agreement of problems and what not, but now well, now I’m wondering if it is at all worth it.

I guess I’ll find out tonight, because I can’t leave this to go on like it is. Things are going to come to a head sooner or later and I’d rather make it sooner so I don’t waste any more of my time than is absolutely necessary on a relationship which is possibly going absolutely nowhere.

Will update when I know where I stand.