I Am Legend

Featured In Issue 131, May 2008

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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(THX® Digitally Mastered):
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)

Addition special features to those on the DVD include a 21-minute Cautionary Tale: The Science Of I Am Legend featurette and a series of 21 short featurettes under Creating I Am Legend, which can be watched separately or in its 52-minute entirety. Also, you are given the option of watching the theatrical version of the film or the alternate theatrical version with a controversial ending. The same series of four animated comics that are on the DVD can also be found on this Blu-ray Disc version.

The 2.38:1, anamorphically enhanced DVD exhibits a very pleasing image, although black levels are not as deep as they could be. While blacks are solid and inky in most scenes, shots in complete darkness have elevated levels that make the image look washed out. This is obviously a decision made by the filmmakers in an attempt to increase visibility in the darker scenes, but it is more distracting than anything. Shadow delineation can also be limited in these scenes, but for much of the presentation details in the shadows are nicely rendered. Colors are bold and vibrant, while still looking natural, and fleshtones are accurate. Contrast is balanced well. Pixelation is rarely noticeable, and edge enhancement is minor enough that it is rarely seen. The VC-1-encoded Blu-ray Disc shows very good contrast and impressive resolution. The sense of depth in the image is commendable as well. There are still instances when the black levels are elevated, although they are not as drastically elevated as in the DVD. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack features good fidelity with a very low noise floor, helping create a natural-sounding experience. Dynamic range is very good, with even the most subtle effects in the soundtrack audible in the most bombastic scenes. 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." The soundstage is broad and deep, sounding much larger than the physical constraints of the room. Deep bass is delivered nicely when needed, and the LFE channel is incorporated well at times. This is an enjoyable soundtrack. The Blu-ray Disc's lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1-channel encoding is fantastic, with incredible detail and dynamic range to go along with the impressive mix. This is a superb release. (Danny Richelieu)