"I Am Legend" - RJ's Movie Review

***WARNING: Spoiler. If you haven't seen this movie yet and sure you want to, stop reading now! :-)***
For all of you who've seen this movie, I don't know 'bout what you think, but I bet you didn't like it that much either. "I Am Legend" stars the very political Will Smith (assuming you've been watching the news and keeping track of American politics..). Its movie teaser and poster seemed to resemble that of "28 Days Later" or its sequel "28 Weeks Later", thanks to the "symbol" prevalent in the posters. And well, as a "28 Days" fan, I pledged to watch it as soon as it comes out - which was quite long since the theaters needed to finish showing all the MMFF movies which started last Christmas..At first, it seemed interesting. Imagine living all by yourself when about more than 80% of people on earth had all been dead (or undead for that matter). You get to drive whatever car tickles your fancy for the day (or hour..), have the food and merchandise at all the local stores all for yourself and the best part: not deal with a human being other than yourself..yeah, for a while it seems alright. But there's a catch, you can't go to bars at night, go for a stroll watching the stars or drive around town in your favorite car.. and yes, you're right, it's because you don't want to be eaten by zombies! Zombies or "dark seekers" (could pass for a movie title, huh?) are products of the world's use of a cancer cure (drug in the form of an "elegantly designed" virus). I guess that's just how the world works, there's a price for everything. And while it seemed surreal at first, the world, filled with cancer-ridden people found a miracle cure in this "virus" developed by a doctor. This virus did very well at first but eventually evolved into something else, turning people who took it into crazy flesh-eating zombies..
The story would have been better had it not been for the nearly-improbable or highly-coincidental premise that "Robert Neville", the role played by Will Smith is like a "jack-of-all-trades" of sort. On the streets of Manhattan, he is extremely good with guns. Inside his house, he is an astute and persevering doctor/biologist, not to mention very optimistic indeed. He makes his rounds everyday broadcasting in all frequencies looking for or hoping for survivors (nobody came, at least until the latter part of the story). Don't get me wrong, I liked most parts of the movie, specially those scenes with his dog, and all the scenes showing Manhattan as a ghost town. But I just can't help but comment on the idea of the lead character being so strong, so smart, so rich (remember his house/laboratory?) and well, so heroic. The hero in this character, in dire desperation, gave his life up towards the very sentimental end of the story in order to save a vial of blood from a lady "dark seeker" he was able to cure through his experiments at his basement lab. The "cure" got to the people living in a protected colony somewhere and presumably used it eventually to cure the remaining "dark seekers". World saved. The end.
This movie is lucky to have Will Smith as the lead star (or only star for that matter..). He acted so well specially during those scenes where he was showing repressed mix of emotions of anger, self-pity and denial to the point that he seemed crazy. It's like watching "Cast Away" minus the zombies.
It's definitely not the best sci-fi/zombie movie, but it's also not the worst. *** 3 Stars.

Shawshank Redemption: RJ's Review

Today I'm blogging about a wonderful movie I just saw with my husband last night, "Shawshank Redemption". It's been quite a while since I last blogged ( December 27 to be precise) because I'm too busy setting up our little video rental shop at home...
I'm not really much of a movie junkie but I do like watching movies every now and then. Though, unlike most people, I don't watch movies just to pass time.. I watch for entertainment and by that I mean I watch on schedule, as part of my activities for the day, kinda like a therapy. Anyway, since I'm into renting out movies, I decided I would watch at least 2 movies a week so I can post reviews for my movie club members. But of course, since I've spent hours at the pc making another website, I forgot all about the movie-watching promise I made..
In came my husband at about 12mn toting a bag of chips, some non-alcoholic sparkling beverages plus a "Shawshank Redemption" DVD he borrowed from an officemate. And sleepy and tired as I was, I didn't want to miss that chance of "bonding time" with my husband, so when he invited me to watch with him, I said "okay". But at the back of my mind, I thought "Shawshank Redemption? Must be some lame movie again.." I was wrong. If you haven't watched this movie yet, you're missing a lot ( I should know, took me 14 years). Brilliant performances from Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman under the lens of director/screenwriter Frank Darabont. This was released in 1994 based on the Stephen King novel "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption". It didn't do well in theaters but is considered one of the highest rented movies ever through word of mouth. It's somehow similar to the plot of "The Count of Monte Cristo". Both are great movies in their own right but "Shawshank Redemption" touches a part of your soul that is just too beautiful and inspiring. It warms your heart and makes you realize the good in others and the beauty of life and human relationships. It also shows you that regardless of how much suffering a person has endured, hope is never a far-fetched idea. It is in fact a reality just waiting to be pursued and discovered but only to those who stick it out to the end. As the movie teaches, "fear will make you prisoner, hope will set you free."