the horror… the horror… except for the good news
Yesterday I heard from Brian Yount and Mort Castle, the editors of Doorways Magazine, that they are buying my weird short story “Water” for their publication. I’m delighted, because it’s a pro market, and a great magazine.
I finally watched I Am Legend last night. I’ve been putting off seeing this film because I love the Richard Matheson novel so much. I haven’t read it in an age, but have a distinct memory of the book, which is pretty rare. This screenplay was written by Mark Protosevich and Akiva Goldsman, and it was directed by Francis Lawrence. I thought overall Will Smith put in a terrific performance as the gaunt and haunted Robert Neville.
I was completely gripped by this film for the first three-quarters of an hour, even though the infected were too CGI for me. Then, quite at the end, the God bomb dropped into the movie.
It totally ruined my enjoyment of the film. It’s rare that a change in tone and direction can make me utterly furious, but this did it. The final scene, where the two survivors arrive at their enclosed pastoral village with the cure, and the American flag is flapping in the background, and the kids are getting out of school, and what’s that Johnnie? Oh, I think it’s the smell of an apple pie baking. You better run to your mom in her pinnie, so we can sit down together and say grace, and thank God for all our blessings… and that plague that got rid of the bad elements and wiped us clean.
I wanted to vomit!
Update: My friend Julie pointed me to the original ending of the film, which is far superior to the one that was used in the theatrical release. It’s available on the Two-Disc or Blu-Ray edition of the film. Do not accept the inferior substitute!
After this we switched channels and saw that Apocalypse Now was coming on so I watched that again. It was double Apocalypse night at our house! This movie deals with the absurdity of war with a terrible focus that it maintains all the way to the end. And the lines, there are so many fantastic lines. It’s one of the few films where a continued voice-over works. But, top notch screenwriting from John Milius and Francis Ford Coppola, with kudos to Michael Herr for the narration. Coppola directs with spooky skill in this film, and finishes up his golden decade, where he created a series of masterpieces: The Godfather, The Conversation, and The Godfather II.
We watched an episode of South Park afterwards to lift our mood. There’s only so much apocalypse you can take in a night.