By: Peter Martin (original publish date: December 12, 2007)
(With the Cine-staff off on a late-July mini-vacation, we thought it'd be fun to bring you some of our favorite pieces from years past. Enjoy!)
As a longtime science fiction aficionado with a weakness for special effects, Francis Lawrence's I Am Legend is catnip to me. That doesn't mean I won't be watching with a critical eye, though. I've accumulated a long list of pet peeves about the way that "last man on earth" stories are told, both in print and on screen, and personal warning signs have already popped up just from watching the trailers for I Am Legend. I hope I'm proven wrong and that the film allays my concerns, carrying me away to another time and place, but I'll be on the lookout for some of the stupid things last men on earth do -- and don't do.
1. They Become Attached to Just One Pet
Uh oh, it looks like Will Smith only has one dog. That's never a good sign. He exercises with him, tells him to eat his vegetables, hunts with him, and bathes him. (Later he holds the dog's limp body in his arms; just before that, he screams "Nooooooo!!", sounding like Darth Vader, which may or may not be related to what happens to the dog.) Why do you think all those old ladies keep dozens of cats around? In case one of them dies! Now, I'm not saying Will Smith's dog dies in the movie -- I told you, I haven't seen it -- but if you're the last man on earth, you have to plan ahead. Even if your best dog friend doesn't get eaten by lions or murdered by mysterious creatures of the night, you might actually outlive your buddy, so always have multiple dogs hanging around just in case. (Don't fret too much; remember, All Dogs Go to Heaven.) Unless, of course, Will's canine pal is The Last Dog on Earth, which might be another movie entirely.