When I decided to start writing movie reviews, I decided that I would not write reviews for movies I had seen in the past. I’ve seen too many movies and I just don’t have that kind of time. The only exceptions to this are requests from readers (sorry, but no porns or spoofs) and “I Am Legend.” I’m one of those people who will spend a little extra to get the special edition for deleted scenes, alternate endings, and other special features for movies that I really liked. That is not the reason I bought this one though. The advertising campaign for “I Am Legend” was to buy the special edition to get the alternate theatrical release. What the hell does that mean? Did the studios release different versions of the film in different theaters? If so, I want my ten bucks back because I got the shitty version. And I really hope this wasn’t a ploy to sell more DVD’s.
Studio Exec 1: “That was a great movie. The ending was terrific.”
Studio Exec 2: “I agree. Great job everybody.”
Studio Exec 3 (aka: Greedy Scum Sucking Asshole): “I’ve got a great idea. Let’s film an alternate ending that sucks and release that instead. Then, let’s release a special, overpriced edition on DVD that includes the original ending. We’ll even use a scene from it in the trailers, so people will wonder what happened to it.”
Studio Exec 1: “Are you sure that will work? If people hate the theatrical release, why would they buy the DVD?”
Studio Exec 2: “I’m not sure this is a good idea.”
Asshole: “Sure it’s a good idea. The American people are idiots. Why else would anyone see ‘Semi-Pro’?”
Execs 1 & 2: “Good point. Can we get a sequel out of this too?”
I imagine that’s how the conversation went because I can’t think of any other reason why the original release had such a bad ending. We continually flock to see shitty movies, then ask for more, so why wouldn’t they try a scheme like this? Why does the American public continue to pay for crap like “How She Move”? Please stop it. And if this is a new trend in movies, I will never go to the theater again.
I have also read the original story, by Richard Matheson. After reading a few things out on the internet, one thing is plainly obvious: most people are stupid. There are several reviews and blogs where people are guessing that the alternate ending is closer to the book. As I said, these people are idiots. It’s 150 pages. Is that too much for you morons to actually read? The original story was written in 1952 and the movie is almost completely different. In the book, the main character is not a doctor and the disease turned the people it didn’t kill into vampires. And, the vampires could think and talk. If you had read the book, you’d have realized about 15 minutes into the movie that it could never end the same way. It’s hard to truly hate the slimeball studio execs while these other idiots are still walking the streets. I guess I’d try to take advantage of them as well.
I do think the special edition is worth the purchase though. When I saw the commercials, I knew it had to have a better ending (or I was just being that stupid American consumer they rely on). Luckily, I was right. The alternate release answered all of the questions and plot points that were ignored in the original ending. When I saw it in the theater, I walked out thinking there were about twenty minutes of footage missing. The ending happened much too quickly for what had been developing throughout the movie. I had been looking forward to seeing it, especially after what the trailers were teasing me with, and I felt ripped off when it was over. Then I watched the alternate version and had two reactions. The first reaction was satisfaction. All of the things that didn’t make sense in the original, now made sense, especially since everyone but the main character thought the same thing.
By the way, this was very aggravating throughout the original version. At one point, Will Smith makes a conclusion about the non-humans that is so obviously wrong that all you can do is dribble junior mints down your shirt as you stare in confusion.
The second reaction was anger. How could any self-respecting filmmaker allow their film to be mutated with that piece-of-shit ending? Only a whore of a producer/ director would have gone along with it. I can’t imagine watching the “new” ending and thinking that it was okay.
All I can say is that whoever made that shit happen is probably the same douche bag behind “Gigli” and “Jumper.” Whoever you are, please do us all a favor and drown yourself in your toilet. You’d finally be home with all of your best ideas.
Rating (special edition): If you saw it in theaters, you should have asked for all of your money back so you could purchase the DVD with the proper ending.