Joe McKay emailed the following list of problems with the highly flawed "Will Smith's I Am Legend" (spoilers). My thoughts are in italics:
I came home to this story in the New York Times ["Scientists Weigh Stem Cells' Role as Cancer Cause"]. YIKES! I really liked the premise of the movie.
The part with Emma Thompson announcing the cancer cure was the scariest moment.
If the serum worked on the rat why not try it on doggie? What the heck right? No need to strangle Sam so quick I say.
Shit, I thought he did the use the serum on the dog.
Why exactly did [Neville] have to die? Couldn't he have tossed the grenade from the door of that cubby hole and closed it really quick?
Beats the crap out of me.
How did the lady and the kid get there if the island was sealed off? Did they swim?
The zombies seem to be exhibiting pretty sophisticated behavior. They have a system of hierarchy, and they use dogs and lay traps. They have not "stopped being human." Maybe they want to kill [Neville] cause he keeps trying to "cure" them like they are gay.
If Akiva "Utter Hack" Goldsman had stuck to the Matheson story the "smart zombies laying traps" would have made perfect sense. Matheson imagined the dumb zombies were a second, pitiful stage of human before a third stage appeared. The third stagers were intelligent and civilized and figured out how to cure themselves of the degenerating effects of the bacillus (while still remaining night dwellers). Unfortunately Neville didn't know this and was killing nests of healthy zombies. So the girl was bait--it was the only explanation for her sudden appearance. I thought that was where the movie was going until I realized "Shit--there's going to be a colony of human survivors just to prove Neville's downer prognosis wrong." I walked out seething.
Update: HP (in a three way email confab with Joe and me about the movie) says this, about the "human colony of survivors" added for the happy ending:
So, she drives to a colony in Bethel, VT. You see, I'm from Vermont. I'm there right now. And Vermont is a museum for wealthy people from Boston, New York, etc. Now, I have a problem with this, but not like I used to, and I can get around it, except that all the people who have turned Vermont into a museum don't want to be straight about it. I mean, it's a hard thing to own up to. I'm actually glad that Vermont is a museum, and not something worse. Museums are pretty nice places. But, even if you could find your way to saying something like, "Hey, better a museum than Albany," no one really wants to hear that. Anyhow, that final scene where they open the gates, and there's this quaint, L.L. Bean advertisement with one token black woman standing all alone, kinda off to the side, but still smiling . . . oh my, my. I'd take the fucking zombies any day.