Richard Matheson

I Am Legend

Warner Bros has spent the better part of a decade working on getting another I Am Legend off the ground. They’ve tried it all, the “see the origins of the zombie outbreak” prequel, the “screw it, let’s just clone Will Smith and do another one” sequel, everything. There were even zombie elephants involved at one point. But these options required the return of Smith as Robert Neville, and Smith has never been particularly keen on returning to the property (maybe it was the zombie elephants that turned him off). Now, only one option remains: Warners is slamming its fist down on the flashing red “reboot” button, obliterating the old I Am Legend and redoing the film from the ground up. Deadline reports the studio is using A Garden at the End of the World, a spec script from Gary Graham (an Apple Store employee turned screenwriter) as the foundation of a new I Am Legend. Warners was initially developing Garden as a standalone film, but someone along the way realized it bears at least a passing resemblance to Will Smith and plague zombies, so Graham has been tasked with pasting the I Am Legend brand over his old script. The original Garden was supposedly also very similar to The Searchers, only with a vein of sci-fi running throughout.

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The Last Man on Earth

Last weekend, Cargill and I did something we had never done before. (Watch good movies?) QUIET YOU! The good folks at Minneapolis’ CONvergence foolishly agreed to host the first ever live broadcast of Junkfood Cinema! Despite the ‘cast falling on July 4th, we sashayed around expectation and opted not to discuss Independence Day. Instead, we devoted our main topic to the late, great Richard Matheson. We chat about our favorite films based on his works as well as break down all three filmic versions of I Am Legend. We finish things off with a few questions from the audience, (people actually showed up, crazy right?), which leads to a nearly orgasmic conversation about the Thai actioner Born To Fight. Seriously, that film makes Gymkata look like…Gym…nada. Burn. If you weren’t able to listen live, please enjoy this cached audio of Junkfood Cinema Live! You should follow Brian (@Briguysalisbury), Cargill (@Massawyrm), and the show (@Junkfoodcinema). Download Episode #18 Directly

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The Incredible Shrinking Man

The reboot monster chugs on, but at least this one has its creator behind its resurgence. THR reports that beloved sci-fi author Richard Matheson will again adapt his own “The Shrinking Man” for the big screen, alongside his son, Richard Matheson Jr. The pair have been set to the task by MGM, who have just acquired the rights to Matheson’s classic novel. Matheson has already adapted his own work for the screen with 1957’s The Incredible Shrinking Man. While Matheson’s works have been given the cinematic treatment many times over the years – including Real Steel, I Am Legend, and The Box – he has not recently directly collaborated on many of the screenplays that are based on his work. The Matheson men will “[keep] the tone of the original story but [udpate] it to modern times.” The outlet also reports that the tale of a radiation-exposed man who suddenly begins to shrink will be modernized to include current technology, most notably nanotechnology. Matheson (the elder) himself says the new project will be “an existential action movie,” explaining that the “original story was a metaphor for how man’s place in the world was diminishing. That still holds today, where all these advancements that are going to save us will be our undoing.” So, it’s going to include stuff about Twitter, right?

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With the entire original run of The Twilight Zone available to watch instantly, we’re partnering with Twitch Film to cover all of the show’s 156 episodes. Are you brave enough to watch them all with us? The Twilight Zone (Episode #139): “Night Call” (airdate 2/07/64) The Plot: An old biddy is perturbed by an escalating series of phone calls in the middle of the night. The Goods: A creepy old house, a storm cracking apart the sky outside, and an old woman asleep in her bed. Suddenly the phone rings and Miss Elva Keene (Gladys Cooper) is awakened from a troubled sleep. She answers it and hears only silence at first, but soon an indistinguishable voice begins to arise faintly from the distorted reception. Elva complains to the operator the next day, but nothing comes of it and the following night is once again disturbed with a phone call. Someone’s calling Miss Elva, and he’s calling from a very long distance indeed.

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With the entire original run of The Twilight Zone available to watch instantly, we’re partnering with Twitch Film to cover all of the show’s 156 episodes. Are you brave enough to watch them all with us? The Twilight Zone (Episode #108): “Death Ship” (airdate 2/7/63) The Plot: A spaceship and her crew land on a new planet and make a startling discovery when they find the crashed remains of an identical ship… and the deceased remains of an identical crew. The Goods: It’s 1997, the future, and a three-man crew has been sent to a newly discovered planet to confirm conditions and bring back samples. If the results are as promising as they hope the people of Earth will have a new place to call home and then plunder beyond recognition. As the spaceship flies over the planet’s terrain one of the men notices something reflective on the surface, and while he’s excited at the prospect of alien life his commander is far less enthused. Still, they head down and land on the planet to investigate. The object in question is an exact duplicate of their own ship, exact aside from the severe structural damage it undertook during an apparent crash. The three men head inside and discover three dead bodies. Their dead bodies. I think we all know where this occurrence at Alpha Centauri bridge is heading.

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With the entire original run of The Twilight Zone available to watch instantly, we’re partnering with Twitch Film to cover all of the show’s 156 episodes. Are you brave enough to watch them all with us? The Twilight Zone (Episode #107): “Mute” (airdate 1/31/63) The Plot: A little girl is treated like dog feces because she has a special gift. The Goods: When Ilse (Ann Jillian) was born, her parents decided to do a little experiment. Instead of talking to her like a normal child, they deprived her of language in order to exercise her natural psychic abilities. As a result, she became incredibly strong at speaking telepathically with the other children in a school where such a thing was the norm. Sadly, the school wasn’t run by a bald guy in a wheelchair, and when her parents die in a fire, she’s sent to the United States with a new set of parents. Her life is now filled with people who speak, a bunch of schoolmates who think she’s an idiot, and a teacher who also has the gift of telepathy but views it as a curse. Good times ahead!

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With the entire original run of The Twilight Zone available to watch instantly, we’re partnering with Twitch Film to cover all of the show’s 156 episodes. Are you brave enough to watch them all with us? The Twilight Zone (Episode #99): “Young Man’s Fancy” (airdate 5/11/62) The Plot: A newly-minted husband brings his wife to his childhood home to make plans to sell it, but a powerful force is drawing him back to his late mother and the house she kept exactly as it was when he was in short pants. The Goods: This very well may be the second cruelest episode. Aside from the wicked heartlessness of Time Enough At Last, it rings out with a kind of empty meanness that doesn’t teach a lesson while it tortures an innocent bystander at her weakest point. Sometimes life can be that way, and Virginia Walker (Phyllis Thaxter) learns that the raw way. Virginia has only added Walker to her name in the last hour, marrying Alex Walker (Alex Nicol) at the courthouse and hurrying for a pit stop at his family home before heading out to a honeymoon in unnamed parts. As she tries to be brisk about getting him to pack, he continually loses his train of thought, starts fooling with an old radio and clock in a wistful attempt to reclaim what’s been lost, and finally starts playing with his old toys.

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With the entire original run of The Twilight Zone available to watch instantly, we’re partnering with Twitch Film to cover all of the show’s 156 episodes. Are you brave enough to watch them all with us? The Twilight Zone (Episode #78): “Once Upon a Time” (airdate 12/15/61) The Plot:  A cranky man of 1890 uses a time machine to head for 1962 to find out that things got a lot louder, faster, and more dangerous. The Goods: The absolute guts of this show continue to astound. Imagine if a modern seriesdecided to do half of an episode as a silent film. Black and white they already have, but it’s still a bold step. Rod Serling beamed an antique directly into the living rooms of his fans. That’s right. Not only is this a story where a man from the late 19th century hops into the middle of the 20th, it’s a time travel story for its audience by using modern television filming techniques alongside the earliest methods. And who do you get to guest star when half your episode is done as a silent film? Buster Keaton. Not a bad choice.

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With the entire original run of The Twilight Zone available to watch instantly, we’re partnering with Twitch Film to cover all most half of the show’s 156 episodes. Are you brave enough to watch them all with us? The Twilight Zone (Episode #36): “A World Of His Own” (airdate 7/1/60) The Plot: A man discovers that anything he records on his tape deck becomes true in the real world. The Goods: Gregory West (Keenan Wynn) seems to have it all. He’s happy, a popular and successful playwright, and he has a loving wife who makes the perfect dry martini. Did I say wife? I meant mistress. Did I say mistress? I meant fictional character that comes to life after West “creates” her by describing her into his Dictaphone. Welcome to The Twilight Zone.

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Why Watch? Because the most important thing is family. The less said about this short, the better. It’s clear when the little girl picks up the phone to speak with her father that something’s wrong, but writer/director Dick Maas isn’t quick to give the story’s secrets away. It resembles a Richard Matheson short story (but even mentioning its name might give away the twist here for fans familiar with his work), and it’s a strong execution of a keen, spooky idea. What does it cost? Just 5 minutes of your time. Check out Long Distance for yourself:

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With the entire original run of The Twilight Zone available to watch instantly, we’re partnering with Twitch Film to cover all 156 episodes. Are you brave enough to watch them all with us? The Twilight Zone (Episode #18): “The Last Flight” (airdate 2/5/60) The Plot: A cowardly WWI pilot lands at the right base but at the wrong time – 42 years after he takes off. The Goods: This episode is a true joy to watch because it’s a sci-fi mystery nested in other mysteries that need to be solved. Lt. William Decker (Kenneth Haigh) brings his Nieuport biplane and British stiff upper lip onto a French base that he believes is controlled by, you know, the French. When he lands, he finds it run by the United States, who wasn’t expecting his presence. Of course, Major General Harper (Alexander Scourby) takes him into custody for questioning.

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Hugh Jackman has played a man with a harder-than-steel skeleton, but he has never really taken on anyone made of steel. Now, he will be standing in the corner of a boxing robot.

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thebox-1

Richard Kelly delivers a muddled movie and Cameron Diaz delivers a muddled southern accent.

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Based on the 1954 science fiction novel by Richard Matheson, Robert Neville (Will Smith) is the last man living in New York City…

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When will science ever learn?

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Nathan Deen

I Am Legend

Movie Reviews By Nate Deen on December 15, 2007 | Comments (10)

The big question is: Is I Am Legend good enough to stand on it’s own? The answer is yes.

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Will Smith stars in the third try at a big screen adaptation of Richard Matheson’s famous novel. This time, at least they got to use the right title.

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We’ve got a few copies of Steve Niles’ graphic novel adaptation of Richard Matheson’s classic story that inspired the upcoming Will Smith flick ‘I Am Legend’. All you have to do is play a little game…

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Yesterday I reported that the trailer for Will Smith’s upcoming blockbuster I Am Legend was leaked online and subsequently strewn about all over the blogosphere. It turns out that I was wrong, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to my ex-girlfriend. What will come as a surprise to both my ex-girlfriend and the rest of you is that I am here to make amends.

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Earlier today I received a press release from the fine folks at Warner Brothers stating that there was a new trailer for I Am Legend that was being released on MySpace tonight around midnight. Of course as these things go, the trailer had no intention of waiting until this evening to find its way onto the web.

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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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