December 24th, 2007


I Am Legend. I Am Also A Bloomin' Onion.

kelliwithani82 and I saw I Am Legend this weekend in Philly. Like many fans of Matheson's story, I had been dreading this updated, CGI-laden remake starring the guy from I Robot and Men in Black 2, but you know what? The movie is very, very good. Awesome, even. Watching Will Smith's performance, I was reminded suddenly that the guy from I Robot is also the guy from Six Degrees of Separation and Ali. And the change of location from L.A. to New York didn't have an adverse effect on the film. In fact, it made it more fun for me as a New Yorker! (There was also a scene in the now-closed Tower Video on West 4th Street that was shot the same day in 2006 that rosefox and I tried to go shopping there!)

I can nitpick anything to death, and so I could nitpick I Am Legend -- the CGI mutants are nowhere near as scary as actual actors in makeup would have been; sometimes the script gets too jokey where it should have gone deeper instead, such as Neville's comment about how he wanted to save the bacon; the new ending is shit compared to the end of the original novella, which has yet to be properly filmed despite three screen adaptations including this, The Last Man on Earth and The Omega Man -- but that would give you the wrong impression. I really, really liked I Am Legend. It's that rarest of things: a good, smart and mature Hollywood horror movie.

While in Philly, I also ate at an Outback Steak House for the very first time. I'm not sure how the Australian readers of this blog would feel about a theme restaurant that so fetishizes their homeland ("walkabout soups"? really?) but the food was excellent. And I ate way too much. First, they bring out delicious warm bread. Then Kelli and I split a Bloomin' Onion, since I'd been hearing about them for years now and I simply had to try it. (It was just about the best thing I've ever eaten.) Then our burgers came out. Oy. They had to roll me out of there like the giant boulder in Raiders of the Lost Ark!

The Holiday Haul, Part Three

More excellent and deeply appreciated holiday presents are trickling in:

+ Kino's new, 2-disc "Ultimate DVD Edition" of Nosferatu from leethomas

+ Will the Vampire People Please Leave the Lobby?: True Adventures in Cult Fandom, by Allyson Beatrice, from kelliwithani82 (even though she already gave me presents last weekend!)

+ Amazon gift certificates from dean_italiano, yoppulent and David Wellington

+a copy of Haunted Pelican Press' gorgeous new limited edition anthology Five Strokes to Midnight from Hank Schwaeble (okay, I know he's the co-editor and sent it to me for review and/or Stoker consideration, but coming as it did so close to the holiday, it couldn't help but feel like a Christmas present)

Enjoy the holiday, everyone!