Not much on TV right now worth watching, so I surrendered the remote to my wife. She promptly settled on I Am Legend, with Will Smith. Talk about 2/3rds of a good movie, and one fine acting job, ruined by my own unrealistic expectations...
My wife likes the movie...she is fine with the changes that happened between the short story and the movie. Obviously, I am not.
It's my opinion that the original story(novella?) is perhaps the finest example of vampire fiction out there. Better than Salem's Lot, and if not better than Dracula, at least it is easier to read and get into. It is close to perfection...and the only way I would have been satisfied with a movie was a scene for scene re-creation.
I was totally fine with most of the minor changes in the first part of the movie, and no one could have done a better job than Will Smith. Hard to imagine the young man from Fresh Prince of Belair is the same actor from 'Ali' and 'I Am Legend'.
The end though...the changes to the end of the movie...they hurt my heart. I mean...without the ending from Matheson's story, the title doesn't even make sense!!!!!! At least the people who made the first two movies(The Last Man on Earth and The Omega Man) knew this, and changed the name from the story.
It's kind of like Starship Troopers that way...a movie that might have been entertaining on it's own, but by trying to link itself to one of the all-time best pieces of written fiction, it has fallen short.