Tonight’s movie and food pairing will feature I Am Legend pairing it with a Champagne wine. Champagne is a region in France that only produces sparkling wine made of Pinot Noir, Pinot Mieuner and Chardonnay. Champagne on its own is a bit of a legend and I think is a great pairing for this movie.
*Congratulations to Trish who was married over the weekend. It was a good time!*
Champagne as we know it today is attributed to one person; Dom Pérignon. Pierre Pérignon is his true name however most know him as Dom Perignon, he was a Benedictine monk and in 1688 was appointed the cellar master of Abby of Hautvillers. If all of the sugar that is naturally found in grape juice is not eaten by the yeast which produce alcohol, carbon dioxide and heat there is always a chance that once the wine is in a bottle it will start to ferment again.
When a wine ferments under closed conditions like that it will have bubbles. If you intend to produce a sparkling wine this is good, if you don’t want a bubbly wine this is not a good sign. Dom Perignon was not the first to have a wine go bubbly on him but he was the first to figure out how to make a white wine from red or black grapes, this gave his wines a unique flavour and aroma. As time has progressed so has Champagne, the region in France has now reserved the right to this name as set out in the Treaty of Madrid in 1891. To call your wine Champagne it must have been produced there.
With some exceptions to global long term producers such as President’s Champagne produced in Niagara Falls Canada. Now that we all understand a bit about Champagne we can see that it is in itself a Legend. Thus it will go well with our movie. I suggest going right for the best and having a bottle of Dom Perignon though if it is out of your price range you can try a locally produced sparkling wine as well. The traditional food pairing is actually caviar. This is phenomenal as the texture of the caviar and the bubbly character of the Champagne mimic one another and produce a truly unique experience. If that doesn’t float your boat I suggest trying a thick creamy sauce pasta so that the bubbly Champagne will be opposite in texture.
Now on with the movie! Will Smith delivers a dynamite performance as Robert Neville in this movie. For the majority of the movie we only see Robert and his dog Sam. After a breakthrough in Cancer treatments that goes wrong the city of New York is cut off from the rest of the world. Sadly the long sought after cure for Cancer eventually has the same effect of rabies on people and morphs them into the “dark seekers”. Robert is a military scientist that was naturally immune to what is referred to as a plague and years after all other humans are gone he continues to search for a cure. We see flash backs from just before the devastation to Roberts family.
He had a gorgeous wife and daughter who were able to make it onto a “safe” chopper out of the city to the safe place provided by the military. Throughout the movie we are left wondering if they made it out or if they are dead. We see Robert struggle to keep his sanity while being the only human being left in New York City and possibly the world. He does have Sam with him, his faithful dog. Sam and Robert keep fit by jogging on treadmills together and hunting for Deer. Robert has strategically placed different mannequin around the city and has named them all to be able to one way interact with them. In keeping with his plan to cure this plague Robert traps the dark seekers to test his treatments on. In the basement of his home, which the dark seekers are not aware of the location, he is able to conduct experiments. The dark seekers are unable to come out during the day due to an extreme reaction to sunlight.
Sam is not immune to this disease if he is directly attacked and Robert is constantly worrying about Sam. Sam is what keeps Robert from going out of his mind. When Sam comes into close contact while hunting a deer in a dark building we see the shear panic in Robert when he thinks that Sam has become infected. We also see the sheer joy that Sam brings to Robert. As we find out more about Roberts family through the flash backs we find out that his daughter is named after Bob Marley, who fought to bring peace even after being shot to prevent him from performing at the peace rally. Sadly we find out that in all likely hood Roberts family died only minutes after taking off.
Robert finally has a breakthrough with one of his experiments on his rats and administers it to his current dark seeker. At first he thinks that the test is a failure. During this time Robert is trapped by the dark seekers and while escaping Sam is injured. Robert takes Sam home and realizes that with his injuries he will soon turn into a dark seeker dog the same as what attacked him. Sadly Robert has to strangle Sam and we can plainly see the defeated look in Roberts’s eyes and that he is a man on the edge of giving in to what seems like insurmountable odds against him. Every day Robert broadcasts that he will be at the peer at noon. Little does he realize that someone is out there and coming for him. He misses his appointment at the peer while plotting how to get revenge for Sam’s death.
Robert tricks the night seekers into thinking that he is sitting all alone waiting for them. They of course attack and Robert tries to run them over in an SUV however they prove incredibly strong and Robert looks as though his life will finally end. Anna shows up to save Robert and takes him home (when it’s still dark) where she and Ethan take care of him. Anna believes that there is a safe place in Vermont but Robert argues with her that it doesn’t exist and becomes quite angry with her. Little does Anna realize that Robert has almost given up on this life they are leading. Robert checks to see the progress on his dark seeker for progress and sees little improvement. As night falls Robert senses that something is not right and soon realizes that the dark seekers know where he lives now.
After they lay siege to his home Robert takes Anna and Ethan down to his lab where there is bullet proof glass that he hopes will protect them from the dark seekers. As they are trying to protect themselves Anna realizes that Roberts current round of treatments have cured the dark seeker. Robert tries to explain that he can cure them but they do not cease their attack. As Robert sees the butterfly tattoo on Anna’s neck he realizes that he must sacrifice himself to save Anna and Ethan. He draws blood from the cured dark seeker and gives it to Anna to take with her to the compound she thinks God wants her to go to. Robert takes a grenade and blows himself up with the dark seekers to give Anna and Ethan a head start to Vermont. They make it with Roberts cure and that is how Robert Neville becomes a Legend.
So like our Champagne story Roberts’s story will change the world forever. Ok, so not the world but they are both Legends and I think are a great match. I tip my hat to Will Smith for the strength of character to be almost completely alone and still pull off an awesome movie! Enjoy!