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Contagion (Blu-ray + DVD) [Region Free]
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Contagion follows the rapid progress of a lethal airborne virus that kills within days. As the fast-moving epidemic grows, the worldwide medical community races to find a cure and control the panic that spreads faster than the virus itself. At the same time, ordinary people struggle to survive in a society coming apart.
Directed by Academy Award® winner Steven Soderbergh (Traffic), Contagion brings together a stellar international ensemble cast, including Academy Award® winner Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose, Inception); Academy Award® winner Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting, the Bourne films); Oscar® nominee Laurence Fishburne (What's Love Got to Do With It, The Matrix); Oscar® nominee Jude Law (Cold Mountain, Sherlock Holmes); Academy Award® winner Gwyneth Paltrow (Shakespeare in Love, Iron Man); and Academy Award® winner Kate Winslet (The Reader, Titanic).
- The Reality of Contagion
- The Contagion Detectives
- Contagion: How a Virus Changes the World
Steven Soderbergh alternates between films about individuals, like Erin Brockovich, and multi-character thrillers, like Contagion, which takes a Traffic-style approach to a deadly pandemic. It also represents a reunion for three actors from The Talented Mr. Ripley as Gwyneth Paltrow and Matt Damon play a suburban Minneapolis couple, while Jude Law (with unflattering dentures) plays a muckraking Bay Area blogger. When Beth (Paltrow) returns from a business trip to Hong Kong, she brings a virus with her that spreads across the world, attracting the attention of people at the Centers for Disease Control (Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet, and Jennifer Ehle) and the World Health Organization (Marion Cotillard). Just as virologists frantically try to track down the origins of the pathogen and to find a cure, it starts to mutate, foiling every move they make. Soderbergh, who serves as his own cinematographer, captures every development: false rumors, looting in the streets, and mass graves. Whenever he focuses on emptied-out offices and supermarkets, chillers like I Am Legend spring to mind, even if Contagion avoids most sci-fi/horror tropes, except for a stomach-churning autopsy sequence--one of his few real missteps. Mostly, he concentrates on cool heads dealing with life-and-death issues the best they can. The end result registers as more realistic than Outbreak, if less pulse pounding than Traffic, though the final sequence proves Soderbergh can find the grace notes even amidst an unbearable tragedy. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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The film is trying to depict a realistic scenario in regards to what would actually happen if a pandemic of early 20th century Spanish Flu proportions were to actually happen. From individual reactions right through to how govenments would react. And, in my opinion at least, it delivers this very well.
The only issue I have is that nothing particularly exciting happens. Don't get me wrong, the acting (except Jude Law who plays a bit of an irritating steriotype I think) was excellent as was the cinemtography and the science was also realistic (despite what another review said. See 'Bad Science, Bad Movie' in the 1 star category for a good laugh). The film just left me cold, without any real enjoyment being had.
I know there will undoubtedly be a few people who will say "well, you've missed the point" etc and I would just like to say that isn't the case. I didn't go to see this film expecting a remake of Outbreak. I just think that what the film delivered wasn't particularly entertaining as I'm sure a real pandemic wouldn't be either.
All in all, technically a great film, but I found myself looking at my watch about an hour in.
Secondly, the film is dreadful. Jude Law gives an amusingly awful performance as a kind of part Aussie, part Cockney internet blogger. Otherwise, it's rubbish all the way. The low point for me was towards the end when it gets all sloppy/syrupy with Bono and U2 singing on the soundtrack. The tiresome Hong Kong subplot was bad and pointless also. Just a boring shambles of a film.
I just wish that I could award it zero stars.
This film is the most pointless I have ever watched!! Bat craps in a pig sty, pig eats it, chef touches dead pig and touches gwyneth Paltrow who spreads a disease, millions die a vaccine is developed the end!!! I honestly thought there was going to be twist, maybe the virus was planted by terrorists or something but it was just nothing!!!
There is this great cast and a really good concept for a film and I was lead to believe that I would be "gripped" and "on the edge of my seat" and that it would also make me feel paranoid and nervous about germs etc etc.
The problem is though that I got none of these feelings at all!!
The film died on its backside for number of reasons. Firstly, tension. There was none.....none at all. Add to this the fear factor. A film like this should have made me feel something in the way of fear, but yet again.....nothing!
The characters? Do you know what? I didn't care about then at all. They were so pointless and uninteresting that I just didn't care about them. I wanted to feel how they were feeling and put myself in their shoes and worry and be scared, but I just couldn't.
I have to go back to what I said at the start, which I think could be the main source of the films problems. There IS a great cast, of really great actors, but you have to give them all screen time don't you. With this in mind we simply didn't get enough time with each character (probably why I didn't care about them!), because the film kept switching from one scene to another with one different big name actor after another and then back again. It just didn't work!
Finally, Jude Law's appalling accent?!??! I think it was supposed to be Australian??, but I am still not too sure!?!? And the utter nonsense of an afterthought of a kidnap plot that felt like it belonged to another film.
All in all this film was a crushing and ultimately "boring" disaster. For whatever reasons (?!?!?) the film critics seemed to like it, but I can't imagine what they were watching. Every single friend that I have spoken to about 'Contagion' has said similar things to me.
I honestly can't ever imagine a time when I would ever watch this drivel again.
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