Movie News

Soderbergh’s Contagion is a feverishly strong film, says Mike!

Soderbergh’s Contagion is a feverishly strong film, says Mike!

There’s a great scene in “Along Came Polly” where Ben Stiller discusses the danger of eating from a bowl of mixed nuts at a bar. It goes something like this:

“Let’s say, conservatively, I don’t know, 17 people eat these nuts on a given night. Okay? If they’ve been here for even two weeks, we’re talking about 238 people who dipped their dirty hands into that bowl. On average, only one out of every six people wash their hands when they go to the bathroom. Yeah, so when you think you’re innocently eating a little bar snack, you’re actually ingesting potentially deadly bacteria from about 39 soil-handed strangers. I mean, people wonder why they get E. Coli poisoning or salmonella or hepatitis, when all they gotta do is look at the snack bowl at their local watering hole. I’m not being neurotic. It’s an absolute hot zone in there.”
Believe me, after seeing “Contagion,” you’ll take Ben Stiller much seriously.

Chicago. Business traveler Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow), just arrived from Hong Kong and on her way home to Minneapolis, chats with a friend before boarding her plane. When she gets home she finds she’s not feeling well. When she goes into convulsions her husband, Mitch (Damon) has her rushed to the hospital. Minutes later he’s informed that Beth is dead. Unbelieving, Mitch returns home where more tragedy awaits him. Within days, the world is caught up in a catastrophe that threatens to dwarf the greatest plagues of the past.

Directed with a skilled eye, “Contagion” is a film that plays off of our worse fears. What with the recent SARS and H1M1 Flu scares, the plot suggested by the film is really only one bad cold away. With a cast boasting as many Oscar winners as “The Towering Inferno” (I was going to say “The Poseidon Adventure” but Gene Hackman won his Oscar while filming the movie. “Inferno” alums Paul Newman and Faye Dunnaway also won theirs after that film was released). “Contagion” is a tight thriller that allows us to observe how the world might act if suddenly 25% of its inhabitants took ill. The cast, which besides Paltrow and Damon boasts award winners Marion Cotilliard and Kate Winslet. As a vaccine is being sought the world as a whole goes into anarchy. Taking advantage is a blogger (Law) who claims to have cured himself with a medication he has acquired a piece of financially. People avoid others like…well, like the plague.

The story moves quickly as the illness spreads, only slowing down some in what felt to me like an ending stretched out for time purposes. The musical score, by frequent Soderbergh collaborator Cliff Martinez is chillingly perfect, reminding me of some of the great scores by Tangerine Dream. The bleak landscapes of major cities deserted by the frightened are well depicted courtesy of production designer Howard Cummings. “Contagion” is a strong film to kick off the end of summer…just make sure you know who you’re sharing your popcorn with!

“Contagion” hits U.S theatres this weekend

Share this story!Share on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on PinterestDigg thisBuffer this pagePrint this pageShare on LinkedIn
(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Movie News

More in Movie News

FARGO "The Heap" -- Episode 108 -- Airs Tuesday, June 3, 10:00 pm e/p) -- Pictured: (L-R) Keegan-Michael Key as Agent Budge, Jordan Peele as Agent Pepper -- CR: Chris Large/FX

Key and Peele will end after current season

AshJul 27, 2015
arrives at the 17th annual Hollywood Film Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 21, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California.

Michael B. Jordan to star in Just Mercy adaptation

AshJul 25, 2015
will-smith-jay-z

Will Smith, Jay Z developing real-life HBO miniseries

AshJul 25, 2015
veep

Veep stars developing college football comedy

AshJul 25, 2015
sandra

Our Brand Is Crisis gets awards-season release date

AshJul 25, 2015
Actor Garret Dillahunt arrives at the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards at Santa Monica Beach on February 26, 2011 in Santa Monica, California.
2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Arrivals
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, CA United States
February 26, 2011
Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage.com

To license this image (63699099), contact WireImage.com

Garret Dillahunt joins Rounding Third

AshJul 25, 2015
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 30:  Naomi Campbell poses during a photo call for Australian TV show, "The Face of Australia"  at Carriage Works on November 30, 2013 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Naomi Campbell checks in to American Horror Story: Hotel

AshJul 25, 2015
mission-impossible-rogue-nation-hunt-hostage_1920.0

Mission : Impossible – Rogue Nation : The Reviews Are In!

ClintJul 25, 2015
judygreer

Ant-Man actress nabs tiny role in Masters of Sex

Editorial StaffJul 25, 2015