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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Feb 19: Contagion


Feb 19: Contagion

"A thriller centered on the threat posed by a deadly disease and an international team of doctors contracted by the CDC to deal with the outbreak."

  When you imagine a movie directed by Steven Sodenburg with such a huge cast like Contagion, you would think "Oh boy, this movie is going to be incredible!". Unfortunately, Contagion falls pretty flat and leaves a funky after taste (that you will immediately assume is bat flu). If anything, Contagion leaves you with an overwhelming sense to wash your hands and try as hard as you can not to touch your face every minute. Contagion is sucessful, somewhat, in its attempt to scare you into thinking that a single virus can kill millions and ruin countries, but it's just not that terrifying. Contagion makes a world-wide epidemic seem more annoying and bothersome than deadly. Sure, the virus and the way its handled is based a lot on fact, as genuine disease and virus scientists were brought in to help. I guess my idea of the "end of the world" is a lot more terrifying and bat-shit crazy than what really might happen. 

We all know this is going to happen. 

   Contagion is a good movie, it's just not great. I think in its realism, it lost a lot of my interest because I was really hoping for something a little more 28 Days Later and a lot less CNN Headline News. The entire film feels almost like a documentary, with good looking actors playing "normal" people who are all trying to find a cure for some deadly disease. The acting is great, yes, but when you have a film that's supposed to be a realistic look into what could happen, post-pandemic, you might want to cast some no name actors. Kate Winslet as a leading scientist for CDC? Hardly believable. Jude Law as a scum reporter who thinks he has the cure? Insanely unbelievable. 

Aw, look how cute she is pondering the effects of an airborne pathogen on the central nervous system. 

   Overall, Contagion is an interesting look into what could really happen if the super-flu broke out. It's filmed very well and the acting is great, but the whole thing is just missing that "OMFG I AM ALWAYS GOING TO WEAR FACE MASKS AND BATHE IN PURELL" factor that one would assume a truly terrifying disease movie would induce. With great directing, a very well written script, one could only imagine what kind of movie Contagion could have been if a little of that factor was injected (no pun intended) into the film. 

The Good:
smart, clearly researched script with great cinematography and acting
The Bad:
about a billion different story lines going on, and leaving little time to truly care about any individual
The Ugly:
it's just not scary.. oh and Gwyneth Paltrow 

Overall: 6.6/10

Best Quote:
Dr. Erin Mears: "The average person touches their face three to five times every waking minute. In between that we're touching door knobs, water fountains, and each other."

Watch These Instead:

Outbreak- very similar to Contagion, just a little creepier
28 Days Later- hands down (in my opinion), the best disease apocalypse movie ever made 
Children of Men- beautifully dark film with insanely exceptional camerawork

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At February 19, 2012 at 11:03 PM , Blogger Josh Jones said...

Soundtrack was quite fitting IMO, one of the better things to come out of this film. I'd probably rate it similarly, 7ish/10.

At February 19, 2012 at 11:41 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Oh yeah, forgot to mention the soundtrack. Eerie and effective.. just not terrifying lol


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