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'Contagion' 'Two Jews On Film' Are Immune To Soderbergh's Pandemic Thriller (Video)

  • Sep 8, 2011
By Joan Alperin Schwartz

An international traveler reaches into the snack bowl at an airport bar before passing her credit card to a waiter. A business meeting begins with a round of handshakes. A man coughs on a crowded bus.

One contact. One instant. And a lethal virus is transmitted.

Great premise. Great beginning. but unfortunately, that's not enough to make a great film.

'Contagion' directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Scott Z Burns (The Informant) succeeds in showing us how fast a virus can spread. It also makes you think that becoming an agoraphobic isn't such a bad idea. 

Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns to Minneapolis from a business trip in Hong Kong. Two days later, she's dead in the ER and the doctors tell her shocked and grieving husband (Matt Damon) that they have no idea why.

Soon other people start to exhibit the same mysterious symptoms: hacking coughs and fever, followed by seizures, brain hemorrhage (ouch) and ultimately...death. Not a pretty way to go.

Quickly this nasty little virus starts to spread...Chicago, London, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, China, and Los Angeles. The number of cases quickly case becomes four, then sixteen, then hundreds, thousands, and finally millions.

A global pandemic explodes. Okay, sounds exciting, right? Not so much.

It doesn't take long for 'Contagion' to get bogged down in scientific mumbo jumbo, government conspiracy theories...thanks to blogger Jude Law, and the obligatory B story line of Matt Damon finding out his dead wife cheated on him and his daughter pissed off that she can't lock lips with her dorky boyfriend.

I love pandemic movies and I was really expecting to love this one. Unfortunately, I found my mind wandering...thinking about Kate Winslett's excellent 'American' accent. Miss Winslett plays Dr. Erin Mears, a CDC employee sent out into the field by her collegue Dr. Cheever (Laurence Fishburne) to try and stop the virus from spreading. Fat chance of that happening.

The rest of the cast, including Marion Cotillard (Dr. Leonora Orantes)aren't really given alot to do...except to look concerned and then to look very, very concerned, as the death count rises.

John and I actually come pretty close in our bagel rating. Check out our video to see how many bagels we gave 'Contagion'.

The film opens in theaters Friday September 9, 2011.
'Contagion' 'Two Jews On Film' Are Immune To Soderbergh's Pandemic Thriller (Video) 'Contagion' 'Two Jews On Film' Are Immune To Soderbergh's Pandemic Thriller (Video) 'Contagion' 'Two Jews On Film' Are Immune To Soderbergh's Pandemic Thriller (Video) 'Contagion' 'Two Jews On Film' Are Immune To Soderbergh's Pandemic Thriller (Video)

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September 08, 2011
OMG!! I am sending you guys some theraflu and some anti-virus LOL!! Sounds like this is a missed is rather hard to make a movie about an evil virus, I guess it is so easy to get it quite predictable. I really don't mind those things but when you say it has bad dialogue, that would kill any movie. I am not sure, I think I'll stick to WARRIOR this weekend...but I'll give it a shot if I get dragged to it. How'd you guys like OUTBREAK?
September 08, 2011
After watching that film, it makes me want to stock up. As for 'Warrior' Nick Nolte is quite wonderful. Haven't reviewed it yet. May do that tomorrow
September 08, 2011
Saw 'Outbreak' long time ago. Think it was alittle too 'Hollyweird' for me. I just remember Dustin Hoffman on a helicopter trying to convince the army not to blow up a town or something. Way ridiculous.
September 08, 2011
I am excited for WARRIOR now. Good to hear it was good. As for Hoffman on that scene, yeah, it was too much and too dramatic LOL!
September 10, 2011
I'll see this tomorrow. I saw WARRIOR last night. Not bad, but it had some rough areas....
More Contagion reviews
review by . September 12, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Soderberg's Film About Viral Infection and The World's Reaction (Cough, Cough)
Steven Soderberg is one director who has a colorful and somewhat impressive resume; his best works include “Solaris”, “Ocean’s Eleven”, “Erin Brokovich”, and “Traffic” so I guess it would be easy to expect much from him. Soderbergh’s “Contagion” is a movie that can easily be ruined by expectations from its viewer. I tend to see a director as someone who is only as good as his last work, so I went to see it with an open mind. …
review by . February 23, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****    Steven Soderbergh's "Contagion" feels like a documentary film shot through the lenses of a gloriously high-quality film camera. Perhaps this is because in a sense, it kind of is. The film is about a deadly epidemic/pandemic - unidentified and initially untreatable - that starts to spread across the globe; from Hong Kong to Atlanta. The basic plot concerns a number of different people ranging from scientists to a blogger; all of whom react in significantly different …
review by . September 08, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Not life threatening
CONTAGION Directed by Steven Soderbergh   I’m not sure I can in good conscious recommend Contagion to anyone at all. It’s not that it’s a bad film; it’s just that seeing it has potentially damaging consequences on your psyche. About ten minutes into watching it, you might become hyper aware of your surroundings. Coughing noises will become amplified while your armrest might suddenly feel stickier than it did when you first sat down. In fact, by the time you’ve …
review by . September 10, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         In an age when medical thrillers are more about action sequences and gory makeup effects (Doomsday, the Resident Evil films), along comes Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, a cold, methodical, observant social commentary. It takes us through the stages of a worldwide viral epidemic with eerily convincing logic, and with disturbing emotional detachment. It’s not about the art of storytelling so much as the craft of depicting a medical emergency …
review by . September 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Contagion is a Chilling and Gripping Thriller
A couple of years ago, news and health agencies the world over were concerned about a possible pandemic stemming from bird flu and swine flu. Thankfully like SARS a few years earlier, the outbreaks were rather small thanks to a wealth of precautionary information and measures. In the new film “Contagion” director Steven Soderbergh paints a frighteningly realistic look at a worldwide pandemic that spread without warning, and its devastating aftermath. When businesswoman Beth Emhoff …
Quick Tip by . January 03, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Major yawn. The only reason I don't add more minuses is the acting was solid despite the general weakness of the story. This was too much an "inside" movie to be anything close to a thriller and the conspiracy storylines were too weak to rescue it as a conspiracy type movie.
Quick Tip by . September 08, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Big cast, big story, big fear, lots of talk but little action. Despite being a big fan of Matt Damon, this is one movie where I don't think he excels in. In fact, you won't even notice he's there. Waste of talent, I feel. No punch. Not surprises. Nothing new here!
About the reviewer
Joan & John Schwartz ()
Ranked #10
My husband (creator of the cult classic films FACES OF DEATH) andmyself (actress/screenwriter) are ex New Yorkers, see alot of films and usually disagree. So our friends decided that we need a review … more
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About this movie



Director: Steven Soderbergh
Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller
Release Date: 9 September 2011 (USA)
Screen Writer: Scott Z. Burns
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