I enjoyed it, it has a very solid cast and it nicely touches on the numerous things that can go wrong in the case of a massive epidemic. Unlike your usual zombie film, Contagion is much more realistic (I would actually say optimistic), touching on a very possible threat and our inability to cope with it, should it take place. Everyone in the film does some mistake that makes the situation in some way worse and you can see how all of them are done out of an intention to do good. I think it’s worth viewing, but if you start feeling that there are too many people in the cinema coughing too close to you and want to run away, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
I also got to see Margin Call this week, a film about a very different threat, but somewhat similar to Contagion in my opinion.
Margin Call explores a very possible scenario of discoveries, discussions and decisions that may have taken place in an investment bank at the beginning of the financial crisis. The cast is again very strong and Kevin Spacey and Jeremy Irons are fantastic as usual. I think that just like Contagion, it has a very well written script and it’s well played out, touching on numerous problems surrounding the finance world, especially during a crisis. It doesn’t try to incriminate anyone (at least I didn’t feel it did), all the people involved are just doing what they think is right (and what is actually right by some measure) to try and salvage what’s important to them… for some, it’s keeping the company afloat, for others it’s having money for their family. Nonetheless, they are aware of the consequences their actions will have on the world’s markets and they struggle with that. By Hollywood standards, Margin Call is a low-budget film (just barely $4mil), but nonetheless I think it’s a very strong production that also comes at a very interesting time.
Both films (and that’s partly why I put them together) are something I haven’t seen in a while. The tension comes from the inner struggles of the characters, not from the action itself (in Contagion there is some tension from the action, but the core of it is really with the characters). The actors really make or break these types of films and in this case they do very well.
If you’re not into zombies jumping out of closets, either film could be seen as quite a good “horror” flick for the Halloween weekend. After all, a financial meltdown or a dangerous epidemic are much more real and thus scarier threats than vampires and werewolves. But for the weekend, I may just stick with Bruce Campbell‘s cult-classics.
A friend pointed out that although I say that I am a huge film buff, I don’t ever write anything about the films I see. So I decided to change that and start writing about some of these. There’s a new category named “Film Reviews” where all of these will be put in.
So most recently, I’ve seen Real Steel. We were trying to pick between going to see Drive and this and we decided to see this because it seemed like a more “goody-feeling” kind of film and we were in the mood for that. Now before you dismiss it as a “robots boxing action flick”, give me a minute to try and sell it (my girlfriend also liked it… so read on!)
It’s truly nice and it’s really not about robots fighting. The plot is more about the strained relationship between a 11 year old kid and his dad who never wanted him, was never there for him (up until now when he has no choice) and can’t get his own life together to begin with. It’s a bit of an old story, I’ll give you that, but it’s very nicely done and I really connected well with the main characters. Hugh Jackman did well and I loved the kid. It also stars “Freckles” from Lost (she was pretty much the only thing that kept me going through the last two weeks of my attempt to watch that show… until I just couldn’t do it anymore, cute girl or not).
Now on top of what I believe is a nice story and a good plot … you get robots boxing! And that’s just awesome. I would pick this over any of Michael Bay’s transformers any time.
So you get a funny, well-written story with some nice action and CGI. This is what I call a good a match for everyone. If you can get the chance to see it in IMAX, it’s worth it.