Film and TV

CONTAGION: A-List Actors Fight for Survival in a World Full of Germs

Besides doing fun relationship stuff like arguing about how to discipline our dog, New Times blogger Tyler Hughes and his girlfriend, Jackie Cronin, go to the movies.

Tyler:  So, how many times did you wash your hands after seeing Contagion?

Jackie: Twice -- before leaving the theater. I've never been so creeped out by a movie that wasn't about aliens or ghosts.

Tyler: I know. There were a ton of shots that would focus on when a character coughed or touched a door handle or railing ... I saw more than one person let go of their arm rest and curl up in their movie seat.

Jackie: That was me! Every time they said something about how diseases are spread I kept thinking, "I do that all the time!"

Tyler: Like how the average person touches their face 3,000 times a day?

Jackie: Exactly! I was happier when I was blissfully ignorant. The film was also oddly overpopulated by Oscar winners and nominees. I found most of them pretty hard to relate to, but really liked Matt Damon's role as a father living in suburbia as the world goes to sick, germy hell.

Tyler: I liked his arc the best, but I thought that Laurence Fishburne and Jude Law had some interesting characters. They definitely had some of the best lines. Particularly Jude Law who played an "expose the truth" kind of political blogger.

Jackie: You have to admit, the real star of the film was the virus. Steven Soderbergh portrayed its path of destruction across the world in these mini-montages that tracked the virus and how it is passed from one person to the next. Afar as being an action-thriller goes, I thought it was more thriller than action. Most of the film was people sitting in rooms talking about numbers. Less action-thriller and more... conference room-thriller.

Tyler: I don't know about that, I thought those scenes were really tense. They reminded me of a Michael Crichton novel, taking some scientific stuff and blowing it up until it's terrifying. But if by "action" you mean guns and explosions and car chases, then yeah, this isn't that kind of movie.

Jackie: Well, if the world is going to shit I want to see it! This virus is killing tens of millions of people and the most of what we see is trash piling up in the streets.

Tyler: Well, would you agree that this is probably one of the best movies about a global killer virus ever made? Even better than Outbreak?

Jackie: Well, yeah I can do that. It's not often that a movie makes me look at life a different way.

Tyler: Like we need more hand sanitizers and face masks?

Jackie: Exactly.

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Tyler Hughes