Remember when we went to the movies to be entertained? Not to watch a slow-moving documentary about a fast-moving illness? I didn’t like Contagion when Dustin Hoffman starred in it in 1995, and I don’t like it now.
The entire world is getting sick – and also sick of Seinfeld reruns. One more reason to stay home and watch Dancing with the Barely Recognizable Relatives of Faded Stars.
Contagion is a disaster film that features an all-star cast – plus Elliot Gould.
What, were George Segal and Ryan ONeal unavailable? Was it “free cheese day” at the celebrity shelter?
Yes, all the stars are here. I especially enjoyed the scene where George Kennedy saves Karen Black just as Karen was about to reach into a bowl of toxic cocktail peanuts. My, we have come a long way from Earthquakes, Airports, and Towering Infernos. The only thing Towering over Contagion is the deep sense that I should have been towering over my Netflix queue instead.
I knew Gwyneth Paltrow was going to trigger a worldwide illness the moment I saw her sing in the movie Duets beside that great thespian, Huey Lewis. Bad news: Gwyneth is foaming at the mouth, which at least means what’s coming out of her mouth is interesting and not British-sounding.
I’ve been waiting for a movie to popularize inflatable clothes, and here it is! Blow me up a Donna Karan, will you? I’ll take that Hugo Boss inflate-a-tie, please. If it’s your job to make inflatable clothes, does that make it a blow job?
Before you know it, humans are dropping like flies, assuming flies looked like Kate Winslet and humans looked like Matt Damon.
Kate is a scientist, or as she pronounces it, a “scientolologist.” Thanks to Kate we learn about the R-naught, which is the rate at which my boredom spreads, and it’s quickly approaching infinity. Watching Contagion is like sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room but with A-list stars who see the doctor before you do.
“Every person touches their face two- to three-thousand times a day,” says Kate. “which is the same number of times the audience is rolling their eyes and impatiently tapping their fingers.”
Lawrence Fishburne is an official at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
“One in twelve people in the world will get this disease,” predicted Fishburne. “And eleven out of twelve will eventually be featured in a Reality TV show opposite Gary Busey.” Advantage: Disease!
“The source of contagion is one part pig, one part bat, one part Kardashian. One day cuddly puppy dogs will be responsible for a virus, but not today,” said Fishburne, pretty much consigning the prospects of an animated 3D version of Contagion, the theme park ride, and all licensing rights thereof, to oblivion.
So what did I learn from Contagion?
1. Director Steven Soderbergh must owe Elliot Gould a favor, now let’s hope he doesn’t owe one to Steven Seagall
2. The CDC has their own monogrammed coffee mugs
3. The more tan line Kate Winslet shows, the longer her life-line
4. Deforestation bad – clothes with blow-holes good
Who says movies aren’t educational?