Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Its contagious ....

Soon after her return from a business trip to Hong Kong, Beth Emhoff dies from what is a flu or some other type of infection. Her young son dies later the same day. Her husband Mitch however seems immune. Thus begins the spread of a deadly infection. For doctors and administrators at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, several days pass before anyone realizes the extent or gravity of this new infection. They must first identify the type of virus in question and then find a means of combating it, a process that will likely take several months. As the contagion spreads to millions of people worldwide, societal order begins to break down as people panic. - thats a blurb synopsis.
Soderburgh seems to be aiming for another TRAFFIC, that multi-stranded thriller of his from 2001, and assembles a roster of stars all suitably deglamorised - I knew Gwyneth would not hang around long, but we get to see more of her, including at the end when we revert back to 'Day 1' when the virus spreads to humans ... the film begins with 'Day 2' which led me to think I had missed something so I started it again!

This re-unites Paltrow, Damon and Law from THE TALENTED MR RIPLEY but they hardly meet here, and good to see Jennifer Ehle and Elliott Gould too. Matt seems bulked up as the ordinary guy left with his daughter as they try to come to terms with what has happened and cope with the escalating violence in the streets as hoarding begins and the virus spreads - you won't want to be near people coughing or touch anything on public transport after this, and certainly not dip into a bowl of peanuts! Doctors and scientists race against time to try and contain the virus as all those over-populated cities start to have victims. It shows humanity at its most vulnerable, but as the film cuts around so much there are no real characters to latch on it, not even poor Doctor Kate Winslet ... interesting then, but not that much better than that 1976 lulu about containing a plague the hilariously wonderful THE CASSANDRA CROSSING, where one cared more for the stars crammed on the train: Sophia, Ava, Alida and the rest.

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