Brendan Conlon: C'mon, it's not as bad as it looks.
Principal Zito: Are you being literal or figurative? Because literally it looks bad. And figuratively it looks even worse. The superintendent's coming by in a few minutes. So gimme a little help here, Brendan. Can you explain to me what the hell you were doing?
Contagion depicts the potentially frightening scenario of what would happen if humans come into contact with a modern age deadly viral epidemic and under the watchful eye of Soderbergh, there is chilly realism to the film. However the major fault of the movie is the ability of Soderbergh to attract so many A-List actors. We are therefore exposed to numerous "key" characters all performed well. This limits our ability to bond with any character significantly. Credit though to Jude Law's performance as conspiracy theorist blogger, whose paranoia often provided some light entertainment in an otherwise dark, bleak film.
Thus the film is well executed and the story is compelling but due to the limited screen time any actor really acquires, one can hardly feel for any of the characters. Maybe one for the DVD / Blu-ray
It's difficult to write this without wincing when I think about the bone crushing blows I have just witnessed in this wonderful movie.
The film tells the tale of two estranged brothers played by Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy, who due to different circumstances come face to face in the final of the world middleweight mixed martial arts (MMA) final.
You are spoiled with strong performances throughout the cast but especially from Nick Nolte as the ex-alcoholic father / trainer, whose performance at times will have any macho muscle bound jock fighting off the tears. Tom Hardy is phenomenal in this movie and brings to the screen a character who would scare the poop out of anyone, with both his physical stature and nonchalant yet somehow sinister persona. After this performance I can't wait to see him as Bane as even Batman.
The formula is predictable and is MMA's answer to Rocky, but you get two montages for the price of one. So professional teacher risks losing house, gets back in the ring to the distress of his wife, gets pummelled, has to fight big undeafeted Russian, and you get the drift.
But yet it's predictability does not ditract from how much you will enjoy this movie.
Interestingly Beethoven's Ode to Joy is used in this movie as the entry music for Joel Edgerton's character Brendan Conlon and the movie is like this piece of music. It starts slow and has such a slow crecendo that you could leave to get more popcorn and return without missing anything. However once we get to the fights, everything is ratched up to such a level that you find yourself clinging to the edge of your seat, with your eyes glued to the screen as you witness some of the best directed fight scenes. Gavin O'Connor (who also plays the promoter) use of close up shots, places you in the heart of the fight as you feel every blow, hailed down upon you.
This is a fantastic movie and to truly appreciate it should be watched on the bring screen.
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This is a "Marmite" movie because this is the most boring beautiful film for a while. For some they will either embrace the wonderful imagery by director Tomas Alfredson and cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema who last teamed up for the original and superb "Let the Right One In". The attention to detail is quite exceptional except everyone seems to either drive a morris minor or a mini.
As expected from the strong cast, we are spoiled by the stirling performances especially from Gary Oldman as Smiley and Mark Strong as Jim Prideaux (Who still was the highlight for me as Sinestro in Green Lantern). Tom Hardy was obviously bulking up for his roles in "The Warrior" and Nolan's latest Dark Knight movie, however surrounded by such masters as Colin Firth and John Hurt he did occasionally seem out of his league.
Surprisingly after watching that painful movie "Your Highness", where Toby Jones (Percy Alleline) plays a genital deficient bard, his performance was excellent as an emotional genital deficient MI5 operative.
With such praise what could go wrong. Well the film is a "Critics" film. It is a masterclass in filming and acting but that is about it. With the world slowly expecting their spies to be more like Daniel Craigs', Bond or Matt Damon's Bourne this will put a significant number of cinema goers into a deep sleep or even a coma as to call the pace slow is a gross underestimatation. A beautiful film alone does not make for great entertainment and yes I appreciate the pace is designed to highten the tension but really?. The movie "Drive" demonstrates the perfect use of a slow pace to create tension. So sadly this movie is one for film students, out of touch film critics and fans of the book. otherwise stay. You have been warned. For more follow MGCTv on iTunes/YouTube/Facebook and Twitter