16 October 2011

50/50 and Contagion

Last week, I watched 50/50 and Contagion. The two movies offer a telling contrast. With 50/50, you have a movie without high-salary mega-stars dealing with an issue (cancer) that isn't a typical part of comedic fare, but the the producers and actors pull it off brilliantly. This one is definitely worth seeing. I don't know if I would classify it as a pure comedy (in the sense of a farce) since it's likely to produce as much tears as laughter, but even so, it' worth seeing and deserves commendations for breaking the mould. On the other hand, you have Contagion--a movie filled with an entire cast of many of my favorite actors (Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon) who valiantly try to inject a spark of excitement into the script, and the movie falls completely flat. The story doesn't contain a single interesting idea or twist. The entire plot can be accurately described as: (1) many people get sick and die, (2) disaster's averted.

Making matters worse, I had to sit through an unbelievable number of ads, previews, and other crap prior to watching the movie. As much as I love watching movies in theaters, I've just about given up at this point. It's particularly disappointing when a half hour of ads are followed by a formulaic film that's no more entertaining than the previews.

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