Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Contagion (Warner Brothers) UHD Review

Collapse
X
Collapse
  •  
    Ian Jane
    Administrator

  • Contagion (Warner Brothers) UHD Review

    Click image for larger version  Name:	contagion-uhd-cover.jpg Views:	1 Size:	29.8 KB ID:	428480

    Released by: Warner Brothers
    Released on: February 27th, 2024.
    Director: Steven Soderbergh
    Cast: Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet
    Year: 2011
    Purchase From Amazon

    Contagion – Movie Review:

    Steven Soderbergh's 2011 film works on a simple and effectively horrifying premise - a nasty virus has been let loose and it's spreading around the world. That's really all there is in terms of set up, and the film is more concerned with exploring how various parties and people react to the situation than in how the situation occurred in the first place. As the body count starts to mount across the globe, we see, through typically media blitzed eyes, how the World Health Organization reacts, how economies tumble and how politicians politicize things while the lives of an ensemble cast made up of Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Winslet hang in the balance. Yeah, watching after the word of the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world is a little odd, as you’d expect it to be.

    There are bits and pieces of the various characters' lives that matter here - Damon plays a guy named Mitch who is waiting for his wife, Beth (Paltrow), to come back from a business trip - when she arrives, she's sick. Lawrence Fishburn plays Doctor Ellis Cheever, the man from the Center For Disease Control looking for a fix to this problem along with Dr. Erin Mears (Kate Winslet) and a few others, while Jude Law plays a guy named Alan who sits inside and blogs about all of this online, fueling the different conspiracy theories that are going around. As the various players try to go about their lives, paranoia sets in and tensions in the outside world become thick and borderline dangerous.

    Shot and paced with fairly clinical precision, Contagion is surprisingly emotionless for a film about the possible end of life on the planet as we know it. Soderbergh casts his net pretty wide here with his ensemble cast and while that worked with the Oceans films that made him a Hollywood A-lister, this time around scaling things down a bit to a more intimate level might have resulted in a film with more impact. As it stands, things get spread pretty thin here and we don't get to know the characters as well as we might want to, given that we need to make that critical emotional investment in them for the film to work. Add to that a few bizarre plot twists that, while likely intended to up the action in the film (which, to be blunt, is lacking) wind up feeling out of place and forced. A perfect example is a kidnapping subplot that should have added some excitement but which instead simply disrupts the flow of the film all together.

    There are, however, some great ideas at work here and some very strong performances and the visuals are always impressive as well. The film does a good job of making it feel very real and very possible (which, in hindsight, it kind of was!), which adds to the tension considerably. It's just a shame that there wasn't more character exposition or development than what we get here, and as such, the end result is a movie that is genuinely good but which should have been a lot more involving than it turned out to be.

    Contagion – UHD Review:

    The HEVC encoded 2160p transfer, framed at 1.78.1 widescreen with HDR, looks pretty strong. Contagion was shot digitally and finished in 4k but was shot in a deliberate low-fi style, so while we get a pretty nice upgrade over the previous Blu-ray release, the transfer doesn’t pop the way something that was shot in a more conventional style might. The film was intentionally given a blue/teal look for much of its running time, and that’s replicated here (as it should be) on the UHD. Black levels are strong and the image avoids any noticeable crush. Detail is crisp though, again, due to how it was shot, not quite reference quality. Compression is never an issue and as this was shot digitally, obviously there’s no grain or print damage at all to discuss, the picture is spotless. Overall, this is a really solid picture and would seem to be in keeping with the director’s intended look for the film.

    A lossless audio option is provided by way of an English language 24-bit DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix, though standard definition DTS tracks are also available in English French and Spanish. All in all the DTS-HD track is good and it handles what the film throws at it with ease. It's not as bombastic or enveloping as other more active mixes tend to be but it does offer clear dialogue, properly balanced levels and some effectively punchy sound effects.

    Extras on this disc are surprisingly slim, but there are a few goodies hidden underneath the animated menu screens starting with an eleven minute featurette entitled ‘The Reality Of Contagion.’ This short documentary explores the reality of pandemics and basically makes the case that what we see happen in the film could happen one day in real life. Interestingly enough, it also notes how the media tends to jump all over things like this. Aside from that, there's a five minute collection of interviews with various experts in the ‘Contagion Detectives Section’ and a two minute featurette that shows how virus' work in the real world entitled ‘How A Virus Changes The World.’ None of these are all that in-depth but they are interesting enough that you'll want to check them out, though you’d think given how the last few years have played out on the world stage that maybe including a new featurette about the film’s almost prophetic vision would have been prudent – that didn’t happen though.

    There's no Blu-ray disc included with this release but it does come packaged with an insert containing a digital code that can be redeemed for an HD download of the movie.

    Contagion - The Final Word:

    Contagion is good when it should have been great but if it spends too much time with too many characters that don't wind up mattering, at least it provides some decent tension and a thought provoking premise, especially in a landscape where Covid-19 still affects things. Not a perfect film, but one worth seeing and if Warner's UHD reissue doesn’t offer up any new supplements when compared to the previous Blu-ray edition, it does give the movie a nice 4k facelift and offer up the film in very solid quality.



    Here's a few screen caps from the older release to illustrate how the movie plays out. Note that these do not reflect the quality of the UHD (which we can't do screen caps for yet).

    Click image for larger version  Name:	02.jpg Views:	1 Size:	49.3 KB ID:	428490

    Click image for larger version  Name:	03.jpg Views:	1 Size:	28.3 KB ID:	428483

    Click image for larger version  Name:	04.jpg Views:	1 Size:	29.3 KB ID:	428482

    Click image for larger version  Name:	05.jpg Views:	1 Size:	60.1 KB ID:	428489

    Click image for larger version  Name:	06.jpg Views:	1 Size:	38.5 KB ID:	428486

    Click image for larger version  Name:	07.jpg Views:	1 Size:	32.9 KB ID:	428484

    Click image for larger version  Name:	08.jpg Views:	1 Size:	23.7 KB ID:	428481

    Click image for larger version  Name:	09.jpg Views:	1 Size:	30.9 KB ID:	428485

    Click image for larger version  Name:	10.jpg Views:	1 Size:	49.4 KB ID:	428488
      Posting comments is disabled.

    Latest Articles

    Collapse

    • Impulse (Grindhouse Releasing) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Grindhouse Releasing
      Released on: March 12th, 2024.
      Director: William Grefé
      Cast: William Shatner, Jennifer Bishop, Ruth Roman, Harold Sakata
      Year: 1974
      Purchase From Amazon

      Impulse – Movie Review:

      Directed by the one and only William Grefé, 1974’s Impulse is one of those rare films that allows you to witness what it would be like if a really sweaty William Shatner got mad at a lady carrying balloons. Before that
      ...
      04-15-2024, 01:20 PM
    • Lisa Frankenstein (Universal Studios) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Universal Studios
      Released on: April 9th, 2024.
      Director: Zelda Williams
      Cast: Kathryn Newton, Cole Sprouse, Carla Gugino, Joe Chrest, Henry Eikenberry
      Year: 2024
      Purchase From Amazon

      Lisa Frankenstein – Movie Review:

      The feature-length directorial debut of Zelda Williams, 20214’s Lisa Frankenstein takes place in 1989 and follows a teenaged girl named Lisa Swallows (Kathryn Newton) who, two years ago, lost her mother
      ...
      04-03-2024, 03:40 PM
    • Spider Labyrinth (Severin Films) UHD/Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Severin Films
      Released on: April 30th, 2024.
      Director: Gianfranco Giagni
      Cast: Roland Wybenga, William Berger, Stéphane Audran
      Year: 1988
      Purchase From Amazon

      Spider Labyrinth – Movie Review:

      Professor Alan Whitmore (Roland Wybenga) is an American who works as a Professor of languages studies and has a fascination bordering on obsession with translating pre-Christian religious texts. He was also locked in a closet
      ...
      04-03-2024, 03:37 PM
    • Special Silencers (Mondo Macabro) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Mondo Macabro
      Released on: April 9th, 2024.
      Director: Arizal
      Cast: Barry Prima, Eva Arnaz, W.D. Mochtar
      Year: 1982
      Purchase From Amazon

      Special Silencers – Movie Review:

      When director Arizal’s 1982 epic begins, we meet a man named Gumilar (W.D. Mochtar), a sinister dude who has constantly bloodshot eyes. He’s meeting with a man about some sort of business deal, but a flashback shows us how some time ago he killed
      ...
      04-03-2024, 03:35 PM
    • The Playgirls And The Vampire (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
      Released on: March 26th, 2024.
      Director: Piero Regnoli
      Cast: Walter Brandi, Lyla Rocco, Maria Giovannini, Alfredo Rizzo, Marisa Quattrini, Leonardo Botta
      Year: 1960
      Purchase From Amazon

      The Playgirls And The Vampire – Movie Review:

      Piero Regnoli’s 1960 goofy gothic horror, The Playgirls And The Vampire, revolves around a quintet of beautiful showgirls - Vera (Lyla Rocco), Katia (Maria Giovannini),
      ...
      04-03-2024, 03:30 PM
    • The Abandoned (Unearthed Films) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Unearthed Films
      Released on: April 9th, 2024.
      Director: Nacho Cerdà
      Cast: Anastasia Hille, Karel Roden, Valentin Goshev
      Year: 2006
      Purchase From Amazon

      The Abandoned – Movie Review:

      Directed by Nacho Cerdà, who co-wrote with Richard Stanley and Karim Hussain, 2006's The Abandoned opens in Russia in 1966 where a poor family sits at the dinner table only to be interrupted when a large truck stops suddenly in front
      ...
      03-28-2024, 04:29 PM
    Working...
    X