Hype is great, especially with this industry, but if you’re going to play the role of the most anticipated film of the summer, you’ve got your work cut out for you. And that’s on top of having to live up to an Academy Award winning predecessor.
After a brief look at Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) speaking at Harvey Dent’s funeral, “The Dark Knight Rises” takes us eight years into the future. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is a recluse and Batman is nowhere to be found having been blamed for Dent’s murder, but, as Batman and Gordon hoped, the resulting Dent Act successfully keeps criminals at bay in Gotham City – that is until Bane (Tom Hardy) arrives.
Why not answer the big question right off the bat – does “The Dark Knight Rises” live up to the hype? Yes and no. What? You didn’t actually think it’d be a clear-cut answer, did you? Perhaps this little carrot diagram might help – “Batman Begins” < “The Dark Knight Rises” < “The Dark Knight.” While “The Dark Knight Rises” may not be the movie of all movies, lead to world peace or even just be the best of the best of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, it’s got a lot going for it.
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Contagion begins with Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow), a woman on her way back from a business trip in Hong Kong. She isn’t feeling too well and opts to point a finger at the usual culprit, jet lag. However, just days later her symptoms intensify, she has a seizure and passes away. This is no common cold or even a freak contraction of the bird flu or contact with anthrax; it’s a new type of virus, one with the capacity to wipe out millions.
Apparently the subject matter of the film didn’t disturb the cast too much because a nice chunk of the gang shook some hands on the red carpet just the other night for Contagion‘s New York City premiere. Of the bunch Shockya had the pleasure of speaking with the promising young actress Anna Jacoby-Heron who plays Matt Damon’s daughter in the film as well as her on screen boyfriend, Brian J. O’Donnell.
Chin Han whose character assists Marion Cotillard’s in her effort to pinpoint the start of the pandemic stopped by to chat as did Elliott Gould who steps in as Ian Sussman, a doctor who joins the effort to find a cure. We also got some time with Dr. Ally Hextall of the CDC, played by Jennifer Ehle, as well as the film’s writer, Scott Z. Burns.
Check out what they had to say about their experience working on the film that’s not only guaranteed to give you the creeps, but compel you to wash your hands obsessively below.
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Contagion is the scariest movie of the year, and that’s coming from someone with a pension for horror films. Unlike most worldwide disaster movies, Contagion doesn’t sensationalize the issue on a grand scale in an effort to shock the audience, rather it tells the tale via a variety of intimate scenarios, both giving the audience that vast scope, but also putting you right in the middle of the disaster alongside the characters that are fighting through it.
After a business trip to Hong Kong, Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) isn’t feeling great. She assumes her sore throat and headache stem from jetlag and both she and her husband, Mitch (Matt Damon), dismiss her condition until Beth collapses on the kitchen floor. Almost instantaneously, she’s rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead, leaving Mitch a single parent.
An autopsy reveals Beth’s passing wasn’t due to a freak illness, the bird flu, anthrax or anything else this type of situation is usually attributed to, rather a new kind of virus with overwhelmingly powerful effects. In comes Dr. Ellis Cheever (Laurence Fishburne) of the CDC to assess the situation and take action. He sends field agent Dr. Erin Mears (Kate Winslet) to Minnesota to pinpoint Beth’s whereabouts since she’s contracted the disease to keep it from spreading. Regardless of her efforts, people all around town fall ill, reports pour in of clusters around the country and the world, and a global pandemic ensues.
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Why do we dream? Does anyone really know for sure? Probably not, but writer-director Christopher Nolan takes a stab at breaking down the structure of a dream and the influence of the subconscious in Inception. There’s nothing more perplexing than the unknown and Nolan uses that to his advantage. It’s one thing to simply make up a story about a theoretical concept, but it’s another to come up with a scenario and actually make it feel real and that’s exactly what he achieves in Inception. It may be Nolan’s dream world, but it’s so exciting, so disturbing and seems so authentic, you might start to wonder.
Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is an extractor. He’s employed to sneak into people’s dreams and steal their secrets. Turns out the gig comes with some serious baggage and Cobb wants out, but the only way he can safely return home is by completing one last job for a businessman named Saito (Ken Watanabe). The problem is, Saito doesn’t want Cobb to snatch someone’s secret information, he wants him to do the unthinkable, plant an idea in a subject’s mind – inception.
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