Sunday, September 11, 2011



OK, let me COOL MY JETS here and proceed in a reasonable manner.


This 2011 release, NOW SHOWING AT A THEATER NEAR YOU, is about a deadly flu bug that spreads like wildfire, and kills one out of five people infected. Kate Winslett, Larry Fishburne, Jennifer Ehle and Elliot Gould are trying to SOLVE THE MYSTERY of how it started and what will stop it. Jude Law is blogging like mad about his own theories on the matter. Matt Damon is trying to keep his daughter safe from the illness after losing his wife and son. WILL ANYONE SURVIVE?


>> When I see a film apocalypse, I want to see some dang human suffering. WHAT KIND OF PITIFUL KILLER FLU IS THIS? You cough a few times, have a tidy little seizure and die with a startled expression. Please! There isn't a single case of projectile diarrhea. No bleeding eyeballs. No coughing up of ropy green phlegm into the horrified face of the next victim. The only fun part of the death in this movie was when we got to watch the medical examiner, rather grodily, autopsy an actress who is rarely captured on screen even BREAKING A NAIL. That was kind of cool. BUT IT ONLY LASTED A FEW SECONDS.

>> When I see a film apocalypse, I want to see BODIES. Lots and lots of bodies. Lined up in hallways because there are no hospital beds left. Heaped for bonfire disposal. Being torn apart by starving dogs in a deserted city. All I saw in THIS lame picture was a single, very neat trench, with a couple dozen victims tidily Saran-wrapped and lined up carefully along the bottom. I didn't even get to see them die! When I hear Larry Fishburne speculate that 27 million people have died, I WANT TO SEE SOME OF THEM. Otherwise, come on, where's the disaster?

>> When I see a film apocalypse, I always, without fail, witness at least one grim-faced discussion about how to prevent widespread panic. But the panic never comes. Damn it, I want to see some panic. Give me a little civil unrest! The possibilities here should have been ENDLESS. But aside from one brief moment of mayhem in a pharmacy checkout line -- NO DICE. What you got instead were a lot of deserted streets, with every car neatly parked, every house intact, quiet as a Sunday afternoon. THY EVEN KEPT THE SNOW SHOVELED ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE LETHAL CRISIS. Sheesh.

>> Jude Law started out to position himself, in this movie, as the equivalent of Mathias in The Omega Man. THEY BLEW THAT, TOO. I couldn't believe it. Not a single scene of the Forsythia Army carrying Jude on their shoulders to take over as Prime Minister in an impromptu election...That would have been a blast.

>> Everyone is supposedly quarantined, seizing on the floor, or already dead, OK? The world is theoretically in chaos. But the infrastructure? It's fine. Nobody is chopping up the living-room furniture to heat up the oatmeal. Everyone is still texting away merrily. People's clothes are clean and nobody that I can see is starting a fistfight to claim the last bucket of drinkable water. SOME APOCALYPSE.

>> Last thing we see? The vaccine is released and ORDER IS RESTORED. Gag me with a fruit bat!


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