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“Contagion” Billboard is LITERALLY “Viral”

September 12, 2011 Leave a comment

So, now I have now seen “Contagion” and all the cards are on the table. I thought it was decent, but frankly, quite underwhelming. However, I have to give props for this brilliant marketing tool. After all, who needs a regular billboard when you can have a billboard made completely out of bacteria?

To gain publicity at the Toronto Film Festival, Warner Bros. tapped the Canadian advertising company Lowe Roche to design a form of marketing acute to the disturbing plot of Steven Soderbergh’s film. The artists used fungi and bacteria to illustrate some posters. When first hung up, they appeared like simple, blank billboards. However, after some time passed, onlookers were excited and horrified to see that the substances had rotted and evolved in a way that beautifully (and, at the same time, disgustingly) advertised the movie.

I must say that in the past decade or so of viral marketing, this is the first advertisement to take that phrase to a whole new level. Well done to the “Contagion” marketing team for really using the creative side of their brains.

Check out the awesome making-of video, below:

EW 25 Movies They “Can’t Wait to See”

August 17, 2011 Leave a comment

I really do enjoy Entertainment Weekly’s periodic lists. Last year, they announced what they felt were the ten most undeserving Best Picture wins of all time and I offered my own up for comparison. Also, I’ve thought that their piece on the 25 most controversial films ever made is worth taking another look at every once in a while. Every year, I look forward to their categorical opinions on filmmaking.

Recently, they released a preview list of some of their most anticipated films of the upcoming Oscar season. The article features some exclusive photos and info that I haven’t come across for certain features. In particular, my excitement towards Clint Eastwood’s Hoover biopic “J. Edgar” has reached a fever pitch. News that Leonardo DiCaprio will be donning a large amount of prosthetic make up to portray the crime-buster in his later years is highly enticing.

EW hasn’t ranked their list, and I definitely can’t say that all of these look very appetizing (“Abduction”? Really?), but I’d say my top five from these selections would look like:

5. “Drive”
4. “Contagion”
3. “J. Edgar”
2. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
1. “The Ides of March”

I will try to come out with a list of my own must-see list, soon. In the mean time, check out some of the new photos and tidbits over at EW’s official site, here.

NEW “Contagion” Trailer

July 14, 2011 1 comment

Yesterday, I got a shaky, poor-quality glimpse of the bootleg “Dark Knight Rises” teaser, said to be officially premiered tonight at midnight. Didn’t think this week could get much more exciting. I was wrong.

This has definitely been a film that’s been high on my must-see radar of 2011 for quite some time. Steven Soderbergh teaming with Matt Damon is always a treat (this is their fifth collaboration). However, it certainly doesn’t hurt to also bill Gwyneth Paltrow, Marion Cotillard, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, John Hawkes and Kate Winslet. It’s not much of a stretch to call that the best cast of the year, what with 14 nominations and 4 Oscar wins between them, already.

The trailer screams one word more than anything else, and it’s all I could have ever hoped for: DARK. Many pieces of entertainment featuring lethal outbreaks and deadly diseases have come about over the years, Wolfgang Petersen’s film “Outbreak” and Tom Clancy’s novel “Rainbow Six” being the most prominent. What all of those works seem to portray is what MIGHT happen in the case of a deadly virus unleashed upon the world’s population. Instead of following that same formula, “Contagion” seems to portray instead what DOES, or what WILL happen in that case scenario. And in the hands of such a capable director, one who is known for taking a no-holds-barred approach to tense subject matter, this film might not only be genuinely frightening, but also brilliant, as both a white-knuckle thriller and a touching human tragedy.

This having been shot in Chicago, I know a number of people who worked on it. Through them, I’ve been privy to a few scenes that definitely back up some of the themes I just foreshadowed. However, I really hate to spoil anything at all, so I’ll just keep them to myself.¬†I am a little miffed that they’ve pushed up the release from October to September. Having only finished shooting in the last month, I’m surprised they’re so confident in such a quick release. Also, September has become known as a no-man’s land for studios to dump films that get left over from summer’s slate, yet are not quite so confidence-inspiring to warrant a fall/holiday push. I hope that “Contagion” has not been lumped into said category.

Anyway, check out the fantastic trailer in full HD quality, below.