Pandemic Film Review: “Contagion”, and How Do I Rip Contagion and Other DVDs

Starring: Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Bryan Cranston, Jennifer Ehle, Sanaa Lathan

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh

Rated: PG-13

Running Time: 106 minutes

The COVID-19 is raging around the world, which has stimulated people’s interest in pandemic movies. As a result, some pandemic-themed movies, such as “Contagion”, make them back into the top movie charts of iTunes and other streaming services. “Contagion” is a 2011 release directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh and it gets a strong cast including Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Matt Damonm, Kate Winslet, and more.

Years ago I’ve already watched this film on DVD. Since it offers a parallel to current coronavirus outbreak, our family decides to watch it again. My DVD player cannot function properly, so I digitized my “Contagion” DVD to MP4 with a DVD ripper. I’ve attached the guide on how to rip a movie DVD to digital file after my movie review part, in case someone also needs to rip or backup his/her own DVD collection for fair use. I saved the digital copy to my USB flash drive and then watched it on my TV with my family. 

My review of “Contagion”

In the current context of the noval coronavirus epidemic, “Contagion” is like a documentary. The film depicts a virus called MEV-1, transmitted from bat to pig to human. It spreads around the world and destroys tens of millions of humans in a very short time.

This movie shows multiple story lines, but the main line is clear. The director uses very precise details and deliberate control, and a very restrained lens language to describe a very real end-time scene. Humanity is vulnerable and very real. There are no lone heroes or government conspiracy theories which we always see in American movies. Everyone is an ordinary person. This constitutes a world that is not dramatic, but is also most dramatic and close to the real world.

The film doesn’t make people feel too long. Instead, there are too many parts that are just mentioned briefly yet appropriately, such as the betrayal of the dead wife, the bureaucracy of Chinese officials trying to hide the truth, the game between the U.S. government and the media, the sacrifice of political struggle, the real address of Hong Kong street, and the most popular mobile phone in Japan, etc. The CDC official played by Kate Winslet has no special ups and downs, and dies. The human body is extremely fragile in front of the mysterious nature.

As the story unfolds, the director takes us peeling off both the truths of the virus and human nature. Some people seem to be an apathetic government mouthpiece, but they will become ordinary people with blood and flesh in the face of their families. Some people show up in masks of heroes and are eventually found despicable like villains. All characters in the film are vivid and real.

There are no earth-shattering stories in this movie, no heroes born out of nowhere, no sensational screams, no heartbreaking separation. There is no miracle. There is no compassion. Everything is carried out in order, as indifferent as this plague that it comes with no reason and will eventually leave.

How to Rip a DVD?

First of all, we need to download a piece of DVD ripping software, because it is almost impossible to rip a commercial DVD simply by copying and pasting. There are many choices. After reading so many reviews and comparisons, I choose cost-effective WinX DVD Ripper Platinum and it doesn’t disappoint me.

Why I choose WinX DVD Ripper Platinum?

1. It supports different kinds of video DVDs, including old and new movies, TV shows, fitness videos, and more DVDs. It even helps me handle a scratched DVD successfully.

2. It allows me to make 1:1 DVD backup (DVD to ISO file/DVD folder) as well as movie-only ripping (DVD to MP4, H.264, AVI, WMV, iPhone, iPad, Android device, game console…).

3. It can maintain the original image and audio quality while compressing a few gigabytes data to around 1GB only.

4. It works fast, probably taking a few minutes only to rip a DVD, by taking the advantage of multi-core processors, hardware acceleration, and other technologies.

So my guide is based on WinX DVD Ripper Platinum.  

Step 1. Insert your DVD into DVD drive. After that, open the DVD ripper and click DVD Disc button to import the DVD. I really love the feature that it can detect the correct main movie title automatically, even if there are some fake titles in a 99-title DVD.

Step 2. Choose an output format according to your own needs from the Output Profile panel where over 350 profiles are provided.

Step 3. Hit RUN to begin ripping DVD.

Name Our Podcast and Win Some DVD's! [ENDED]

CONGRATS TO RONALD O FOR HIS SUBMISSION!! OUR PODCAST WILL BE CALLED “BEHIND THE MIKES” AND START SUNDAY APRIL 7TH!

In April Media Mikes will begin airing a weekly podcast. This will give our readers a chance to catch up on up to the minute news, reviews and hear excerpts from the interviews we bring you. But there’s one problem: we can’t think of a name for the show. We’re stuck on “MEDIA MIKES.COM PRESENTS……” We’re hoping our readers will submit some suggestions. In the past we’ve featured columns with names like “Behind the Screen” or “On the Cutting Room Floor,” but those are pretty generic (a quick search shows me no less then a dozen “Cutting Room Floor” pod casts already out there). You know the Mikes aren’t generic so neither should their show be. All you have to do is leave a suggestion below. The one chosen will earn the winner a 3-pack of Horror DVDs. If the same title is suggested more then once and chosen everyone that suggested it will be placed in a drawing and one of them will win. This contest ends Sunday, March 31. Good luck!

Find WWE’s “Barricade” DVD’s on September 25th that are hidden across the country for fans

BARRICADE IS AVAILABLE ON DVD ON SEPTEMBER 25TH!

WHAT: On September 25th, BARRICADE DVD’s will be hidden throughout 25 cities across the US. Clues to the locations where DVDs are hidden will be sent out via Twitter and Facebook on the BARRICADE Facebook and Twitter pages. Fans can also check in via Foursquare and if they are in a location where DVDs are hidden they will be entered to win exclusive WWE merchandise!
WHEN: Tuesday, September 25th
WHERE: Location in a city near you. Check the BARRICADE Facebook and Twitter page.

Markets included in this:

· Atlanta
· Baltimore
· Boston
· Chicago
· Cleveland
· Dallas-Ft. Worth
· Denver
· Detroit
· Houston
· Indianapolis
· LosAngeles
· Miami
· Minneapolis
· New York
· Orlando
· Philadelphia
· Phoenix
· Pittsburgh
· Portland
· Sacramento
· San Francisco
· Seattle
· St. Louis
· Tampa-St. Pete
· Washington DC

About WWE Studios:
WWE Studios continues to strategically diversify its slate of films, which includes theatrical releases and direct-to-home premieres, under the guidance of President Michael Luisi. Upcoming films for WWE Studios include: Dead Man Down, which was co-financed with IM Global and will be distributed by FilmDistrict, starring Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace; The Hive, which was co-produced with Troika Pictures, starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin; and No One Lives, which was co-produced with Pathé Films and premiered at Midnight Madness at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, starring Luke Evans and WWE Superstar Brodus Clay™. For additional information, go to www.wwe.com/inside/overtheropes/wwestudios

About BARRICADE:
Terrance Shade (Eric McCormack) takes his children on a holiday getaway to a cabin in the woods. But when a blizzard buries the house, the family finds themselves trapped and without communication. As the storm surges on outside, a sinister presence materializes. Unable to explain it, and unable to escape it, they quickly realize that maybe they haven’t locked the evil out…instead they’ve just locked it in. The film stars Eric McCormack, Jody Thompson, Connor Dwelly, Ryan Grantham and Donnelly Rhodes. Directed by Andrew Currie. Written by Michelbrent Collings. Available on DVD exclusively at Walmart on September 25th. For additional information, go to www.facebook.com/BarricadeMovie or www.BarricadeMovie.com

Marvel Animated Collection DVDs Giveaway [ENDED]

THANK YOU FOR ENTERING, THE CONTEST HAS ENDED. WINNERS HAVE BEEN CHOSEN AND NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL. PLEASE CHECK BACK EVERY WEEK FOR NEW GIVEAWAYS!

To celebrate the release of Marvel’s The Avengers, we would like to DVD the follow DVD collection set, “Marvel Animated Features: 3-Movie Collection” and “Ultimate Avengers Movie Collection”. If you would like to win one of these great prizes, leave a comment below with your favorite Marvel characters! This giveaway will be open until Monday May 15th, Eastern Time and is only open to residents of the United States. Only one entry per person, per household; all other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Media Mikes will randomly pick out winners and alert the winners via email.

“Marvel Animated Features: 3-Movie Collection” consists of the following:
PLANET HULK: A whole new world of hurt! He was a monster, impossible to control, too dangerous to ignore. So Earth’s mightiest heroes exiled him into outer space. But now THE INCREDIBLE HULK crash-lands on the distant planet SAKAAR, ruled by the tyrannical RED KING.
THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN: Past and present collide in this epic adventure that reveals the origin of Iron Man.
DOCTOR STRANGE: Darkness is winning. Yet there is hope… Join Dr. Stephen Strange as he embarks on a wondrous journey to the heights of a Tibetan mountain, where he seeks healing at the feet of the mysterious Ancient One.

“Ultimate Avengers Movie Collection” consists of the following:
ULTIMATE AVENGERS: “The Ultimates,” this is the extraordinary story of six very independent heroes who, like it or not, must fight as one to save the world.
ULTIMATE AVENGERS 2: To save humanity, the Earth’s mightiest heroes must reunite for a rematch of heroic proportions. These mightiest of heroes have battled the aliens before, and barely survived.
NEXT AVENGERS: Whenever the forces of evil threatened mankind, Earth’s mightiest heroes the Avengers were there to stop them – until they made the ultimate sacrifice in their final fight with the indestructible robot, Ultron. If these young heroes have any hope of winning they must find the missing Hulk and come together as…the Next Avengers!