Contagion

(R) ★★☆☆☆

If you’ve ever wanted to see Gwyneth Paltrow die a horrible death, you’ll love Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion … for the first 10 minutes, anyway. The rest of this pandemic virus disaster flick falls flat, thanks to an overstuffed cast (Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet, Marion Cottilard) without much to do and a plot that’s more concerned with its complex intersections than with creating a real sense of fear.

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LOVE CORP: Years ago, the showrooms of the Strip regularly featured orchestras, gamely entertaining what I like to imagine as a nobler breed of casino drunkards. Those days are long gone, but something of that enduring Vegas spirit lives on in groups such as Thievery Corporation, which are playing poolside at the Cosmopolitan on Sept. 10 ($45).

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