The greatest threat to the human race has always been our own bodies.

Our vulnerability to infectious diseases has caused the greatest calamities in recorded history, from the Black Plague to the astounding threat still posed by the common flu. But behind each health catastrophe is a story of blind greed or hubris, with humans spreading diseases due to rampant consumption, ecological destruction, or just plain ol' bureaucracy. Such is the case with the coronavirus, which, despite emerging in humans only recently, has made historic disruptions to everyday life. The World Health Organization recently declared the virus a pandemic, in addition to being a global emergency.

Luckily, we have movies to turn to in times like these to educate us on how to survive (and prevent) a global pandemic. So what can we learn from virus outbreak movies?

1. Contagion

Contagion is an especially relevant thriller that follows the global spread of a deadly virus, along with researchers' attempts to contain and cure the disease. As the plot progresses across several lines of perspective, we witness the mass social disorder caused by the pandemic.

But the real twist comes at the end, when we see the virus' source [SPOILER]: A bulldozer plows through a Chinese jungle, which disturbs a bat that infects a pig, which is then handled by a chef who doesn't wash his hands before shaking hands with Gwyneth Paltrow, who is Patient 0. So the lesson here is that the virus is entirely humans' fault for engaging in deforestation, and also wash your f*cking hands.

TV Features

How TV's "Good Cops" Promote Dangerous Narratives About Real-Life Police

Shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine make cops seem harmless, an illusion tainted with centuries of racism.

Two summers ago, during one of the darkest periods in my personal life, I found solace in Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a sitcom that stars Andy Samberg as Jake Peralta, an NYPD detective with an impressive track record of solved cases despite his goofy, unsophisticated demeanor. Since its premiere in 2013, the show has been commended for its representation of LGBTQ+ and BIPOC people; the recurring cast includes two very smart (and never overtly sexualized) Latina women, as well as two Black men in the precinct's top roles. In 2018, the show received a GLAAD Media Award for its depiction of queer characters. Throughout its seven seasons, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has addressed serious issues like workplace sexual harassment, reconciling with an absent parent, and coming out to disapproving family members, all while retaining a sharp, tasteful sense of silly humor. Rotten Tomatoes has given multiple seasons of Brooklyn Nine-Nine a perfect 100% rating, likening it to "comfort food."

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Film Lists

7 Movies to Look Forward to in 2019 (That Aren't from Comic Books)

Look, "Pokémon: Detective Pikachu" looks like it could be really, really bad; but a true pokemon fan shouldn't care at this point.

From new seasons of binge-worthy favorites to horrible reboots of reality TV, 2019 will bring some of our dreams and nightmares to the small screen.

On the silver screen, this year will bring a record-breaking number of superhero movies to theaters. But a windfall of new features from masterminds like James Cameron, M. Night Shyamalan, and J.J. Abrams are also slated for release. Here are seven upcoming films on which to pin all your hopes for the future of cinema:

1. Alita: Battle Angel

Empire

Release date: February 14

Most of America had probably never heard of Alita: Battle Angel before the teaser trailer dropped a little over a year ago, but heck, the visuals look darn good. Apparently this film has been a passion project of James Cameron's for years, as the director first announced it was going into development in 2003. The movie was held up due to Cameron's work on Avatar, and after proving his talent with some impressive rewrites, the reigns were handed to action film auteur Robert Rodriguez. This movie looks like an epic cyberpunk sci-fi classic in the making.

2. Us

EW

Release date: March 22

Get Out was a perfect horror movie, and no one saw it coming. Us gives us the return of Jordan Peele as writer and director, and this time we're ready for it from the get-go. The trailer is a work of marketing genius, notably taking the Northern California hip-hop classic by Luniz, "I Got 5 On It," and weaving it into a haunting, ambient backdrop. The twist of the film seems to have already been revealed in all of the trailers, but for brevity: a family moves to a new beachfront home in California and are soon visited by shadowy figures. The film seems more like a straight-forward slasher film than the psychologically stimulating Get Out, and everyone should be pumped.

US Trailer (2019) www.youtube.com


3. Glass

Universal Pictures

Release date: January 18

Okay, okay, so this is kind of a comic book movie—but not really! M. Night made these guys up all on his own, and as a sequel to his beloved sleeper-hit Unbreakable and Split, we should all be excited. It's uncharted territory for both the fans and M. Night himself, so we're all in this together. The trailers have been hyping the movie for months, and the cast is brimming with fan favorites, like the unparalleled Sarah Paulson, the ghoulishly talented James McAvoy, and the legend himself, Samuel L. Jackson. Oh, and Bruce Willis looks like he'll be in this too, but who knows if he'll be acting, or just kind of…there. Check out the trailer below.

4. Star Wars IX

Disney

Release date: December 20

Can the Star Wars sequel trilogy be redeemed from the abysmal fan response to The Last Jedi? Well, Disney scrapped the underdog director strategy and put the King of Cliffhangers, JJ Abrams, back in the saddle, so at least we know we're going to get something we're used to. Promotional material for this final chapter in the trilogy has been sparse, and the beloved main characters from the original trilogy are effectively un-reprisable. At this point, the fans are all just wondering what could possibly be next. Well, one bit of good news is we're getting the original Lando back!

5. Pet Sematary

Paramount Pictures

Release date: April 5

Of all the horror movies that have been rebooted in the last 10 years, none has better deserved a revamp than Pet Sematary. The remake looks dark, eerie, chilling, and refined. From the trailer, Jason Clarke seems to bring a much more nuanced approach to the character of Louis Creed, and it also looks like they've done away with the distasteful element of the "ancient Indian burial ground." As far as horror movie remakes go, this one looks like it's worth the facelift.

Pet Sematary (2019)- Official Trailer- Paramount Pictures www.youtube.com


6. Godzilla: King of Monsters

Warner Brothers

Release date: May 31

Alright, almost everyone in America was monstrously disappointed by the 2014 Godzilla reboot. The pacing was sluggish, and we didn't get any of that sweet, sweet Godzilla action until the last 15 minutes of the movie. Well, the producers at Warner Brothers heard our pleas and answered with Godzilla: King of Monsters. With two trailers promising epic monster brawls and dramatic existential conflicts, both the hardcore and casual Godzilla fan should be excited.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters - Official Trailer 2 - In Theaters May 31 www.youtube.com

7. Pokémon: Detective Pikachu

Warner Brothers

Release date: May 10

If you were born in the 90's and had a halfway decent childhood, odds are you played a lot of Pokemon growing up. For us now-adult poke-fans, the idea of a live-action, feature-length film starring our favorite magical monsters seemed to be relegated to the world of cheap but excellent fanfiction. But no more. Our dreams have been made real, with the confusing (and potentially disastrous) casting of Ryan Reynolds as everyone's favorite electric mouse, Pikachu. It looks like it could be really, really bad; but a true pokemon fan shouldn't care at this point. We just want to see Pokemon in the real world - if we have to suffer through Reynold's annoying yammering for an hour and a half, so be it.

POKEMON Detective Pikachu Trailer (2019) www.youtube.com


Ahmed is a media writer, tech enthusiast, and college student. He has a Twitter: @aahsure


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