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#306: Life and Debt

December 8, 2008

Notes from the Manager

Related Strips: #301: Franklin Onassis, All American; #302: Necessary Roughness; #303: The Game Plan; #304: All the Right Moves; #305: We Are Multiplex

If you miss the reference in the last panel, shame on you.

The funny thing about me and The Godfather is, as many movies as I've seen, I'd only seen bits and pieces of it throughout the years, here and there, never the whole thing in one sitting — until maybe two years ago. (I'm 34, if you didn't know. So yes, shame on me, too, for waiting so long.)

See, I don't care for the mobster genre. I've seen one episode of The Sopranos and thought it was pretty good; The Departed and Goodfellas are fantastic, of course... but generally, it's not a genre I go out of my way to see. Mobsters, contract killers, and the like are scum; they're not inherently cool, which most films and TV shows in the genre just seem to take as a given with its audience. And so many of them have so little basis in reality that you can't even seriously view them in that regard. As action movies, I can get past this sort of thing, but generally… just not my cup of tea.

So, a couple of years ago, I was in a phase where I felt I should watch some of "the classics" that I haven't seen, and I thought maybe it was time to sit down and watch all three Godfather movies in a weekend — and I was absolutely floored at how exhilirating, how absolutely flawless the first film is. There's nothing I can say that others haven't said about it, so: if you haven't seen it, do. Even if you don't really have any interest in it, see it. Its reputation as one of the best films ever made is very much deserved.

As for the others, I know a lot of people think the second one is even better than the first; I disagree (although, to be sure, the second one is still fantastic). But I also think the third one isn't nearly as bad as the consensus seems to think, either. It's not great. It's a little creepy, with the incestuous love story (especially in light of the fact that it's the director's daughter). But it's not terrible, by any means. It's just nothing special. It's The Further Adventures of Michael Corleone, whereas the first two really revolve around major power shifts in the "family's" history.

Anyway. End ramble.


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Review: Coherence (2013)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

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Written and directed by James Ward Byrkit.
Starring Emily Foxler, Hugo Armstrong, Nicholas Brendon, Elizabeth Gracen, Lauren Maher, Alex Manugian, Lorene Scafaria, and Maury Sterling.

A new Patreon backer at the $50 level opted out of the usual reward of a plug in the “Become a Multiplex Patron” box (above, on the website), asking instead for me to plug the 2013 indie science fiction filmCoherence (with which he is not affiliated). I was happy to oblige, and so “A fan of Coherence” — a.k.a. The Patron, as I’ll refer to him from here out — is, for the duration of his patronage, among Multiplex‘s supporters. (And, yes, I will review just about any movie a $50 backer asks me to.)

What really got my interest in the film (aside from being asked very nicely to see it) was that The Patron compared it to Shane Carruth’s Primer, one of the best no-budget sci-fi movies ever made. I can definitely see the comparison: both are decidedly low-budget films with small casts and a science-fictiony premise. I feel like seeing the film fairly blind is probably the best, so I won’t summarize the plot beyond the premise of eight friends having a dinner party when a comet passes over and Strange Things Happen, but I don’t think I’m quite as enthusiastic as The Patron.

Unfortunately, the “go in as blind as you can” suggestion means I feel like I need to be pretty vague. Some clunky (and largely unnecessary) exposition gets spat out early on, which tried my patience a bit, but it gets fun as the plot gets rolling. And the plot is definitely the star of the film, not the largely forgettable cast of affluent, Southern California white people or the dialogue, which often feels improvised (in that it neither pushes the story forward nor reveals character, as good dialogue ought to).

Despite some genuinely terrifically creepy or suspenseful moments in the film, a handful of contrived plot points hold it back from being much more than a fun genre flick for me, but I found myself wondering what would happen next — almost up to the very end. A late turn in the film got more of an eye-roll from me than the shock that I think it was supposed register. As always, your mileage may vary, but the film’s merits make it well worth a viewing, particularly for science fiction fans suffering from blockbuster fatigue.

Here’s the trailer! If it piques your interest, please do check it out. It’s available for rent from Amazon Instant Video or for purchase from its official website, among other places. (I never recommend reading YouTube comments, but definitely on’t read the comments if you want to stay away from spoilers.)

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