Notes from the Manager
While researching this strip, I stumbled across this artcle from the Chicago Sun-Times, from November 8, 2003: "Fires allegedly set in theaters: Feds say projectionist union members tried to intimidate owners." Man, truth is stranger than fiction. (UPDATE: Apparently the full 9-page release about their arrest and their 32-page indictment are available from the Department of Justice website. Scroll down to the November 7, 2003, entry — my birthday!)
But there you have it. Alas, Franklin is still fired from the Multiplex 10, but at least he's not out $600 in this economy, right? (Not that he seemed too worried about it in #306.…) Anyway, he'll land on his feet, though. Promise.
Sharp-eyed readers might notice that the calendar is on November in the background of panels 1–3, and that the poster is for Twilight. If you've never picked up on the pattern, the poster in the manager's station is always the big new release that week. This is because the whole football arc took place in (you guessed it) November, and this little epilogue to that takes place around Black Friday.
I'll be adding the "interlude strip" (which I posted in the Multiplex Forum around Thanksgiving) into the archives in the next few days, since this is where it fits chronologically. Aaand so for Monday, I can catch up with real time and, finally, step boldly into December.
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Saturday, October 4, 2014
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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