Notes from the Manager
Related Strips: #315: The Season of Giving
If you missed the update late Friday, you'll want to step back to #315 to read that and possibly the Notes from the Manager, as well.
More details about the shooting have emerged since a hearing last Wednesday, when the attempted murder charge was thrown out by the judge (as I expected):
[Woffard] Lomax, 31, told the judge he was at the movie with his girlfriend and her three teenagers, enjoying the film and laughing, when a man in front of him — not Cialella — told him to quiet down.
"We can't laugh?" Lomax recalled asking.
A second man threw popcorn at the family, and a brawl ensued. Lomax said he was fighting with the first man when the second man pulled out a gun and fired, striking him in the left arm.
A defense lawyer argued that Cialella was being choked and punched as he tried to break up the fight and fired in self-defense.
"He's a marksman," lawyer Greg Pagano said. "If he wanted to shoot to kill, he would have."
Some of Lomax's new account of the incident sounds a bit strange to me, considering that he previous told police that "Cialella was walking toward his family when he stood up and was shot," but perhaps the discrepancies between the two versions are attributable to the newspapers' editing, not Lomax himself.
Happy New Year, y'alls.
The movie they're watching is, of course, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I enjoyed it, but it failed to resonate with me as a love story (which was, unfortunately, the heart of it), in order to really make me fall in love with the film — even my massive crush on Cate Blanchett wasn't enough to make me care about Benjamin, despite a solid performance by Brad Pitt, well-aided by fantastic aging (and de-aging) special effects.
David Fincher's visuals were terrific, as I had expected, and there are definitely moments of brilliance in the film, so it was worth seeing. Even at 2 hours and 45 minutes, I didn't feel that it was too long, which says something in and of itself.
The comment about Taraji P. Henson's Southern black voice in the last panel (from a new customer character I call "Broseph"; he's with Chad of Chad & Trixie from the Mission: Impossible III strip) is one I've seen here and there on the internet, although I don't agree with it. The role of Queenie (Benjamin's adoptive mother) could have been a fairly stereotypical "Mammy" role, but Ms. Henson fills it out well, giving Queenie a heart; she's one of the strongest characters in the film.
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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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