Notes from the Manager
So… #350, if that sort of thing means anything to you. Me, not so much (I get more excited about the year anniversaries every July 10th), but thank you for reading all the same, everyone.
The movie the boys are watching is Dito Montiel's Fighting, starring Channing Tatum and Terrence Howard.
You can see the trailer over at Apple, if you want, but honestly, though, the trailer doesn't do the movie a lot of justice. From its hip-hop soundtrack to the generic voiceover that spells out the film's ridiculous plot as if it was the slightest bit original, it's simply all wrong for the movie. For a better taste of the film, watch this minute-long clip from one of the best fights in the film (as well as the scene they're watching in the second-to-last panel):
That's not to say the movie is all action; it's not. There are only five or six fights, and only a couple of them last more than a few minutes — but they're good. And even though the cast is mostly just adequate, co-writer and director Dito Montiel infuses Fighting with a swaggering, streetwise sort of charm and a lot of visual style — not to mention a bumping soundtrack filled with funk and soul.
From the second the credits start rolling, you'll realize that Fighting is essentially a modernized, relatively serious take on a blaxploitation film… except, you know, starring Channing Tatum. It's definitely worth a rental or a matinee (perhaps with a drink or two beforehand, to get you through the film's weaker spots).
Anyway, thanks once again to Jackson Ferrell, Brandon J. Carr and Steve Napierski for their guest strips earlier this week and last. Their comics are, of course, now in the Guest Strips page.
See you Friday! Multiplex will return to its usual Monday/Thursday updates next week.
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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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