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#376: Hiding in Plain Sight

July 16, 2009

Notes from the Manager

Related Strips: #269: Old School, Part Two; #375: It’s Like I Don’t Know You Anymore

Apologies to the proprietors of The Brown Elephant, City Olive and Bon Bon, for misappropriating your storefronts and bastardizing your names. ("Super Bon Bon" is a lackluster twist on that store's name, but I couldn't resist the Soul Coughing reference.)

Despite all the fake businesses, the comic book store displayed on Jason's T-shirt — Third Coast Comics — is real (and it happens to be in Edgewater, not far from the Calo Theatre). It's my regular comics shop, and one of the best comics shops I've ever been in, nevermind just in the Chicago area. If you check it out, tell Terry you heard about his store in Multiplex. He may not give you a discount or anything, but he'll probably say, "You read that?"

Also — of course — the Calo Theatre is very much real. (Here is a photo of approximately the final panel from this strip. You can see more images of the Calo Theatre — taken with kind permission of the staff of the Brown Elephant — at my Flickr page.)

For those not familiar with Chicago's north side, when Jason mentions that he grew up around that area, he is referring to having grown up in Rogers Park (as mentioned in #269); Andersonville, where the (former) Calo Theatre resides, is a short bike ride from the RP.

And lastly, when one panel takes me eight hours to draw it, you better believe it's gonna be enlarged as a new TopWebComics vote incentive.


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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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