Notes from the Manager
Related Strips: #565: What Price Victory?
In case you didn't watch the Oscars, yes, that's how this played out. How to Train Your Dragon lost to Toy Story 3 in Best Animated Feature, and John Powell's score for Dragon lost to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross's The Social Network score. At the very least, Dragon lost to two very solid nominees.
To the non-winning nominees in the Best Original Screenplay, Best Director or Best Picture categories, I'm afraid I can't say the same. The King's Speech — which I enjoyed — had a perfectly contrived Oscarbait script, solid but unremarkable direction, and was a terrific film overall — but not one for the ages, like The Social Network or even the dark horse nominee, Winter's Bone. It was this year's Shakespeare in Love… and, apparently the Academy agreed. Alas.
If you watched the show, who were you rooting for that either got the Oscar or didn't?
SHIRTS ON SALE! I have a clearance sale on all of the T-shirts in my store, because… I'm trying to clear out of my stock. (That's what clearance sales are usually for, right?) I'm
down the my last three sold out of Copyright shirts, and Popcorn and Breakfast Club are dirt cheap. ORIGINAL ART FOR SALE! If you loved the Shortpacked! guest strip (guest starring Jason!) I did a while back, you can bid on the original art — plus a color print of the finished strip — over on eBay! The bidding on this item ends tomorrow (Tuesday)! Aaaand sold!
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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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