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#787: The Future Is Ours, Part Two

March 11, 2013

Notes from the Manager

There’s a term coined by Timothy Leary — “set and setting” — in reference to the context in which people take psychoactive drugs: the idea being that the mindset and the setting in which you do the drugs has an effect on your experience of the drugs’ effects. If you’re in a good mindset and a good setting, you’re more likely to have a good trip. If you’re in a bad mindset and/or a bad setting, you’re more likely to have a bad trip.

I believe that this idea is true of movies, too, to an extent: with the right set and setting, nearly any movie-watching experience can be more enjoyable (if not enjoyable, exactly). Comedies are more fun when you’re sitting in an audience that’s enjoying itself. Horror movies are more fun with an audience that’s scared out of its wits. Movies that are “so bad they’re good” can be fun with a group of people sitting around to rip on them with… for some people, anyway. (Me, I can’t get into that shit; I always feel like I could be watching something that was legitimately good instead. Life is too short.) And so on.

My point here isn’t just about an audience, though, but of the projection and the theater, too:

As funny as I think that clip is, I think Lynch is being a bit of a curmudgeon here. I wouldn’t watch a movie on my smartphone, either, yet I have seen and loved a great many movies on my iPad mini and a good pair of headphones, which is high enough resolution that held at a normal distance from my head the screen is actually bigger than my TV. But yeah. A bigger screen is more immersive, which nearly always makes for a better experience. Even if the movie itself isn’t.

I digress. See you Friday!


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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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