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#316: Silence Is Golden

January 5, 2009

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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Multiplex Movie Review: The Island (2005)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

multiplex-island

This is  not as accessible to people who haven’t seen the movie as I like these reviews to be, but if you’re not familiar with The Island or Never Let Me Go at all, the premises are that clones are raised and educated as “spare parts” — which is just plain absurd. (The idea that such a thing would be allowed by any reasonable society made the premise impossible for me to swallow, except as a very far-fetched Twilight Zone-style scenario. At least in The Island, it was secret and illegal.)

An absurd premise isn’t a deal-breaker, though, really. But The Island never lets you go past its implausible premise, because it is constantly trying to explain how it all works in equally stupid ways, further compounded by Bay’s typical disregard for logic and continuity:

  • Once Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor) learns the truth about their lives, he goes to the apartment of Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johannson) so they can escape. She greets him at the door by saying, “How sweet! You came to see me off” (I’m paraphrasing some of that)… yet their next scene, moments later, she is surprised and exclaims that he isn’t allowed in the female tower (as it’s called). This might be able to be explained away by some contrived explanation, but… the two moments feel completely incongruous.
  • The massive underground facility the clones are kept in is maintained by presumably hundreds of normal human employees (including Steve Buscemi, Sean Bean, and Yvette Nicole Brown’s characters) — complete with a showroom for ultra-rich potential clients. Yet Lincoln and Jordan emerge from it into desert with nothing around. No helicopter landing pad, no parking lot… nothing. We even see a helicopter landing pad later in the film, yet it is again nowhere to be seen at the very end of the movie.
  • Pursued by mercenaries, Lincoln and Jordan end up in a train station. The mercenaries open fire, killing Steve Buscemi, and a panic ensues inside the station… yet Lincoln and Jordan run onto the train with oblivious workers and passengers milling around calmly — and it then proceeds to leave the station as if no one has just gotten murdered… and arrives some time later in Los Angeles, without incident.

Minor or not, the sheer number of them just keep piling up. sigh

Anyway.

This is the last of the Multiplex Movie Reviews I’ll be sharing here in the Deleted Scenes blog for the near future. I hope you’ve enjoyed them!

Patreon patrons and Kickstarter backers will see more of these in their respective feeds come January — as well as the Multiplex: The Revenge bonus comics, of course. (There may even be a few movie review comics during the semester as time permits, but I can’t really promise anything. I’ve got A LOT of work to do for my thesis!)

EDIT: By the way, I wasn’t familiar with Parts: The Clonus Horror when I did this strip. (I don’t watch MST3K; I can’t bring myself to watch movies that shitty, even if there are incredibly funny motherfuckers talking over them.) But several people have told me about it since. These kinds of things are usually largely coincidental (or unintentional) — different people independently arrive at similar ideas all the time. $130 million movies generally don’t need to rip off obscure B-movie (or book, or comic book) plots when there are thousands of equally good ideas that they can legitimately use for less money than a settlement.

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