Notes from the Manager
You've probably heard about this by now, but less than a month after Netflix announced it's (stupid) idea to split Netflix into two separate websites (and divisions), with "Qwikster" as the umbrella for its DVD offerings, they've backpedaled.
And, like before, they announced it in a blog post. Brilliant. While there's some merit to realizing when you've made a bad decision, the split was never a good idea and all three of these major announcements has been handled incredibly poorly. (Trying to pass off the price hike as a good thing was pretty insulting, I thought.) This whole thing is a PR nightmare that just won't end for them, and Reed Hastings is basically making himself look like a fucking idiot. It's pretty likely he's going to idiot himself out of a job soon, too, if their board of directors has been paying attention to the stock price…
Now, I'm a die-hard movie geek, and I think their streaming offerings and DVD offerings are still worth the higher price, so I'm still with them, but my faith in the company is pretty damned low at this point. (Full disclosure: I canceled my disc service when they announced the split and then reinstated it after they backpedaled.)
How about you? Are you still with Netflix, or have you abandoned ship already — after the price hike or the Qwikster announcement, or after this…?
UNRELATED NOTE: The comments section no longer requires a login — but I will be moderating with an iron fist, just as before. No douchebaggery allowed.
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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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