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#719: Money Shot

July 16, 2012

Notes from the Manager

Related Strips: #664: Friends in Weed; #713: Scene from Above, Part One; #714: Scene from Above, Part Two; #715: Scene from Above, Part Three; #716: Scene from Above, Part Four

A couple of details unimportant enough not to include here (or that will come up later and aren't spoilery):

1) Josh doesn't work for the pizza place again. It's just an old shirt and hat he could get blood all over. He's a bartender now.

2) Since it's a black and white movie, they used black blood for these effects shots to heighten the contrast. Black and white also makes adding these extra zombies a lot easier, since they don't need to color match. That's one of the reasons they chose black and white, other than just being creepier, of course.

3) Josh is being used way in the back of the shot (he's in the top right), so they didn't need to put any detail in his missing arm or do the usual zombie eyes they've been using in the other scenes. I realize that the footage of Josh is still in the camera, and that Franklin wouldn't have actually been able to drop him into the version he showed Josh, but it's not meant to be literally the exact shot that he sees; it's the finished version. Well, finished without graytones, because I've fallen far enough behind on Book 2 that I still can't spare the time to tone the regular updates.

4) The "shot we took last fall" Jason mentions in panel 3 was taken in #664.

I wanted to have someone say that the green screen really tied the room together, but there wasn't room. sigh

So like I mentioned in (3), I've been falling behind on Book 2, but the Chapter 8 eBook will come out this week. The final bonus strip for it is done; I just need to get the actual eBook finished up now.


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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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