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#780: Broken Clocks Crying Wolf

February 15, 2013

Notes from the Manager

So the Brandon Routh story here is four years old, but it's one of the things that first drove me nuts about movie news sites and inspired me to make Movie Make-out a (short-lived) reality. The gist: Latino Review “broke” the story that Brandon Routh was out as Superman from whatever the next Superman movie was going to be.

Obviously, that came to pass, but it was bullshit at the time, and circumstances changing after the fact do not, in fact, turn bullshit into gold. The trouble is, the rumor-mongers who cast out about a thousand unsourced (or anonymously sourced) “scoops” without confirming them rely on the perception that if they’re the first one to say something and it actually happens, that makes it retroactively appear to be true. It gives them credibility. It gets them readers. Which gets them ad revenue.

What this same sad, rumor-mongering excuse for a movie news site is saying about Harrison Ford and Episode VII today is that “the deal is done” for him to be in Episode VII. USA Today is parroting it. All the news sites are parroting it. Because it’s linkbait gold. But I’m calling bullshit. Maybe Ford is in talks; I’d be surprised if he wasn’t, if Solo is in Michael Arndt’s already-written outline for the film. But is the deal “done”? I’m not buying it. Not from that website.

UPDATE (2/20): Confirmed false by Mark Hamill: “I can tell you right away that we haven't signed any contracts.”


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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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