Coma

Coma patients

In the movie If I Stay, Chloe Grace Moretz plays a teenage girl who winds up in a coma when she’s in a car accident with her family. As her body lies in a hospital bed, her consciousness stands to the side, able to observe what’s going on in the room. She can watch her loved ones visit, see her boyfriend play her a song. And she also flashes back to past events while contemplating whether or not she should wake up and stay alive. Her choice, apparently. Do comatose patients actually have out-of-body experiences? Some claim so, but OBEs are not really scientifically recognized, at least not as anything other than a dream. Movies aren’t subject to the rules of accepted science, though, and that goes for depictions of comas in general. In 2006, a doctor conducted a study of 30 movies featuring comatose persons (not including Liz Garbus‘s solid HBO doc Coma, made after the study) and concluded that only two of them were accurately portrayed: Reversal of Fortune and The Dreamlife of Angels (the study is published in the medical journal “Neurology”, which you can pay to read here; but you can download the data-supplement list of movie titles here). That was mainly for what comas are like externally and for the patient afterward, however. There’s not really much to go on as far as what it’s like internally from the perspective of the person in the coma. So, this week’s edition of The Movies Tell Us is only briefly focused on […]

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Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Safety Not Guaranteed A trio of magazine writers (Aubrey Plaza, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni) head to a small coastal town in Washington to investigate an intriguing classified ad. Once there they discover as much about themselves as they do the oddball (Mark Duplass) behind the time travel-themed ad. If the synopsis sounds hokey just know that the resulting film is a sweet and simple delight from beginning to end. Plaza balances her usual cynicism and sarcasm with a true emotionally satisfying performance while Johnson and Duplass bring heart and laughs as well. It’s rare to see such a small film manage such an uplifting finale, but writer Derek Connolly and director Colin Trevorrow manage something special here that deserves an audience. Also available on DVD. [Extras: Featurettes]

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