A man's stress manifests itself in the form of a vicious, spiteful butt-demon (yep, really) in the horror comedy 'Milo,' and although it's packed with a fantastic cast, it doesn't quite stick the landing.
Scott Weidemeyer (Sam Eidson) is an antisocial curmudgeon who lives with his grandmother and spends his entire week looking forward to that one night when he plays Dungeons & Dragons with his four nerd buddies. For a powerless guy like Scott, who works as a donut store delivery boy, D&D is the ultimate power fantasy: as the Game Master of the group, he creates elaborate storylines and manipulates the lives of dozens of characters. It's the place where someone who has no control over his life gets to feel in control for a change.
The very funny and very wise 'Zero Charisma' is what happens when that refuge from the real world comes under attack. When Scott's D&D group loses one of its members, he finds a replacement at the local RPG store: Miles (Garrett Graham), who, as it turns out belongs to a new breed of geek. He knows 'Star Trek' and 'Star Wars,' but he has a girlfriend. His website, the oxymoronically titled GeekChic.com, gets hundreds of thousands of hits a day. He drinks and throws parties (that don't involve tabletop games). For a nerd, he actually seems kind of... cool. And his arrival in the game throws it into chaos. Scott may be the Game Master but he finds himself increasingly marginalized as his buddies look more and more to Miles for guidance, advice and friendship.
To watch 'The Place Beyond the Pines' is to observe characters making discoveries. Discoveries about their past, their environment, their heritage. When the revelations come they aren't met with gasps or dropped objects, but with an understanding, an acceptance that, yes, this is, indeed, the way things are.
While you'd swear with every bone in your body that this vast, rich, symbol-heavy tale was surely based on a thick doorstopper of a novel, the surprising fact remains that it is, actually, an original screenplay. It seems, though, a natural progression after the character portraiture of Derek Cianfrance's last film 'Blue Valentine.' This new one has the essence of 'Blue Valentine' but blown open far and wide.
It's a little weird that a movie about the dangers of doing something so long that it becomes rote and stale is, at times, incredibly rote and stale. Write what you know, I guess; 'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone' has a couple big laughs, a few small laughs, and a whole lot of going through the Hollywood mainstream comedy motions. As a movie, it's a mess; in select moments, it's occasionally hilarious. It's probably best appreciated as a playlist of highlight clips on YouTube.
Watching Hollywood's endless parade of genre remakes, sequels and ripoffs can get pretty discouraging -- enough to convince you there's no undiscovered country left out there; that it's all been done before and filmmakers will keep repeating themselves over and over again until the end of time. Thank goodness, then, for something like 'You're Next,' which is scary and fun, and, best of all, fresh and original. It restores your faith in the future of horror movies.
What happens at the end of a romantic comedy? After the whirlwind romance and the big proposal, do the characters live happily ever after? Not so, says 'I Give It a Year,' a British flick that seeks to flip the rom-com formula on its head.
Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl makes his directorial debut with 'Sound City,' a documentary about the origins and evolution of the famed music studio and the musicians who recorded there.