[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…
The Kings of Summer
Why live when you can rule.
Joe Toy, on the verge of adolescence, finds himself increasingly frustrated by his single father, Frank's attempts to manage his life. Declaring his freedom once and for all, he escapes to a clearing in the woods with his best friend, Patrick, and a strange kid named Biaggio. He announces that they are going to build a house there, free from responsibility and parents. Once their makeshift abode is finished, the three young men find themselves masters of their own destiny, alone in the woods.
Features the most accurate depiction of a game of Monopoly.
This year has given me two absolutely wonderful viewing experiences, both centred around a classic coming of age tale. Mud took the serious route and The Kings of Summer the emphatic and comedic one. Different films with at their centre a similar heart. And I love them both equally.
The most impressive thing about The Kings of Summer is that it manages to capture the magic and problems of childhood in such a way that it never feels like it's manipulating you with cheap sentiment. It is an honest film, that finds its drama in small moments and its humour in playful absurdity and witty dialogue.
The story is the perfect for exploring the central themes of friendship, family and…
Okay kids. Storytime.
So last fall I was having a conversation with C. Robert Cargill, the guy who wrote Sinister.* This was right after a screening of Sinister and I asked him if he was considering making the leap to directing. And his answer was something that's stuck with me ever since.
He said no, because he thinks that you're born with the ability to direct a movie. It's not something that can be taught or can be learned. It's a spark that you either have or don't have, and he doesn't think he has it.
I fully agree, and in extreme cases, you can see that spark. I like to say nobody taught…
Ah, the Summers of my youth. When the weeks stretched languorously before me like the naked women in my dreams, and all seemed possible and achievable. The world was my oyster and I could be the master of my destiny - as long as I was home for tea time and I took my shoes off before I came back in the house.
The Kings of Summer captures that feeling brilliantly, except the Ohio setting is far sunnier, more exotic and a bit more wooded than the Scottish Borders. Someone would have noticed if I'd built a makeshift bothy in the middle of some arable farmland, and I doubt the farmers would have liked me hunting their cattle. And on…
I never thought I would enjoy these coming-of-age movies this much, especially with the new wave in recent years - they're everywhere - but here we are. While this isn't one of the best it has a few things working in its favor, most notably an adventurous spirit and a distinct sense of defiance and stubbornness found in the three main characters. They are misunderstood (or so they think) teenagers who are fed up with their uncool, annoying parents. They decide to get away from their boring families and build a house in a nearby forest so they can be their own masters, with no one left to boss them around.
There's quite a bit of humor in the movie…
Vivaciously adventurous and sweetly nostalgic, The Kings of Summer is bound to strike a chord with anyone who once dreamt of escapism and the embracement of simplicity – which, let’s face it, is basically all of us. The film provided a visceral experience which subsequently evoked memories of my own childhood and my juvenile wishes for minimalism. The highs and the lows, the recollections of the things I built and the places I gallivanted around insistently simmered to the vanguard of my mind thanks to this delightful trip down memory lane (even though I don't have nearly an inch of the audacity to leave home like these guys did).
Set in the current day, The Kings of Summer nevertheless taps…
shit. don't know why i bothered finishing it.
It had been a while since I last really enjoyed a movie.
Somehow the film industry keeps on churning out these “coming of age” stories, but here, with Chris Galletta’s finely honed script, you have something that touches the adolescent in all of us. So many scenes, while either tropes or absurdities, still manage to maintain a degree of universal truth – a package of feelings and themes that each of us no doubt felt and experienced during those tumultuous years as we edged towards adulthood.
The acting here is just fine, and I especially enjoyed Nick Offerman as the single father with a rapid and acerbic wit. I found myself anxiously awaiting his return to the screen so I could hear the next delicious utterance from his bearded mouth. An example:…
The Kings of Summer as a film suffers from the same problem as its main character Joe Toy and his awful caterpillar moustache. Both film and teenager desire to appear older and wiser than they really are, but fail to understand that life is more beautiful if you let it come as you are.
My issues with the film are not its contents or characters, but the manner in which it flounders in its sea of genres. The balance between comedy and drama is poorly exercised and its strength depends more on the father and son relationship, the dynamics between your best friend and your crush, and less on a ridiculous portrayal of overbearing parents and bizarre sidekicks to incorporate…
This film reminds me of "My Neighbor Totoro" because both films rely more on situation and characters than conflict and tension. This film is also different than most of coming-of-age films because "The Kings of Summer" doesn't talk about first love, first kiss/sex, social status, angst, and insecurity intensely. This film is about a group of teenagers who go into outside their comfort zones.
A blogger said that most critics don't praise "young people who act as young people" because it's so easy. But this film proves that "young people who act as young people" isn't always easy. The actors are awkward and there's so little chemistry between them. Okay, maybe in real life we don't have chemistry with our…
One of my favorite movies growing up was "Stand By Me", the coming-of-age tale about four 12-year-old boys who go on an adventure to see a dead body. "The Kings of Summer" is a fun, inspiring 2014 doppelganger to the Reiner cult classic.
In "Kings of Summer", we follow Joe and Patrick, two middle-class suburbanite teenagers whose distaste for the mediocre and sometimes crushingly obnoxious existence of their parents decide to disappear in the woods to build their own house and live, as they say, "like men".
A fun, occasionally funny, semi-serious movie about the slow agony of growing up ordinary, and what happens when two best friends are wedged apart by a girl.
The Kings of Summer is quite funny at times, it looks quite pretty and has several well directed and edited music sequences. It could have been a well rounded film.
Unfortunately its serious moments aren't handled well, and therefore falls flat throughout the entire second half. Its overuse of slow motion quickly becomes irritating and gimmicky, shot choice during dialogue scenes feels awkward, but most damaging is its all too conspicuous use of patronising visual metaphors in its attempt to evoke the protagonist's character arc.
It feels like a selection of well written, directed and acted comedy sketches and music videos, thrown into a predictable and poorly realised narrative.
Between this and Mud and The Way Way Back, 2013 was a good year for coming-of-age films. Pity I'm just catching up with them now.
Despite its predictability, Kings is a charming, believable, and often hilarious treat.
Seek this one out. You won't regret it.
- Ferris Bueller's Day Off
- Teen Wolf
- The Breakfast Club
- American Pie
- Before Midnight
- Only God Forgives
- 12 Years a Slave
- The Rover
- The Wolf of Wall Street
- Inside Llewyn Davis
- American Hustle
I rank all the 2013 films I see in my personal order from best to worst!