Google+

The Kings of Summer Film Review

The Kings of Summer 
Film Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Runaway Teens Build Shack in the Woods in Quirky, Coming-of-Age Comedy

Freshman year of high school has just ended for Patrick (Gabriel Basso) who isn’t looking forward to spending the summer under the same roof as his helicopter parents (Megan Mullally and Marc Evan Jackson), given their monitoring his every move and their merciless teasing about his raging hormones. The situation’s even worse for Joe (Nick Robinson) whose widowed father’s (Nick Offerman) way of grieving involves belittling and grounding him at the drop of a hat.

One night at a keg party, the best friends come up with a viable solution to their predicament when they discover a clearing in the middle of the forest. Why not build themselves a house out in the woods where they will finally be free from the abuse and control of meddling adults?

Swearing each other to secrecy, the malcontents hatch an impromptu plan to live off the land. And they are joined in the clandestine endeavor by classmate Biaggio (Moises Arias), a mysterious weirdo wiling to tag along and utter an occasional, odd non sequitur.

Next thing you know, they’re building a shack out of materials found on a construction lot, and also foraging for food by diving into a dumpster behind a restaurant. Meanwhile, their worried folks are calling the cops, convinced the missing boys must have been kidnapped.

That is the absorbing point of departure of The Kings of Summer, a quirky, coming-of-age comedy marking the magnificent directorial debut of Jordan Vogt-Roberts. His laugh-a-minute adventure is reminiscent of some the best of the rebellious adolescent genre, ala Stand by Me (1986), Superbad (2007), Ghost World (2001), Super 8 (2011) and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986).

The picture’s clever script by first-timer Chris Galletta is laced with lots of hilarious scenes like when Biaggio attempts to throw the police off their trail with a ransom note from the fictitious “Jamal Colorado” inspired by a combining a black first name with one of the fifty states. But human oddity Biaggio is basically around to provide intermittent comic relief.

At heart, the movie is about the intrepid trio’s struggle to survive while eluding the frantic search party. The plot thickens upon the sudden arrival of Kelly (Erin Moriarty) at the lad’s lair, a cutie pie Joe’s interested in dating.

Will the fetching femme fatale prove to be the boys’ undoing? Or will their bond remain intact? No spoilers here. Suffice to say that between a host of memorable performances by a cast of relative newcomers, and a haunting, grungy score by Ryan Miller, The Kings of Summer is a bona fide sleeper not to be missed.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for profanity and underage alcohol consumption
In English and Italian with subtitles
Running time: 95 minutes
Distributor: CBS Films

To see a trailer for The Kings of Summer, visit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YgpaTcSndA

Entertainment

For movies opening January 13, 2017

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening January 13, 2017   BIG BUDGET FILMS The Bye Bye Man (PG-13 for terror, violence, sexuality, bloody images, mature themes, profanity, partial nudity and underage alcohol abuse) Haunted house horror flick about a diabolical, supernatural demon (Doug Jones) unwittingly unleashed by a trio of college students (Douglas … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

In the World of Fiction: The Oldies but Goodies Are Back

  In the World of Fiction: The Oldies but Goodies Are Back by Amy Lignor   Readers, 2017 has arrived. And the one thing that rises above all the other so-called ‘trends’ that publishers and book lovers are looking forward to seeing this year is one, undeniable and exciting fact: Beloved authors will step back into the limelight. Trends are odd. There are those of us who never assumed that the whole utopian word as well as dystopian … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder

  History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder by Amy Lignor   For the longest time, scientists and archaeologists have been confused and bemused by various discoveries they’ve unearthed that offer little or no explanation as to the who, what, and why of the people who created these things or left them behind. Even now, in 2017, there are discoveries being studied; stories that were once legends now have actual bits of proof being found that … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Groundswell for Chazelle!

  Damien Chazelle The “La La Land” Interview with Kam Williams Groundswell for Chazelle! Damien Chazelle wrote and directed the Academy Award-winning Whiplash which landed five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for Chazelle. The movie won a trio of Oscars in the Film Editing, Sound Mixing and Supporting Actor (J.K. Simmons) categories. In 2013, his short film of the same name won the Short Film … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Top Five Florida Resorts Catering to Do it Yourself Boaters

  Top Five Florida Resorts Catering to Do it Yourself Boaters By Ted Lund Summertime is adventure time for families that want to boat and fish together, and there is no better way to do that than find a resort that caters to do it yourself boaters and anglers. And no place has options like Florida. But before the family can set sail for adventure, you need to find the right boat. One of the best on the water is the Sea Chaser Hybrid Fish … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

The NFL Looks at David vs. Goliath

  The NFL Looks at David vs. Goliath by Amy Lignor   This has been one of those odd football seasons where the facts given at the beginning by those panels of “experts” that “know” a great deal about America’s favorite game, turned out to be more than a little wrong. What’s the strangest thing that just might happen when it comes to the Super Bowl? Easy to answer. It just might be that for the first time a QB who didn’t actually play for … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Spotlight on Africa

  Spotlight on Africa by Amy Lignor   As the year winds down and comes to a close, it is Africa that is receiving some headlines that call for many changes and improvements to be made in the coming years. It was Ambassador Amina Mohamed (Nairobi, Kenya) that spoke recently about the African Union Commission (AUC) and how the group must provide leadership in the coming years. After all, the nation of Africa is, in truth, the cradle … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

The Grandest New Year’s Celebrations Around the World

    The Grandest New Year’s Celebrations Around the World by Amy Lignor   Oh, yes…there are many, many places to travel in order to ring in that New Year in style. Some people have already stated that they see 2017 becoming one of the ‘best of the best’ years the world has ever seen – from technology to business to education to even “going greener” – heck, green has even been chosen as the top color of 2017. But where should you … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

2017 Will Be Green!

    2017 Will Be Green! by Amy Lignor   This statement is not a “hopeful” imagination talking; it is actually quite true. Very recently the Pantone Color Institute declared that green will most definitely be THE color for 2017. This is a company that calls themselves the “global color authority,” and states that everything from high fashion to trends will be on the green path throughout next year. So…when we look at a “green” … [Read More its Good for You...]