Conclusion: The Kings of Summer delivers an honest, sometimes exuberant, and always heartfelt glimpse at family life, friendship, and the process of discovering that growing up and going away isn't always as cool as it appears. The film is beautifully photographed and expertly acted. It's breezy, fun, smart, and fully enjoyable as it tickles the funny bone, exercises the mind, and touches the soul.
Excerpt: When I was a kid, we had a small cabin in the Poconos we used on weekends and holidays—just a place to get away from suburbia for a while. One summer, in my closet floor, I wanted to saw a hole that would lead to a series of Hogan's Heroes -like tunnels to take me to a hollowed-out tree stump that would rest at the foot of a ladder that would get me into a tree house. It didn't happen.
Conclusion: Jordan Vogt-Roberts' The Kings of Summer is a charming, humorous coming-of-age story that easily reminds one of other classic films in the genre, while attempting to stand out from the pack with a surreal underbelly and organic dialogue. It's engaging when it works, where bizarre, sharp humor juxtaposes against the boys' liberating time in the forest, almost like a patchwork of elevated-reality memories.
Conclusion: The Kings of Summer 's narrative doesn't stand up to much thought or scrutiny, but this artsy indie film's exploration of adolescence still holds considerable appeal. This CBS/Sony Blu-ray sports a grainy but solid feature presentation, a lively audio commentary, and a light assembly of video extras. Though not the most remarkable platter, it's one to check out on the strengths of the film.
Excerpt: From the very beginning of Jordan Vogt-Robinson's The Kings of Summer , the relationship between Frank (Nick Offerman), a still-grieving widower, and his only son, Joe (Nick Robinson), is marked by unpleasantness. They don't seem to like one another, and they don't seem to be trying all that hard to work on the situation.
Excerpt: As kids, many of us wanted nothing more than to be treated like an adult. Of course, the cruelty of age is that as adults we often pine for the freedom of being a kid. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts connects to both of these wishes, each vividly informing his first feature film The Kings of Summer . The story of this Sundance standout centers on three boys who want to rush into manhood - or at the very least escape the rule of their parents.
Excerpt: The central image of The Kings Of Summer is a house—the ramshackle dream home built by its teenage characters. Nailed together from refuse and stolen lumber, it sits in a clearing of indeterminate location—close enough for the characters to be able to walk back to town, but too far away for their parents to find them. The house represents the characters’ aspirations; it’s a symbol of their yearning for independence and self-sufficiency.