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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Low Budget Gem
I got this film to try out on the Amazon Vine scheme and put it on not really knowing quite what to expect. That's the best way to watch any film....no expectations and no preconceptions.

I absolutely loved this film and totally invested in the characters. Despite having a low buget kind of feel to it, the film was sumptuous in it's richness, the beautiful...
Published 17 months ago by A. Moriarty

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly better than okay
If I hadn't committed to reviewing this I doubt whether I'd have watched beyond the first half hour. Joe and Patrick and the problems that they have with their respective families were a bit of a downer to start with. Patricks parents are quite amusing and I'd have liked to see a little more of them, but Joe's family situation was tragic, the only funny bits being what...
Published 17 months ago by Skeadugenga


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Low Budget Gem, 18 Oct. 2013
By 
A. Moriarty "mumoftheyear" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I got this film to try out on the Amazon Vine scheme and put it on not really knowing quite what to expect. That's the best way to watch any film....no expectations and no preconceptions.

I absolutely loved this film and totally invested in the characters. Despite having a low buget kind of feel to it, the film was sumptuous in it's richness, the beautiful scenery and sounds of the countryside and the realism of the main protagonists. There is a simply stunning performance from Nick Robinson, who plays Joe. Never seen or heard from him before but he was totally believeable in this role. I loved watching his disfunctional relationship with his father, (the latter had some of the best one-liners I have heard in a film for a long time) and the all or nothing friendships he had with his best friend Patrick and the object of his affection (played beautifully by Erin Moriarty). I laughed and cried with him as although flawed, you just had to love him and go through all the trials and tribulations with him, praying for him to come out the other side on top. The supporting cast were all excellent. Believable, realistic and imperfect, just like the rest of us.

Moises Arias was fantastic too as the strange hanger on, caught between the best friends and wondering where his loyalties should lie, just wanting their idealistic way of life to go on forever.

I can't praise this film highly enough. It may not be there amoungst the gongs on Oscar Night, but you won't regret spending an hour and a half watching it. It was such a pleasant surprise.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick Reviews!, 21 Nov. 2013
By 
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Us blokes of a certain age grew up with films of a certain quality, films which mirrored our own childhoods or which we wished we were real: The Goonies, Stand By Me, Eerie Indiana TV show, Back To The Future, and a host of other 80s classics. The coming of age movie has largely faded away for the new generations with barely any films of note in recent years. Super 8 was a fine attempt at recapturing the old glory, Son Of Rambow, was good, but the best 'recent' one I can think of is Now And Then, an underrated movie from the perspective of women and girls -from the mid nineties. I had heard a lot of positive feedback about The Kings Of Summer, but I made sure that I didn't read too much about the plot - All I really knew about it before watching was that it was being compared favourably to Stand By Me. The comparisons are fair - quality wise at least, but they are two very different films.

The Kings Of Summer is the film debut of Jordan Vogt-Roberts, and focuses on a group of friends who each, for various reasons, are sick of their home lives, and decide to run away from home to create their own paradise. The majority of the film follows the kids, just shy of adulthood, but the story doesn't shy away from showing the reactions of the respective families. I wouldn't want to give away any more of the story that that - not that there are any surprises or twists, but it is better to come to this without knowing too much.

The script is hilarious throughout, with all sorts of instantly classic one-liners, it doesn't get bogged down by any sentimentality at any point, and only at one point does it give way to what I would say was a cheap soap-like turn of events to propel the plot to its conclusion. This moment which causes friction between the two main characters was easy to see from a mile away, but I was hoping that the movie wouldn't go down that route given how refreshing the rest of the film is. That was the only disappointing moment, although I admit that is purely down to my own feelings and others will likely not be annoyed in any way. It is almost a perfect script for this type of film, finding the perfect balance between the kids and the older folks - both are shown to have their qualities and flaws, and both the love between both groups as well as the sheer generational misunderstanding. Parents of teens will enjoy this just as much as any teens. Not that I mean this is a movie for teens - I have no idea who the target audience, if any, would be - it's simply a brilliant, very funny film. I also apprecitate how even the smallest character are both played wonderfully, but are not thrown in for sake of the plot - instead they appear as real people with their own quirks - truly it puts most other films to shame with regards to characterisation.

Special mention must go to the actors - each play their part well - some of them were familiar to me but I couldn't put my finger on where I knew them from (the temptation would be to say from my own childhood). The main roles of Joe, Patrick, Joe's dad are all perfect, as well as the aforementioned smaller roles, but the star of the show as this inevitably becomes a new cult favourite, will probably be Moises Arias' Biaggio. Every line he gets is gold, and he plays the role with the perfect balance of alien and reality - again seeming like a real person rather than the typical 'quirky type' of person which Hollywood seems obsessed with recently, and gets completely wrong every time (and acting as a fine mockery to all those people out there who would call themselves quirky because the wear a T-shirt with GEEK written across it...).

I could drone on more about the flair, the cinematography, the soundtrack, favourite scenes etc, but there is no need - just go watch it for yourself. The making of documentary is also pretty funny, and presents what appears to be a group of friends having a great time making what they hope to be a brilliant film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic entertainment, 9 Oct. 2013
By 
Amazon Customer - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
In a word - excellent.
Its along the same sort of lines as "coming of age" films like Hope and Glory, or Stand By Me - but doesn't feel remotely familiar or plagiaristic.
Its incredibly funny, touching and relatable, and the three lead guys in it are FANTASTIC actors portraying very likeable characters.

The plot in a nutshell is that two young teens - Joe and Patrick - become so disenchanted and frustrated with their home lives, specifically their parents, that they decide to build a house in the woods and move there permanently. Effectively running away. Along the way they somehow acquire an incredibly odd third member - Biaggio - to their new household who, at first I thought was an unnecessary and irritating addition - but rapidly becomes brilliant entertainment!
The three guys quickly settle into their new lives, ready for their happily-ever-after...

Of course its not that simplistic - I wont detail the plot much further because to do so would ruin it, but as you can expect, binning off their lives and cheerily moving into the woods... does have its consequences; specifically the ongoing side-story of how their families are dealing with their sons going awol.

Now; Where I wont detail plot, I will say that there is nothing too hard in this film; yes there are a few F-bombs thrown around, but everything here is totally appropriate for the age cert, the themes are not upsetting or disturbing, and so this is a fantastic option for a family film (assuming the family is all over 15!)
And there is at least one character that will appeal to any personality of viewer. My personal favourites are Joes Dad (dry, joyless, miserable comedy genius - though beneath the grumpy façade a loving father badly hurting from his wife's death and not coping well with being a single dad) - and the utterly charmingly bizarre Biaggio. Who claims, in all sincerity, that he thinks he is probably gay, because his "lungs fill up with fluid at the change of the seasons" (I choked laughing when Joe replies with deep concern, "That's not gay, that's cystic fibrosis!")

There is, of course, a ton of arty imagery (slow-mo camera every 5 minutes in the first third of the film) and obvious symbology in it (a snake coming into the boys Eden in more ways than one) which you can spot a mile off - but away from the obligatory metaphors for growing up/ problems in life/ blah blah blah - there is a gem of a film with some sublimely ridiculous moments, laugh out loud comedy and a huge amount of grin inducing silliness; but equally some genuinely touching and heart-string-twanging moments too. And the cast is perfection; there is such tangible chemistry among the cast, and almost everyone in it steals every scene they're in, resulting in a deeply realistic and immersive movie.
Yes the continual flexing into the slow-motion capture gets toward being tiresome (in the making-of, the director claims this is to add to the dream-like quality of the woodland living. It doesn't. Its unnecessary other than showing some unusual effects such as skin rippling from a playful punch) - but apart from that, the film is just stunning, and deserves all the acclaim I see it getting.

I loved this film. I wouldn't hesitate for a second to recommend it!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly better than okay, 8 Oct. 2013
By 
Skeadugenga (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If I hadn't committed to reviewing this I doubt whether I'd have watched beyond the first half hour. Joe and Patrick and the problems that they have with their respective families were a bit of a downer to start with. Patricks parents are quite amusing and I'd have liked to see a little more of them, but Joe's family situation was tragic, the only funny bits being what he does to his father by way of retaliation and the party that goes with a bang. I had more sympathy with Joe's father than any of the other characters.

So a plan of escape is concocted and off into the woods they go, picking up Biaggio - a third, frankly weird, companion on the way. The best bits of dialogue already appeared in the trailers; there are parts of this film which had me looking at my watch. Its the usual coming of age issues with added drumming, but the filming of the woods is glorious, so the scenery helped to pass the time. For the main part the acting is good as well, but the film just didn't engage me.

Maybe its because I've never been a teenage boy, but I did feel that I was missing out on something that the rave reviewers could see in it. Chords were not struck, but three stars for the cinematography and the occasional smile.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 24 Jun. 2014
A nice movie about 3 teenage boys fed up with their lives at home, and wanting to get away from it all and be their own men, running away into the local woods.

Some very funny laugh out loud lines and moments. Good acting. Uplifting and easy to relate to.

I enjoyed watching this and would watch it again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Electrifying view into adolescence, 3 Dec. 2014
This review is from: The Kings of Summer (Amazon Instant Video)
Started slow, but once the foundations had been laid (narratively and actually physically in the film) it really took off. I fell in love with the plot, the characters and the setting. It blossomed into a perfect film, and finished all too soon. I would happily watch another two hours of the story, just continuing on from where the film leaves off, but that simply proves that the conclusion was executed perfectly. Everything was resolved that needed to be, and I was left aching for more - still frozen, slightly tense at the thought of that viscerally adolescent shack in the woods. I am a sucker for coming of age stories, but this managed to turn coming of age into so much more. I love it.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, 1 Oct. 2013
By 
Amy Connolly "book addict" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a really touching, sweet, funny, and quirky film. A coming of age story about three boys who struggle with their lives and families, so move into the woods to get away from everything and become men.
The film is full of odd balls which are funny and easy to love.

I recommend this film and will rewatch it many times myself. It's an easy going, chilled out movie to sit back and enjoy.

If you like:
moonrise kingdom
then you'll enjoy this. : )
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow, thoughtful and funny, 26 Jun. 2014
This review is from: The Kings of Summer (Amazon Instant Video)
It's always interesting reading different peoples take on films. This is the sort of film to attract wildly different reviews.
It's not action packed - it has slow dialogue and story telling - but it's not boring.
The Kings of Summer is a coming of age teen movie and gives you time to reflect on what each of the characters are feeling at any given moment. A teen's life isn't easy and can feel oppressive - hence the 'escaping it all to the woods'.

Two old friends and one new, try to run away from all of their troubles, each for their own reason. But living together in the woods isn't as easy as it seems and hiding away from the past won't release you from it's hold.

If you're a fan of Wes Anderson then there's a good chance you'll enjoy this.

I for one appreciate a film where I have time to take in all the moments and think 'How would I feel'?

:)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Nice, easy, slightly entertaining, 15 Oct. 2014
It was not the highlight of my day but it entertained me in some level and I really apriciated the good acting. Especially the father. I loved how he played his character and his sense of humour. The house they built ... well I did not believe that those kids could bulid it. But its a movie so you accept it. Also the other boys parents were HILARIOUS!!! I want to see a movie just with the two of them!!!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No subtitles........a wasted rental for my family, 17 Jun. 2014
By 
Mr. C. Frost "Chris Frost" (Cheshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Kings of Summer (Blu-ray)
This might be a decent film, but we will never know. Because this doesn't include subtitles and the LoveFilm/Amazon site neglects to put this information. So the rental was a waste of time for us. Why is it so difficult to include this basic level of information? There's information in the main Amazon listings for most films. Why not the rental stuff as well?

I understand that not all film companies subtitle their films. More fool them. But that's not the issue. All I want to know is whether a film has subtitles or not when making a rental choice. If it doesn't then I won't rent it. If it does, then I will. Simple as that. But as it stands right now it's "best guess" from your rental list and I'm not prepared to waste my money like this any longer.

Come on LoveFilm/Amazon... I don't want to use the word Discrimination, but there's an estimated 9 million people in the UK with hearing problems. That's 1 in 7 of the UK population.

Isn't it time you got your act together and catered for the rest of us?
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