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This weekend has an incredible collection of indie movies opening for your enjoyment; it has been called the best moviegoing weekend of 2013, and for good reason.

But there’s still a lot to look forward to in the colder days of the year. Chief among the much-anticipated films coming this fall is Inside Llewyn Davis, the latest effort from Joel and Ethan Coen. The film features Oscar Isaac as a folk singer in ’60s New York, and he’s not having the easiest time. The guy’s former singing partner committed suicide, he’s on the outs with his former lover and his family, and even his career might be stalling.

For all that might sound dour, this is a Coen Brothers movie, and “dour” is their playground. We’ve seen a couple trailers for this film that play up the character moments and the setting, but this one is poignantly, dryly funny. Hilarious, even, if John Goodman critiquing one person’s method of suicide is your idea of a good comedy bit. (It’s evidently mine, because I laughed a lot.)

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

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When I sat down with The Kings of Summer director Jordan Vogt-Roberts to discuss his movie I expected to have the typical fifteen to twenty-minute block of time. We ended up talking for far longer than that. As a result, our Q&A turned into more of a talk than an interview.

I’m not going to present the whole thing, but what follows is a lightly edited transcript of the bulk of our conversation. The director goes into great detail about his ambitions for the film, which follows three high school kids as they run away from home and spend a summer building their own home in the woods.

We talked about his view of where the film industry stands now, and quite a lot about the use of music in the movie, and why the soundtrack ranges from classic rock to modern hip-hop to the influence of 8-bit video game sounds. And Vogt-Roberts explained just how he designed the house these kids build as something people could conceivably construct in real life.

Vogt-Roberts also detailed some of the happy accidents that ended up being defining moments for the film. The great “playing on the pipe” sequence released as the teaser trailer, for example, was something they just fell into shooting on a day off. As a filmmaker, Jordan appears to be organized and able to plan, but also able to seize a moment and properly work it into the film. Sounds easy, but it’s something that people don’t always do well. Our talk about some of those instances gives a good insight into the birth of this film.

The Kings of Summer is in theaters now, and it’s a great feature debut. Check out the long-read interview below.

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Toy's House

Briefly: Hey, LA, if you haven’t seen the very entertaining film The Kings of Summer, from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, tonight might be the best night to catch it. At 7:40 this evening, at the Landmark Los Angeles at 10850 West Pico Blvd, Doug Benson will be hosting a special edition of the ‘Doug Loves Movies’ podcast, with the director and cast in attendance.

The Kings of Summer features Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, and Moises Arias as three kids who take off into the woods to build their own house over the course of a summer. Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, and Alison Brie play family members, and along with comedians such as Kumail NanjianiMary Lynn Rajskub, and Hannibal Buress provide some of the film’s comedic highlights.

Jordan Vogt-Roberts will be at the show tonight, as will Robinson, Basso, and Arias. Other attendees are being set up as well, and some of that comedic supporting cast can be expected to show up. Get tickets here.

Stephen King Under the Dome

June 24th is right around the corner. That’s the night CBS finally starts its major summer event, Under the Dome. Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, the show is about a small New England town mysteriously surrounded by an impenetrable dome. Cut off from the world, the people begin to completely change their way of life. Mike Vogel, Rachelle Lefevre, Dean Norris, Natalie Martinez and Nicholas Strong are among the show’s stars.

With the premiere quickly approaching, some new videos about the show have come online. First up is a 2 minute, 30 second clip of the show and second is an interview with King where he talks about the adaptation. All told, there’s about 3 minutes of new footage. Great stuff to get you excited for what’s likely to be network TV’s most talked about show. Read More »

‘The To-Do List’ Red-Band Trailer

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In The To Do List, Aubrey Plaza plays a high school graduate who decides she needs to make some serious headway (er) into sexual experience before going off to college. Think of a film like Superbad oriented around a female character, and you might have the right frame of mind.

We saw a red-band teaser not long ago, but that seems to have been pulled. Here’s the official red-band look at the film, complete with all the sexually explicit talk you might expect, along with a showing from some of the supporting cast. (Which includes Andy Samberg, Donald Glover, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Connie Britton, Alia Shawkat, Johnny Simmons, Mae Whitman and Clark Gregg.) The winner in this trailer is definitely Bill Hader, who gets to close out the end of this edit with a particularly awkward scene, handled in a way that would likely never happen in real life — which is why it is funny as hell on film. Read More »

Rich Kelly - Kings of Summer header

Audiences love a good coming of age story, and Jordan Vogt-Roberts‘ film The Kings of Summer is a great one. It tells the story of three boys (Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Aries) who decide to run away from home and build their own house in the woods. The Sundance hit opens in New York and Los Angeles May 31, will expand from there and you should certainly seek it out. We’ve got a review of it here, one trailer here, and even an interview with co-star Nick Offerman here.

Several posters have spun the tone of the film into cool, variant images. Check out three below. Read More »

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There’s a lot to like in the coming of age comedy The Kings of Summer, which opens on May 31. The Stand By Me meets Superbad story of three boys who run away from home to make their own house in the woods creates an entertaining and relatable microcosm of teenage life thanks to the script by Chris Galletta. Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Aries each do wonderful work as the three main characters and Jordan Vogt-Roberts‘ direction brings it all together with a timeless, exciting tone.

But the true highlights are the supporting performances by some of TV’s most recognizable faces. Paramount among those is Nick Offerman. Best known for his role on Parks and Recreation, the actor steals every scene as the man most responsible for the boys running away from home. His performance is heartbreaking, laugh out loud hilarious and totally unforgettable. So while Megan Mullally, Alison Brie and Mary Lynn Rajskub all excel in their small roles, Offerman is the stand out.

We were lucky enough to speak to Offerman about The Kings of Summer and he told us about his love affair with smaller films, how the Internet is hurting comedy, and a bit about The Lego Movie. Read it below. Read More »

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The work of Joel and Ethan Coen owes much to many who went before them, but they have few equals. There is no body of work quite like theirs in the post-1980 film landscape. Even in the decades prior, only a handful of directors — Billy Wilder and Preston Sturges prominent among them — can rival the wellspring combination of humor, humanism, and pure verve that the Coens seem able to tap into almost at will. When all is said and done, the Coens will likely stand as two of the very best filmmakers, period. And we get to be around as they release new films every couple years. What a joy that is.

The Coens’ new film, Inside Llewyn Davis, premiered at Cannes this past weekend. Immediately it became the toast of the festival (so far), with effusive reviews praising its tone, humor, and performances. We’ve rounded up a few below, just to give you a hint of what’s being said, some of which helps put footage from the trailer into more context. Read More »

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