Toy's House

Joe is sick of dealing with his depressed father after the death of Joe’s mother; Patrick’s cloying parents are getting him down, too. Sounds like the beginning of a typical teen comedy, but The Kings of Summer (which debuted at Sundance as Toy’s House) isn’t quite that. This is a coming of age story that calls back to certain tendencies from ’80s teen movies. Yet it has personality of its own to spare as Joe, Patrick, and a strange friend literally make their own home as as summer blooms.

Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, and Moises Arias play the lead trio of characters who escape to the woods where they can barrel into adulthood without parents. A host of comedic talent including Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Kumail Nanjiani, and Hannibal Buress show up to offer support.

We liked the movie a lot at Sundance, and the first teaser, while pretty limited, did a good job of getting the tone of the film into a minute of footage. This first trailer doesn’t do such a good job, however. Still, check it out below. Read More »

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Toy's House

One of the hottest films at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival was a little movie called Toy’s House, which got purchased by CBS Films. The distributor has retitled the film to the less confusing The Kings of Summer, and slotted it for release May 31. That’s coming up quick, so a teaser trailer is out now too.

The Kings of Summer, written by Chris Galletta and directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, is about three friends (Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Aries) who run away from home and build their own house in the woods. Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie and Mary Lynn Rajskub co-star, none of whom show up in the tease you can see below. Read More »

With so many horror sequels and demon possession films released year after year, a demon possession horror sequel doesn’t sound like the freshest idea. That’s where Eli Roth comes in.

A noted writer and director in his own right (and an actor, too), Roth produced the upcoming The Last Exorcism Part 2, a sequel to the surprise 2010 hit film, with those pitfalls in mind. He’s well aware the film has a mountain to climb. It’s a possession film, and a horror sequel. It has to live up to expectations bolstered by an original movie that made over $40 million and had an ending so memorable, the sequel was all but predetermined. The task then became working off the promise of that ending and avoiding the stigmas of its genre.

After the release of the trailer for The Last Exorcism Part 2 in January, we spoke to Roth about the problems with sequels, how this movie attempts to transcend them as well as a bunch of his upcoming projects: the Netflix show Hemlock Grove, his next movie The Green Inferno and more. Check it out below. Read More »

It’s a truism that good video game adaptations are hard to come by, but as long as studios smell franchise potential they’ll keep trying. That’s turning out to be good news for fans, as “trying” in this case means hiring interesting talents to tackle favorite titles. One of the particularly intriguing ones coming up is the Deus Ex movie, which reunites Sinister director Scott Derrickson with writer C. Robert Cargill (a.k.a. AICN’s Massawyrm).

The duo signed on back in November, and while there’s no release date just yet the pair say the project is “moving like a rocket.” In a new interview, Derrickson and Cargill discuss their approach, namechecking District 9, Looper, and Inception as inspirations. Hit the jump to get their updates.

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Good news for Coen Brothers fans: the pair’s new film, Inside Lleywn Davis, has a home. CBS Films bought the movie for US theatrical distribution. We don’t have a release date yet, though we can likely expect to see it this year. A trailer for the film was released in January, but that won’t be the final look at the indie that Joel and Ethan Coen shot last year. (The movie was the first one they did in many years without any studio or distributor backing.)

The film stars Oscar Isaac as the title character, a folk singer navigating life in New York in the ’60s. The supporting cast includes Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, F. Murray Abraham, and Justin Timberlake. Read More »

It’s going to be an arthouse-friendly summer. Following yesterday’s announcement that Richard Linklater’s Before Midnight would land in theaters Memorial Day weekend, Sony Classics has just set June and July openings for two more upcoming auteur releases, Pedro Almodovar‘s I’m So Excited and Woody Allen‘s Blue Jasmine.

The news is less positive for DreamWorks’ animation slate, as Mr. Peabody & Sherman has been pushed from late 2013 to early 2014, knocking Me and My Shadow off the schedule altogether. And finally, rounding out this batch of release date updates is Last Vegas, which is moving up to avoid the crowded Christmas slate. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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Update: Toy’s House was renamed The Kings of Summer, so I’ve changed the title in this review.

Coming of age stories are a dime a dozen. Good ones are one in a million and The Kings of Summer, written by Chris Galletta and directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, is definitely the latter. It’s the story of Joe Toy (Nick Robinson) who along with his friend Patrick (Gabriel Basso) and oddball Biaggio (Moises Aries) decide to build their own house in the woods and run away from home. Not a tree house, mind you, a real house with everything except plumbing, electricity and running water.

The true joy in the film, though, comes not just from seeing these kids come into their own, it’s with the adult cast, which includes Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie and Mary Lynn Rajskub. Offerman and Mullally in particular are just spectacularly hilarious, which offsets some of the swings and misses on the part of the kids. Read more after the jump. Read More »

The 2010 horror movie The Last Exorcism told the story of Cotton Marcus, an evangelical minister in Louisiana who is the subject of a documentary effort by a small film crew. Though Marcus doesn’t believe in the power of exorcisms, he performs them occasionally as a faith-building exercise. But while doing an exorcism on camera for the film crew, things get out of control.

This sequel is connected to the original, as the formerly possessed Nell (Ashley Bell) takes center stage, but it uses a slight location change and convenient amnesia to tell what looks like enough of a standalone tale that anyone who didn’t see the first film can jump right in. Yep, Nell is found by the ancient evil once more. (We know he’s ancient because he still calls the landline.) It also is presented as a conventional movie rather than a found-footage film.

It’s easy to make a joke about the title, so think of it this way: if the title of the original film represented the last exorcism performed by Marcus, this one twists it a bit. Which is to say, the demon in Nell might well be saying “the last exorcism you experienced wasn’t enough to drive me out.” Yike? Some of the trailer looks like old-fashioned scary movie fun; see it below.

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