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 »

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 »

Film festivals almost always have a series of bumpers produced to run before films — 30-second to one-minute shorts that represent the theme of the festival and ease audiences into a film. Jordan Vogt-Roberts was commissioned to make four bumpers for this year’s Sundance Film Festival. He did, and each one shows off the slogan (‘Be Here’) but a couple also poked fun at some of the personalities that show up at the festival.

The bumper quartet was reportedly nixed at the last minute, but you can watch them below. Read More »

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