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 »

This trailer made me laugh. In Somebody Up There Likes Me, which originally premiered last year at SXSW, Nick Offerman of Parks & Rec. plays an ascerbic but good-natured guy who… well, it’s possible that he doesn’t actually do a whole lot other than comment drily on things taking place around him. But since it’s Offerman, I can’t say I’m too upset about that.

And while the rest of the trailer may be a bit uber-indie for some people, the kicker gag is a good one. Check out the footage 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 »

There are actors one suspects can do a lot more than what they’ve been given at any particular point. People might have thought that about Aaron Paul before Breaking Bad gave him the chance to stretch. And Mary Elizabeth Winstead has been a bright spot in several projects so far, but we’ve suspected that she’d eventually get a chance to really do something great.

Smashed features both actors, as a married couple that hits a wall with their drinking and partying, and based on reactions out of Sundance it is Winstead’s big breakout turn. Check out a newly released trailer below to see a taste of her performance. Read More »

Although its limited rollout starts in just six weeks, James Ponsoldt‘s Sundance fave Smashed has yet to offer a traditional trailer. Instead, Sony Pictures Classics is rousing some buzz with four new clips that showcase star Mary Elizabeth Winstead‘s acclaimed performance.

Winstead and Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul star as a young married couple united by their love of booze. When their habit spirals out of control, however, the wife decides to seek help. The stellar supporting cast includes Octavia Spencer and Parks & Recreation‘s Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally. No wonder the drama won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance this year. Watch the scenes after the jump.

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Today’s TV Bits is short but very sweet. After the jump:

  • Game of Thrones finally finds its King Beyond the Wall,
  • The Party Down movie is still on the way, aiming for a 2013 start,
  • and HBO picks up a Christopher Guest and Chris O’Dowd comedy

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Lately, it feels like any show with any significant following promises a movie on its way out, whether the series in question was a tragically short-lived critical favorite or a hugely popular hit that went on seasons past its prime. Not all of these proposed projects ever actually make it to the big screen, of course, but today we have some minor updates on two very different projects that seem a little more realistic than some others.

Speaking at the Television Critics Association winter press tour this weekend, Kiefer Sutherland confirmed what we’ve already heard, that the 24 film was on track to begin shooting this spring. Meanwhile, Megan Mullally confirmed that Party Down was still aiming for a late spring or early summer start, just as Adam Scott said last fall. Read more after the jump.

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