The Kings of Summer
New to Blu-ray and DVD this week is indie breakout hit feature "Kings of Summer." Most frequently compared to films like last year's "Moonrise Kingdom" and "Stand By Me" (1986), "Kings of Summer" tells the tale of three adolescent boys planning to break free from their parents and build their own summer retreat in the forest, while living off the land. Through their adventures and evergreen friendship, they learn the morals of life, love, and what it means to uproot themselves from the family ties that bind.
"Kings of Summer" simultaneous presents an entertainingly ethereal, yet refreshingly quirky, coming-of-age journey. Cultivated by director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and newcomer writer Chris Galletta, the film boomed at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival when nominated for Grand Jury Prize, and won Audience Favorite Award at the Dallas International Film Festival.
Kudos to Casting Directors Nicole Abellera and Jeanne McCarthy for assembling an ensemble delivering heart-warming performances, especially with the trio of young actors; Nick Robinson (Joe), Gabriel Basso (Patrick), and the unique Moises Arias (Biaggio), united together in their quest as the Three Musketeers-esque boys, growing from young warriors to men. Other notable performances include Nick Offerman ("Parks and Recreation") as Robinson's overbearing father, and Megan Mullaly ("Will and Grace") as Basso's coddling-while-smothering mother.
Filmed almost entirely on location in the nature-filled rural areas of Ohio and North Carolina, Cinematographer Ross Riege's imagery is enchanting and beautiful to watch. Riege loves to dictate the mood through his manipulation of light and seemingly organic approach to portraying the beauty of the boys' new woodland home.
The new Blu-ray release has a smattering of bonus featurettes which include "Frankly Speaking With Frank Toy" (clips cleverly packaged in a format reminiscent of SNLs vintage "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey" featuring Nick Offerman's best zingers) and "The Long Shot," sort of an overview of the film's best clips. Both Blu-ray and DVD come with the "Alison and Eugene" featurette as well as commentary by cast and crew, including director Jordan Vogt, writer Chris Galletta, and the three boys.
"Kings Of Summer"
93 minutes - Rated R
Blu-ray $35.99/DVD 30.99