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The Return Of The Kings

Tuesday 1 October 2013, 15:43

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

I blogged a while back about how much I liked The Kings Of Summer. Unfortunately it had a very limited release but now it's out on DVD...

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The Kings Of Summer

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    Comment number 1.

    i watched it when you did the review - lasted 10 minutes hated it - turns out i wasn't the only one too based on forums i read afterwards - might be a sign that critics have to watch way too many films if this was a praised relief to them

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    Comment number 2.

    I missed this at the cinema, if the good doctor recommends it..... well, I'll take the risk, I think I'll buy it.

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    Comment number 3.

    I agree with ed on this one. It was one of the most annoying films I've seen all year. It's no where near as good as the brilliant Mud, and to even mention Stand By Me in the same breath as this film is sacrilege. Doesn't matter whether its rain, sleet or shine; this film would be terrible whatever the weather, or season.

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    Comment number 4.

    I managed to catch the last showing at the Prince Charles Cinema only one week after release.

    I'm very glad I did as I thought the film was wonderful, one of the years true gems. It's currently my number 5 of the year.

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    Comment number 5.

    I loved this movie, one of my favourites this year by far. I laughed all the way through - it easily passed the five laugh rule - as did the rest of the audience. All three young leads were excellent as were the supporting cast. I've been recommending it to everyone, and so far, no one has disagreed.

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    Comment number 6.

    Well, Mr. Kermode - I had watched "The Kings of Summer" and was hoping for something alluding to your comments, but I couldn't find it. I like the film, don't get me wrong, but there just seemed to be something missing. I can not compare it to Rob Reiner's 'Stand By me;' I don't believe any "Coming of age" drama can. It is a shame that a film like this is being ignored. But then the "Cult" label will attach itself with immediacy.

    Anyway, thanks for bringing it to our knowledge. As always, repeat viewings are warranted - dialogue that you have always iterated on your blogs.

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    Comment number 7.

    Has to be said I was looking forward to this film, and whilst I saw some merit in it (I'm certainly not as down on it as some people here), I do have to agree that I didn't find it anywhere near as engaging as 'Mud' or 'Stand By Me', two obvious bedfellows. I found the characters generally rather weakly drawn, with too little development and back story to really pull me into the story and feel I was experiencing it all with them; one characters seemed utterly pointless, their presence making little actual sense, which pulled me out of it a lot. It looked quite nice, and the father character was one I found myself caring about. Certainly not a film without merit, but also one which I think has garnered a lot of false praise. I gave it three stars in the end.

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    Comment number 8.

    My spidey-sense is tingling over this one... there's something about them performing in front of the camera as if they're aware of being on film is a first impression, I'm not sure? Does anyone else get that from the trailer? A bit like the youtube generation being very comfortable in front of the cameras doing performances. I think that's the contrast maybe between Stand By Me, which has that innocence and distance to it? But it does remind me of an article I read about Usain Bolt and Neymar Jr. both being very comfortable in front of the cameras performing compared to other older "stars". Is it a good or bad thing? I think in a film it's a bad thing, in a reality tv scenario it's a good thing possibly. What clinched it for me as the little dood: He almost talks in memes: "I think of myself as a third sex," to paraphrase. I'm going to watch "Blue Is The Warmest Colour" instead, and even that has controversy over it's depiction of it's subject matter (according to it's author), so it should be interesting if I've gauged either film to exhibiting it's subject matter in a "natural way" or less so. Also Filth just looks too much fun to miss.

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    Comment number 9.

    This film makes me feel sad, not because its a bad movie. In fact its the funniest film of the year. The acting was good and the balance between humour and teen-angst was well written. But it falls in the shadow of 'Mud'. The storylines are very similar, yet 'Mud' and other films such has as 'Stand By Me' have much more of a timeless feel to it. Nevertheless I hope more people get to see it on DVD.

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    Comment number 10.

    Watched this last night what a gem of a film , agree with RowJ all three leads were excellent along with the supporting cast , can't wait to watch it again.

    Oh on another note just noticed on Amazon your Christmas present , a book called"The films Of Danny Dyer" , no I am not joking check it out it will be in your Christmas stocking come he 25th.

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    Comment number 11.

    I was really disappointed this film was so hard to find (even in London). So happy its out already. I'll be getting it today. I'll turn the heating up & buy some pop corn to get the full summer experience. Thanks for the heads up

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    Comment number 12.

    I believe this is a film that people need to be constantly reminded of and good on you for doing that. It's been a long time since I have seen a film, like this, where I have been this genuinely suprised at how good it was. I know you talked it up but it didn't matter, it delievered even more than I hoped it would.
    The characters are pitch perfect, the story is beautifully written, the directing is superb but it was the acting that really blew me away.
    It's a story that is easily indentifiable, although maybe not the exact circumstances, but everyone knows what it is like to be the guy stepped over and this gave the film its real emotional resonance for me.
    I was also suprised at how laugh out loud funny it was, I laughed constantly and I laughed hard.
    I cannot wait to see what Jordan Vogt-Roberts does next, a real gem of a film and a soon to be cult classic. Move over Stand By Me, there is a new kid in town.
    Watch it, Love it, Tell everyone!

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    Comment number 13.

    It's my day off and I've just enjoyed what will no doubt be one of my favourite films of the year, The Kings Of The Summer. A beautifully acted story, with wonderful writing and genuine emotion on display, this is an easy film to like. It's such a shame that many people -myself included- didn't get a chance to catch this one on the big screen. That said, there is little a screen size can do to diminish the quality and feel good factor of this film. I urge anyone to pick this up on DVD/Blu Ray, you'll feel better having watched it -honest!

    In the same spirit of shameless plugs for things that'll make you feel good...

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1901192863/rich-hill-feature-documentary?ref=live

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/565860191/a-sweet-adventure?ref=live

    ...now go buy The Kings Of Summer!

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    Comment number 14.

    I'd read the review of 'The Kings of Summer' in 'Sight & Sound', & I had made a mental note of it, but it was only after Mark had raved about it that I made the effort to see it. I was so glad I did; it has to be my favourite film of the year so far by quite some distance.

    For me it ticked all the boxes, but in particular I loved the characters & the performances (& not just the central three); the actors did a wonderful job. I also thought it displayed a fantastic sense of humour throughout; much like after I saw 'Anchorman' for the first time, I found myself chuckling to myself about various bits for days afterwards, with some lines proving instantly quotable.

    At the end of the film I was left sitting with a smile on my face & I couldn't wait to recommend it to my friends. Hopefully it will eventually be more widely regarded as the classic it is.

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    Comment number 15.

    #10. Danny Dyer now in Eastenders. A fitting end to his career? (At least it should free up some room in the ‘worst of the year’ category.)

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    Comment number 16.

    Kings Of Summer shouldn't be mirrored against Stand By Me or Mud. It's a quirky comedy, bearing little resemblance to those two straight dramas, and is akin more to something Todd Solondz or Charlie Kaufman might do. Although with Solondz, I dread to think what else might have happened in that wooden shack!!

    Though watchable, KoS missed a lot of comedy opportunities and wasn't dramatic enough when it needed to be. But I really liked Biaggio (or was it Gary Neville?) and the denouement was nicely underplayed. I just wish it had been more quirky, because we've pretty much seen all this before. 6.5/10

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    Comment number 17.

    One of the cinemas in Oxford is showing this, starting tomorrow. Been looking forward to it ever since hearing about it on this blog! From what I've seen of it, I think I will like it a lot.

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    Comment number 18.

    Just watched this on DVD and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks for the recommendation!

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    Comment number 19.

    I just found the characters to be so annoying, especially the main character, Joe. I had to stop half way through. I’ll give it another go later but I doubt the second half will redeem it for me. At least now I know I’m not alone in thinking this way, all the way through I was thinking “why do I not like this when everybody else does?”.

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    Comment number 20.

    I watched this the other night and was hoping for something as good as Stand by Me. I have to say i thought it was a bit of a mess. There were a number of things I liked - the two main characters (Joe and Patrick) were good and I liked their dysfunctional relationships with their parents and the love interest - something which can come between the closest friends. I think if the story had retained that focus it would have been excellent. Unfortunately, it was ruined, for one reason :
    Biaggio.
    It was as if he had parachuted in from a Wes Anderson film - I was expecting Jason Schwarzman to turn up as a scout leader at any moment. There is quirky and then there is just plain strange and the character was allowed to go the entirety of the film being strange but without any exploration for why. Surely, this would have given more depth to his character. Instead we ended up with a strange dynamic, with two ordinary boys, who for some reason put up with the little weirdo interrupting their teenage crisis / rite of passage. I thought is was poor judgement to write the character in such a way

 

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Outspoken, opinionated and never lost for words, Mark is the UK's leading film critic.

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