Film Round-Up! The Kings of Summer, About Time, Prisoners


Hey! My blog has been neglected recently due to university starting up again and work commitments, however, I thought I’d come back with a little round-up of the films I’ve seen within the last month or so, they’re all pretty varied but here goes…

The Kings of Summer

the-kings-of-summer01

 ‘The Kings of Summer’, is a coming-of-age tale with a difference, managing to meld together comedy and drama in equal doses, with offbeat humour taking centre stage alongside some truly heartbreaking moments

We focus on three teens; Joe, a lad determined to be as far away as possible from his miserable dad, played monstrously well by ‘Parks & Rec’s’ star Nick Offerman. Then it’s over to Patrick, Gabriel Basso, a semi-miserable wrestler who wants out from his awful, awful Irish-American parents.

And Biaggio.

Biaggio, played by Moses Arias, is a strange, nutcase of a character. He looks about 30, but is incredibly is only 19, has a mysterious South American background and is a general unknown. He is the star of this film, and he sort of knows it, Arias, a man whose previous best known work was in ‘Hannah Montana’, is a revelation. He’s the character that has you falling about with laughter throughout the film.

Well, these three band together and decide to build themselves a house in a forest, wanting to disappear from their families and society itself. The premise is the ultimate coming-of-age tale, as the lads realise what a massive undertaking this is, and just how much they have to learn. It’s funny seeing it myself, now from the other side of these awkward teen years, as I can almost relate to the feelings they have at times, but, like many, would never have the balls to go through with it.

That being said, it’s certainly a fantasy, if you stopped and thought about certain aspects the realism would be lost. However, with the appearance of bands like MGMT and The Orb, on the soundtrack a psychedelic, chilled sense is pretty much always present.

Back to the main trio, and whilst Biaggio may steal the film, Joe, played by the up-and-coming Nick Robinson, gives him a run for his money . He reminds me hugely of James Franco, both in looks and his charisma, of which he has bucketloads. With news of him grabbing a lead role in next summer’s ‘Jurassic World’, just coming out, it’s likely the world will get to see a lot of him, and he really deserves it based on this performance.

The film itself is a huge success, dicing between the humour, which the three adolescents handle magnificently and some heartbreak, leading to an unexpectedly tense finale, in which you discover that director Jordan Vogt-Roberts has really made you care about these characters, the lot of them from the three lads, to Offerman’s hilarious dad, a very understate role, right over to ‘Community’ star Alison Brie and her troubled relationships, as Joe’s sister and Offerman’s daughter.

It’s great stuff, and was seen by far too little a number of people this summer, with a small cinematic release, leading to a quick release on DVD & Blu-Ray, if you missed it the first time round, do yourself a favour and pick it up this time!

9/10

About Time

About Time trailer - video

I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t exactly bursting with excitement at the prospect of going to see ‘About Time’. A Richard Curtis rom-com wasn’t what I fancied, but hey why not give it a chance?

If you actually look into ‘About Time’, you’ll find it a quite interesting concept. It gives the standard rom-com a kick up the arse, with a time travel power that every male in the family of Tim (Domnhall Gleeson, son of Brendan) has. Bill Nighy is the father figure, who reveals news of this surprising development to his son after a disappointing New Year’s Eve party.

Nighy and Gleeson have instant chemistry, despite looking nothing like one another, and you believe in their relationship from the offset, an important feature, that helps the second half of the film come alive.

Tim uses the powers to help find him a girlfriend, and the film has its premise, with Rachel McAdams dropping into his life. The pair, again, work well together, despite McAdams’ US accent not really fitting in this typical British rom-com.

Whilst the first hour or so focuses on the relationship between the two, and its gradual development over time, I’m talking proposal-marriage-children, the lot, the second hour focuses on family relationships, most notably the father-son one, something that I enjoyed immensely.

I’d heard that after the film tonnes of people rang up their dad’s just to check up on them, I myself settled for a text, but it is a really great feeling that it manages to produce, one that sucked me into the film and didn’t leave me on the outside, a snide critic.

It does suffer from a few rom-com clichés, but Curtis is known for that. He’s also gone for some cushioned jokes, and the rules behind the time travelling are stated at times, but not really stuck to at all. If you really think about it, it doesn’t make much coherent sense, but then it isn’t a film that you’re meant to pick apart that thoroughly.

For all its slushiness, for all its flaws, ‘About Time’ isn’t all that bad, a rom-com I could put up with, and the message being that you should enjoy your life to the max, time travelling or not time travelling!

6.5/10

Prisoners

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A dark, twisted thriller that isn’t recommended to any parents of small children (or big for that matter), ‘Prisoners’, is a slow-burner, twisting about a bit, before the final few reveals that you really won’t see coming. It’s no wonder that the film has had such success here in the UK, for Jake Gyllenhall and Hugh Jackman lead a range of great acting performances, as Detective Loki (no not that Loki) and the father one of one of the missing girls.

It’s brutal and Jackman really verges into his dark, Wolverine-esque territory with some savage torturing of suspect Paul Dano, his character a bumbling, helpless man-child. But as the film descends into darkness, we see what truly makes a good man, and what can make a good man turn bad in some wonderful character transformations.

Gyllenhall is as good as he has ever been in his role as Loki, a detective proud of his 100% success rate in turning over crime case verdicts, and his assignment to this one isn’t about to break it. It’s the little nuances, like his eye-twitch and savage attention-to-detail, that make the character as good as it is.

A top, top thriller that you must see!

8/10

Cheers!


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