Tag: Gabriel Basso

The Kings of Summer

May 24th, 2013 — 7:28am

The Kings of Summer***

The Kings of Summer –sp  We know that adolescents have the tasks of  asserting their independence from their parents.  In this comedic yet poignant film, we see how the parents can more or less “call the question” and bring about a unique method of trying to do this. Frank Toy ( Nick Offerman) is a widower who seems quite self centered and has no empathy for his 15 year old son Joe  (Nick Robinson). Mr. and Mrs. Keenan(Mark Evan Jackson and Megan Mullally) on the other hand were so well-meaning but intrusive to their son Patrick (Gabriel Basso) that we could easily see how life was unbearable for him. So during the summer Joe and Patrick agree to disappear from their everyday life and are joined by Biaggio (Moises Arias) another kid their age who is quirky and weird but very loyal. They go deep in the woods near their homes and find a clearing  where they cobble together a hidden sort of two story house in which they plan to live. They forage for food, even kill a rabbit and occasionally sneak out to a nearby Boston Market where they pick up the left over food. But they are really gone, out of sight and even the police can’t find them although they did figure out that they must have run away. Their house in the woods is of course an allegory for their burning desire to develop and build their freedom. This screenplay is by Chris Galletta and the direction by Jordan Vogt-Roberts who is spreading his own wings  on his first feature film. While they skillfully capture the essence of this time of life, it is the chemistry between the three adolescents which holds our interest and tells the universal story of young people who yearn to be free but ultimately must wait their turn and hopefully find the best vehicle to express themselves. This movie would seem to appeal to at least mid teenagers and everyone who remembers what it was like to be one. Interestingly though , the filmmakers chose to make an R rated movie just because of a few F words spoken quite naturally. This means that they can’t advertise the film to teens but will have to hope that they will end up in theatre along with the all the post teens who get the message that this is not just a kid’s movie. (2013)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Comedy, Drama

Super 8

June 28th, 2011 — 3:22am


Super 8 rm If you have seen anything about this movie directed by J.J. Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg you know that it is about young children, making a movie, science fiction, a train crash,  the world being threatened and a  scary monster from outer space. This may sound like some coming attractions of a bunch of other movies that you have seen in the recent past which you should have been advised to take a pass on. However, the real filmmakers of this picture achieved a touch which not only held our interest, stimulated our thinking but also pushed our emotional buttons. It is well know that Abrams and Spielberg (in different generations) started making films at rather young ages. One could just picture them recalling their idealistic creative youth and putting it into this band of preadolescent kids who are on their super 8 movie making project when all hell breaks loose in their hometown. In the course of confronting supernatural forces and life threatening “ special effects” we get a chance to examine the relationships between these kids as well as the tension and bonding between two  of them and their single parents. We get a glimpse at young budding romantic feelings and also see how most kids would like to imagine they might be a hero and confront dangers. We also are reminded of the potential that our military may not always get it right  It is suspenseful, adventuresome, fun and poignant all at the same time. The young films makesrs as played by  Riley Griffiths, Ryan Lee, Gabriel Basso, Zack Mills and Joe Courtney  are wonderful in their roles as they show their enthusiasm , humor and horror. Courtney also has the opportunity to reach down into his short life and demonstrate some effective emoting. Elle Fanning, the younger sister of the talented Dakota Fanning is a real standout as the young girl who joins the boys in their filmmaking adventure. Every detail of the plot may not be completely clear but nevertheless you will be on the edge of your seat   emotionally whipped around and still have a lot to think about when you leave the theatre. This adds up to a worthwhile movie. (2011)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Drama, Thriller

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