Film Review: 5 Films For Embracing Summer

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Summer films to watch
With this week's heatwave, it's safe to say that summer is well and truly here - if only for a short period of time. As such, I got to thinking about some of my favourite films to embrace the weather and get me in the mood for the sunny season...

Kings of Summer film review
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Originally named 'Toy's House', Kings of Summer is an independent coming-of-age comedy drama. Fed up of school life and nagging adults, three teenagers (Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias) construct a plan to leave their dysfunctional parents and live off the fruits of land - building their own house in the woods. However, having left their estranged families for various circumstances, the threesome must come up with a plan to explain their absence and keep their emancipation going.

For me, Kings of Summer can only be described as utterly charming and an unexpected treat. Despite not getting much of a distribution in the UK (or anywhere for that matter), the film has received vast recognition from critics. Not only is it smart and melancholic but it's also very funny, silly and utterly enjoyable. If you get the chance to see it I strongly urge you to. With a fantastic cast including Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, I still cannot believe that more people haven't seen this timeless summer classic. Kings of Summer gets a Sophie star rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

The Way Way Back film review
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A comic coming-of-age drama in which a shy 14-year-old, Duncan (Liam James), goes on a summer vacation with his mother (Toni Collette) her overbearing boyfriend (Steve Carell) and her boyfriend's daughter. Having had a tough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen (Sam Rockwell), manager of the Water Wizz water park where he has an unforgettable summer of romance and friendship. 

Directed by Nat Faxon and Community star and comedian Jim Rash, The Way Way Back is, by far, one of the most refreshing coming-of-age narratives and one of my all time favourite films. The narrative presents a heart-warming and witty tale alongside some brilliant performances from an all-star cast and and beautifully written characters. Rockwell shines in this hilarious, yet sometimes moving, film along side Maya Rudolph, Allison Janney and even a small role from Rash and Faxon themselves. The Way Way Back gets a Sophie star rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Stand By Me film review
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Having heard the rumours of a dead body not far from their rural homes, four young boys from Oregon set out in search of the human remains. On route to their destination, however, Gordie (Wil Wheaton), Vern (Jerry O'Connell), Chris (River Phoenix) and Teddy (Corey Fieldman) encounter a series of unfortunate and amusing experiences which learns them not only to discover themselves but to learn more about one another. Discovering more about one another's home lives and darkest secrets, the foursome become fair closer than they could ever have imagined on their adventure to find a dead body.

Based on short story, The Body by Stephen King, there are of course some rather dark moments and the thought of boys going in search of a dead body might not sound all that entertaining. However - if you're not a fan of Stand By Me or have never seen it - what have you been doing with yourself? With a stunning cast of 1980's legends with a fantastic narrative and plot development, Stand By Me is, without a doubt, an absolute classic. Directed by Rob Reiner of When Harry Met Sally, Spinal Tap and Princess Bride fame - this film was always set for greatness. Stand by Me gets a Sophie star rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Falling Down film review
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Set at the heart of a heatwave, Bill Foster (Michael Douglas) is a middle-aged man struggling to come to terms with his divorce and losing his job. However, when his car breaks down in sweltering heat on a Los Angeles highway, Bill hits boiling point - abandoning his vehicle and pursuing a violent trek across the city to attend his daughter's birthday party. With every step he takes across the urban jungle, Bill becomes more bitter and vengeful leading to a number of criminal encounters and the police on his trail.

It may not be the cheeriest of films but somedays I feel that myself and Bill Foster have a lot in common. Of course, I personally wouldn't go so far as to walk around town with a gun, shooting up a McDonalds but Falling Down is more relatable than you might first believe. Bill represents the everyday man and the film is very much statement about what we're all capable of when pushed to our limit. Michael Douglas gives a stunning performance as Bill and, I personally think that this is Joel Schumacher's greatest film...easily said I suppose when he later went on to make Batman & Robin (1997). Falling Down also gets 4 out of 5 stars - a true classic. 

Jaws film review
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Following a string of shark sightings and the death of a young woman at Amity Island, New England, police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) demands the closure of the beaches. However, having had his request denied by the town's mayor (Murray Hamilton), Martin recruits a ships captain (Robert Shaw) and ichthyologist (Richard Dreyfuss) to capture the deadly fish wreaking havoc on the small town. 

Again, Jaws may not be the cheeriest of films but good God does it make me think of the summertime. Still not seen Jaws? You should be ashamed of yourself. Released in 1975 and directed by a youthful Steven Spielberg, Jaws marks a milestone in cinema and features several iconic shots and camera techniques which have since shaped Hollywood filmmaking. It is also said that Spielberg drew inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock in order to incorporate horror conventions to the narrative. I needn't explain why it's such a classic and sure, the effects are very dated now but for me, Jaws is all about nostalgia and the triumph of filmmaking. Jaws will always get a Sophie star rating of 5 out of 5 stars. 
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That's it for another film review. What are your favourite summer films? Have you seen any of the above? As always, I love reading your thoughts so please do leave me lots of lovely comments below. Myself and Jack are off for a mini-break over the next few days but I'll be back with a few postcards. Have a great weekend everyone and stay cool!

Until next time film fans,


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18 comments:

  1. Stand By Me has got to be one of my favorite movies ever! It's so good! I love the story and the actors (aka goonies!) I will have to check the others out!
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    1. Yeah Corey Fieldman is awesome in Goonies. Hope you like them :) x

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  2. jaws is my fav out of all :)
    I love watching something like dirty dancing, and hairspray during summer. all about the cheesy dance movies :P
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

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  3. Thanks for the Film recommendations! I always enjoy these kind of posts ^_^

    Laila Visit our HTML tutorial

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    1. Aw thank you - my pleasure! I hope you enjoy them x

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  4. Great list! I loved Kings of Summer.

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    1. Aw awesome - so glad someone else has seen it. For me, Nick Offerman is amazing in it and makes it for me. Love the dry humour of it x

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  5. Stand by Me is actually one of my favourite movies! Not just because I think young Kiefer Sutherland is gorgeous! ;) I also enjoyed The Way Way Back. It was nice to see Steve Carell in a different role than comedy. I've never heard of the 'Kings of Summer', it sounds great; I'm definitely gonna watch it :) Great post x

    Sarah | Raiin Monkey

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    1. Haha yeah I think a lot of people like it for that reason. He's so weird looking in it though haha with the hair. YES! Totally agree - Steve Carell is brilliant in it and I love him in serious roles. I think if you liked Way Way Back than you'll love Kings of Summer :) x

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  6. Falling Down is so underrated, that opening scene is iconic!

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    1. Yeah totally - I love Michael Douglas in it too. He's wonderfully terrifying x

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  7. I think Grease for the amazing wardrobe and fun times, and The Great Outdoors or Summer Rental for John Candy have to be up there for summer films for me! Jaws is a brilliant one! I don't actually like Stand By Me :/ haha! I'm a weirdo eh?! X

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    1. Ah Grease is a great choice! I did toy with adding that in there. Even put it in at one point! OMG How did I not think of the Great Outdoors? That's a fantastic film, I love John Candy and Dan Aykroyd! xx

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  8. It's been some time since I've seen Jaws but I put it on my rewatch list because of some lines from Ghostbuster 2016. I have a vague recollection of what the mayor in Jaws did. I haven't seen Kings of Summer so I will have to get a hold of that.

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    1. Haha I think the joke is that the mayor in Jaws did nothing at all. Kings of Summer is fantastic - hope you like it! :)

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  9. Some great film choices here Sophie. I really love Falling Down and Jaws, they are such classics. I really must see Kings of Summer as I have heard great things and I myself am a big fan of Nick Offerman. Great post as always Sophie, hope you're having a fantastic week x

    Ashley
    http://www.imamovienerd.wordpress.com

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    1. Aw thanks so much - I really hope you enjoy Kings of Summer, I think it's right up your street :) xx

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