The Kings of Summer (2013)

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Three friends (Joe, Patrick and the brilliantly eccentric Biaggio) leave home to go live in the woods. Joe’s dad is overbearing and opinionated and his sister who deflects some of the verbal abuse from Joe’s dad, is leaving home. Patrick’s parents are just annoying, so much so that it’s causing Patrick to break out in hives. Biaggio on the other hand just wants to tag along, and you’ll be glad he did. He is by far the best character in the movie. He brings comedy and heart to the role, he is funny and quirky and surprisingly courageous.

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The three friends enjoy late nights, meals, hunting for food and other outdoor activities, all before a girl comes along and throws everything into chaos, jeopardising friendships on which the boys depend on to survive. It deals with growing up, and I found myself close to tears at times in how well it captures the complexities of friendships when girls come into things and hormones run wild.

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People will compare it to ‘Stand By Me’, and I guess there are similarities, but each film is brilliant in it’s own right  and it’d be unfair to pick one over the other. All I will say is seek it out and watch it for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.

4/5

JM

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Two of the best friends I ever had.

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Hi again folks. Now I know this is a movie and movie related stuff blog, but Calvin and Hobbes played such an integral part of my growing up, and also in shaping my love for media and the wonderment it brings, that I felt it would be a great disservice to them if I didn’t acknowledge them here.

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Bill Watterson who created these two lovely icons was and still is a genius. The essence of what made growing up and youth in general such a journey full of highs and lows, is captured wonderfully by Watterson. Be it the made up sport of Calvinball where the rules constantly change, or the adventures of Spaceman Spiff, Watterson showed what it was like to be a child with an incredible imagination. Never mind the fact that Calvin acts like someone in his mid forties, and less of the six year old he actually is. It’s all captured brilliantly.

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I remember the first time I picked up a Calvin and Hobbes book, I was immediately captivated. The love between this boy and his little stuffed tiger (who appears only real to Calvin) was heartwarming. It showed me the importance of friendship, and how having that one friend in your life can make all the difference. I’m glad Watterson never showed Calvin growing up, I don’t think I, let alone Calvin, could have taken the pain of having to say goodbye to that world.

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It’s been years now since Bill Watterson finished Calvin and Hobbes, but the legacy lives on. If you’ve never read any of the books, give them a whirl. It will change your life.

JM

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