Marc Evan Jackson

kings of summer malicky

Last weekend I posted a Short Starts column in celebration of the early work of Jordan Vogt-Roberts, a filmmaker who has done a lot of comedy sketches and short films in the past (including the popular award-winning Successful Alcoholics) and now has his debut feature, The Kings of Summer, opening in theaters. One of the pieces that I shared is a video consisting of well-known coming-of-age movie clips with the title “Toy’s House Rip-O-Matic Tone Reel” (The Kings of Summer was formerly titled Toy’s House), and I explained that I was pretty curious about its purpose in the development of the new film. Vogt-Roberts emailed me in response, and later we had a chat on the phone about that, his other works and a lot more. It was a long phone call. We discussed improv, which is something he’s clearly passionate about (see the youth organization Detroit Creativity Project, which he mentions) and the desire for more movies, particularly comedies, to better utilize the visual medium — he’s very passionate about this also. And he expressed his interest in directing a Star Wars movie. We also, of course, talked about The Kings of Summer and how it fits in with those topics. Well, maybe not with Star Wars. But I’ll say this: he’d probably deliver a decent installment of the franchise, especially one with humor and kids and woodsy locations. Are they looking to redo The Battle for Endor? Just kidding. Seriously, he’s one to really watch. And a lot of […]

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Sucessful_alcoholics_filmstill6

This is another edition of Short Starts, where we present a weekly short film(s) from the start of a filmmaker or actor’s career. In a few days, The Kings of Summer opens in theaters. One of our favorites out of Sundance this year (where it was titled Toy’s House), the coming-of-age dramedy is filled with big laughs, a huge amount of heart and great performances from a handful of young actors who are all sure to go places. Also on the rise now is director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, a veteran of web and TV work who now enters the big time with this feature directorial debut. In an interview with AFI this year, he declared that this is only the beginning for him with feature filmmaking: “That’s why i’m here. I grew up falling in love with movies and the worlds they created. That’s my priority and that’s where I want to be.” Fortunately for us short subject lovers, he’s not against continuing non-feature stuff on the side. He admits to enjoying all mediums, including commercials, and wants to do a second season of his Comedy Central show with T.J. Miller, Mash Up. Hopefully he also makes more legitimate short films, because he’s shown a terrific grasp for not just concise storytelling but also an awareness for what sort of running time suits a particular story. Thanks to Vogt-Roberts having a well-stocked Vimeo page, we’re able to see a lot of his prior short and sketch work, and this week I’d […]

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Toy

Sharp-tongued Joe Toy (Nick Robinson) is frustrated with his life – his overbearing father (Nick Offerman) does not understand him, his older sister Heather (Alison Brie) no longer lives at home, and he cannot seem to get a minute to himself without someone barging in on him. Joe is not alone in his frustration, his best friend Patrick (Gabriel Basso) is also feeling trapped with two helicopter parents (Megan Mullally and Marc Evan Jackson) who are constantly bombarding him with inane questions. The two boys want (need) to get out, and Joe comes up with a plan to let them do just that. After escaping a party that was suddenly broken up, Joe finds himself lost in the woods alongside the very strange (but insanely funny) Biaggio (Moises Arias.) The two happen upon a secluded section of the forrest and as Joe looks around at the lush landscape, inspiration strikes and he rushes home to tell Patrick he has a solution to their problems – they are going to build their own house to live in.

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