Let the summer movie madness begin. While giants like The Great Gatsby, Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness and Fast and Furious 6 stay at the top of the box office, newcomers are making their way to theaters to give audiences a variety of choices from smaller indies to special effects-laden fare. Here are a few of the films opening in theaters today and some of our own related picks if you'd rather watch a good flick in the comfort of your own home.THE KINGS OF SUMMER
Once called Toy's House, this indie premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, receiving great reviews. The film's editor Terel Gibson, guest blogged for us during the festival. Read his post here. Kings is a coming-of-age story about Joe Toy, a boy on the verge of adolescence and frustration created by his single father, Frank's attempts to manage his life. Declaring his freedom once and for all, he escapes to a clearing in the woods with his best friend, Patrick, and a strange kid named Biaggio. He announces that they are going to build a house there, free from responsibility and parents. Once their makeshift abode is finished, the three young men find themselves masters of their own destiny, alone in the woods.
Speaking of coming of age stories...if you'd rather stay at home and see a good coming-of-age story that the New York Times coined, "Coming of Age on the Midway", then watch Adventureland, starring Kristin Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg. Watch clips below and then watch the entire film right now on Amazon Instant Video.
Can father/son duo Will and Jaden Smith take over the box office with their new film that presents nature vs man? Critics are not overly excited about it and much of the discussion is about the film's director, M. Night Shyamalan. You know, The Sixth Sense guy? The guy who seems to be criticized for nearly all his work since then? Did you even know Night was the director of After Earth? They studio didn't exactly mention it in the trailers or posters.
Though most people know Night from The Sixth Sense and thereafter, he did make two feature films prior to his stardom, including his first studio film, Wide Awake. Set at the same Philadelphia Catholic boys' school that Shyamalan himself attended, Awake sees fifth-grader Joshua questioning his faith after the passing of his grandfather. The famous Night 'twist ending' started here - watch where it all began right now.THE EAST
Actress Brit Marling stars in this thriller and co-wrote it with director Zal Batmanglij. The two have been writing films together for the past few years, this being their first studio attempt. Reviews are in and so far, so good. The New York Times called it a "neat little thriller" and gave this summary.
The East follows Jane, an undercover operative for a private security-consulting firm, played by Ms. Marling, as she progresses from Dumpster diving and freight train hopping to the inner circle where the jams are planned. Jane, known to her new comrades as Sarah, is a former F.B.I. agent who reports back to her boss, a serenely chilly Patricia Clarkson. The parameters of Jane's mission are not as clear as her almost instantly divided loyalty.
Does Patricia Clarkson look or sound familiar? She's become more of a household name over the past few years but has been acting in films since her first role as Kevin Costner's wife in The Untouchable's in 1987. Since then, she's tackled the independent film scene, bringing her more recognition and even an Oscar nomination. One of her stand-out roles was playing Olivia in The Station Agent alongside Peter Dinklage and Bobby Cannavale. Watch a few scenes from the film below and watch the entire film instantly here.