Sunday, July 10, 2016

Video review: "Everybody Wants Some!!"

If you’d have told me six months ago that by the mid-point of 2016 my favorite movie would be a plotless paean to college sex, beer and rock ‘n’ roll, I’d have called you a moonbat.

But here we are.

“Everybody Wants Some!!” is writer/director Richard Linklater’s ode to his own college days in Texas, where the members of the baseball team carouse, chase girls and philosophize about their hedonistic existence. It stars a bunch of unknown actors in a true ensemble performance where no one character dominates, but something like a couple dozen each get a share of the limelight.

Set in the four days before classes start, we fellow the players roam from room to room and party to party. They drink, dance, imbibe and partake of other earthly pleasures. There really is no story, but somehow from this aromatic stew of encounters emerges a recognizable theme of young people stepping out into the world and finding themselves.

I hesitate even to name any of the cast, since pointing out one brings up other names that should be mentioned, but here goes. Finnegan (Glen Powell) and McReynolds (Tyler Hoechlin) are senior ball players determined to win the championship come spring, and party hard until then. One is brutish and blunt, the other a silver-tongued cad, but together they’re bona fide leaders who set the tone for the rest.

Jake (Blake Jenner) is a freshman pitcher and our entry point into the bacchanalia. He’s not so much the main character as the locus of activities; we follow him around and discover this world as he does. Zoey Deutch plays the smart, sassy woman he meets on the first day and lackadaisically pursues from there on.

Set in 1980, the movie is so effective at evoking a time and place: coming down the off-ramp of the 1970s, itself a sort of mellowing of ‘60s ideals and chaos, coupled with the upbeat energy of the 1980s and a consequence-free atmosphere before AIDS and hard drugs killed the party for good.

Essentially an unofficial sequel to Linklater’s 1993 “Dazed and Confused” breakout, “Everybody Wants Some!!” is offbeat filmmaking at its best. Grab a brew (or something harder/smellier), kick back and drink it all in.

Bonus features are a bit lacking, probably due to the film’s poor box office showing. The DVD has exactly no extras, so you’ll have to spring for the Blu-ray to get them.

This includes “More Stuff That’s Not in the Movie” -- deleted and extended scenes; “Rickipedia,” based on one character’s fount of knowledge; “Baseball Players Can Dance,” a montage of the various music scenes, “History 101: Stylin’ in the 80s,” a featurette looking at the clothes and culture of the era; and “Skills Videos,” which features some of the abilities the actors had to hone for their roles (beyond chugging, that is).



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