Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)
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Even the two most aggressive guys (the great batter and the manic pitcher) are ultimately adorably harmless. This is not how it works. Their conflict at a practice without coaches should end in a fistfight when the manic pitcher won't shut up after getting beat. You don't run your mouth at a teammate after getting hit on. The manic pitcher's outburst in the bar should also be far, far uglier, and it should end in a real fight. And the stuff that comes out of their mouths most of the time should be filthy as hell. I am NOT objecting to "gentle comedy" as a genre. I'm objecting to the total lack of appropriate set-up in this one, and the ensuing unbelievability.
And I'm not faulting the characters for being horny, drunk 21 year olds (played by mostly 30 year olds, for putatively some good reason, but really because 21 year old actors wouldn't be able to handle the house of cards Linklater has set up here). I don't think that young men are monsters for getting laid and drinking on a free weekend before college. (There are complaints about this movie from some corners of the internet that have "liberal puritan double-standard" written all over them. I am not coming from that corner.) But having played college sports myself, and known other college athletes at the time and since, this is the LEAST awful group of 16 college jocks that I can possibly imagine, and the movie is set in 1980 Texas. They may as well be unicorns.
I understand that this is supposed to be a gentle, philosophical comedy, and I have no problem with that in theory. I would definitely watch a movie where a given collection of jocks are great human beings, just out of the sheer creative audacity of seeing where that goes, and the things you can do with genres that depict an idealized world. But I don't want to watch idealized college athletes (or any other group) unless I have some damn reason to know why there aren't horrible human beings in that mix of 16 guys. The answer can't just be "because the genre is gentle, thoughtful comedy". Give me something with a piece of verisimilitude that I can hang onto. 16 golfers at Brown in 2016 have worse people among them than this.
So, oddly akin to The Revenant or Boyhood, the movie doesn't work as realism, nor does it work as something heightened; on top of that it has 1-dimensional characters. I don't want to see Acclaimed Director, the movie. Every movie must stand or fall on its own.
ULTIMATELY MORE IMPORTANTLY, this weekend-before-college movie (like any slice-of-life type of movie) will sink or swim on the quality of the bits, the moments, the character sketches. If each scene or moment is golden, all is forgiven, and it lives on in the way that The Big Sleep or Short Cuts or Day for Night or The Big Lebowski are great movies. In those, perfect scene-by-scene charm wins the day. Truth through Beauty.
But in this particular movie, some of the bits, scenes, characters etc. are very good, while others are wholly bland, vague and threadbare. Could 'philosophizing jocks' get it right some times, and wrong some times, and just have some sophomoric marijuana ideas sometimes- sure, yes, why not? BUT EACH one of those scenes of 'philosophizing jocks' has to be somehow really interesting without feeling overly polished, or phony, or done to death, or otherwise uncharming. It's a pure fancy-footwork kind of storytelling art. And half of the bits/scenes in this movie have two left feet.
This is the second movie in a row from Linklater that is not about real life or real people but purports to be, while using facile characters and after-lunch philosophizing. The first, Boyhood, was a full-throttle melodrama with a grand gimmick. This one plays one sport with the equipment of another: College Hump-or-Die movie rules, but with handmade character comedy gear. If you don't see this, let me ask you one question: WHAT is it that makes the main character Jake a SPECIFIC person who hits it off with Beverly, another specific person, besides the genre fulfillment of 'the two sensitive people find each other'??
Nothing. Nothing but Blake Jenner and Zoey Deutch saying the lines with talent. Can you say that about Say Anything, or are those two characters specific as hell, and therefore a response to the High School Hump-or-Die movies, and not just a mutant version of one? Heck, college farce Animal House, the ultimate Hump-or-Die movie, has more to say than this movie does.
I'm now positive that Linklater is one director when working with actor/writers Hawke and Delpy, and quite another when he's not.
I am only glad that we didn't pay top dollar to see this one and this is one I will never purchase or look forward to seeing again. I just want less of this crap. If you are determined to see this, wait for cable or broadcast. Not worth anyones money.
The movie starts with Jake, the freshman pitcher prospect cruising in a Cutlass 442, not bad for nostalgia (nice to see cars that still have some gusto for real in films).
Jake is a pitcher who lives in a frat house with about twelve other ball players who like to party and talk about getting laid, and playing silly pranks on each other.
Yes, there is a decent soundtrack starting with "My Sharona" from the Knack that opens the movie, but, the flaw is here: "Urgent" by Foreigner was not released until 1981. Oops! And it seems a tad out of place for a bunch of rough and tumble kids to be singing word for word to a rap song.
The title of the movie is misleading "Everybody wants some!" is a Van Halen tune, that was released in 1980, but, we don't get much airplay from hard rock or heavy metal in the sound track. No "Back in Black?" No Judas Priest? No Iron Maiden? This was the pinnacle of New Wave of British Heavy Metal, and Ace of Spades from motorhead was released the same year. Plenty of hard driving rock to really pack a punch to enliven the film a bit.
Back to the plot: there really isn't one, except the countdown to the first day of school, where the ball players go from party to party and meet some strange characters along the way.
I'd have to say the most interesting character(s) are Detroit, the introverted, hard throwing, paranoid, humorless caricature that is funny for a bit, but isn't fleshed out enough to really meld in.
The bearded virgin who is later kicked off the team, is perhaps the most reflective and philosophical character in the entire cast. He talks about the progression of one song on an album while the others get high.
Who put Willis from Diff'rent Strokes in the cast? That isn't Todd Bridges, is it? He acted very well to fit in, but I don't see that happening in Texas. And where are the bell bottoms? We only start to get a glimpse of the underground music scene when Jake stumbles upon his long haired jean jacket adorned friend who wants to take the crew to a punk rock concert.
As for the pranks, the knuckle challenge between the thin mustachioed fellow and the long haired shorter guy (who wins the challenge) is the funniest bit, but hardly enough to warrant a great belly laugh. It's a sight gag.
I looked at the Tomatometer, and it was very good for this film. Uh, what film were THEY watching? Where's Pauline Kael when you need her?
So boring the characters themselves fall asleep at the end. By the way, that was the spoiler.
Maybe if you like early 80's music and hair styles, and people in their late 20's and early 30's pretending to be be 10 years younger while wearing shorts there's something for you. Otherwise don't be fooled by all the good reviews this title received. This movie goes nowhere and then the credits roll.
"Everybody Wants Some!!" is a waste of time.
This movie took me back to my college years. I attended the University of Texas and belonged to a fraternity. Although we weren't athletic jocks, there were similar dynamics, characters, and situations as with this movie's baseball team. Looking back it was immature and misogynistic fun, however it happened and I had great memories from then. This movie captured that very well.
That said, there was no tension or arc that this group faced. Everything came to them pretty easy, like on a silver platter. There are people like that in life, yet it doesn't make for compelling cinema. I also thought the lead had little chemistry or charisma with his girl. The character played by Glen Powell was the highlight, as was the soundtrack.
Like Dazed (which is better btw), it's tough to put your finger on an actual plot. A freshman baseball player shows up to college, interacts with teammates/roommates, has fun, finds a girl. Shenanigans take place. So all you really have is a bit of character development, yet the characters remain relatively static.
I have to wonder, Who the heck has been reviewing this flick, paid shills? People that haven't seen Dazed and Confused and think this is unique?
Here are some of the characters to expect: Token well balanced protagonist, Token reefer head, Token self-absorbed whack job, Token witty womanizer, Token redneck, Token guy who is too old to be hanging out (same as reefer head), Token black guy, Token uber-competitive leader, Token immature character, Token below-average intellect character
I honestly can't believe they wrote in another character with an age problem--someone must have been a having a creative black void when this came to be. Another thing that didn't evolve since Dazed - misogynistic attitudes. Most of the women are portrayed as easy and air-headed, except the protagonist's love interest who the scriptwriters actually force the character to say is bright (unlike all the other airheads.) This type of portrayal is growing a bit tired. Give the female characters a voice, it would have been so much more interesting, especially given the time frame.
Pass on this one. Sure, it's about nothing and you'll leave with a feeling of nothingness. The guys are good looking and witty, their shenanigans are charming albeit not unique, beneath the wit and charm is the stink of douchiness. So what?
I was actually expecting that this movie was as profound and as interesting than his other movies. But, instead of that, I spent two hours watching a film that goes nowhere. The history and its caracthers are quite dumb. They´re just stereotypes. I really don´t understand which was the motivation to film this.
It´s just another dumb and empty movie about college students.
Perhaps due to the fact that I am not interested in baseball, I find the story rather non engaging. All I see is a bunch of testosterone fuelled guys doing silly things, having parties, drinking and shouting. It doesn't have a real plot, as there is no central message or moral story to be delivered. We see the lives of these people in three days, condensed in two hours. I don't know what the point of the film is, but i certainly do not find their lives interesting.
The worst part of it is that Linklater has talent as a filmmaker. The piece is competently constructed and shot, and contains a couple of well-written scenes, notably a split-screen phone conversation between Jenner and the movie's only other credible character, played without affectation by Zoey Deutsch.
In CABIN IN THE WOODS the equivalent bunch of stereotypes gets ritually slaughtered, a fate I several times wished on the quasi-characters here.
There is also the fact that in this Mudville there are only shiny happy people out of Hollywood wardrobe department and there's little resemblance to reality.
That shouldn't stop those who want college and youth myths big on All American ball-whacking, drinking, weed-smoking, look-how-crazy-we-all-are high spirits. There will be lots of people who want some of that.
So it was with no small amount of anticipation and excitement that I began to watch Everybody Wants Some!! and boy, did it disappoint. It felt false, the guys all seemed to old to be in college, their house and clothing seemed too new; it was trying too hard. In the club they go to early on they sit at tables with drinks on - the tables are spotless, no spilled drinks or condensation. The details in this film are lacking...
The only bit I enjoyed a little was the belated romance with the lead (who I didn't like) and the girl from the beginning - but that was too little too late.
Really disappointing; I did "want some" but not this....
A good comedy is 90-100 min. Making this go two hours is a waste of time, the nudity was good but that is it...........
"Everybody" is a boring tale about boring, pigeon-holed people, who, if they aren't drinking, smoking, or screwing have NOTHING else they would deem worth doing. That might have been okay once upon a time, but after an hour or so, it just gets real tedious and unfunny. A college baseball team, with an average IQ of, oh, 8, get together at their jock-house to smoke dope, womanize, drink to excess, act 13, and try to act bad-ass. Nary a book is cracked, so I guess as long as you could throw a ball back then, you did not have to worry about school that much. Oh, and it must be a requisite that you bed as many women as possible.
Another problem I had with this movie was the casting. Too many of the actors looked way too long in the tooth to be playing teenagers. The guy with the mustache looked in his mid-30s. Also, way too many of these guys could actually keep a beat when they danced. Most all guys like this that I was ever around wanted to hunch on the dance floor or at least cop a feel. Twinkle-toes they were not.
If your idea of a good time is watching boring guys do boring things, but still get laid, this one's for you. I was not impressed at all by this movie. In fact, it left a very bad taste in my mouth. Rated "R" for constant language, boobs, and simulated sex, I'd rather watch paint dry.
The media hype implied a soft-core 70's type romp like "Squeeze Play" or "Hots!", but there was none of that. The one set of breasts was nice but really just a tease. The nice girl and the nice guy finally go on a date after bit of impromptu swimming in their underwear and immediately sleep together AND spend the night together. can you say "Tame"? I got a little excited when the bar fight broke out, but when I saw drunk jocks and 80's bouncers not throw a single punch I had to pinch myself. It was reminiscent of "The A-Team"...bombs and guns going off all around, but NOBODY ever got injured. Didn't deliver the advertised sex and violence of the 80's at all. "Dazed and Confused" it was not.
Oh yeah! Where was the cocaine?
I really want those 117 minutes back!!!
I would have given it a negative review if that was an option.
Compared to Dazed and Confused, which featured a much broader spectrum of teenage life in the mid 70s, including jocks, budding intellectuals, burn-outs, etc., Everybody Wants Some is mainly focused on college jock life and the pervasive misogyny one might expect. At times insightful, and also humorous, the movie simply observes the lives of its characters. But it pales compared to its predecessor, and the overwhelming emphasis on the misogynistic and competitive sexual exploits of its characters tends to fracture and efface the movie's charms.
Everyone Wants Some!! is an ensemble piece focusing on a fictional 1980 college baseball team known as the Southeast Texas Cherokees. The protagonist is a freshman pitcher Jake (Blake Jenner), who moves in with most of his teammates in a rickety old house near the college campus.
Three quarters into the film, one is still waiting for the break into Act II. There is virtually no movement in the plot until Jake finally hooks up with a pretty performing arts sophomore, Beverly, and consummates a brief romance.
Sandwiched in between Jake's entrance and eventual fling, we follow the machinations of his teammates—they're a bunch of foul-mouthed, beer- swilling cut ups who are supposed to be amusing but decidedly evoke no laughs. When not insulting one another, they're off attending one campus party after another, aggressively hitting on girls, usually with some success.
Since there are so many characters, it's hard to keep track of who's who. Of the ones I can recall, Willoughby is the philosopher-stoner who is eventually exposed as a thirty year old and expelled from campus. Finnegan boasts of his average penis size to various co-eds in the belief that his frankness will win him some points; and Jay, the "star" pitcher, is a loose cannon who provokes a fight at a bar with arrogant and racist remarks.
When Jake runs into his old high school pal, Justin, a punk aficionado, this gives Linklater an opportunity to showcase a punk music concert. But it's actually 80s pop-rock that fills up the majority of the tracks on the soundtrack.
Before the anemic climax, the baseball team shows up for a pre-spring practice (the players apparently are directed to get acquainted in the fall) and Jay, pitching aggressively, is finally shown up when McReynolds, the team captain, smacks a homer off of him.
If the unexciting proceedings on the baseball field don't interest you enough, there's a final party scene, a "Wizard of Oz" themed costume affair, where the boys warm up to their artsy female counterparts. This is where the romance between Jake and Beverly blossoms and is the only aspect of the film where a modicum of interest may pop up for the now disinterested viewer.
Throughout the film Linklater notes the time when classes begin. The denouement is completely anti-climactic and in keeping with Liniklater's desire to serve up another slice of life—indeed, Jake (and one of his teammates) arrive at class and promptly fall asleep!
Everyone Wants Some!! proves to be lugubrious and virtually plot less. What's more its characters are for the most part, indistinguishable. Naturally the critics lapped this one up and prove once again that the critical establishment usually runs to those directors who would rather rest on their laurels then proffer up new and exciting material.
I think I understand what Linklater was going for here, but it's still not an excuse for the snoozefest he delivers. I *believe* he was trying for something almost anthropological. That is, studying a very specific type of American male (high-school star jock) in a specific time and place (early '80s Texas) who come to terms with the competitive nature of college (in general, but college sports, specifically). Obviously this comes from Linklater's own experience but that alone doesn't make it interesting.
The fact that it shares many similarities with Dazed and Confused is only going to mystify and irritate most people, especially fans of that earlier film, which was a much more involving and true-to-life portrayal than anything you see in this film. If you'll remember, Dazed had an encapsulated version of Everybody Wants Some embedded into it --- namely Pink's (Jason London) disenfranchisement of the whole high-school sports scene. If you look closely at the mostly unknown cast, you'll notice more than a few similarities between the two character line-ups in behaviors and physical appearance. But Dazed is a rich film. The characters were anything but types (and they did not chant "catch phrases" as one reviewer states... the film's fans created those) and each had many dimensions. None (even Ben Affleck's character) were straight heroes or villains. By contrast, Everybody Wants Some's cast of jocks and jock-babes rarely give us anything we don't expect or transcend any of the rampant stereotypes.
For long stretches... I mean *LONG*... all you get are continuous party scenes that, while well-directed, still don't deliver anything that will keep your interest. There is little conflict, and nothing but the scantest surface interactions between the cast, none of whom give anything but the most vanilla performances. This isn't the first time Linklater's used a cast of unknowns (Dazed and particularly Slacker were exactly that) but Everybody Wants Some's crew is distinctly lacking in both style and charisma.
I don't think I've been as disappointed by any movie this year. And as other reviewers have said, the overwhelming positive critical reception this unstructured mess is receiving is disturbing, to say the least. Yes, Boyhood was amazing on so many levels and easily Linklater's most masterful film, firing on all his strengths. EWS consistently plays to all his weakest.
The more I think about it, EWS's aims are closer to Slacker than Dazed. Slacker was just that... a virtual anthropological snapshot of Austin Texas college life circa 1988-1989. Only Slacker's cast continually gave the audience thoughtful, crazy, disturbing, and provoking words and actions. By contrast, EWS is about as soulful as a kegger. A fun time in the moment, but nothing you'll remember after that. And that might be a very good thing.
** One footnote: If you have a surround sound set-up, you'll notice this film makes the same mistake as many others recently by putting primary audio in the rear channels, making the party scenes virtually impossible to hear unless you just jack the center channel through the roof. Maybe this is something related to Dolby Atmos. Whatever it is, it's irritating as hell. Nothing sinks a film faster than bad sound.