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4-13-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: EVERYBODY WANTS SOME (2016)

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I for one can attest to the authenticity of Richard Linklater’s latest film “Everybody Wants Some” having roomed next to and hung out with baseball players my four years of college despite me never having stepped foot on the diamond. It’s just how things worked themselves out my first day of college and for whatever reason the director of housing, despite my relatively sheltered background, thought it would be a good fit for me; go figure!  I remember vividly, walking into my one-bed quarters on the ground floor at the far end of the hall and a baseball player welcoming me to “the experience” and offering me a cold “brew”; that welcoming is exactly where “Everybody Wants Some” begins.

Linklater, who undoubtedly has a passion for the game, (it’s a reoccurring theme in his films to see baseball played), goes out in his latest picture giving audiences a taste of what it’s like being part of a college baseball team.  Shot in the 1980s, “Everybody Wants Some” which critics are calling the sequel to his 1993 film “Dazed and Confused” (which by the way couldn’t be any different regarding storyline and characters).  The film follows the rites of passage taken by a floundering group of hunky freshmen as they undergo initiation onto a Busch-league Texas baseball team before the start of the school year.  As to be expected, there’s plenty of hair (think 80’s mustaches and musk chops), dick jokes and enough f-bombs to go around and squeal the man’s better half. “Dazed and Confused,” like a host of many other films from the 80/90’s era, was known for its killer soundtrack (think Alice Cooper, Skynyrd, KISS and ZZ Top) and the one for his latest picture is no slouch either. That’s about the only thing the two films have in common other than there being so many characters you can’t remember all their names.

As aforementioned “Everybody Wants Some” is terrifyingly accurate down to the very T (nearly everything in this film I’ve witnessed firsthand), and it’s as if Linklater has let audiences in on ALL of the secrets and shenanigans that take place when freshmen pledges become a member of the college fraternity known as baseball.  It’s true college baseball players booze before, during and after home and away games, that they only hang out with one another around campus and use pickup lines like “Hey, I’m a baseball player” to get some leg.  It’s also true that at some point during their careers they live off campus where there are some of wildest parties you will ever see, where law and order are thrown out, and they play by their own set of rules. Easily the funniest scene in “Everybody Wants Some” is when the old-dickheaded baseball coach comes to “the house” prior to the summer and tells that alcohol isn’t allowed (that the college itself is a dry-campus; a side note I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this before) and girls aren’t allowed upstairs. The coach immediately leaves and acts like he can trust the boys.  It’s pretty damn funny considering a couple of the players were high as a kite before the coach gave his spiel.  Then there’s the news that spreads like wildfire throughout the team during the lunchroom, over the phone and back into the dorms after that a certain someone, usually a complete idiot has been thrown off for doing something illegal that he wouldn’t ordinarily do had he been going to a local college and living at home.  Linklater didn’t skip over this either when the teams bohemian-blonde-headed, designated blazinator is sent his bags a-pack-in’ during the middle of the first day of fall practice after the coach discovers he’s thirty years old and has run out of eligibility after transferring to over six schools.

I’d given some serious thought these last couple of years to working on a script similar to Linklater’s, but it looks like he beat me to it. It was truly a revelation seeing a picture that highlighted so many of the college experiences I had; ones that were so crazy, dear and close to me despite the thirty-year time gap between my freshman year and when this film begins.

I loved “Everybody Wants Some” but the film certainly not for everybody.  For one, just as in “Dazed and Confused”, there’s not much plot other than wild partying with lots of dialogue and jokes worked into the script; but I think Linklater wrote this film as more of a timepiece –that is to reflect on the good times- rather than having some by the book underlying message or theme to be taken away.  Secondly, the male cast in this film also looks old; much too old be in college, but this doesn’t spoil the picture by any means because of it’s fast pace, short sequences and production design (new characters are added as the film moves along). For the record, most of the actors in this picture are 27 to 28 years old.

All in all, I liked Linklater’s latest film, and it brought back some wonderful memories of times past.  I would put this “sequel” slightly above “the original” –if you can call it that!

I give “Everybody Wants Some” 3 out of 4 Stars.

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