Hailed by critics as “fun, irreverent and downright hilarious” (Michael Calore, Wired), EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! follows freshman pitcher Jake as he arrives at college in the summer of 1980 and meets his new rowdy teammates. Together, they must navigate their way between girls, parties and baseball, all in the last weekend before school begins. The film features an outstanding ensemble cast of up-and-coming actors including Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin, Wyatt Russell, Glen Powell, J. Quinton Johnson, Ryan Guzman and Zoey Deutch.
College is a wild and crazy time. Not just because of the parties, although there tends to be many of those, but because it's the time of your life where you're free from your parents. For the first time, you are free to be you and be your own boss and decide your life on your terms. It can be a terrifying experience for most people. While some have a roadmap already drawn out for towards where they want to drive their lives, others have no clue and simply make it up on the fly. Then you have those young men and women with seemingly God-given natural talents who already know what they're destined for. Those blessed with natural athletic ability seem like they have it all. Talent, popularity, and they're worshiped for the points they can put up on the scoreboard. They may appear God-like and eternally confident, but in reality, they're just as confused and insecure as the rest of their classmates. Richard Linklater's latest 'Everybody Wants Some!!' plays as a coming of age story about a college baseball team in 1980 as much as a deconstruction of the sports jock archetype.
The summer of 1980 is just about over. Jake (Blake Jenner), has driven all the way from California to Texas to pitch for his college baseball team. With his clothes, some keepsakes, and his carefully cultivated record album collection, he's just pulled up to the house designated for the team to live in. From the outside, everything is sleepy, quiet, not what you would expect for a college town. However, inside a chaotic storm of ego, talent, and machismo is brewing. From the moment Jake walks in the door, he is tossed into this world. When star hitter and pro prospect McReynolds' (Tyler Hoechlin) new waterbed nearly breaks through the ceiling, Jake is in the weeds.
Self-described "ladies man" Finnegan (Glen Powell) acts sort of as the mascot for the team. While a player, he's the guy who knows it all and quickly puts the freshman Jake in his place at the same time working towards making him part of the team. Along with guys like Plummer (Temple Baker), Roper (Ryan Guzman), and Dale (J. Quinton Johnson), Jake quickly learns that all of the stories of college life are true - to a point. What he isn't prepared for is having to prove himself on a larger stage. It's not high school anymore. One bad pitch in front of the wrong scout is all the difference between playing in the majors and coaching little league. For some, like the hot-headed Jay (Juston Street), the pressure to have to prove himself is too much. For guys like Nesbit (Austin Amelio), they can't back down from a challenge, even if they know they're going to lose.
Through the course of the three days before classes start, Jake undergoes a day-by-day initiation to this new lifestyle. At first, it's all fun and games, making friends, meeting fast ladies, and drinking way more than any one person should. But it isn't long before the egos and insecurities held deep within his fellow teammates start to take center stage. Knowing full well their social tendencies, Jake begins to shelter parts of his life from the rest of the group, especially when he meets the pretty performing arts student Beverly (Zoey Deutch). A lot of growing can happen in a couple of days and while it may be fun and games now, Jake has a long road ahead of him before classes even start.
Coming off of some pretty fantastic dramatic entries like 'Boyhood' and 'Before Midnight,' I wasn't sure what to make of the idea of writer/director Richard Linklater returning to 'Dazed and Confused' so to speak. While thankfully not a misguided attempt at a sequel, 'Everybody Wants Some!!' is a satisfying cousin to 'Dazed.' Those who loved the wandering meandering stylings of 'Dazed' without any clear story path or finely defined plot should fall in sync with 'Everybody Wants Some!!' very quickly. From the opening credits played to The Knack's "My Sharona," you get a pretty clear idea what you're in for. Colorful characters, somewhat relatable scenarios, and a killer late 70s soundtrack is what makes 'Everybody Wants Some!!' what it is.
I'll admit up front that I've never been much of a 'Dazed and Confused' fan. Not that I have anything against the film, in fact, I love a number of the characters, it's just that I have few if any fond memories of high school. To be frank, high school is probably the lone period of my life I wish I could get a mulligan on. it was stressful, I was sick a lot, and I experienced any number of personal issues that I'd just assume to have lived life without. College, on the other hand, was everything I hoped and dreamed it would be. I was free to be an uncompromised version of myself and it was glorious. I was able to figure myself out, find my niche, and become a someone rather than living as a something. It's owing to these aspects that I absolutely loved 'Everybody Wants Some!!' I vividly remember that first week of orientation, meeting roommates, making first friends, hanging out at parties hosted by upperclassmen, signing up for classes, and taking those first real steps towards finding out who I was. 'Everybody Wants Some!!' perfectly recaptured those feelings for me. Granted I was a fine arts student and the antics these characters pulled aren't 100% relatable, but to an extent I was a version of Jake. It's in these moments that the comedy comes through. There aren't any obvious setups for jokes, you just sort of succumb to the fun and can't help but laugh in the moment because looking back at my own little life experiences, they were pretty ridiculous.
If I were to have any issue with 'Everybody Wants Some' is that it may feel too long. At just about two hours, parts of it can linger longer than what seems necessary. Several times I thought I was further into the film than I was. I was never bored, but at the same time I felt during my first viewing that I wished it would pick up the pace. However, on my second viewing, all of my pacing issues with the film melted away. I became more impressed with the ensemble cast and the meandering yet purposeful nature of the plotting. You never really feel like you know where this film is going and that was how that first week of college felt. At first I wasn't sure if I liked this movie or not, but then I realized that for several hours after the end credits had rolled I couldn't get the movie out of my head. I kept thinking about certain parts, realizing new things, and finding those relatable nuggets. It was the second viewing that sealed the deal for me and popped 'Everybody Wants Some!!' onto my budding "Best of 2016" list. Give it a shot. If you don't like it or didn't like it after that first viewing, watch it again. 'Everybody Wants Some!!' is one of those movies that warrants multiple viewings.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Everybody Wants Some!!' arrives on home video as a two-disc Blu-ray and DVD with Digital HD set from Paramount Home Video. Pressed onto a BD50 disc, the disc comes housed in a two-disc eco friendly case with identical slip cover. The disc opens to a static image main menu with traditional navigation options. Worth noting is something of a misprint on the artwork and slip cover. Printed clearly is the DTSX DTS HeadphoneX logos, but there is no DTSX audio option on this disc.
Although shot digitally, 'Everybody Wants Some!!' features a beautiful, film-like 1.85:1 1080p transfer. Everything the camera looks at feels real and tangible. Fien details are impressive. Facial features in particular as a lot of work clearly went into recreating the look of late 70s early 80s baseball players with the long hair and crazy facial hair. The production design also deserves a shout out as a lot of effort went into recreating the small details, that house looks like a piece of crap, about to fall apart at any second college house. Colors are tinged towards the golden tones to recreate that end of the 70s early 80s summer time color pallet. Flesh tones are tanned and healthy looking. Black levels are deep and inky giving the image a great sense of three-dimensional depth to it. Contrast is under control without any blooming or haloing issues. Free of any banding or any other compression issues, this is a pretty great looking flick.
Rocking a DTS-HD MA 5.1 track, 'Everybody Wants Some!!' has a hell of an audio mix. Sure, the dialogue keeps front and center and is easily heard throughout. Yeah, there is a great yet subtle use of surround channels to keep the track lively. What the real start of this flick is the soundtrack. With a playlist featuring some of the best rock and funk tunes of the era, you're probably going to want to keep your set cranked. Moving on from the great tunes, as I said, dialogue is crystal clear which is important because this is very much a talking flick. So much of the plot and story comes out in casual conversation that if you're not paying attention or if the mix was muddled and you couldn't hear anything, you'd miss something important. Thankfully that's not an issue. And again, the surround elements are subtle but they're present. From the parties in the house to the crowd scenes on campus, there is a fantastic sense of space and dimension throughout this track. Granted I don't have Atmos, just having this mix optimized for that would be impressive. As it rests, this is still a heck of a great audio track and is a big reason why the movie is so much fun.
More Stuff That's Not In The Movie: (HD 25:24) This is a collection of fully deleted scenes, gags, and outtakes. There isn't a whole lot of new material here as each clip is a bit of an outtake with a gag, it shows that a lot of this was improvised on the fly. Even if it's not all new and amazing character material, it's still fun.
Rickipedia: (HD 3:57) This is actually a pretty fun little extra about the expansive knowledge Linklater has about the era and cultural significance of the smallest details.
Baseball Players Can Dance: (HD 6:42) This is a pretty cool look at the prep work the cast had to do so they could actually look like real college level ball players but all cut a pretty mean rug at the same time. Quick but fun.
Skills Videos: (HD 5:17) The actors had to shoot videos to prove they could play baseball so a number of them hadn't acted before but just had the right attitude to pull it off.
History 101: Stylin' The 80s: (HD 4:20) This is a very brief but cool look at what it took to get these guys looking like they belonged in the early 80s through makeup, wigs, and vintage clothing.
After the decades-long work in progress that was 'Boyhood' and the third entry in a 20-year-old story that was 'Before Midnight,' Richard Linklater feels as though he's come full circle and has returned to his roots in a way with 'Everybody Wants Some!!' As a thematic cousin to 'Dazed and Confused,' this film provides us with a group of guys entering a new phase in their lives. We get a brief time to follow them, see who they are, expose the small cracks in their egos, and we leave before fall semester even begins. 'Everybody Wants Some' does for the first week of college life what 'Dazed and Confused' did for the last days of high school. Paramount Home Video brings the film to Blu-ray with an absolutely first-rate A/V transfer. Extras, while fun and somewhat informative, are very very slim making me wonder how long before Criterion picks this up and offers a full-fledged special edition? Even if a Criterion release happens, fans of the film can feel confident making this purchase. If you're new to the movie and aren't a big fan of Linklater, a blind buy may be a tough sell. I found this movie to be an unexpected joy that wormed its way into my brain and has me hooked. To that end, I'm calling this one Highly Recommended.