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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Everybody Wants Some

July 11th, 2016

Everybody Wants Some - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
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Green Room

Richard Linklater is one of those directors with lots of Indie Cred that rarely have breakout success at the box office. The biggest hit of his career has been School of Rock. Everybody Wants Some was expected to do well enough to earn some measure of mainstream success. Some were even expecting it to be one of the biggest limited releases of the year so far, topping $10 million. That didn’t happen. Is this one of the director’s weaker movies? Or was it unfairly overlooked by moviegoers?

The Movie

There’s not a lot of plot to summarize here, at least not a lot that doesn’t venture into spoiler territory. The setup is mostly just being introduced to the characters and then following them in their day-to-day lives.

The first character we are introduced to is Jake a freshman who was recruited to pitch on the Southeast Texas Cherokees college baseball team. We first see him driving around checking out the college women before arriving at the house he will be sharing with his new teammates, assuming the house doesn’t collapse. The first two people he meets are McReynolds and Roper, who were filling a waterbed until it nearly caused the kitchen ceiling to collapse. They seem happy to see Jake, until Jake says he’s a pitcher, at which point McReynolds explains that he hates pitchers. Upstairs Jake meets Finnegan, who gives a good first impression. He’s clearly smarter than the first two teammates Jake met. He even knows the density of water, which is impressive if you grew up in a country that still uses the imperial system of measurements. Willoughby is also upstairs taking in the near disaster, but he’s more engaged by his book. Dale meets Jake by nearly punching him in the face. In Dale’s defense, it’s a bad idea to just open someone’s door, because you might startle the person on the other side of that door and instinct will kick in. Dale does know where Beuter is, and Beuter is Jake’s new roommate.

With the introductions out of the way, a few of the team decide to head out and get drinks and hit on some women. There are a lot of women on a college campus. Both Roper and Finn get shot down, but one of the women, Beverly, likes the look of Jake, so he makes a mental note about her room number for later. While at the bar, a few more baseball players show up, Coma, Brumley, and Nesbit. They don’t meet the final member of the team, Jay Niles, until the meeting with the coach. He’s a transfer from Detroit and a pro-prospect, but already none of the veterans on the team like him. At the meeting, the coach gives the team two rules. No alcohol in the house and no women in the bedrooms.

I won’t give you points for guessing that they break those rules, but how they go about doing that is a spoiler.

So there’s not a lot of plot in Everybody Wants Some. The first 20 minutes of the movie is used to introduce the main characters, while the rest of the movie shows what they do during the first weekend of school. This is a character and dialogue driven dramedy. This is right in Richard Linklater’s wheelhouse, so it comes as no surprise that the film is stellar. He’s a master at creating believable characters and crafting compelling situations. He’s also great at finding actors and getting the best performances out of them.

However, not everybody is going to be into this movie for two main reasons. Firstly, not all of the characters are sympathetic. In fact, most of them are immature, to be kind. Granted, they are college kids from 1980, so being immature is in their nature, but I can still see them getting on the nerve of some members of the audience. I certainly thought at the beginning that some of the characters would overstay their welcome, but fortunately, most of those had limited screen time. The second main issue is the lack of a real plot. Everybody Wants Some is no Hero’s Journey. There’s no grand motivating incident to send our heroes on some life-changing adventure. It’s mostly just Jake and his teammates and later Jake and Beverly getting to know each other. For some this might not be enough. For fans of Richard Linklater’s films, then this is a must see.

The Extras

Extras begin with More Stuff That’s Not in the Movie, which is 25 minutes of outtakes, behind-the-scenes, and more. Rickipedia is four minutes of the cast praising Richard Linklater’s encyclopedic knowledge of the time. Baseball Players Can Dance is a seven-minute look at the dancing in the movie and how the actors were taught period-specific dance moves. Skills Videos is like a companion piece and has the actors showing off their baseball skills for the audition process. Finally, there’s History 101: Stylin’ the 80s, a four-minute look at the hair and clothing used to sell the period. There’s no audio commentary track, but there’s still a lot of extras compared to most limited releases.

The Verdict

Given the buzz and Richard Linklater’s Indie Cred, I was really expecting Everybody Wants Some to expand at least semi-wide. That didn’t happen. Hopefully it will find an audience on the home market. The Blu-ray Combo Pack is certainly worth the $18 asking price.

Filed under: Video Review, Everybody Wants Some, Jonathan Breck, Tyler Hoechlin, Richard Linklater, Wyatt Russell, Ryan Guzman, Zoey Deutch, Will Brittain, Glen Powell, Juston Street, Blake Jenner, J. Quinton Johnson, Austin Amelio, Tanner Kalina, Forrest Vickery