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Everybody Wants Some!! Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Review

Everybody Wants Some!! (2016) movie poster Everybody Wants Some!!

Theatrical Release: March 30, 2016 / Running Time: 117 Minutes / Rating: R

Writer/Director: Richard Linklater

Cast: Blake Jenner (Jake Bradford), Juston Street (Jay Niles), Ryan Guzman (Kenny Roper), Tyler Hoechlin (Glen McReynolds), Wyatt Russell (Charlie Willoughby), Glen Powell (Finnegan), Temple Baker (Tyrone Plummer), J. Quinton Johnson (Dale Douglas), Will Brittain (Billy Autrey/"Beuter Perkins"), Zoey Deutch (Beverly), Austin Amelio (Nesbit), Tanner Kalina (Alex Brumley), Forrest Vickery (Coma), Dora Madison (Val), Jonathan Breck (Coach Gordan)

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Everybody Wants Some!! could be considered a spiritual successor to two of writer-director Richard Linklater's better-known and more highly regarded films. It is set over the course of Labor Day Weekend 1980,
the start of the fall semester for all of its characters enrolled at Southeast Texas State University. Starting college is, of course, where Linklater's previous film, the 12-years-in-the-making coming-of-age tale Boyhood left off. But, from its rock-inspired title to its ensemble design, Everybody more closely resembles Dazed and Confused, Linklater's 1993 comedy set on the last day of high school in 1976 that was emphasized in the marketing.

Everybody's protagonist is Jake (Blake Jenner), a freshman who is to be among the baseball team's pitchers. He moves into one of two decaying neighboring houses that are reserved for members of the team and becomes acclimated with this ragtag gang, which includes pitcher-hating hotshot McReynolds (Tyler Hoechlin), easygoing rope-shower Dale (J. Quinton Johnson), an ostracized cowboy unhappily nicknamed Beuter (Will Brittain), and philosophizing/womanizing upperclassman Finnegan (Glen Powell).

In "Everybody Wants Some!!", college freshman Jake Bradford (Blake Jenner) tries to attract the opposite sex with help from his new housemates/teammates.

These jocks have classical jock interests: sex, parties, and having a good time. There is the voluntary/not voluntary first practice of the season near the end of the film. And the film concludes with the first minutes of class. But the days leading up to them find these characters giving nary a thought to their education. Instead, they drink, smoke weed, and pursue the opposite sex. Their adventures bring them to the different kind of joints in style at the time: a disco venue, a country western bar, a punk concert. There's even a foray to a party by art and theatre majors, to which the team tags along with Jake as he tries to start a romance with auburn-haired co-ed Beverly (Zoey Deutch).

Everybody Wants Some succeeds, like Dazed and Confused before it, at recreating a time and place. Linklater knows the time and place, having attended Sam Houston State University for a few years in the late '70s and early '80s. He played baseball there, and the passage of three and a half decades have not dulled this experience from adding more kindling to his legacy of personal storytelling. From the opening scene's use of The Knack's "My Sharona", the movie is filled with period music that has aged well and remained familiar, from Blondie's "Heart of Glass" to Devo's "Whip It" to a "Rapper's Delight" sing-along and Van Halen's titular track. The re-creation also extends to convincing outdated fashions and facial hair. If you attended college or even high school in 1980, the authenticity will speak to you.

Richard Linklater's "Everybody Wants Some!!" is populated exclusively by beer-swilling, woman-chasing college baseball players, or "bros" to use modern parlance.

Linklater's films always boast degrees of authenticity and autobiography. Unfortunately, those elements are not easy to appreciate in this parade of '80s bros, who show little redeeming values as they chase skirts, take bong hits, and haze one another. The character of Jake, who recalls Jason London's protagonist from Dazed and Confused,
is supposed to ground the thing and add heart with his Whitman-quoting romantic pursuit of Beverly. But it's not enough to counter all the testosterone-fueled ribbing and ribaldry.

Some of the comedy amuses. Juston Street as "Raw Dog", the nutcase pitcher from Detroit who tells everyone he's the next Nolan Ryan, gets a few laughs out of a character you would more expect to see in Linklater's modestly-received Bad News Bears remake. Most of the time, though, you feel like you're in the presence of immature teenaged and twentysomething boys who are not prepared for even the college version of adulthood. The wisdom of Linklater's conversation-driven Before trilogy and breakthrough indie Slacker is sorely missed here. We only get two glimpses of adult characters, a coach whose rules are ignored and a professor whose opening gestures drive students to sleep. Dazed didn't offer much more in the way of authority figures, but it had an energy this film lacks as well as a cast of characters with varying degrees of innocence who elicited sympathy. There is little variety and diversity in Everybody, giving us an overload of athletic machismo and libido that grows tiresome.

Although critical consensus added this to the well-reviewed majority of Linklater's oeuvre, Everybody Wants Some!! didn't do much business at the box office, where it was rolled out from 19 to 454 theaters as the rare Paramount Pictures release not designed to be a tentpole attraction. Altogether, the film grossed just $3.4 million domestically (and nothing at all yet anywhere else), less than half of what Dazed earned over twenty years ago from half as many theaters. (Dazed sold five times as many tickets at 1993's lower prices.) Today, Paramount treats it the film, much like Linklater's prior, to a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack.

Everybody Wants Some!! Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack cover art - click to buy from Amazon.com Blu-ray & DVD Details

1.78:1 Widescreen (DVD Anamorphic)
BD: 5.1 DTS-HD MA (English), Dolby Digital 5.1 (French, Spanish, Descriptive Service)
DVD: Dolby Digital 5.1 (English, French, Spanish, Descriptive Video Service)
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French; BD movie-only: English SDH
DVD Closed Captioned; Extras Subtitled
Release Date: July 12, 2016
Suggested Retail Price: $39.99
Two single-sided, dual-layered discs (BD-50 & DVD-9)
Blue Eco-Friendly Keepcase in Cardboard Slipcover
Also available as standalone DVD ($29.99 SRP) and Amazon Instant Video

VIDEO and AUDIO

Though Everybody Wants Some!! was produced independently, it looks every bit as polished as one that Paramount itself made. Occupying every pixel available, the Blu-ray's 1.78:1 presentation is sharp, clean, and immaculate. The 5.1 DTS-HD master audio mix springs to life with period music and consistently pleases with its crisp distribution of elements.

"Baseball Players Can Dance" with a little studio training. Tyler Hoechlin just sent in some highlights of his college baseball days as his skills video.

BONUS FEATURES, MENUS, PACKAGING and DESIGN

The Blu-ray's all-HD extras begin with "Everybody Wants Some!!: More Stuff That's Not in the Movie" (25:24), an epic reel of deleted/unused snippets that mostly find the guys improvising

and the lead-up or aftermath of takes, with some mugging or horsing around for the cameras thrown in as well. Much of it is even more obnoxious, grating, inconsequential and unfunny than what made it into the film.

"Rickipedia" (3:57) lets cast members speak of their writer-director Richard Linklater, whom they all admire as a fountain of information on the era dramatized.

"Baseball Players Can Dance" (6:42) looks at the cast's training less on the baseball field than in the dance studio, where they learned the moves that were used in 1980.

"Skills Videos" (5:17) shares bits from the baseball field videos the cast was required to submit.

Finally, "History 101: Stylin' the '80s" (4:20) looks at the make-up, hairstyling, fashions, and props needed to turn the clocks back 36 years.

The DVD, which is devoid of extras, opens with trailers for 10 Cloverfield Lane, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, and Boyhood. The same three play from that disc's "Previews" listing.

The static menu takes the basic approach of recycling poster/cover art to fill 16:9 screens. The Blu-ray supports bookmarks, but Paramount remains the only major studio to not resume BD playback in any way.

An insert supplying Digital HD with UltraViolet information accompany the two plainly-labeled discs inside the eco-friendly keepcase that's topped by a glossy slipcover.

The bros of "Everybody Wants Some!!" play a card game with rules they make up as they go along.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

From Slacker to Boyhood, I've liked almost everything that Richard Linklater has made, but I just cannot warm to Everybody Wants Some!!, a presumably authentic but incredibly insufferable portrait of randy college jocks in 1980 Texas. Linklater's knacks for dialogue and period music may be on display, but they're wasted in us having to spend two long hours with characters we wouldn't want to spend two minutes with in real life.

Paramount's Blu-ray combo pack delivers a high quality feature presentation plus some substantial extras. I would recommend a rental for Linklater fans, but don't go in expecting a new Dazed and Confused.

Buy Everybody Wants Some!! from Amazon.com:
Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD / DVD / Instant Video

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Related Reviews:
Written and Directed by Richard Linklater: Dazed and Confused Slacker Boyhood Before Midnight
College: Midnight Madness Road Trip Senseless Back to School Now You See Him, Now You Don't
Baseball: Hall Pass How Do You Know Trouble With the Curve A League of Their Own
New to Disc: The Family Fang The Mermaid The Dark Horse The Adderall Diaries

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Reviewed July 12, 2016.



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