Plot: What’s it about?
Following in the vein of his very own Dazed and Confused, Everybody Wants Some takes us back to 1980 where we meet athlete Jake Bradford (Blake Jenner). He’s beginning his freshman year of college, and is a baseball player. We see him meet the other members of the team and we’re given something of an introduction to them as well. As we see get to know these characters, we realize that their top priorities are clearly not baseball. They cruise around town trying to pick up women and getting drunk in bars. If there’s one thing Linklater gets a grasp on, it’s accurately depicting life in this era. With that being said, the film offers very little charm. Those expecting another classic like Dazed and Confused might walk away disappointed.
We meet several characters here, but like Dazed, there’s not much of a plot here. Sometimes that works. Sometimes it doesn’t. I think if the characters are compelling enough, a movie can get by on that alone. Dazed is one such example of that. Let’s not forget that many talented, young actors that movie featured. Sadly, with this film there’s just not much to praise. At no point does it become a bad film, but there’s also not a point where it really touches, or comes close to greatness. I’m all in favor of a film offering a nostalgic viewpoint and taking us to an earlier, simpler time, but there’s not much beyond that. I think one of the issues here is the self-awareness. I’m not sure what went through Director Richard Linklater’s mind when he was making Dazed and Confused, but surely he wouldn’t have known the lasting impact it would have. With this film, it’s as if he’s trying to recreate that magic again, but it can feel a bit forced. It doesn’t help that the film is just a bit too slow and boring. That isn’t to say the film is a total dud. It nicely recreates the 1980’s with the wardrobes and style, but there’s just not much else here to like.
Video: How’s it look?
With a 1.85:1 ratio, the transfer is top notch. One of the charms of the film is the look and style it recreates, and that comes across here. The transfer is clean and free from obvious flaws as well. Details are also strong, whether in background shots or on wardrobes. All across the board, this transfer will please fans of the film.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The DTS HD track suits the film just fine as well. At no point, is it one of the best tracks I’ve ever heard, but it works as well as it should. Vocals are clear and always audible and the rear channels kick in when needed. There are many party scenes in the film with loud music and banter. We’re given a nice depiction of that atmosphere here. Fans will be pleased.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- More Stuff That’s Not In The Movie – More of an ensemble/montage of deleted scenes, outtakes and the like it’s fun to watch, but ultimately doesn’t add a lot of actual content (or context) to the film.
- Rickipedia – Suffice it to say that we get proof how much of a ’70/80’s “geek” Richard Linklater actually is.
- Baseball Players Can Dance – A brief look at the actors who had to dance, but look like college level athletes at the same time.
- Skills Videos – Linklater wanted people who could actually play baseball, so a number of the actors submitted videos of them playing.
- History 101: Stylin’ The 80s – If you’re too young to remember the early 80s then this might give you a few tips and/or pointers as to how to best look the part.
The Bottom Line
I realize I did endless comparisons to Dazed and Confused, but that’s largely because Wants never creates an identity of its own. It so desperately wants to create that same magic, but comes up short much of the time. The actors aren’t up to par and the characters just aren’t that interesting. The intention here is admirable, but the execution is what hurts it. Skip it.