Fresh to the On Demand market is the latest film by Richard Linklater... Everybody Wants Some!! It is another semi-current period piece located in Texas by Mr. Linklater. A genre that he seems to have a very distinct panache for. This time we step into the shoes, or cleats, of the baseball team of a fictional Texas college in 1980, right as school is about to begin. We get to see the anxieties of developing new relationships with other students of the same ilk, along with trying to get a foothold in the door and belong with has already been established with the team.
Enter Jake (Blake Jenner), the new freshman pitcher. Now this is not just going to the dorm to get your room, this is the baseball team who lives in a pair of houses provided by the city off campus... of course. I know what your thinking, it's Animal House all over again. Not so fast, think Delta house, but a more relatable version. Now back to Jake who is met by porn stache McReynolds (Tyler Hoechlin), the best player on the team who, in no uncertain words, informs Jake that he hates all pitchers whether they are on his team or not. Well, so much for fitting right in. Don't worry Jake makes plenty of friends as the team comes together and begins to bond.
I also don't mean to make fun of the mustache either as apparently 80% of the men have them in this flick, but if you are going to grow one it better be solid. There is nothing worse than growing a weak stache and you will be morally disassembled if you do. Just one of the multitude of exceptional ball busting episodes brought up here. Hey, that's how dudes make friends, especially in an alpha male environment. This is what help sets up to perfect tone to a world of heavy bravado hiding all kinds of insecurities.
Along with the tone is the viscera of the movie and the perfect atmosphere that Linklater brings to life again. It almost feels like a sequel to Dazed and Confused with a different cast. They have the local watering hole The Fox, the disco Sound Machine, and when invited to leave the others there is always the country bar. All of these make up the prowling grounds of this pack of horn-dogs.... ladies beware. I think I fell in love with one of the best two line conversations ever... "Free beer and no cover?".. "Hey, it's part of the scholarship!". Of course there is also the team's house, but coach told them the rules there are "no booze, no babes". Try playing a drinking game on how long that rule lasts and it will not end well. There is also the perfect soundtrack accompanying this movie, featuring the title track by Van Halen, and many other awesome bands. The best musical part of the movie involves five of the players cruising with some of the incoming girls and singing in Rapper's Delight by Sugar Hill Gang in perfect harmony. And what are they cruising in? One of the multitude of what must be the greatest 70's car collection ever. At least since Dazed and Confused.
Linklater does it again. I have a soft spot for anything he does with a Texas base to it. Do yourself a favor and have a weekend marathon of Everybody Wants Some!!, Dazed and Confused, and throw in Boyhood as well. They feel like they all belong together. Just for kicks, toss in Bernie as well if you have the time. Keep it up Linklater, I can't get enough.
P.S.A. - Waterbeds on the 2nd floor might be a bad idea
Todd Reardon is a senior writer for Cinema Soapbox