“Everybody Wants Some!!”
After Coastal Carolina Chanticleers’ win at the NCAA World Series, it’s only fitting to review a film about college baseball players. Set in 1980, this period piece involves partying, booze, muscle cars, mud wrestling and everything else a college comedy would need. It’s also filmmaker Richard Linklater’s latest creation so the characters wax philosophical and spout high concepts about identity and pop culture with Texan accents. The cast is a celebration of regular people, whackos, youth, beauty, individuality, teamwork and being eccentric. The soundtrack steeps you in the time period – the crunchy rock, the beginnings of rap, the heyday of punk and the hangover of disco. This is a spiritual sequel of sorts to Linklater's previous films, “Dazed and Confused” (1993) and “Boyhood” (2014), picking up in college where those films left off. The problem is this one never really gets rolling emotionally. It’s over before it starts and leaves you saying you want some more. Not Linklater’s best, but worth a watch.
Here’s the setup – a groom (Thomas Middleditch) messes up his wedding, and the bride (Shannon Woodward) flees on their honeymoon alone. The groom chases her and loses his car and clothes in Mexico. His bumbling roommates (Adam Pally and T.J. Miller) try to help, but a series of outrageous mishaps and catastrophes occur for all three of them. It’s a cast full of TV actors – Pally (“The Mindy Project”), Woodward (“Raising Hope”), Alison Brie (“Community”), J.B. Smoove (“The Millers”), Krysten Ritter (“Jessica Jones”), Jason Mantzoukas (“The League”), and Miller and Middleditch both appear on HBO’s “Silicon Valley.” This is one of those fast moving and fun comedies. It’s silly, and the laughs revel in the R-rating. One of the male characters spends large portions of the film totally naked. Search no more for a ridiculous, summer comedy – worth a watch.
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Every now and again, a movie uses the dinner party trope to great effect. You’ve probably seen it – put the cast around a table or in a closed house, let them all share some sort of troubled past, give them different personality traits like laidback and comic relief and the antagonist. Then, let them laugh and argue. Then, let the tension build until something unpredictable happens over the lamb chops. This thriller pushes it a step further. A suspicious man and his new girlfriend are invited to his former home by his ex-wife and new husband for a very strange get-together. Director Karyn Kusama is probably best known for the underrated “Jennifer's Body,” and she allows these scenes to slowly heat to a boil. The cast is not well-known, but they’re a capable bunch of fresh faces – Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman and Emayatzy Corinealdi, but it’s John Carroll Lynch who really amps up the creep factor. You’re invited to take your time as the pieces lock into place, don’t rush it because it’s worth a watch.