Review: Everybody Wants Some!!

 

Frontiers are where you find them.

I haven’t written much about movies for awhile now. Mostly due to work, family and other outside interests, but I haven’t really felt the immediate need to scribble down my pearls of wisdom regarding my film viewing. It’s not that I haven’t seen anything good or that I haven’t thought of anything to write about, but there’s been a definite lack of “passion” towards expressing my thoughts down in pixels.

But then a film like Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!! comes along and specifically speaks to passion – and not just in an overly simplified generic “follow your bliss and do what you love” kind of way. Through its casual, “let’s all hangout” vibe, it suggests an open, accepting, come-what-may approach to life that embraces the uncertainty ahead and suggests that there’s no rush to find out exactly who you are. Just make sure you enjoy the process. That sounds a bit dangerously close to the cliche that “it’s the journey not the destination”, but the film is never that reductive (even if it does occasionally feel a bit overly written in some of its philosophical meanderings).

The story centres around a university freshman named Jake who is about to start his baseball scholarship and takes place completely within the 4 days before the start of classes in the Fall of 1980. Jake meets his housemates/teammates, parties with them and engages with life. That’s pretty much the extent of the plot. Actually, usage of the word “plot” here may be an overstatement. The movie is about interacting with your environment, the people in it, what they bring to it and what you can give back. There’s no major 2nd act conflict, no life changing moment and very little tension as our characters converse, drink, compete, drink, annoy each other, drink and philosophize – usually with a beverage in their hand. And it is so incredibly refreshing to just simply spend time with them.

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Blu-Ray Review: Waking Life

Director: Richard Linklater
Screenplay: Richard Linklater
Starring: Wiley Wiggins, Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Steven Soderbergh, Richard Linklater
Country: USA
Running Time: 101 min
Year: 2001
BBFC Certificate: 15


Released back in 2001, Waking Life saw indie darling Richard Linklater experiment with using cutting edge digital rotoscoping animation to bring his meandering, talk-heavy style of drama to new life. Rotoscoping (creating animation by tracing over film footage) had been used for years since the early days of animation, but this was the first time anyone had used digital rotoscoping to produce a full feature film. The software used was developed by Bob Sabiston, an animator and computer scientist veteran of the MIT Media Lab, who used it originally to make his award-winning short film “Snack and Drink”.

Waking Life follows an unnamed character (played by Wiley Wiggins) as he drifts through his shifting dreams. Along the way he meets a wide variety of characters who each give their differing theories and philosophies about life and consciousness. And that’s pretty much it. The film is largely just a series of monologues/lectures/discussions with our protagonist not really interacting with the speakers until the final third where the topics lean more heavily towards dreams and reality, and he asks them about his predicament of being trapped in this dream in such a lucid state.

On paper then, this is a film I should hate. I’ve talked in previous reviews about my distaste for films where characters spout philosophy and the experience becomes a lecture rather than an engaging narrative. I think I prefer philosophies to be explained visually or metaphorically (or maybe I’m just stupid), but I find it tedious to listen to an intellectual spouting theories at me. Roughly knowing what to expect from Waking Life before going in to it (this was my first watch), I was fully expecting to hate it, but I’m a big fan of some of Linklater’s work and I’m also a huge animation fan, so I thought I should give it a try.

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Cinecast Episode 382 – Warm and Foreign

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The one in which Kurt doesn’t realize he’s the winner of a (much controversial) bet. In exchange, buys Andrew a present for his sunken heart after The Oscar results. We dive headlong into The Academy Awards with all its ins and outs and what-have-yous with Neil Patrick Harris and the face touching and the boring music and the severe lack of montages and the… hey hey hey don’t hurt me. We do recognize Julianne Moore as a favorite however, and we praise her Oscar win with a heartfelt review of the quite good, Still Alice. The Watch List rattles on with pro wrestling, Cronenberg, submarine movies are always awesome and… Aeon Flux? Yeah.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

 

 

 
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Cinecast Episode 362 – Primordial Dwarfism

 
Aafter nearly a three week hiatus, Weeeeee’re Baaaaa-aaack. In what is a true first on the Cinecast’s 8 year history, all three of Andrew, Kurt and Matt assembled in the same space to do a show with no telecommunications/web bridge. So, of course we pick a noisy bar and record over too many cocktails. With munchies and Montreal Smoked Meat, on the docket are three main reviews: Guardians of the Galaxy, Boyhood and Lucy which, oddly enough GotG gets the consensus favourite. Ever want to hear Kurt praise a Disney-Marvel production, now is your chance.

There is no 1984 project this week, but rest assured things will return to tomorrow with 2010: The Year We Make Contact next week, and Stop Making Sense after that.

Kurt does his annual 1+ hour recap of The Fantasia International Film Festival (which was also the source of the imported smoked meat) which is followed by a slew of titles from Matt (James Cameron Rape Sci-fi, Abortion Comedy, Punk Catharsis) and Andrew (Zach Braff, Heavy Metal, Alan Partridge and the last of Phillip Seymour Hoffman) with a little Terry Gilliam to round out the picture. LIVE FROM MINNEAPOLIS it is a lengthy, boozy, robust episode of the Cinecast, where bartenders, paramedics, rowdy billiard players, and the odd waitress all make for background character and salty language is tossed around in public spaces.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!


 
 

 
 

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Cinecast Episode 350 – Nanobot Jesus

 
Do you want to have a long, loving conversation about the state of the art in comic strips? A lengthy tangent in this weeks show does that at more: Schulz, Watterson, and even Keane come into the mix along with Penny Arcade, The Oatmeal and XKCD as two recent documentaries on the subject are available VOD. But before that, Kurt and Andrew find very little to say about Dom Hemmingway that Jude Law hasn’t already shouted at you for 100 minutes. Matt Gamble joins midway through a lengthy recount of the recent episode of Game of Thrones (S04E03) in which Kurt continues to marvel at both the density of information in any given episode, as well as the lengths for which HBO is willing to go for gratuitous nudity (the former is astounding, the latter is getting tedious).

We go back to 1984 with the story of racism, the military and the awesome voice of Adolph Caeser in the Roshomon-esque A Soldier’s Story. In the Watchlist, Andrew gives us the lowdown on TV’s Fargo before continuing to working his way through the Minneapolis/St. Paul Film Festival. His favourite film of the year thus far, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood should be put on your radar. Andrew also pours some sugary-love on the rare Thomas Hayden Church starring film, Whitewash. Kurt does his own gushing with William Friedkin’s restored and glorious remake of Wages of Fear, the 1977 hidden gem, Sorcerer as well as his bafflement with 2013 Best/Worst type cinematic oddity, Fateful Findings. Matt digs deep into the first few episodes of Mike Judge’s Silicone Valley and then sweet, sweet comic strip love.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

 


 

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Full show notes are under the seats…
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Trailer: Linklater’s Before Midnight

Richard Linklater continues the romantic adventures and travails of Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke with Before Midnight. The third entry in the series find them a bonafide couple, with two little girls in Greece. And all the stresses of age, parenting, regrets, etc. challenge the notion of perpetual romance. I love the idea of these ‘delayed’ sequels (see also the middle chapter, After Sunset) which allow us to see the progress of these two characters as they (and we) make our way through life. They’ve also had a nice mix of the practical, the romantic and a sense of humour about things; what more do you need from life? To find out where the couple stands in their parenting years, and for that matter, who is the “mayor of Crazytown” you’ll have to watch the trailer below.

My 13 Most Anticipated Films of 2013

Anticipated2013MoodIndigo

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In honour of finally seeing a 2013 movie that I’ve been eager to catch (Chan-wook Park’s Stoker – which was a heaping batch of candy and colour coated fun), I thought I would lay out some of the films I’m most excited to see in 2013. I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch (I’ve heard that Lucretia Martel has a new one coming out this year, but haven’t found any confirmation) and I could make the list even longer (sorry Richard Kelly and Terry Gilliam – you guys just missed the cut), but these 13 stand out as my most anticipated:

 

Mood Indigo – Michel Gondry

I’ve already mentioned in a previous post that this became my number one “can’t wait for it” movie of the year the second I heard about it. I’ll always be curious what Gondry does and this looks to have a great sense of wonder to it.

 

Anticipated2013PigeonSatOnABranch

A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence – Roy Andersson

This would likely be my number one if I could only be assured it was actually coming out this year…I was over the moon for Andersson’s last film You, The Living from 2007 (not to mention adoring his 2000 film Songs From The Second Floor), so I’ve been waiting somewhat, though only somewhat, patiently for the follow-up…After seeing The Story Of Film at TIFF 2011, I was able to chat very briefly with director Mark Cousins and he said he had seen Andersson’s new film and that it was amazing. And now that this is the third year in a row that predictions are being made about it’s arrival at Cannes, the patience is, ahem, wearing thin. The word “eager” doesn’t even come close to describing my anticipation.

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Dazed and Confused @20

Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused turns 20 this year. And Stephen Marche over at The Culture Blog has a succinct and delightful article on the subject of the films more subtle themes and lasting popularity with viewers. His argument follows with nostalgia along the same lines of science fiction: You are not making a film about the time period within the film, but rather the time period at which the film is made. Namely the blossoming of GenX and what the heck all that means.

That mixture of faux anti-authoritianism and intensely self-obsessed nostalgia makes Dazed and Confused the definitive film of Generation X. But it’s also a flim that goes beyond its own time. It’s a film about the confounding mixture of longing and regret that the memory of youth always has. All the kids in Dazed and Confused want nothing but to be out of high school. All the people watching Dazed and Confused want nothing more than to be back in high school.

It is well worth a look. Check it out here.

Cinecast Episode 260 – Time Capsule that Bitch

 
 
With Rot’s written review of Snow White and The Huntsman easily being the most pile-on thread at RowThree in quite some time, Matt and Andrew continue the ‘probably too much passion for this darn movie’ energy for a full throttle conversation with some sort of middle-ground achieved. As fun as the conversation is, and it is full on *SPOILERY!*, it is merely a lead-in to our somewhat signature brand of narcissism: Wait until the homework grading starts! Easily the most fun we’ve ever had with our listeners’ emails, we will be handing out final grades next week and it’s going to be close, this batch is the culmination of an AMAZING semester of homework assignments.

(Our Sincere Thanks for all the great participation!)

After a lengthy grading session it’s time to hit The Watch List. Though Andrew sits out and scarfs down Doritos, we listen as Kurt finally catches Noah Baumbach’s The Squid and the Whale before tackling his requisite weekly arty Anime viewing. Matt’s on board with our last week discussion on Headhunters and urges everyone to run to your local arthouse and see Richard Linklater’s Bernie (if you can find the darn thing.) ‘Tis a packed show and a barrel of giggles to boot.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!


 
 

 

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Full show notes are under the seats…
Would you like to know more…?