Now Playing: Everybody Wants Some!!

Everybody Wants Some!!, the new film written and directed by Richard Linklater, is being officially pitched as a spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused, the belatedly beloved sophomore effort from the filmmaker. Dazed and Confused was something of a dud upon it’s release, in 1993, but its stoner humor was perfectly suited to the languid development of a cult following, cultivated in dorm rooms and high schoolers’ rec rooms from coast to coast. Like its tangentially related predecessor, Everybody Wants Some!! is a squirrelly period piece, notching ahead a couple of calendar years, to 1980, as Jake (Blake Jenner) arrives … Continue reading Now Playing: Everybody Wants Some!!

Top Ten Movies of 2014 — Number One

I’m concerned that placing Richard Linklater’s Boyhood atop my list doesn’t truly convey just how impressive I find it. After all, in a tally such as this there’s no differentiating a close call from a blowout, no column of “Games Back” to illuminate the level of distance between the victor and the runner-up. So let me share a little mental exercise I’ve been performing almost from the moment Boyhood‘s closing credits start to roll. I’ve been trying to figure out the last movie that topped one of my year-end lists that I think might outrank Boyhood if chronology got jumbled … Continue reading Top Ten Movies of 2014 — Number One

Top Ten Movies of 2013 — Number Five

When director Richard Linklater unexpectedly delivered a sequel to the 1995 romantic drama Before Sunrise, he revisited the same characters nearly ten years later, largely sticking to the established formula. In Before Sunset, released in 2004, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) had another decade of mileage on them, but the film offered a similar dance of philosophizing and courtship in a European capital. The novelty in seeing characters who were slightly more mature didn’t necessarily change the dynamic all that much. To me, at least some of the praise heaped on the second installment felt like a critical … Continue reading Top Ten Movies of 2013 — Number Five

Cahill, Dardenne and Dardenne, Linklater, Peretz, Rydell

Our Idiot Brother (Jesse Peretz, 2011). There’s sure an abundance of promising elements to this comedy, but it illustrates the vast divide between lining up the right pieces and assembling them properly. Paul Rudd plays a layabout organic farmer who gets busted for selling pot to a police officer and then cycles through staying with his various siblings, played by Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer. It’s boilerplate comic uplift with everyone evolving to understand the kind-hearted qualities behind the protagonist’s aggravatingly detached manner. There’s barely a laugh to be had in the film, though, and most of the … Continue reading Cahill, Dardenne and Dardenne, Linklater, Peretz, Rydell