The M&M Report: “Everybody Wants Some” and Richard Linklater Movies

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Devin sits this episode out as special guest host Miranda Batch and I discuss our favorite scenes, characters and moments from Richard Linklater movies before delving into the filmmaker’s latest.

Don’t forget, you can now subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and download the feed directly into the podcast app of your choice. New episodes should show up on your feed immediately and on iTunes within a day or two of release. Subscribe away!

Peruse the M&M Report category page for previous episodes of the podcast. Thanks for listening.

“Everybody Wants Some!!”: Get In On This

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The title of writer-director Richard Linklater’s movie refers to a 1980 Van Halen song, one of the band’s most popular. But “some” refers to many things: sex, booze, marijuana, social capital, self-worth. All of the movie’s characters have desire on the brain: they’re college students, hungry for the freedom they’ve dreamed about since they realized, however erroneously, that it might be in reach.

Linklater’s last movie Boyhood was a sprawling, unprecedentedly ambitious fictional document of a young boy’s coming-of-age, conceived and shot over more than a decade to authenticate the depicted passage of years. At first glance, Everybody Wants Some!! looks like a trifle by comparison. It takes place over the course of three days, its cast is largely comprised of unknown actors and it lacks the overt whiff of attempted universality that gave Boyhood its grandeur.

But Everybody Wants Some!! makes sense as a next step in the narrative of Linklater as auteur. He finished telling a story about what it’s like to be a boy; now, he unveils a story about what it was like for him to become a man. He’s called this movie a “spiritual sequel” to Dazed and Confused, and it’s obvious within the first five minutes what he means. What that movie did for the end of high school, this one does for the beginning of college.

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“Serial” Season 2: Slow Rollout

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The final episode of Serial season one arrived amid a flurry of online excitement. The thinkpieces flowed like lava from a volcano — an apt metaphor given the temperature of some of the takes. Speculation about the perceived guilt or innocence of the show’s principal subject Adnan Sayed ran rampant, as did spirited debates about whether the series owed its captive audience a definitive conclusion. The show’s prominence grew so rapidly over its first three months that it warranted a Funny or Die parody starring Michaela Watkins and an SNL parody starring Cecily Strong.

It was a strange moment of mass adulation for what was, at its root, an act of thorough, rigorous journalism, blown out to epic proportions with the help of Sarah Koenig’s compelling delivery, eerily catchy theme music and the production’s team savvy week-by-week rollout. Suddenly, media outlets and pop culture consumers tackled a podcast about the localized failures of the American criminal justice system with the same fervor that they would the latest superhero movie or hourlong TV drama. When the dust settled, attentions quickly turned to speculation about the show’s seemingly endless possibilities for next steps.

Then a year went by. Radio silence.

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“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”: Bait and Switch

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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is not what you’d expect from a movie starring Tina Fey, written by Fey’s 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt writing partner Robert Carlock, produced by Fey and SNL boss Lorne Michaels, and featuring Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, Alfred Molina, Christopher Abbott, Billy Bob Thornton and Josh Charles.

Then again: what do you expect from a movie with those credits?

The answer to that question might explain the movie’s piddling box office numbers this weekend. The marketing, from the mystifying title to the underwhelming trailers, suggested a broad, silly comedy about a hapless journalist’s adventures overseas. But the actual movie is a lightly comedic drama about Americans embedded among soldiers amid a dangerous conflict that no one, not even the people fighting it, really understands. That’s not an easy sell, even with someone as theoretically bankable as Fey in the lead role.

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The M&M Report: 2016 Oscars Recap

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Devin and I commenced our third annual Oscars recap with a special guest: Chloe Johnson, who helped us sort out our feelings about Chris Rock, surprising winners, the lumpy telecast and the come-from-behind Best Picture victory of Spotlight.

Don’t forget, you can now subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and download the feed directly into the podcast app of your choice. New episodes should show up on your feed immediately and on iTunes within a day or two of release. Subscribe away!

Peruse the M&M Report category page for previous episodes of the podcast. Thanks for listening.

The M&M Report Predicts the 2016 Oscars

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The following are my predictions for this year’s Oscars, as well as those of my friend and podcast partner Devin Mitchell. We composed our ballots separately. The similarities on our ballots are a reflection of the increasing predictability of the nominations in the age of the yearlong hype cycle.

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The M&M Report: 2016 Oscars Preview

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On this episode of The M&M Report, Mark and Devin offer their thoughts on this year’s crop of Oscar nominees and predict some of the winners, which will be announced during the annual telecast on ABC this Sunday night.

Check back on Monday morning for the annual M&M Report post-Oscars recap.

Don’t forget, you can now subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and download thefeed directly into the podcast app of your choice. New episodes should show up on your feed immediately and on iTunes within a day or two of release. Subscribe away!

Peruse the M&M Report category page for previous episodes of the podcast. Thanks for listening.