The M&M Report: “Set It Up” and “First Reformed”

Reformed

Devin and I have returned from a long hiatus with discussion of Set It Up (0:00-21:00), First Reformed (21:00-End), Pete Davidson + Ariana Grande, BDE and a largely silent but ever-present guest.

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“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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