Thursday, December 15, 2016

Side By Side: DAZED AND CONFUSED vs. EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!!


Welcome to another installment of SIDE BY SIDE, where we dissect the differences and similarities between two films, be it a remake/reboot with its original, a sequel with its original, or two similar movies. This week we take a look at Richard Linklater's DAZED AND CONFUSED, and it's spiritual successor, EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!!  Enjoy!

First of all, the differences between the two films are minimal. The only real thing that has changed is the time period, and the setting. Obviously we have some new characters, but they still seem to fit that familiar mold. In Everybody Wants Some we are introduced to all kinds of clich├ęd characters. We have the tough-guy meat head, the stoner, the funny guy, etc. We had all of these people in Dazed and Confused, just now they're a little bit older, with the setting now being college and instead of high school. We also now have a baseball team instead of a football team. And finally, we're in the 80's instead of the 70's. 

But many things have remained the same. We get to experience a constant pranking between the friends in the film. There is also the return of the undesirable need to party as much as possible before school starts back up. If there's one thing that these two films tackle brilliantly, it's that nostalgia factor. Even if you didn't live how these characters are living, you can still connect yourself and your group of buds to them. One portion of the nostalgia factor that proves to be rather exciting is the use of this "one upsmanship" if you will. Whether that be a battle between the new guy and the experienced jock in a game of ping pong, or a drinking contest between two buddies. Not only do these contests create a form of tension for the viewer, they also add another level of excitement to the film overall. The reason these two films are so popular is because it reminds audiences of their "glory days." So the fact that director Richard Linklater is including this factor, makes it all the more enjoyable.

In terms of Linklater's style, absolutely nothing has changed. Clearly due to the year in which these films were made we see a better looking picture in Everybody Wants Some. But every other aspect that makes Linklater talented is potent in the latter film. We still get the crazy long one-takes, overflowing with dialogue. One thing that has always impressed me about Linklater is the amount of dialogue he chooses to have in certain scenes. Some scenes in Linklater films will go on for 15 minutes and it will literally span only a single conversation. He clearly is the type of filmmaker who makes films because he is passionate about them. He isn't too worried about what the critics may think, or what the box office records may be, he just wants to make these films with people he wants to work with. And this style was potent in Dazed and Confused, and it has clearly translated over into Everybody Wants Some. Linklater doesn't particularly care about action, he would rather focus on the small things in life.

He masterfully re-creates his hit Dazed and Confused in the modern era. With seamlessly flowing dialogue between characters, to that rather nostalgic setting. The two films stand together as two pillars in his career. 

Joshua's Scores:

Dazed and Confused: 10/10
Everybody Wants Some!!: 10/10


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