Everybody Wants Some!! is a free-flowing, testosterone-fueled display of college life. Booze is consumed, girls are admired, and country/punk/disco music is blasted as the last few days of summer wind down, and the guys on the baseball team are enjoying every second they have left before they have to sleep their way through classes again. Originally conceived of as covering the entire freshman year, the film narrows its scope to several days, yet still manages to encapsulate what feels like an entire college experience.
When I went to see this, there were six trailers that played beforehand, but I left the theater having seen another five or so during the actual movie itself. What this bloated, 150 minute slugfest seems to want to communicate is that other DC characters exist and that many movies can be constructed for them from the colossal burning carcass of a project that was Man of Steel. Get excited, because we have a big Marvel universe competitor on the market, led by the venerable Zack Snyder and his subtle hand. This is a man unscathed by his own dumpster fire of 2013, the rusty keys to the DC Universe in his hands as desperate studios throw money at his feet. This is a man unafraid to take the perfection that is Amy Adams and proceed to shit stupidity all over her storyline. This is a man who will doggedly pursue the best end product possible, even if it means sacrificing a coherent story and interesting characters and a competent editing job…you know, fluff like that.
One of the treats of Midnight Special is its use of visual storytelling. The film takes its time in setting up its world and characters, letting images linger as mysteries swirl around in the twilight air. It’s about the journey more than the answers, and each development raises additional questions that Nichols is content to leave hanging. More important is his focus on the love a father has for his son, the love a mother has for her son, and the uniting belief in something greater, in something that inspires wonder and keeps us going. It’s this sense of science fiction wonder balanced out with the focus on family intimacy that drives the film, and this approach results in the evocative moments that Nichols-directed films can craft.
“I guess you never really know a person, do you?”
Since the beginning, The Americans has tackled the idea of identity from all angles. Its premise is already a treasure trove for that particular theme, and over the last three seasons, it has built a complex web of lies and deceit, slowly unraveling it all in season three with several big revelations. “Glanders” turns the show’s focus inward, delving into internal struggles raging in the minds of Philip, Paige, and Martha. It’s a premiere that kicks off the season in style, and it previews a season that is sure to be one of the best on television this year.
Midway through 10 Cloverfield Lane, John Goodman’s Howard starts dancing along to music blaring from a jukebox, breaking the tension just enough to entertain you but not enough to take you out of the moment; in fact, it further envelops you in its grasp. Every humorous moment in this movie works in a similar manner, drawing on comedy to reveal even more sinister layers underneath. Throughout, the writers and actors have a rock solid handle on these shifts in tone, mood, character, and genre, and what results are genuinely unnerving and unexpected moments that add beautifully to the overall experience. Plot twists weave in and out of motivations and backstories with remarkably few hiccups, and the writers–featuring new Tension Master Damien Chazelle–demonstrate a knack for building a very specific atmosphere.