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NEW Eisenberg/stewart - Adventureland (Blu-ray)

4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 39.05
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Adventure Oct. 22 2009
Finally! -- a movie to come out of the extended Apatow family that I can actually watch with my own family! Greg Mottola, who directed the hilarious Superbad, dug deep into his own teenage years for this and you can tell. While the humour is rooted in a similar place as Superbad (one character likes to pee on windows and punch people in the groin), this is much more a heartfelt movie than a comedy.

It is the summer of 1987. James (Jesse Eisenberg) is about to leave for Europe, before heading off to New York in the fall. However, family money problems have prevented the trip, and worse, he needs to get a summer job to pay for New York. Adventureland, a typical 80's amusement park, is the only place who'll hire him. His best friend leaves him a bag of joints to get him through the summer, and James is on his own.

Having gone to amusement parks in the summer of 1987 myself, I was impressed with how authentic Adventureland is. Everything from the cheesey "games games games" T-shirts, to the music, to Bill Hader's moustache (which is almost a character unto itself), and the rides really brought back memories. I am certain that my own local park had the "Music Express" ride, I can recall it very clearly. However, I have to confess that I didn't know anybody who was into Lou Reed back in 1987 myself, but I was in a slightly younger age group than these characters. I sure did remember Poison and Judas Priest. ("Breaking The Law" is the soundtrack to a very funny scene involving a chase through the park over a game that was fixed so it couldn't be won.) In addition, check out Paige Howard's hair. That hair is authentic. I know, because my sister has photos from the era to prove it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie Aug. 4 2013
By Kristen
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
There's nothing about this movie I don't like, great work by both Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg! Kristin Wiig is hilarious as usual too.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adventureland is worth it Oct. 9 2009
This is a teen movie, but it's not what you would expect from a standard teen movie. It's a coming of age story and it's the best out there. The movie is honest. The characters are well played with an awesome breakout role for Jesse Eisenberg. It's a funny movie with a truly authentic core that will make you feel good and throw you back to the 80s. I highly recommend this, even if teen movies are not usually your thing.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Service April 17 2014
By Brandon
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Not only is this a great film but it got here in excellent shape and got here really fast.
Recommend this to anyone who loves films and is looking for a blue ray to add to their collection.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  330 reviews
65 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Despite its terrible advertising campaign, this is a genuinely great film! April 10 2009
By David J. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
I got to see this film at a sneak preview. I got free tickets at an 80's club I frequent. I only had a mild interest in seeing this film when I saw the trailers. In other words, this one was going to be one to wait for on dvd. Free is free, and I went with a tribe of folks on a Wednesday night.

To my surprise, this was a really sweet, funny, well-acted, and truly great film. Yes, this is a film, not some flash-in-the-pan, cash in on the youth market, gross out comedy. Sure, it has elements of that too, but they're more subdued and the humor is less broad and more sublte. It's basically about characters you already know or have met in your life. It takes place in the 80's and it's basica plot involves the horror any 20-something would face during a recession, getting a really crappy summer job!

The real revelation I found with this film came in the form of Kristen Stewart. She's the real deal. I had seen her in Twilight recently and found everything anyone did in that film to be hollow. Here, she really shows her acting chops playing a confused youth afraid of the unknown. Jesse Eisenberg is the main character in the film, and I expected nothing but greatness from him, I previously saw him in the brilliant The Squid and the Whale. He is a very talented young actor who I expect to see a lot more from in the future.

The film has all the details of a youth summer job that sucks pegged. Everything from the one hot-chick that everyone wants, the low-rent customers, the over-zealous and possibly dellusional bosses, and on-job romance. It's all done with genuine emotion and situations. Nothing feels contrived or forced. Characters make mistaks and things go wrong, but there are no moments of the characters becoming overwrought and giving prefunctory speeches regarding the film's main themes. This is really well written.

I must warn all the video game obsessed, vapid, youth drones about what they're getting with this film. It has real characters, and a believable situation. It's a hang-out picture. You just spend time getting to know a particular group of characters who share the same crappy theme park summer job. There is no contrived plot devices, like switched or confused identities, no one is masquarading as one of the opposite sex, no plot devices to keep a false narrative going, and no gags just stuck in the film like an overlong action sequence to get yucks. Yes, the kids get wasted and high, but it has more to do with them coping with their boredom, and it also helps lead to their bonding.

The film manages to be honestly touching as well, something I really didn't expect from this piece. It was made by the same director of Super Bad, a really brilliant and funny youth comedy, but it is nothing like it. It's not as great, but its not going for the same thing. The humor comes from character and honest situations and not from over-blown comic situations just set up for the yucks.

If this film would've been advertised differently, I would've paid to see it.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bittersweet coming-of-age in the 1980s -- one of 2009's best yet April 8 2009
By Robert - Published on Amazon.com
Recommended for a great cast, unique setting & memorable characters, and a well-written script, this movie will particularly appeal to those who grew up during the 1980s. But "Adventureland" is still timeless enough to please a broader audience.

Mismarketed as a wild comedy follow-up to "Superbad", this small-scale mini-wonder is a perfect date film, but also a great ride through young adulthood.

The story is both poignant and comic, and the cast is uniformly excellent throughout. Special acting honors go to Kristen Stewart, whose understated and tender performance was exceptionally moving to me (although she may be obviously gay, her straight-girl role is believable, and although I'd never heard of her before, I will be exploring every other film she's in, simply on the basis of this role). I can't say enough about her performance here, and she's going to be a major actress in years to come.

Almost every note of the script rang true to me until the final ten minutes, which were a conventional happy Hollywood ending that probably wouldn't have happened in real-life. But I can't fault the coming-of-age story for needing such a denouement, even if it was largely wish-fulfillment. And so, for Greg Mottola's script & direction, and for Kristen Stewart, five stars. A keeper.
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars magical - a more mature Mottola Oct. 4 2009
By barry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
ADVENTURELAND is magical, a film of honesty, innocence and real life all centered around the coming of age of teen James played by the very impressive Jesse Eisenberg. Many viewers may at first be surprised by this film and find it slow and lacking in the expected hilarity. When the promotion work was done on this film it was a marketing travesty. This film is directed by Greg Mottola of SUPERBAD fame, a film which redefined the comedy genre. When one thinks of SUPERBAD it is associated with KNOCKED UP, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS and ROLE MODELS. These films were tender tales told with over the top, in your face hilarity. I adore these films and own them all. They are classics. But ADVENTURELAND was promoted as if it was in this genre and it totally is not. The tender story of James is the center and there is heartfelt drama and emotion wrapped around this unique blend of honest characters and low scored humor. The humor is underplayed and always there but not in an over the top way.

James has his life all planned out, just graduated from high school and finds out that his college fund no longer exists so he must get a summer job. The only work available is at the tacky amusement park ADVENTURELAND. The cast is amazing and the story is told intimately in the vein of a small indie film. James falls for Em, the ever talented Kristen Stuart. Ryan Reynolds effectivelty underplays his role of the park gigolo. Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader from SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE are hilarious as the owners of the park but for me most of the laughts come from the very underrated Wendie Malick who plays James mother.

This film is a gentle coming of age story with very real characters. It is not an over the top laughfest but instead a tender drama filled with charmed laughs. If you find this movie to not be what you expected don't give up on it and give it a second viewing. I guarantee it will grow on you. It grew on me so much I had to purchase it.

This film takes place in the mid 80s and is true to the time preriod. There is a classic soundtrack and everything else from scenery to props are right on point. The blu ray version has a very impressive 1080p high def transfer that show colors with immense clarity and treats darks with class. Audio is also superb. This film has a story to tell and with each viewing you will grow fonder and fonder of the characters and its humor and grace will become a huge part of the films charm. This is a coming of age tale that is a must see.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Indie-hip comedy goes for warm regard rather than screaming hysterics July 22 2010
By Scott Schiefelbein - Published on Amazon.com
Director Greg Mottola famously worked at a run-down amusement park in his younger years, and that transformative experience serves "Adventureland" well. This flick goes for a quieter, deeper humor than Mottola's smash hit "Superbad," but it is no less endearing.

It's somewhere in the later '80s, and James (Jesse Eisenberg) is a smart guy cursed with a) a liberal arts degree, b) parents who are unexpectedly financially strapped, and c) who lives in Pittsburgh. (By the way - is it eerie or cool that Eisenberg stars in two movies with similar one-word titles, "Adventureland" and "Zombieland," that are based in theme parks where he plays the Michael Cera role?) To raise the cash to go to Columbia journalism school, James gets stuck with a terrible summer job at Adventureland - a place that puts the "lack" in lackluster.

The theme park is populated with a range of supporting characters that is as solid and pleasing as any ensemble has a right to be. One of the problems with these sorts of films is that the supporting characters tend to be one-note archetypes. That's definitely not the case here - the supporting cast is surprisingly original and defies expectations.

Take the park bombshell Lisa P. (Margaria Levieva). We first see her in one of those Sexy Slow Walks through Adventureland as all the guys stop to watch her lick a Sno-Cone. Every guy's first reaction is, "I hope this is the actress who agreed to do a bit of nudity." Instead of being either a) a simple sexpot or b) a stuck-up rhymes-with-with coasting on her beauty, Lisa P. actually turns out to be cool-but-flawed - she even asks James his thoughts about God during a good pot-smoking session. This is a real girl who just happens to be gorgeous - it's this kind of attention to detail that makes "Adventureland" a pleasure.

Much of the movie focuses on James trying to act on his obvious chemistry with Em (Kristen Stewart, "Twilight" saga). James and Em are seriously into each other, but are kept apart by a variety of neuroses and conflicts. In a lesser film, these two would be kept apart by silly misunderstandings that could be cleared up with a simple five-minute conversation - here, there are darker and deeper issues in play. Whether these issues will be resolved takes time, and as a result we care about these two.

For those of us looking for a raunchy "Superbad 2," "Adventureland" does not fit the bill. Even though this is a funny movie, there are only a couple of laugh-out-loud moments. For me, the funniest scene in the movie involves the park owners, Bobby and Paulette (Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig), as they confront a violent park patron - watching Paulette nonchalantly hand Bobby a baseball bat so he can defend the park's honor before returning to the finances was a perfect snapshot of the lives of these two entrepreneurs. And there is a shot-to-the-groin scene toward the end of the movie that I found as hilarious as Homer Simpson did when he watched Hans Moleman's film, "Football in Groin."

For anyone who's worked a bad job with great coworkers, this movie's for you.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mismarketed gem Feb. 17 2010
By J. Harding - Published on Amazon.com
As soon as I finished this movie a few feelings ran through me: I pined for young love, wished to be young(er) again and wanted to watch Adventureland again. I can't remember the last time I wanted to watch a movie a second time.

This story rang true to me, the acting was great and there was enough comedy to keep things interesting. Make no mistake, though, this isn't the Superbadesque comedy it was marketed as. It's an extremely well done coming of age love story with likable charachters with an 80's twist.

(Edited for atrocious English)
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