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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mottola strikes one from the heart.
It's 1987 and James Brennan is home for the summer after earning himself a degree in Renaissance Studies. Which unsurprisingly isn't any use to him when trying to gain employment in this part of Pittsburg. Which is now a problem since his planned trip to Europe has fell by the wayside due to his father's enforced unemployment. So thus he finds himself working at...
Published on 25 Jun. 2011 by Spike Owen

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A coming-of-age period piece
James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) recent high school grad is destined for great things and plans to go to Europe for the summer in New York next year. Unfortunately his funding fell through. So now it's time for them to go to work. His extensive background in the classics has qualified him for a job is a games person at a local amusement park called Adventure land. Among...
Published on 30 April 2010 by bernie


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mottola strikes one from the heart., 25 Jun. 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Adventureland [DVD] (DVD)
It's 1987 and James Brennan is home for the summer after earning himself a degree in Renaissance Studies. Which unsurprisingly isn't any use to him when trying to gain employment in this part of Pittsburg. Which is now a problem since his planned trip to Europe has fell by the wayside due to his father's enforced unemployment. So thus he finds himself working at Adventureland, a rusting time warp amusement park where only odd balls and idiots appear to frequent. But here James will make friends, learn life lessons and maybe just find true love?

Be under no illusions, Adventureland is no teen sex comedy reliant on crude jokes and cringe slap-stick moments to get its humour. Which as it's brought to us by the director of Superbad may come as something of a surprise. Greg Mottola is the said director, who here has crafted an ode to his own teenage strife's concerning first jobs and first loves. Tho not really offering anything new as such, I mean the old "summer I came of age" film is hardly new is it? Mottola has however managed to blend youthful spirits with a serious kink and nicely cloak it in a bittersweet 80s haze.

Tho some parts are clearly aimed at the guffaw teen viewers, awkward erections and friends who punch you in the testicles-tee hee hee, Adventureland feels, and is, a subtle film made by someone who clearly lived it. The care and thought that Mottola has put into it benefits the cast as much as it does the viewers. Jesse Eisenberg {James} is a splendid bit of casting, almost poetically slow, he nicely plays it to have the upcoming tribulations totally believable. Enter Kristen Stewart as Em, pretty and smartly essaying a girl, soon to be woman, trying to make sense in her off kilter world. Her scenes with both Eisenberg and the buff Ryan Reynolds, in a role that takes some skill to get as right as he does, are the highlights of the piece. While Martin Starr is the other performance of note as the pipe smoking intellectual, Joel.

What youngsters that I know who have seen the film have had less than favourable reactions to it. This can probably be put down to two things. One is that the expectation of another Superbad-a-like comedy has not been met. Two is that, you know what folks? Mottola hasn't made this for kids, he's made it for those who were kids once in a decade not so very long ago...... 8.5/10
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...Summer In Pittsburgh! That's Harsh!" - Adventureland on BLU RAY., 17 Feb. 2014
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Adventureland [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
It's Ronald Reagan's 1987 and curly-haired college dweeb James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) is dumped by his girlfriend Arlene in Scene 1. Then his promised European Road Trip is kyboshed in Scene 2 by his downsizing parents who can't afford new drapes let alone a graduation present. Then things get really nasty for our sensitive Renaissance student when he's sentenced to work at the notorious cesspool that is the "Adventureland" Amusement Park in Pittsburgh (title above).

But during a brutally honest induction course from the bug-eyed Joel (great work from Martin Starr) James notices something well worth the pain of puking children and a childhood pest called Frigo who can't seem to resist jokily kicking him in the privates at every opportunity. The eye-opener James clocks is the seemingly ordinary yet ethereally beautiful Em (Kristen Stewart) who is all Lou Reed and David Bowie teeshirts and smoky eyes and magical long hair. The kind of girl you want to make mix tapes for and even consider joining a gym. From the moment he meets the svelte Em poor James is a goner - hopelessly falling for the emotionally conflicted young woman no matter what extra-curricular crap she pulls on him.

Em's biological mom has passed two years prior via a long and horrible battle with cancer and she's left living with a Stepmom she despises (and vice versa) and a father who seems unable to fathom his daughter. Em is therefore feckless in her relationships and reluctant to commit to anything other than drinking and toking and hanging out after work - sappily accepting the occasional rumble in the kitchen with Mike the Rock 'n' Roll star of the Park (a cool and suave Ryan Reynolds). But James the nice guy persists despite customers who try to rob the Giant Pandas and the attention of the playground's curvaceous babe Lisa P (the deeply sexy Margarita Levieva). Slowly but surely Em begins to see the merits of a nice guy who's willing to take a few punches for her and equally not allow her to anyone's punching bag. "You may be the cutest and coolest guy I've ever dated..." she finally admits in a clincher behind the arcades - making James want to go all Johnny Weissmuller and yodel from the trees.

The funniest parts go to Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig as the odd couple Bobby and Paulette who run the rip-off-for-all-the-family rides and games with a baseball bat and motivational speeches about horse races. Also like Cameron Crowe's wonderful "Elizabethtown" - "Adventureland" has a gargantuan soundtrack - featuring a cool tune from all periods in almost every scene. Lou Reed, The Cure, Big Star, The Replacements, The Rolling Stones, Nick Lowe and Crowded House - to name but a few - the list of appropriate choices is legion and they're used well (as James watches Em drive - you can see him falling in love as Lou Reed's lyrics echo his aching for her).

The Blu Ray pictured is defaulted to 16 x9/1.85:1 so its fills the entire screen but because a large amount of the scenes take place at night and in people's homes - those shots can have some grain and fuzziness. But once outside during the day - and even on some of the indoor restaurant and bar shots - the picture quality is glorious. Audio is DTS 5.1 HD English, DTS 5.1 Italian and Spanish, and Dolby 2.0 Described English. Subtitles come in English, English For The Hearing impaired, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Hindi.

Extras exclusive to BLU RAY are:
1. Frigo's Tips - A Satiric "How To On Inflicting Unexpected Pain"
2. Lisa P's Guide To Style
3. Welcome To Adventureland - Adventureland Commercials, Orientation Training Video and Drug Policy
Other Extras:
1. Deleted Scenes
2. Just My Life: The Making Of Adventureland
3. Feature Commentary with Writer/Director Greg Mottola and Actor Jesse Eisenberg

"Most people have low standards - I guess I'm different..." James explains to his mates as to why he's holding out on his virginity (only wanting to lose it to someone special). You can't help but feel that something special is going on in Greg Mottola's lovely and funny "Adventureland" (he also Directed the equally witty and touching "Superbad", "Paul" and some episodes of "The Newsroom" Season 1).

Take a ride on this cool rollercoaster. You'll feel like a kid on the dodgems again - laughing and wanting to go back for more...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A coming-of-age period piece, 30 April 2010
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) recent high school grad is destined for great things and plans to go to Europe for the summer in New York next year. Unfortunately his funding fell through. So now it's time for them to go to work. His extensive background in the classics has qualified him for a job is a games person at a local amusement park called Adventure land. Among his new found friends and coworkers he learns what is really of value in life.

If I was to some this film up in one word it would be blasé. The story is formula and predictable. And the pacing is excruciatingly slow. Sometimes formula and predictable can be fun to watch. I often watch films just for their fun and predictability. However this is not one of them. There is no significant insight or social redeeming value.

I have only seen the Blu-Ray version so I cannot compare to others. The DVD starts out with the obligatory coming attractions and "is not Blu-Ray great" statement. Then there is an anti-smoking commercial. If you can remember what film you put in the player are lucky. There are the standard bonus features, audio commentary, deleted scenes, and whatnot. Usually the audio commentary gives insight to the movie that you hadn't noticed forcing you to watch it again now that you have this new vision. This commentary however doesn't really contribute anything new to the program.

All in all it's worth watching once. The actors are believable and you would believe you are back in the 80s. Be sure to see Kristen Stewart again in the series of "Twilight" movies.

Twilight [Blu-ray] ~ Kristen Stewart
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adventureland dvd, 15 Feb. 2010
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This review is from: Adventureland [DVD] (DVD)
I saw this movie recently and thought it was a breath of fresh air compared to all the fluffy one-dimensional rom-coms out there. The characters are like-able and from the get-go i was interested in their story. I found it to be an intelligent, quirky, dialogue based slice of life movie with a cracking soundtrack to boot. If you like something a bit different thats character driven with whitty dialogue then give it go, you never know, you might like it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Adventureland - an enjoyable but overly long film, 21 Sept. 2010
By 
Amazon Customer - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Adventureland [DVD] (DVD)
We watched this on a Sunday evening and found the film sweet and enjoyable but on the slow side; it could have done with a heavier hand during the editing process. Having said that, there were several laugh-out-loud moments to help you along.

The film is set in the late 80s and has a pretty good soundtrack, including one track by Crowded House I had (to my shame) forgotten all about; 'Don't Dream it's Over'. It re-awakened my memory of that track, as well as a lot of others, and was worth watching on that basis alone, although I now have a pretty high bill for music downloads this week; oops!!!

The plot is fairly basic; teenagers working at a very run down amusement park to earn money over the summer and what they get up to. I found it a little hard to believe that the lead actor was as popular as he was portrayed simply because he had a (fairly small) bag of drugs; leaving that to one side it was okay and worth watching if you like the music of the late 80s. Just be prepared for a large download fee after you have watched!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant and Easy-going, 23 April 2010
By 
E. Smith (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Adventureland [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I knew nothing about this, so had no preconceptions. It turned out to be a mildly amusing tale of teenage relationships set around a down-market amusement park.

I'd never seen any of the actors before, although one bit-part looked familiar and she (Kristin Wiig) turned to be a very successful commedienne in the US. I'd say they all did a good job, as I was able to concentrate on the characters rather than the actors playing the part. The female lead was encouragingly ordinary-looking and even the glamour girl was a bit deeper than I expected.

You won't roll about laughing, but I enjoyed it more than a few of the allegedly outright comedies I've seen lately such as Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and Knocked Up.

As for the blu-ray quality - nothing special, I'm afraid, but it's not that type of film.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Adventureland, who wouldn't want to work there?, 28 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Adventureland [DVD] (DVD)
Adventureland is a film, written and directed by Greg Mottola (Paul, Superbad) set in the summer of 1987 about a college graduate, James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) who has no idea where he is going in life, and so decides to take a job at the local amusement park, Adventureland. Here he meets a whole host of weird and wonderful friends, including a girl called Em Lewin (Kristen Stewart). The film sees James on a path where he will discover who he is and what he wants out of life with some heartache and laughs along the way.
Jesse Eisenberg plays his usual character, a slight geeky, shy and socially inept teenager. I have said this in my reviews in the past that this is not a bad thing, he plays these roles well, why change. I wouldn't mind seeing him in another role in the future though, will be interesting to see how that would turn out. Jesse and Kristen's characters are in love/not in love in this film which means a lot of ups and downs for them. I think both actors performed these roles well, even the intense and emotional scenes; they really look like they should be together and make you feel for these characters when everything begins to go wrong and the heartache begins.
One of my favourite comedy actors plays a supporting role in this film, Ryan Reynolds who plays Brad, the good looking older Adventureland handyman with a claim to fame. It was a different role for Ryan in this film as he wasn't playing his usual cocky, arrogant comical role but instead took on a more serious one of a married man who likes to mess around with the female Adventureland staff. He plays this part surprisingly convincing and proves he is not just a cocky comedy actor but, when called for, is able to perform the more serious, intense roles.
Overall I loved this film; there is something about it that makes you feel good after watching it. Because this film is set in the late 80's the soundtrack, I found, was brilliant with such songs as Modern Love - David Bowie and my favourite, Rock Me Amadeus - Falco. Every time I listen to this soundtrack it brings a smile to my face, absolutely love it. Even now, as I write this review I have the soundtrack on in the background, so I recommend both this film and soundtrack to anybody who likes a dry comedy, feel good film with a hint of romance, and let's face it, who doesn't.
Written by Oliver Willis (WatchReadReview)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very clever film, entertaining, with solid performances., 11 Sept. 2012
This review is from: Adventureland [DVD] (DVD)
Okay, i really really freaking loved this movie. It was everything i bargained for, it was hilarious, but also dramatic and emotional. Kristen Stewart sent shivers down my spine during the break-up scene. Her gorgeous light green eyes stood out so much during this movie. This movie is officially one of my all time favourite's. There's lots of great laughs, but it comes mostly from subtle situational moments, it just all meshes well together and very naturally. This is a character driven movie, and Jesse Eisenberg really shines as the likable and relatable awkward teen James. Nerdy and dark humoured, he is out to win the heart of the cool and beautiful but troubled character Em - Kristen Stewart. The plot is great, the movie is more than meets the eye on the previews, i like the movie way more than the trailer. This deserves much more attention. Recommend this highly to those of you who enjoy light hearted comedy, excellent acting, drama, down to earth characters seeking freedom and of course anything Kristen Stewart. This is a 'DO NOT MISS'! Trust me.You also won't see a Superbad retread (people have complained that the ads are misleading). There's lots of great laughs, but it comes mostly from subtle situational moments, not in-your-face punchline dialog. This is a character driven movie, and Jesse Eisenberg really shines in a very likable performance as the geekish underdog out to win the heart of the cool and beautiful but angst-ridden Kristen Stewart.
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4.0 out of 5 stars This gem went unnoticed because of the countless wave of teen sex comedies, and poor marketing., 20 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Adventureland [DVD] (DVD)
Adventureland is one of the best comedy dramas of recent memory, and the best coming of age movie I have seen since Stand By Me. Let me say this one thing: people expecting humour in the vain of the new wave teen comedies such as Superbad and Role Models, will be severley let down. Quality wise, this is so much more entertaining than any of the Seth Rogen and co. films, but I had to stress this because unfortunately, the film was advertised as a comedy film, which it is the complete opposite. The film covers everything what made it great, and bad about being a teenager, which is why it struck me as such a good film. I could relate to it like few others, as it covers many aspects of the antics you go through being younger. The acting is top notch and plot development is nothing short of brilliances, knowing when to flow between light hearted moments and emotional scenes perfectly. The soundtrack to me is the ultimate highlight, featuring the greats of the post-punk/early alternative rock era's from the 80's, with tracks from The New York Dolls, Lou Reed, The Replacements, The Velvet Underground, Big Star and David Bowie. Despite it's heavily tear jerking moments, and lack of laugh out loud parts, Adventureland can bring a smile to the face with countless minor black humour. Watch this film no matter the mood, or situation, and you will no doubt fall in love tthe land that is Adventureland.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of those true "movie romance" romances., 29 April 2013
This review is from: Adventureland [DVD] (DVD)
Firstly, I liked the film and it's worthy of a watch. I didn't purchase the movie, I watched it on a Ne***x

This film is what I call a "movie romance" film. What I mean by this is that the story and ending is something that look awesome and feels right in movies, but would end terribly in real life. But it's nice to see it in film to escape the boring normality of normal relationships.

It's worth a watch, not a purchase. For me, this isn't a movie I would watch more than once.
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Adventureland [DVD]
Adventureland [DVD] by Greg Mottola (DVD - 2011)
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