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Adventureland (Blu-ray)

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Product Overview

It's the summer of 1987, and James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg), an uptight recent college grad, can't wait to embark on his dream tour of Europe. But when his parents (Wendie Malick and Jack Gilpin) announce they can no longer subsidize his trip, James has little choice but to take a lowly job at a local amusement park. Forget about German beer, world-famous museums and cute French girls -- James' summer will now be populated by belligerent dads, stuffed pandas, and screaming kids high on cotton candy. Lucky for James, what should have been his worst summer ever turns into quite an adventure as he discovers love in the most unlikely place with his captivating co-worker Em (Kristen Stewart), and learns to loosen up.


Studio Ingram Micro
SKU 211203065
UPC 786936769289
UPC 14 00786936769289
Format Blu-Ray DVD
Release Date 8/25/2009
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  1.85:1
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review It's 1987 and James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg), a newly minted college graduate, is looking forward to a summer in Europe before heading east from Pittsburgh to New York City for an Ivy League graduate education. Unfortunately, James' dad (Jack Gilpin) suffers a setback at work and the money is no longer there for either the trip or Columbia. So James must get a job, and the only place where his lack of practical experience isn't a hindrance is a minimum-wage shift at Adventureland Amusement Park, running a game booth. It's a crappy job, but the compensation is that James meets some interesting people: Mike Connell (Ryan Reynolds), the rock star maintenance man who plays the field despite his wedding ring; Joel (Martin Starr), whose intellect and awkwardness around women match James'; Lisa P (Margarita Levieva), the star of every male's wet dreams; and Em (Kristen Stewart), whose mixture of compassion, substance, and girl-next-door good looks dooms James to a summer of longing. Despite his geeky appearance and fondness for deep thinking, he's surprisingly popular - although that could have something to do with his stash of joints...For the most part, Adventureland does not wallow in '80s nostalgia, although "Rock Me Amadeus" becomes an anthem of sorts. But it does tweak memories - reminiscences of those horrible summer jobs redeemed only by the easy relationships formed with fellow employees stuck in the same situation. Because many viewers, irrespective of age, will relate to that sort of mundane experience, Mottola doesn't need a more compelling hook. Once he has our attention, he holds it by providing characters with whom we develop an almost instantaneous bond, and he doesn't endanger that reality by polluting it with over-the-top secondary characters or inauthentic narrative contortions. I liked these individuals and I appreciated what Mottola does with them.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review It is a truth of twentysomethings that if you have a crappy summer job with other twentysomethings, the way to take your mind off work is daydreaming of sex with your workmates. You are trapped there together eight or 10 hours a day for three months, right, so what else is there to make you dance to unheard melodies?...Take James. Here he is all set to move to New York, and his dad loses his job and he's forced to take a job at a shabby Pittsburgh amusement park. All of the rides look secondhand, all of the games are rigged, and all of the prizes look like surplus. Your job is to encourage customers even more luckless than you are to throw baseballs at targets that are glued down, while inflamed with hopes of taking home a Big Ass Panda. That's what Bobby the owner calls them when he instructs you, "Nobody ever wins a Big Ass Panda."...Most of the male employees in the park lust for Lisa P. (Margarita Levieva), whose Adventureland T-shirt unfortunately advertises Rides*Rides*Rides. James is much more interested in Em (Kristen Stewart), who is quieter and deeper (Games*Games*Games). She's smart, quirky, seems more grown-up than the others. A quick rapport springs up, despite her edge on James in sexual experience. She thinks he's kinda sweet. They talk about subjects that require more than one sentence...As the summer lurches between deadly boredom and sudden emergencies (someone wins a Big Ass Panda), James and Em grow closer. This is absorbing because they reveal themselves as smarter than anyone else realizes. From his earlier work, I expected to like Eisenberg. What surprised me was how much I admired Kristen Stewart, who in "Twilight," was playing below her grade level. Here is an actress ready to do important things. Together, and with the others, they make "Adventureland" more real and more touching than it may sound.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 9
Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, Spanish, Subtitled, French, Dubbed & Subtitled
Product Attributes
Video Format Blu-Ray
Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post Truly hilarious!
Dana Stevens, Slate Has the note-perfect melancholy of a classic young adult novel.
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune A sweet, sharp coming-of-age romance...
Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly For nostalgia junkies, it's one from the heart.
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor A young adult romantic comedy with a sweetness and delicacy that lifts it out of its genre.

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