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: Adventureland (2009)  ( 41204 )
The Firecracker
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« #15 : April 09, 2009, 03:09:41 PM »

I don't see how you can hate this movie, FC. it's too harmless and charming.

Have you seen it? Not certain if I hate it, I disliked it a great deal.

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« #16 : April 09, 2009, 03:39:40 PM »

I saw it and enjoyed it quite a bit. some hits and misses


the soundtrack (the replacements, velvets, husker du, yo la tengo)
thought it moved at a nice pace, very entertaining
that snl guy (cop from superbad) was pretty funny
I thought that the characters had depth (dsicounting Lisa P. - will get to that later). most lollywood movies would have made ryan reynold's character a 1D meathead.

kristen stewart has a nice screen presence but she doesn't have that much range. I'm not sure if I like her or not
the Lisa P. character should have been more developed
we don't see enough of the theme park - there could have been sequences featuring the all the little quirks of the place. I think there's an odd charm to the corporate monstrocities.
the lead and stewart's fall for eachother too soon
even with the nice pace, the end drags a bit and the car accident scene is pretty lame - should have been left out
the ending - he shouldn't have ended up with the girl - lessons need to be learned, this is a coming of age movie afterall

verdict: much better than Juno, which I sadly admit that I enjoyed. I'm not saying this is as good as Dazed and Confused but it's certainly worth seeing.

« : April 09, 2009, 03:41:16 PM Tuco Harmonica »

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This post gets Agnew's stamp of approval!

« #17 : April 11, 2009, 07:45:22 PM »

My attempt at a review...

Is it possible that I've finally found a teen film that's not only entertaining but also relatable, believable and lacking the usual cliches and cartoonish excess of films of its type? Why yes! I just got back from seeing Greg Mottola's Adventureland. For obvious reasons, I had middling-to-low expectations of this film going in, but the movie certainly surprised me with its degree of intelligence, poignance and believability. Not only that, but it's lots of fun too.

Nerdy college student James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) sees his post-graduation plans foiled when his dad (James Gilpin) is demoted at work. Hard up for money and without a plan, James takes a job as a gaming assistant at Adventureland, a Pittsburgh amusement park, and finds it to be not exactly an ideal job, what with the malfunctioning equipment, long hours, and irate customers. However, the job soon turns out to be not completely bad; he makes a new group of friends, most notably Em (Kristen Stewart), the arcade girl, and Mike Connel (Ryan Reynolds), an amateur musician/mantinence man. James falls in love with Em, unaware that she and Mike are having an affair.

Misleadingly marketed as yet another Apatow-produced stoner/sex/gross-out comedy, Adventureland is in fact a poignant coming-of-age tale. True, there are the required crotch shots, and more than a fair share of doping and drinking, but they're mostly incidental to the story. The movie is driven by characters, by young people making stupid mistakes they immediately regret. The writing is very smart and poignant, creating a cast of believable characters living a very believable story. One can certainly relate to the anguish of a summer job, financial difficulties of a college student and the inherent ennui and listlessness, the difficult fumblings of a first relationship (oh, God, yes), the difficulties of home life (particularly for Em and her obnoxious stepmom (Mary Birdsong)), and most of all, the alternating moments of fun and anguish along the way.

The cast is great. Jesse Eisenberg as James is a great protagonist; he's believable as an awkward, dorky young adult slowly coming of age. Kristen Stewart is lovely and gives a wonderfully warm and layered performance; certainly now we can forgive her for Twilight. The two have great chemistry and feel very much like a couple of real teens, two flawed and damaged individuals trying to find themselves in the adult world. The supporting cast is equally fine. Ryan Reynolds plays Connell very low-key; he could easily be a jerk or a heel but he's portrayed as sympathetically as our two leads. Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig are hilarious as the park's managers. Also fine are Margarita Levieva as the temptress Lisa P, Martin Starr as the intellectual stoner Joel, and Wendie Malick and Jack Gilpin as James' parents.

Adventureland is a really warm, pleasant feel-good movie. It's a shame that it's doing such lousy box office, because it's certainly a great deal better than most of its like film. I can't remember ever being so satisified by a "teen film" (if that term even applies here), and it certainly provided a fine capper on a rather rough week.

Rating: 8/10 - Highly Recommended

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« #18 : April 12, 2009, 05:42:01 AM »

great review, groggs.

8 cool points for ennui.

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« #19 : May 07, 2019, 06:25:02 AM »

I watched Adventureland yesterday, primarily because it was filmed in Pittsburgh where I was born, and lived until my teenage years.

Kennywood looks really run down. Ever been there?

We went to Kennywood exactly once a year, on the district "school picnic" day.  Kennywood started as a little park to get residents to ride the streetcars on weekends.  It's on a bluff, overlooks a historical area on the Monongahela River where Braddock and George Washington fought in the French and Indian War.  In 2013 I vacationed in Pittsburgh - don't laugh, it's a very clean and modern high-tech city now, no longer the iron and steel behemoth that helped win the Civil War, WW1, and WW2.  So of course I had to go to Kennywood, hadn't been there in 45 years.

Kennywood is not part of a giant enterprise like Six Flags; it has one of the few remaining Noah's Arks, and some scenic and large roller coasters including the Thunderbolt (formerly "Pippen") that dart down the bluff towards the river.  Yes, one drives through some run-down suburbs to get to Kennywood, and even though I'm afraid of roller coasters I went on them all (Mrs. Cusser rode the Racer, side by side racing roller coaster) but no others.  The older coasters there are wood, so have some noise and creaking to them, part of the charm.

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