To many readers on MouseInfo, mentioning the word "Adventureland" conjures up quite a few different mental images including singing birds, 1930s temple explorations, or exotic jungle locales. Most readers probably won't begin thinking about a dingy soulless amusement park in the 1980s, but that is exactly the world created in the recently-released Adventureland movie on DVD.
Following up on the smash-hit Superbad, Director Greg Mottola has created this very realistic-feeling film about a recent college-graduate in 1987 working a miserable summer job at the local Adventureland amusement park.
As any amusement park employee (or Cast Member) can attest, working in a theme park can ironically be far from fun which is precisely what the job is intended to create!
I've actually never seen Superbad (although I still really do want to see it) so I thought that would be a positive force for this film. However, I must say that for the most part, Adventureland leaves me about as apathetic as the characters working in the self-titled park.
I really thought this would overall be more comedic (the marketing certainly portrays that) but the storyline is much more dramatic with its themes about summer love and relationships.
I will say, though, that the film did have its comedic moments. Richard Mast, who plays the Assistant Manager, is hilarious in his outlandishly subtle and quirky vibe. He and Kristen Wiig, who portrays the General Manager bounced off of each other quite naturally creating a hilarious duo of mostly useless management.
While this film keeps getting stylistically compared to Juno, (it definitely does have a "dark" or "dry" type of humor) I did not find Adventureland in quite the same league. Still, there were definitely moments of hilarityâ€”again, in particular with Mast and Wiig.
One strength that I really enjoyed with this film was the gritty feel that it had, it felt like it was shot in the 1980s. Assisting this great cinematographic retro trip, was the actual set dressings and costuming.
It really does almost feel like this is an actual movie from 1987 versus a period piece portraying that era; the hairstyles, the subtle music choices, it all does a great job of taking us back to the inauspicious decade ruled by Madonna and acid washed jeans.
As for the contents of this release, this is certainly an upgrade to what a typical VHS from the 1980s! Of course we get the crystal clear transfer on bot the Blu-ray Two-Disc DVD editions. We also get a few awesome little bonus features, too!
As per usual, the bonus features include Deleted Scenes which feature optional audio commentary by writer and director Greg Mottola. Mottola seems to have quite a specific method to his madness and it was interesting hearing him offer up his reasoning for the removal of portions from the films.
We also get the Audio Commentary with Greg Mottola and actor Jesse Eisenberg who plays the films lead. As you listen to them speak you really start to understand the personailty of the people who make films like these with their dark and sarcastic humor.
"Just My Life: The Making Of Adventureland" was a pretty fun and interesting look at the making of the film. Once again, we get the hands-on director, Greg Mottola, who reveals how his real life experiences in his youth were the inspiration behind this film plus Daytrippers,
Superbad, and Arrested Development. We also get feedback from several of the Cast Members about their experiences with the film and where they drew their inspiration for their miserable 1980s characters.
If you're a little bit dry and a little bit sarcastic; if you're still upset that they canceled Arrested Development, or still think that Juno is just about the funniest little teenager you've ever seen then a trip to Adventureland might actually be something you'd find enjoyable; you might even find yourself wanting to remain seated at all times until the adventure has come to an end!
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09-02-2009 02:10 AM #1
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Explore the Wiles of Adventureland... A DVD Review of "Adventureland"
Last edited by dlfreak; 09-03-2009 at 10:22 AM.Joey AKA "dlfreak"
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I'm addicted to Disneyland. Disneyland hobbies are expensive. If I become a bum people are going to say "Don't give him money, he's just gonna use it on Disneyland."
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09-07-2009 08:16 PM #2
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looks just okThere is nothing better than Disneyland and Modern Warfare 2!
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