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Adventureland [Blu-ray]

3.7 out of 5 stars 506 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the director of Superbad comes Adventureland, a smart, witty comedy we can all relate to. When James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) has to cancel his dream summer vacation and make some money for grad school, the only job he can get is at Adventureland, a tacky amusement park where the games are rigged and the rides make you hurl. But it's where he meets Em (Kristen Stewart, Twilight), and his rollercoaster ride to nowhere turns into the best summer ever.

A sweet and slap-happy mix of indie coming-of-age drama and Judd Apatow’s scatological but heartfelt manchild comedies, Greg Mottola’s Adventureland is a winning look at the pleasures and frustrations of dead-end jobs and teenage kicks as viewed through a filter of mid-‘80s pop culture. The underutilized and always watchable Jesse Eisenberg (The Squid and the Whale) is a sheltered, introspective New York college grad who discovers that his parents’ financial woes will not only quash his dream of a summer in Europe (to enjoy its more “sexually permissive” nations) but require a move to Pittsburgh, where he lands a job at a dilapidated amusement park. There, he’s thrown in with a motley crew of eccentrics, small-town types and a few genuine free spirits, most notably co-worker Em (Kristen Stewart), whose complicated past proves irresistible to his repressed psyche. Mottola, who directed Superbad and episodes of the well-loved Freaks and Geeks, and who once worked in a similar park as a teen, doesn’t shy from the crude laughs that make Apatow’s features so popular, but he tempers it with a wistful tone and layered characters that hew closer to his earliest work, The Daytrippers. Though ill-matched at first, Eisenberg and Stewart make a likable on-screen couple, and they’re well-supported by a terrific cast that includes such die-hard scene-stealers as Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig as the park’s offbeat owners, Martin Starr as a Russian lit aficionado, and Ryan Reynolds as a former town tamer, now reduced to working as the park’s handyman. A soundtrack performed by underground faves Yo La Tengo and filled with a smart mix of hip cuts (Hüsker Dü, the New York Dolls, the Replacements) and period faves (Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus”) underscores the film’s blend of tentative emotions and broad laughs. -- Paul Gaita

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Special Features

  • Exclusive To Blu-ray: Frigo's Taps -- A Satiric "How To" On Inflicting Unexpected Pain
  • Exclusive To Blu-ray: Lisa P's Guide To Style
  • Exclusive To Blu-ray: Welcome To Adventureland -- Adventureland Commercials, Orientation Training Video, Drug Policy
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Just My Life: The Making Of ADVENTURELAND
  • Feature Commentary -- With Writer/Director Greg Mottola And Actor Jesse Eisenberg
  • Picture Music Selection
  • Digital Copy

Product Details

  • Actors: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Kelsey Ford, Michael Zegen
  • Directors: Greg Mottola
  • Writers: Greg Mottola
  • Producers: Anne Carey, Bruce Toll, Declan Baldwin, Scott Ferguson, Sidney Kimmel
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: August 25, 2009
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (506 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,432 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Adventureland [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David J. Brown on April 10, 2009
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.
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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.
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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.
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Format: DVD
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.
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