The Good

A fun, strongly acted movie that recalls the feeling of the 1980s.

The Bad

I liked Jesse Eisenberg better when his name was Michael Cera.Adventureland tells the story of James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg). He is a high minded college graduate who is very well read, and he's looking forward to big vacation abroad. His plans change and he needs to fund his grad school efforts so now he needs to get a job. Jobs are hard to come by where he lives so we are supposed to believe that he can make a living wage working at an amusement park called... Adventureland. While he is there he hangs out with the locals while not really hanging out with them. It is apparent that he knows he is headed for bigger and better while these folks will never leave their surroundings.

Things get a bit more complicated when he starts an affair with Em (Kristen "Play with my hair when I get uncomfortable" Stewart). James is obviously smitten with this girl and she seems fairly receptive, too bad she is involved with a married man (Ryan Reynolds; James doesn't know about this). It is here that we are taken into the home lives of these characters, and eventually Adventureland lves itself with the idea that life is one of those things that, sometimes, you just need to experience for yourself.

Features

Deleted Scenes

I liked these scenes if for no other reason than that I liked this movie. I thought the acting was solid, the story was strong and overall that made this movie work. Adventureland as a film never lingers in any one area, and when you watch these deleted scenes I think that it was apparent that it did before it was trimmed. These scenes look good and in some ways, perhaps, they tell us more about the characters. I just found them a nice addition to the release but nothing too special.

Just My Life

Audio Commentary

Writer/Director Greg Mottola and the film's star, Jesse Eisenberg, do the commentary duties on this. They talk about putting the film together, why they wanted to make this project, on set anecdotes and more.... I liked hearing about what it was like working with comedians Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, and I also liked the shorthand that these two seem to have with one another. If you are fan of this film, this audio track is certainly worth your time.

Picture Music Selection

Video

Widescreen - 1.85:1. Enhanced for 16x9 Televisions. This movie has a light and airy feel about it. There isn't anything harsh about any of the colors and it seems like Director Greg Mottola and his Director of Photography, Terry Stacey, did everything in their power to make this film look like something out of the 1980s. This film almost takes on a desaturated look and that adds to the light feeling that it has overall.

Audio

Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. French language track. French and Spanish subtitles. The audio on this movie is good but the big standout is the soundtrack. With music from The Cure, INXS, The Replacements, David Bowie, Lou Reed and others, this thing nicely captures the 1980s in a special way. Overall, the audio is quite consistent over the course of this DVD. Good job Buena Vista Home Entertainment.

Package

Reynolds, Eisenberg, Stewart, Hader and Wiig are front and center on this desaturated front cover. The back portion gives us three shots from this film, a description of what it's about, a Bonus features/Technical specs listing, and a cast list. There isn't anything too amazing about how this looks, but overall I feel it captures this movie quite nicely.

Final Word

One of the things that I heard before this movie (and it was again reiterated to me after I saw it), was how Jesse Eisenberg was essentially doing a poor man's Michael Cera with his role in this movie. In fact, one of my fellow MovieWebbers even said that it was "obvious that they couldn't get the Superbad guy," so that is why Mottola and Co. went with Eisenberg. I don't know how true or untrue this is, I do know that all of this talk of Eisenberg channeling the "great" Michael Cera made it hard for me not to see him doing that. On the whole, Eisenberg seems like a solid actor and I look forward to seeing what he brings to other roles that he does.

Despite my sarcasm, Adventureland was an enjoyable film about a time in my life when I was younger, but no less affected then the characters in the film. I don't think it is a must own on DVD, but it is certainly worth watching.