Adventureland (2009)

adventureland_ver2

Hey, James… you still have anymore of those baby joints?

— Mike Connell

I wanted to familiarized myself with Greg Mattola’s style of filmmaking before watching Adventureland. There are so resemblances from Superbad, but this movie is the polar opposite.

The ad campaign did a disservice to the movie. The trailer was cut together to make it like Superbad, but it couldn’t further from that movie.

Based of Mattola’s real life experiences, the action takes place in 1987 Pennsylvania when James (Jesse Eisenberg) graduates from Oberlin college. He wants to go to grad school at Columbia University. Life throws a wrench on his plans when his father is getting transferred to another job and the family cannot afford to have James move to New York.

His parents, (Jack Gilpin, Wendie Malick) urge him to get a summer job to help him with the move. James eventually settles on a job at the crappy amusement park, Adventureland, being a “Games” person. James wants to be a “Ride” person, but his bosses, Bobby and Paulette (Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig) want him to be a games person.

James quickly strikes up friendships with some of the workers there. There is Joel (Martin Starr), a fellow “Games” person that smokes with a pipe. The busty “Rides” girl, Lisa P. (Margarita Levieva). A childhood bully of James’, Tommy Fringo (Matt Bush), who continually gives him nut shots. The wise mechanic, Mike Connell (Ryan Reynolds). Finally, there is the possible love interest, Em (Kirsten Stewart).

He is trying to balance doing his job, trying not fall in love with Em was is in a relationship with Mike, who is married.

The performances were mostly solid . I had some problems with Matt Bush’s character. His running gag was giving James a couple of nut shots.  He was so unlikable. I wish that he got his due. He did. Also, I had a mixed reaction with Ryan Reynolds. At first, I didn’t understand him being a mechanic, but then I understood that he played the forbidden fruit for Emily. He was very good here, despite my hesitation.

This movie had a nice balance of comedic moments with the more poignant instances. The 80s soundtrack with fantastic with tracks from INXS, the Cure and others.

Judgment: I would urge you to see this film before it leaves the theater. It’s a solid effort.

Rating: ****

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About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on May 9, 2009, in 2009, Comedy, Drama, Romantic and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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