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Adventureland - DVD Review

By Ed Hulse -- Video Business, 6/22/2009

Street: Aug. 25
Prebook: July 14
> Nostalgia dramedy has real emotional heft along with laughs.

In 1987, college graduate James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) takes a minimum-wage summer job at a shabby Pittsburgh amusement park, enduring mind-numbing boredom and imbecilic co-workers. He befriends cute rich girl Em (Twilight’s Kristen Stewart), who feels guilty about her clandestine affair with the park’s married alpha-male repairman Mike Connell (Ryan Reynolds). Writer/director Greg Mottola evocatively depicts the seedy milieu: rigged games, barfing kids, stoned employees, rancid corn dogs and endless repetitions of mindless ’80s tunes such as “Rock Me Amadeus.” Except for a predictably pat finale, Adventureland defies the conventions of teen movies and makes surprisingly substantive entertainment.

Shelf Talk: Misleadingly marketed as a typical coming-of-age comedy, Adventureland failed to attract the attention it deserved in theaters. Advertising and promotional efforts suggesting the film’s relatively mature and complex dynamic should make it more appealing to adults—especially those who grew up during the ’80s.

Comedy drama, color, R (language, teen drug use, sexual situations), 107 min., DVD $29.99, two-DVD $39.99, two-BD $44.99
Extras: commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes; BD adds three bonus featurettes
Director: Greg Mottola
First Run: W, April 2009, $15.9 mil.


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