This is a place called Adventureland… the worst job in the world that’s going to change your life and make you glad to came to work here.
Superbad writer/director Greg Mottola’s homage to 1980’s nostalgia and innocence, Adventureland, is truly a bittersweet instant classic. On the one hand, viewing the film brought back exciting and reflective memories of my own teenage years, including forgotten friendships and many the many types of ‘first times’ we’ve all experienced. Then on the other hand, watching Adventureland, a film that gets it all just right, also makes me think about how much the world has changed in the years since the 80s. The way people grow up today is so dramatically and unnecessarily unbalanced, even though they may live mere minutes apart. Not strictly by income, but by their hopes, dreams and values. That’s what great comedy does though, doesn’t it. It makes you contemplate serious issues, at the very same time their making you laugh your ass off. That’s exactly what Adventureland does, and it does it better than most comedies.
As Adventureland begins, recent graduate James Brennan’s (Jesse Eisenberg) life is simply not going as he had envisioned. His parents, who had promised to pay for his trip to Europe, instead, just informed him that they can’t afford to foot the bill. Moreover, his chosen pick of Columbia University for graduate school may be out as well. Now, forced to get a summer job instead of staying at Hostels with sexy coeds, James ends up getting a position at Adventureland, a pitiful local Pennsylvania amusement park run by Bobby (Bill Hader), along with his wife Paulette (Kristen Wiig), and a band of social outcasts including forever adolescent Tommy Frigo (Matt Bush), super-nerd Joel (Martin Starr), and wannabe musician-cum-handyman Connell (Ryan Reynolds). However working at Adventureland also has its perks, as James meets Em (Kristen Stewart), a like-minded girl looking for something better to do with the rest of her life. Adventureland’s simple tale follows their relationship as it blossoms, helping James learn some important lessons about life, friendship, love, and what’s really important regarding the three.
Eisenberg is amazing, passionately underplaying his role to the point of utter hilarity, giving Adventureland’s rogue cast of characters the chance to play perfectly off of him. Stewart, whose mere look is expressive enough to light a fire under any guy, is also staggering as the beautiful but bruised small town girl, looking for a way out. There is also a variety of other remarkable supporting turns from Reynolds, Hader, Wiig, and Starr, who’s character dishes out his comic wretchedness in clever snippets.
Adventureland is much more than just an enjoyable comedy. But however you take it in, you should.
- Deleted Scenes (HD) includes three scenes total, named Drunk Mom in Office, Angry Grandfather, and James Keeps Quiet, which all include optional audio commentary by writer/director Greg Mottola.
- Audio Commentary with writer/director Mottola, along with actor Jesse Eisenberg.
- Just My Life: The Making Of Adventureland (SD) features Greg Mottola revealing how his real life experiences helped inspire his comic vision for his films Daytrippers, Superbad, Arrested Development and now Adventureland. Cast members Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Bill Hader and Martin Starr also speak candidly about what experiences helped shape them into the people they are today, including the worst job they ever had, and more.
- Song Selection contains an easy to use menu for music fans to find specific scenes that feature their favorite ’80s music. This is lots of fun for nostalgia lovers.
- Frigo’s Ball Tap (HD) features a somewhat humorous look at the many methods someone can use to deliver a crushing blow to someone’s private parts.
- Lisa P’s Guide To Style (HD) features actress Margarita Levieva, who directs this in-character overview of ’80s fashion, as seen from her character’s eyes.
- Welcome to Adventureland (SD) includes four hilarious low video-quality commercials, promos and employee orientation videos for the titular amusement park.
- Disc 2 (SD DVD) a downloadable version of Adventureland for iTunes or Windows Media Player.
Adventureland is presented in 1080p High Definition (1.85:1), with Dolby TrueHD (48kh2/24-bit); 5.1 Dolby Digital in English SDH or French, with French and Spanish subtitles.
Writer/Director: Greg Mottola
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Stewart, Martin Starr, Paige Howard
Original Theatrical Release Date: April 3, 2009
Blu-ray Release Date: August 25, 2009
Here are some assorted clips from Adventureland.
Featurette: Jesse (Bonus)
Behind the Scenes: Angry Grandfather (Bonus)
Featurette: Ball Tap 1 (Bonus)
Featurette: Orientation 2 (Bonus)
And below is a hilarious red-band trailer that was released to promote the theatrical release of Adventureland.
And finally… below is an image of Kristen Stewart sporting an example of 1987 fashions featured in Adventureland. Click on the image to see our entire gallery of fashions from the movie, the men of Adventureland, and more.