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Adventureland (Blu-ray + Digital Copy) - Blu-ray DVD / comedy DVD / drama DVD review
ADVENTURELAND (BLU-RAY + DIGITAL COPY) Rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 4 stars
Featuring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristin Stewart, Martin Starr, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Reynolds
Director: Greg Mottola Distributor: Miramax
DVD release: 25 August 2009 Runtime: 107 min.
(2 discs)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p High Definition, Aspect ratio 1.85:1, Audio tracks (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 - English; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - French, Portugese; Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - Thai), Subtitles (English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Bahasa, Malay, Korean, Japanese, Thai), Deleted scenes w/ optional audio commentary by writer/dir. Greg Mottola), Audio commentary (writer/dir. Greg Mottola, actor Jesse Eisenberg), Just My Life: The Making Of Adventureland, Picture Music Selection, Frigo's Ball Tap, Lisa P's Guide To Style, Welcome to Adventureland

It's rare when a movie set in the '80s actually portrays the era fairly accurately. Adventureland is a fun trip down memory lane for those who grew up in the '80s and a spot-on introduction for those who weren't fortunate enough to live it for themselves.

James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) graduates from college in 1987. Due to some job cutbacks at his father's company, instead of taking the trip of his dreams to Europe he's forced to get a summer job to earn money for grad school. With a major in literature, James has difficulty finding a job. As a last resort, he applies - and is hired on the spot - for a job at Adventureland, a local amusement park.

Adventureland is owned and operated by Bobby and Paulette (Bill Hader and the always hilarious Kristin Wiig). James isn't a good match for a "rides" position, so he begins work in "games" with Joel (Martin Starr) and soon meets Em (Kristen Stewart). James has quite the crush on Em, and she somewhat returns his affection, but she's holding back some secrets - one being is that she is carrying on a clandestine affair with the married park mechanic Mike (Ryan Reynolds).

James is lovable, na´ve, and a virgin-and his geek-ness is what makes him an endearing and likable character. Jesse Eisenberg is cast perfectly in the role. He never comes across as wimpy or unsympathetic, which could easily happen with those characteristics.

Hader and Wiig carry a great deal of the comedic load in the movie, which is not as slapstick as some of the advertisements lead you to believe. The well-placed comedy never overpowers the underlying coming-of-age story to the point where it would just become a parody rather than a nostalgic tribute. That's not to say that everything about this movie is perfect. Although marijuana smoking and drinking are a part of many a young person's growing up, they are not as constant and prevalent as this movie would have you believe.

The fabulous '80s music in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 really contributes to the overall authentic feel of the show, and the hi-def picture transfer transports the viewer smack-dab in the center of the era. The Blu-ray pack also includes a digital copy of the movie for viewing on a computer or other digital device.

Some of the special features are entertaining - like the Adventureland training videos - but most are just standard. All in all, Adventureland is a fun look back at the '80s and a poignant look at coming of age in those days.
 
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reviewed by Melissa Parcel
   
         
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