Adventureland Blu-Ray Review

Cover Art and Menus: 6/10
I do like the cover, that leftover 70’s early 80’s look is fairly cool. I do have to say it’s become a bit of a cookie cutter look. It has lost it’s shine for me, but it’s totally appropriate for the movie, so I’ll let it slide:) The menu is the same, cute graphical era specific, so they did make an effort to keep it all on the them of the movie, which is a nice touch.

Features: 8/10

  • Frigo’s Taps – Hmm I find it completely obnoxious that there is a character who likes to punch men in the balls…hello, that’s assault! So this extra is pretty lame to me, but if you are one of THOSE people, you will enjoy it.
  • Lisa P’s Guide To Style –This is also a bit lame, but I think they were trying to make a funny 80’s style homage, it just doesn’t have much umph.
  • Welcome To Adventureland – They made commercials for the small amusement park, and employee training videos that are pretty funny. There is a lot of nods to anyone who has had a shitty job where you have to watch those horrible things.
  • Deleted Scenes – There’s not much here, just a few little bits and pieces of interactions with the characters. It’s not critical stuff, but it could have been left in and added a few more fun moments.
  • Just My Life The Making Of Adventureland – This is a good run through of how, why, where, and by whom the movie was made. It’s got a lot of interviews with the cast and director, along with the story of the story and the amusement park where it was filmed.
  • Feature Commentary With Writer/Director Greg Mottola & Actor Jesse Eisenberg – This is a fun way to get more of the back story and nostalgia behind that fateful summer of the director/writer Mottola when he did work in an amusement park back in the 80’s.
  • Picture Music Selection – Not a big deal, you pick the song and it takes you to a scene in the movie where the song is playing. I’m not sure of the reason for the is extra…hmmm
  • Digital Copy – Put this one on your laptop or iPod and enjoy over and over and over..:)

The Movie: 9/10
This is a sweet funny movie, so get over it. I really enjoyed it, I laughed, I even had a tear at one point and had a good time all the way through. It has it’s overly sentimental moments, but not too much, so that’s a bonus. I find that when I really like a movie I don’t have much to say about it. I know, that’s strange, but it’s a pattern with me. I want people to watch and see for themselves why a movie is good, not watch because someone tells them what’s good.

The premise is that it’s the summer of 1987 and a college graduate is stuck working in an amusement park to make money for his upcoming grad school years. I had a hard time buying the ages of the people and I can’t figure out why. They are all in their early 20’s or so but still, it seems more like they should be in their earlier teens. I guess that’s the Breakfast Club lover in me:)

I’ll do my best to expand on the “I really enjoyed…” thing. Ok, the cast is awesome. I like everyone, even the Ryan guy, who doesn’t do much for more normally. He plays a jerky guy who cheats on his wife with young women who work in the amusement park each summer. He’s the older man who sticks around that lifestyle of teenagers and young people so he can always feel like a big fish in a little pond. You know the type. He does a good job of not being a complete asshole, but making you want to give him a good talking to about his attitudes about women and his marriage.

The leading young man and woman are really good. There’s a hint of over acting sometimes with the dude, but it’s from a comedy standpoint I think and doesn’t really hurt anything. No one is over the top, correction, the little dick who keeps punching men in the balls…he’s annoying. Kristen Stewart is one of those actors who comes along and I hope hope hope she keeps her honest way of playing parts. She was in Into The Wild with the same subtle brooding realness and I like that about her. In Adventureland she plays a young woman who has lost her mother, got a jerky step-mother, and is coping with being the latest conquest of the older dude mentioned above. She does an excellent job and I would say she’s my favorite element of this movie, by far.

The other players are all just right for their parts, the sarcastic semi-pretentious pipe smoking guy, the bombshell 80’s chick, the Tiffany look alike, they all do a great job of keeping the funny but “oh my GOD that’s so 80’s” vibe going.

The park is it’s own world and I love seeing the old school rides, games, and the way they make it seem like such a shitty place to work and to own. We get to know the couple who do own the park and they are so funny. They are a bit hapless, but charming and well meaning.

The music is awesome!! That’s all I need to say about that really.

Overall it’s safe to say Adventureland is one of my favorite movies of the summer. It’s charming, sweet, funny, takes me back to my teenage years in the late 80’s, and reminds me that when you are young everything is so much more dramatic and meaningful…but that’s a good thing because as we get older the drama wears off and we dull down a bit, which is kind of sad in a way. Maybe I’ll revert back to my youth, nah, I was broke and not very smart back then.

Audio & Video: 7/10 (By Ascully)
Adventureland is a great movie a total surprise for me as I didn’t know what to expect. But my little section here is not to discuss the movie but to discuss how it looks and sounds on Blu-Ray disc.  To be quite honest the visuals didn’t blow me away the movie is quite “noisy” and the few dark scenes seem to suffer crush in the shadows. There are also a few times where I saw print specks which is very unusual for a Blu-Ray disc. Now, the film is set in the 1980’s and the director may or may not have added some post processing to the image to make it look less than perfect so I give Disney the benefit of the doubt as they are usually awesome with there HD transfers. On a final note, the movie seems to have a red push of some kind going on, even the male actors looked like they were wearing lipstick the red levels were that high. Perhaps they were Adventureland is set in the 80’s after all.

Adventureland uses the DTS-HD Master Audio codec and sounds like any modern movie should. The movie has a awesome soundtrack and when the 80’s music kicks in it does bring the sound stage to life but apart from that the mostly dialog driven film sounds just about as you would expect it to.

Overall I love this movie it’s in my top 10 of the year so far, forget what you saw in the trailers you are really getting something a lot different than that.

Value: 5/10
I’m a fan of the movie, not a fan of the $25.00 and more price tags. It falls firmly in the 12-15 buck category for me, even though I would watch it again. I’m just saying that some movies don’t make me want to spend that much, and some do. I would rent Adventureland to see it now, and then later, when it’s in the 10 dollar bin at the store, grab it up:) The extras are ok, but nothing special. I guess I would have liked to see more tributes to the 80’s or something like that..but that’s just me.

Overall Score 8/10