has an average rating of 7.6 on IMDb
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 50gb disc
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
are short but in HD with Digital Copy
– 107 minutes
– Miramax (Disney)
This uses 29.6GB for the movie out of 35.7GB total.
Street Date: August 25th, 2009
Overall Verdict – Recommended
The Movie Itself is directed by Greg Mottola (known for “Superbad“). The year is 1987. We’re introduced to James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg), a recent college graduate who wants nothing more than to go to graduate school in New York City to further his journalism degree. However the recent pay decrease for his father results in James having to get a super job. This lands him at the local theme park entitled Adventureland. He meets a wide range of characters but seems to instantly connect with Em (Kristen Stewart) after she saves him from a knife fight over a customer wanting a giant panda. The two begin to hang out, mostly smoking weed and drinking but a deep connection begins to form. Along the way we meet other people like the mechanic Mike Connell (Ryan Reynolds), Tommy Frigo (Matt Bush), Joel (Martin Starr), his boss Bobby (Bill Hader) and others. What results is not necessarily a laugh out loud film like “Superbad” but more of a charming movie as it studies everyday normal people as they meet and interact with one another, simply living their lives.
One of the most charming aspects of “Adventureland” is that there isn’t really any character that we ever dislike. The two main characters of Em and James click with each other in a manner that I haven’t seen in quite some time in a film of this nature. James is the type of kid who is so sincere and honest with himself and all that surround him that we might think he’s kind of naive about certain aspects of life, but that’s what makes him his own person. Instead of playing Em off as they weird girl who no one seems to like, she’s defined more by her qualities, her own style. She may look and act odd on the surface but in her heart, Em is no different than any other character. That’s a huge quality that I really enjoyed about this movie. No one character is labeled as “better” or “worse” but rather everyone is wearing their own shoes so to speak. Even Tommy Frigo, who does nothing but punch people in their balls, is likeable in his own way. All the varying characters are seen in kind of a character study manner.
With that said, the film reminded me of similar movies like “Juno” in that nothing really ever happens but instead we see how everyday people lead their lives. One could say it might remind you a bit of episodes of the classic Nickelodeon show “Pete and Pete” but with non-harmful (marijuana) drug use. Now we know why “Artie” on that show was likely really so crazy, he was high… just kidding but back to the film here.
In closing, “Adventureland” is a charming little film that succeeds simply on it’s own merit of never trying to be something it’s not. Instead of trying to be the successor to “Superbad” (a feat tough to beat), director Mottola has crafted a funny character piece that fans of “Juno” will surely enjoy.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte, dual-layered Blu-ray Disc) in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Now this is something that saddens me to start off by saying but I will, this film unlike Greg Mattola‘s previous film “Superbad” was shot on just standard 35mm film and not in Hi-Def but given the film takes place in the 1980′s it does make sense to have been filmed on traditional film (35mm). The black level here is very solid and the color palette extremely vibrant at times you’ll notice right off the bat here in this 35mm to Hi-Def transfer. The fleshtones are accurate with the pale but lovely Kristen Stewart to serve as occasional reference material to justify that statement. No signs of any use of digital noise reduction here as this hold’s a great deal of it’s original film great to the presentation, which I have to admit I liked. The encode shows no signs of any compression issues and really pulls off an impressive Hi-Def presentation, despite only being shot on 35mm. This earns a really nice “4.5 Star Rating” for overall video quality. Hats off to the folks at Disney (Miramax) as always for a job well done.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. First thing aside from obviously dialogue, which is key, you’ll notice from the opening credits with “Bastards of Young” that this film’s Soundtrack is full of kick ass 80′s rock — minus the constant playing of “Rock Me Amadeus“. All of the songs on the film’s Soundtrack are delivered nicely through the 5.1 soundscape with good rear channel and bass (subwoofer) usage throughout. Dialogue, as I said earlier, is very key in this film and it’s delivered with perfection — requiring no volume adjustments at all throughout the film. There’s not much “action” in this film, as it’s really just one of those “coming of age” type movies with more emphasis on the Soundtrack so don’t expect to be totally blown away by this DTS-HD 5.1 MA mix but it does do the film justice, very much so. Enough to earn this a solid “4 Star Rating” for overall audio quality.
Bonus Materials are presented in a mixture of High Definition and Standard Definition with English 2.0 Dolby Digital Sound.
- Digital Copy is included on a DVD-ROM disc and is compatible both with iTunes & Windows Media (Mac & PC). This copy lasts for exactly one year after the release date of the home video release, in this case August 25th, 2010 it will expire.
- “Easter Egg” (found by Justin Sluss) — At the main menu (“Total Menu“) go to “Bonus Materials“. Bring up any area and hit left on the directional pad of your Blu-ray Disc Player remote to bring up a giant black & white panda bear. Click the “ENTER” button on your remote and you’ll get the “easter egg” here. This is obviously a reference to the line early in the film delivered by Kristen Wiig. You’ll see a clip hosted by co-star Kristen Stewart which runs roughly about a minute and a half and is presented in Hi-Def video quality.
- Deleted Scenes come with optional audio commentary from Writer/Director Greg Mottola & Actor Jesse Eisenberg. Three scenes in total are presented, “Drunk Mom” (0:30 – HD), “Angry Grandfather” (0:51 – HD) & “James Keep Quiet” (0:53 – HD).
- “Just My Life: The Making of Adventureland” (16:31 – SD)
- Audio Commentary with writer/director Greg Mottola and actor James Eisenberg
- Song Selection allows the user to see every song off the film’s Soundtrack and click on them to view the specific scenes they appear in. This includes a total of 30 tracks, which is pretty darn impressive. Music fans of the 80′s like myself will definitely get a kick out of this, minus “Rock Me Amadeus” which sucks…
- Frigo’s Ball Taps (2:34 – HD) has actor Matt Bush who plays “Frigo” in the film going around hitting people in the “balls”. Pretty stupid but eh, it’s watchable. Below you’ll find a clip from this thanks to our friends at Disney.
- Lisa P’s Guide to Style (2:08 – HD) has actress Margarita Levieva who played “Lisa P” in the film in character giving 80′s fashion tips.
- Welcome to Adventureland is made up of classic commercials and employee videos. They are as follows, “Fun-tastic Time Commercial” (0:39 – SD), “Fireworks Commercial” (0:42 – SD), “Orientation Training Day” (3:34 – HD) & “Drug Policy” (0:44 – HD).
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Bare with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.