DVD REVIEW: Adventureland

(Miramax Films)

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Who knew the eighties had such incredible music? The Replacements, Rolling Stones and Velvet Underground set the mood for this coming of age story that unravels during a summer of drinking, toking up and, more importantly, making sure no one wins the giant-ass panda at Adventureland.

After James (Jesse Eisenberg) finishes undergrad and his parents inform him they are not-only no longer funding his summer vacation in Europe, but also are not going to be able to budget for grad school, he ultimately takes a job at the park as a games man. Apparently his degree in Comparative Lit and Renaissance Studies doesn’t seem to be in high demand on the summer job market.

“Here we are at the first of many shitty games,” the tour of the park appropriately begins, and James meets the cast of his life-changing summer. Of course one of these fellow theme park workers is a girl of interest, but unfortunately for James, she is already working alongside a lusty maintenance man played by Ryan Reynolds.

The Velvet Underground’s “Pale Blue Eyes” is part of the the movie’s soundtrack and is the perfect reflective backdrop for James’ journey as he meanders through his summer, bouncing off several quirky inhabitants of the park, but ultimately finding himself. With an endearing protagonist enduring summer scandals that feel all-too familiar, Adventureland is a fun, funny ride down what feels like memory lane.

Amy Hamblen

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