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Gavin Grades The Movies



Adventureland

Adventureland (Rated R) Gavin Grade: B Remember the movie "The Village" by M. Knight Shamyalan?  Were you one of those people who hated that movie because you went into it thinking it would be really scary and when you weren't scared in the slightest you were just pissed at the movie and thought it sucked?  Did you ever go back and watch it again and realize that it's actually a really good drama and not a thriller at all?  Well it is.  It was a victim of dumpy advertising.  Exhibit B in the case against crap advertising: "Adventureland."  All the advertising for this movie made it seem like a very funny comedy about a horrible summer job.  It's about a summer job alright, but not a comedy.  This is a film that pumps in the same vein as "Juno" or "Little Miss Sunshine."  It's a drama that just happens to have some funny scenes.  What I really enjoyed about this movie was the nostalgia.  Granted the film takes place in 1987, when I was only 7, but it makes you remember fondly that one summer job you had that you hated at the time but now realize it was the best summer of your life.  For me it was when I was a tour guide at a cave called Indian Echo Caverns.  It also was a great period piece that subtly captured the culture clash going on in the mid-80s of the rich, the poor and the nouveau riche.  Greg Mottola ("Superbad") wrote and directed this as a semi-autobiography and you can tell.  Newcomer, Jesse Eisenberg stars in it as an identifiable character, but not a super likable one at times.  Kristen Stewart (Bella for all you "Twilight" nerds) is in this to prove once again that she is either a terrible normal acttress or a terrific actress with a crippling twitch.  SNL stars Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig tagteam as great comic relief but the comedic star is a performance by Matt Bush.  You may not know him yet, but he's in the AT&T commercials where he fights with his mom over old rollover minutes.  He was fantastic in the movie and I have a feeling we'll see a lot of him in the future.  But again I warn you not to see this looking for a laugh-a-minute romp, but instead a pleasant, warm emotion as you think back to a snapshot of your own horrible summer job that lead to the best summer of your life.

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04/05/2009 11:14AM
Adventureland
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