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Adventureland


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#1 LibrarianDeb

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 08:12 AM

Ok, I checked carefully and am pretty sure there isn't a thread for this one already. Surprising as it opened pretty wide this weekend.

Went into this yesterday just expecting a quirky little film and was really surprised at how good it was. One of the more realistic films about relationships I've seen in recent memory. I've avoided Twilight so far so I'm not familiar with Stewart's work but I really thought she did an excellent job. Wiig and Hader (from SNL) have small parts but are wonderful and Eisenberg was excellent. You *might* remember him from The Squid and the Whale. And the 1980s music is wonderful

The only caveat I have is that there is LOTS of alcohol and drug use in this film.

#2 Jason Panella

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 06:29 PM

For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure most of the actual amusement park scenes were filmed at Kennywood Park, my vote for Best Amusement Park Ever. It's pretty historic.

#3 M. Dale Prins

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 08:56 PM

Kennywood is absolutely the best amusement park ever, and I say that despite having never lived within six hours of Pittsburgh. I was going to ignore Adventureland, despite Wiig's almost certainly amazing performance (from what I've seen from clips), but now that I know it was filmed at Kennywood...

Dale

Edited by M. Dale Prins, 05 April 2009 - 08:56 PM.


#4 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 04:56 AM

Love this movie.

Well, the first hour and then some, at least. Don't get me wrong, I respect the last half-hour, but the story at that point moves in a direction that doesn't quite tap into my own memories of that era the way the first hour and then some did. (Oh, I remember graduating in 1987. Oh, I remember working at Playland -- in the "games", not the "rides", section! -- one summer, and at Expo 86 another summer, sometime around then. Oh, I remember those songs being played all the time. Oh, I remember the thrill of possibly reciprocated romantic infatuation, the joy of going for drives with friends, the constant staying up late with yer pals, etc., etc.)

The best laugh of the movie, for me, was the line about the Shakespeare sonnet, and its effect on Eisenberg's love life. Beautifully delivered.

Twilight seriously turned me off to Kristen Stewart, and what glimpses I saw of her in the trailer for Adventureland looked like more of the same. But now that I've seen the film (Adventureland, that is) as a whole... I'm thinking the problem with Twilight was the character, not the actress.

And I see Ron Howard has another daughter moving into the acting biz. This, apparently, is Paige Howard's first movie.

#5 Cunningham

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 08:25 AM

I just saw this last night and also loved it. Scott Foundas said it really well in his review, "By the standards of Mottola's previous films, both of which unfolded over the course of a single day, the season-spanning Adventureland is practically an epic, but one in which Mottola sacrifices none of his romantic poet's affection for the fleeting, ephemeral moment. Here, no detail is too small to be glazed with the amber of memory, least of all whatever happened to be playing on the radio (or MTV) when you made out with a girl, got your heart broken, or forgave a friend... I've seen Mottola's movie twice, and both times, it has inspired feelings of joy, sadness, and a profound yearning for the unrecoverable past." The really weird thing is that it's not really even my past, as I was about 6 years old in Nigeria at the time the film is set it. I think it's more a profound yearning for the times when I have been in love

Thinking a little bit more about the "80's factor," maybe it also reflects some wish to be more closely connected to a culture that I can't quite call my own—something that it seems like all Americans my age have in common is a nostalgia for the 80's, and a movie like this (John Hughes movies definitely do this) may be stirring up, not so much a nostalgia, but a desire for a nostalgia for this time that is to me about as familiar and accessible as Pandora.

There are a few movies that do that to me, but this one has inspired these feelings more powerfully than anything I've seen since Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Edited by Cunningham, 23 January 2010 - 08:31 AM.


#6 Tyler

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 08:20 PM

There are a few movies that do that to me, but this one has inspired these feelings more powerfully than anything I've seen since Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.


The ending made me think of Eternal Sunshine, too.

#7 Persona

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 09:15 PM

I would have had no interest except for all the positive comments here. I'll be watching it soon.

For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure most of the actual amusement park scenes were filmed at Kennywood Park, my vote for Best Amusement Park Ever. It's pretty historic.


Kennywood is absolutely the best amusement park ever, and I say that despite having never lived within six hours of Pittsburgh.

I just can't imagine there being a better amusement park than Cedar Point, personally speaking.

Also, I have a friend who took a week's vacation and travelled to six midwest amusement parks. Wow, did his head and back hurt after that whole week of roller coasters, but he agrees with me on the Cedar Point thing.

I'm seeing him tomorrow. I'll ask him if he's gone to Kennywood.

Edited by Persona, 04 May 2010 - 09:16 PM.


#8 Russ

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 04:44 PM

I would have had no interest except for all the positive comments here. I'll be watching it soon.


For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure most of the actual amusement park scenes were filmed at Kennywood Park, my vote for Best Amusement Park Ever. It's pretty historic.


Kennywood is absolutely the best amusement park ever, and I say that despite having never lived within six hours of Pittsburgh.

I just can't imagine there being a better amusement park than Cedar Point, personally speaking.

Also, I have a friend who took a week's vacation and travelled to six midwest amusement parks. Wow, did his head and back hurt after that whole week of roller coasters, but he agrees with me on the Cedar Point thing.

I'm seeing him tomorrow. I'll ask him if he's gone to Kennywood.


I like ADVENTURELAND a lot, but onto more pressing matters, like Kennywood Park.

Admittedly, it's been several years since I went to Cedar Point, but I don't think it makes sense to compare Kennywood to it any more than you'd compare driving a 70s muscle car to a 00s sports car. Kennywood is now conglomo-owned, like pretty much every other amusement park, but it hasn't been altered very much--from what I can tell--from the local/family-owned iteration.

It doesn't feel like a big park. I'm sure I'm prone to this more because I've gone there twenty or so times spread from when I was six or seven to the present day, but the place seems like crystallized nostalgia, which is part of the reason Mottola and Co. jumped all over it to approximate the old-school Coney Island vibe.

Kennywood's got serious access problems. Every major amusement park in the states is built with easy superhighway access as a foreground concern. Kennywood started out as a picnic area for millworkers and citydwellers at the end of the trolleyline along the Monongahela River, and there's no ready highway access to it. You take US376, but you've got to get off and drive several miles through Swissvale, a typical regional muni with two-lane roads and too many red lights and then over a decaying bridge. Traffic is slow, esp. on warm summer nights.

Kennywood's got three or four old-school wooden roller coasters, which typically tend to be the draw for coaster enthusiasts. It seems like every time we go we run into some Brit there to ride the wooden coasters as part of a summer tour. The Tunnel of Love, which was the original attraction, was turned several years ago into a Garfield-themed ride. I can't think of another place in the world that still has a licensed Garfield property, and it's that sort of chronic but charming unhipness that makes Pittsburgh so easy to love, for me at least. There are enough newer rides to please those not trapped in the past, too, so my kids always find things to like. The games and junk food and kiddie rides are all just a coat of paint removed from the 1970s. And the best part is when you're at the highest point on a coaster hill. If you can stop stressing about the ride and look around, the view is spectacular. A wide green river valley opens before you, with the Monongahela River etched between the corpses of the mills that made most of America's steel. You might think that'd be a maudlin juxtaposition, but it has the opposite effect on me.

Sociologically, it's clear that Kennywood is pretty much the only place in the Pittsburgh metro area where you can find anything approximating proportionate representation of the region's residents by race and income. It's got significantly more diversity than a Steeler, Penguin or Pirate game. It's comparatively cheap to get in and close to several working-class neighborhoods, so if you're put off by being close to people who maybe should have stopped at one tattoo or might not really look good in that outfit, it's the wrong place for you. I resist to the extent I can using anything as a litmus test, but I am deeply distrustful of any Allegheny County residents who tell me they don't like Kennywood.

Edited by Russ, 05 May 2010 - 04:45 PM.


#9 Persona

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 04:56 PM

Admittedly, it's been several years since I went to Cedar Point, but I don't think it makes sense to compare Kennywood to it any more than you'd compare driving a 70s muscle car to a 00s sports car.

Well they said, "Best Amusement Park Ever," and I hadn't heard of it, but I know that Cedar Point is the best amusement park ever, so I was curious. But thanks for the info.

I forgot to ask my friend today, btw, so I'm emailing the link to him.

#10 Russ

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 04:59 PM

Yeah, no worries. Obviously, I was just looking for an excuse to rhapsodize a place I like.

#11 Persona

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 05:14 PM

I obviously know nothing about Kennywood -- I guess I'll see a little more soon, as I've moved the film up in my queue -- but fwiw, I've always said that if there were one place outside of Wrigley Field I'd like to see a Cubs game, it'd be in that park in Pittsburgh. (Unless it was last night, when they lost there.) (But they won't tonight. No way.)

#12 Darren H

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 07:19 PM

Russ, that's the most beautiful piece of writing I've read in quite some time.

#13 Russ

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 06:20 AM

Thanks very much, Darren.

This thread is responsible for me stopping at Target last night and picking up a copy of the film, which Ali will get as a "Mother's Day present."

#14 Persona

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 10:06 PM

Loved the film. The park looks like a lot of fun, too.

#15 Russ

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 01:03 PM

Loved the film. The park looks like a lot of fun, too.


Glad you liked. Why don't you road-trip our way this summer and we'll hit PNC Park and Kennywood?

#16 Cunningham

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 01:15 PM

One issue a friend of mine had with this film: how seriously can we take this relationship with both of them seem to be either drunk or high at every important moment (besides the last perhaps)?

#17 Russ

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 01:58 PM

It's been a year, but I seem to recall that her alcohol use seemed to be a misguided attempt at self-med. Is that inaccurate? His was more the garden-variety slacker weed-use? If so, and given their sobriety in the last scene, as you note, it's fair to wonder whether their exiting destructive relationships and entering something healthier might not affect their chemical romance. After all, we're not talking LEAVING LAS VEGAS here.

#18 Persona

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 03:25 PM

Glad you liked. Why don't you road-trip our way this summer and we'll hit PNC Park and Kennywood?

You know that I would love that. You know it, and I think you'd be half serious in your offer if I took you up on it. Maybe 2011. This year all my money is spent on the train between Chicago and Grand Rapids. I have two homes, I happen to love them both.

One issue a friend of mine had with this film: how seriously can we take this relationship with both of them seem to be either drunk or high at every important moment (besides the last perhaps)?

You can take it as seriously as any relationship in which both parties imbibe, which, given the age (pre-college, college), seems about right to me.

It's been a year, but I seem to recall that her alcohol use seemed to be a misguided attempt at self-med. Is that inaccurate? His was more the garden-variety slacker weed-use? If so, and given their sobriety in the last scene, as you note, it's fair to wonder whether their exiting destructive relationships and entering something healthier might not affect their chemical romance. After all, we're not talking LEAVING LAS VEGAS here.

Having just seen it, I think that's a pretty good description of their current usage. In the sequel, however, one or both are going into rehab and there's a lot of unhealthy addiction and drama in the relationship headed their way.

The film's not really about that, though. The ending scene seems to suggest that, more than anything, this is the story of
Spoiler
.

Edited by Persona, 07 May 2010 - 03:27 PM.


#19 Christian

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 08:40 PM

So I'll take this opportunity to proudly express my membership in the Kristen Stewart fan club. I think she's usually -- not always, but usually -- pretty great.

I don't know that she's an actress of multiple dimensions, but she chooses her roles well. I was on board after I saw Twilight -- every woman I know dislikes Stewart in the role of Bella -- but in case there was any doubt about Stewart's abilities, this film and The Runaways removed it.

Edited by Christian, 07 May 2010 - 08:41 PM.