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Kitsch
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PostSubject: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:23 pm

Our goal is to compile as exhaustive a list of positive Adventureland reviews as we can.

If you notice we've missed a review or come across a new one, please post it in Adventureland forum and we'll be sure to add it.

This thread is locked and for reference only.

-Team Kristen


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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:30 pm

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Ryan Reynolds as the park’s repairman is the only casting failure, but his timidity as an actor is upstaged by Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg, who both strike nothing but true notes.

Source: The New Yorker TOP CRITIC


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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:36 pm

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A perfectly pitched coming-of-age comedy written and directed by "Superbad" director Greg Mottola, "Adventureland" resembles that movie in the same way that Lou Reed resembles David Lee Roth. They sing completely different songs about much the same things. This time the laughs are soulful, deadpan and dead-on.

Looking through the eyes of James (Eisenberg), what we mainly see are the struggles of Em (a heartbreakingly good Stewart), who has more choices, thus more problems. James, who once broke up with a girl because he was reading a Shakespeare sonnet and decided she didn't live up to it, crystallizes the movie's balance of youth and adulthood and the different varieties of naiveté on each side.

Source:New York Post TOP CRITIC


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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:51 pm

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The thing to know about "Adventureland" is not just that it has goals above its station but that it actually achieves them. With the help of a talented cast led by Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart and a potent soundtrack, writer-director Greg Mottola has taken that most overdone of contemporary genres, the coming-of-age story, and made it engaging, bittersweet and even fun.

...Stewart is the beautiful, enigmatic and very experienced Em. Though the audience, if not Em and James, will know from the first exchange of glances that something is in the air between these two, it is a tribute to the skills of both Eisenberg, excellent as the older son in "The Squid and the Whale," and Stewart, equally good as the ethereal Bella in "Twilight," that this relationship between opposites comes off as believable and attractive.

Em and James, he with his weakness for always being a beat behind life and she with her complicated emotional situation, are not obvious soul mates. But "Adventureland's" greatest strength is that it makes you see and believe in the yearning romantic potential these two see in each other. Stewart, who has a gift for investing completely in her characters, brings so much intensity to her part that she turns this nominally guy-centric venture on its head by making Em's problems the film's most compelling.

Source: Los Angeles Times TOP CRITIC
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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:02 pm

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Another big difference is that the most commanding presence on screen is not the neurotic virgin James (Jesse Eisenberg), although he is certainly the film's center. But the movie belongs to Kristen Stewart ("Twilight") in the role of conflicted love interest Em.

Eisenberg essentially channels Michael Cera's character from "Superbad," while Stewart works outside of the teen movie box, generating heat while aching with confusion.

It's a bit as if Meryl Streep had been plopped in one of the "Porky's" films
.

...Yes, you've seen much of it before, and the nervous James character is now officially a cliché. But Stewart makes you care anyway. This, folks, is an actress.

Source:The Detroit News TOP CRITIC
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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:09 pm

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"Twilight" star Kristen Stewart plays Em Levin. She brings enough subterranean fury to Em to pose the thought: How much better would "Adventureland" have been had it been told from Em's vantage?

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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:20 pm

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...And so we get a scene, about a third of the way in: It's the Fourth of July, at the end of a long day. James (Jesse Eisenberg) and Emily (Kristen Stewart) are taking a break, watching fireworks, and suddenly something happens, not just to them, but also to the viewer. You can actually feel it - their exhaustion and reinvigoration, the summer night air and the wordless bonding of two people. Something in the chemistry of the moment breaks the pattern. The fireworks lift them out of their lethargy and promise a reality outside themselves, the hint of something glorious embodied by this other person


Eisenberg is a skilled comic actor, slightly mannered, but truthful in the ways that matter. Stewart is even better, suggesting levels of anger and self-disgust, betrayal and life disappointment beneath a surface of dignified composure. With both young actors, we don't just see the characters but also the mature adults they might become.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle TOP CRITIC
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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:28 pm

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The constant in Mottola's work is his marvelous hand with actors, inspiring them to invest the most minor or familiar of characters with a nuanced inner life that goes beyond what's on the page. In Adventureland, that's particularly true of Stewart, who taps into an emotional reservoir that her role in the teen vampire behemoth Twilight neither demanded nor revealed, giving Em the quiet sadness of someone who, in her early twenties, has already suffered a lifetime's worth of disappointments.

Source: Village Voice TOP CRITIC
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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:32 pm

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Adventureland boasts a cool sound track of Reagan-era pop (Big Star, Lou Reed, the New York Dolls, the Cure, Crowded House) and a low-key stoner sensibility - James is a bit of a pothead. There are the usual mortified male mishaps (awkward dates, painful humiliation) and an obnoxious childhood friend who expresses himself by punching James in the groin, but Adventureland offers more than that: a glimpse into blossoming adulthood, and a love story in which honesty and trust might get a chance to triumph over hurt and deception.

Eisenberg's James, impossibly earnest, is awkward and ingratiating, and it's fun to watch him become emboldened as he falls for Em. Stewart shot Adventureland before she made that little vampire romance thing (um, what's it called, Twilight?). Her character here is older and more cynical, but that same intelligence is evident in the way the actress holds the camera and lets us see her character thinking, and feeling.

Source: The Philidelphia Inquirer TOP CRITIC
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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:39 pm

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...Over the summer, he enters, tentatively, the orbit of Em, played by Kristen Stewart of “Twilight.”

This cool, wary figure represents the adventureland beyond Adventureland. Em’s involved with the park’s married maintenance man (Ryan Reynolds), an arrangement that has begun to corrode her self image. To James, Em is the promise of a leap into adulthood. Other characters are played more for laughs, such as the park’s husband-and-wife management team (Hader and Kristen Wiig), but the reason I fell for “Adventureland” has everything to do with its central couple, along with James’ friendship with Joel, a pipe-smoking literature fiend and fellow Adventureland slacker played by Martin Starr. At one point, Joel and another staffer find themselves fairly drunk and unexpectedly close. “I’m so surprised I’m making out with you!” says the girl. “Me too,” replies Joel, insulted and pleased in equal measure. Mottola’s script is full of similarly spot-on exchanges.

...But the way their love story develops, Eisenberg and Stewart play off each other like magic. From an awkward, mistimed first kiss to a mega-happy happy ending, romantic but not candied, Mottola’s trip down memory lane transcends every one of its familiar component parts. I’m eager to see it again.

Source: Chicago Tribune TOP CRITIC
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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:47 pm

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Adventureland isn’t just a boys’ life. Many scenes incorporate Em’s perspective, and Kristen Stewart (late of Twilight) seems more alive than she did opposite the vampire hunk with the tall forehead. She doesn’t over-diagram Em’s emotions; her murk is vivid

Source: New York Magazine TOP CRITIC
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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:51 pm

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...James is much more interested in Em (Kristen Stewart), who is quieter and deeper (Games*Games*Games). She’s smart, quirky, seems more grown-up than the others. A quick rapport springs up, despite her edge on James in sexual experience. She thinks he’s kinda sweet. They talk about subjects that require more than one sentence.

...As the summer lurches between deadly boredom and sudden emergencies (someone wins a Big Ass Panda), James and Em grow closer. This is absorbing because they reveal themselves as smarter than anyone else realizes. From his earlier work, I expected to like Eisenberg. What surprised me was how much I admired Kristen Stewart, who in “Twilight,” was playing below her grade level. Here is an actress ready to do important things. Together, and with the others, they make “Adventureland” more real and more touching than it may sound.

Roger Ebert TOP CRITIC
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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:57 pm

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...and Em (Kristen Stewart), whose mixture of compassion, substance, and girl-next-door good looks dooms James to a summer of longing. Despite his geeky appearance and fondness for deep thinking, he's surprisingly popular - although that could have something to do with his stash of joints.

...Jesse Eisenberg embodies a geek who doesn't fit the Hollywood standard-issue model. He's smart, witty, and confident. His uncertainty around women is apparent but not overplayed. He can interact with them without freezing up. Kristen Stewart's Em is the kind of unpretentious girl someone like James would fall for. Stewart is more than merely appealing in this role - she makes Em a fully realized woman, and some of the most intricate development results from what the camera observes in Stewart's eyes. It's easy to forgive the young actress her participation in the Twilight movies if she continues to contribute to projects of this caliber. She has too much talent to waste in hollow adaptations of shallow books.

Source: Reel Views TOP CRITIC
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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:01 pm

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Whereas Em (Kristen Stewart), the flashing-eyed girl he befriends and starts to date (sort of), is all too good at projecting an image. She knows how to hide her troubles, of which she has plenty. Stewart, as she proved in Twilight, has a cutting sharpness that draws you right to her pale, severe beauty. She makes Em just the kind of good-bad girl a lamb like James needs to set himself free.

Source: EW.com TOP CRITIC
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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:09 pm

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...Most important, James meets Em (Kristen Stewart), a sharp college student who works at the park mostly to create distance from her hated new stepmother. Although James doesn't know it, Em's having an affair with Mike, who's married. James, meanwhile, is still a virgin, and it's to Mottola's credit that "Adventureland" is more than just a couple of hours spent trying to change that status.

...The cast is uniformly good (although it's hard to shake the idea of Eisenberg as a poor man's Michael Cera) - particularly Stewart, who filmed this before "Twilight" was made.

Source: azcentral.com TOP CRITIC
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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:12 pm

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For a Reagan-era pothead, James is a terribly serious, woefully earnest guy who offers up his SAT scores when applying for low-end summer positions. He also somehow has emerged from college still a virgin, but his saving grace as far as his Adventureland cohorts are concerned is that he's always got some weed. This makes the days go by easier, and also fuels the nights, which the gawky James surprises himself by sometimes chastely spending with the alluring but massively screwed up Em (Stewart), who works at the park only as a way of getting away from her father and unbearable new stepmother.

...Stewart impresses again with her steady, clear-eyed gaze and sense of self. Nice comic turns are put in by Starr as the Gogol-reading outcast and Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig as the goofball but dedicated park owners.

Source: Variety TOP CRITIC
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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:16 pm

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...And the mysterious Em, girl of his virginal dreams, is flirty and friendly. But Em is seeing, on the sly, the married, hunky guitar-playing park handyman Mike ( Ryan Reynolds), a guy who supposedly jammed with Lou Reed once.

...Stewart is a beguiling, wordly yet gullible object of desire. Eisenberg (Roger Dodger) has a knack for playing the smart, vulnerable kid. James can quote Latin but can't close the deal with a girl.

Source: Orlando Sentinel TOP CRITIC
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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:21 pm

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Eisenberg juggles James's many neuroses and frustrations with a sharp intelligence and self-assuredness. Playing off him is Twilight's Stewart, another young star who possesses a spark behind the eyes that suggests she's always emotionally present when captured on film.

Source: Digital Spy
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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:28 pm

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Jesse Eisenberg is a perfect fit. The listless, poetically minded James is all elbows and shoulder blades, slow on the uptake but with an easy attractiveness about him that makes sense of the incoming romance. When he espies offbeat Em (Kristen Stewart), cool enough to be “on rides” as he languishes in the doldrums of sideshow hawking, it is less meet-cute than meet-awkward. Stewart, free from the burden of playing cipher to the simpering hearts of a trillion Twihards, proves a gift for the genuine in a pretty girl growing up off-balance: she’s flinty and fragile, utterly baffling to the uninitiated and entirely real.

Source: Empire
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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:30 pm

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...James does have one thing going for him though: a bag of weed. It’s enough to get his co-worker Em to take him seriously, and to attract the attention of the lovely Lisa P (Margarita Levieva)…

Eisenberg and Stewart make a sympathetically low-key couple, a kind of fresh-faced Woody and Mia, while Martin Starr slyly steals scenes as the theme park’s resident pipe-smoking intellectual.

Source: Total Film
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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:33 pm

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...But when James is saved by charming fellow carny Emily (Kristen Stewart), the park becomes almost sufferable; the two bond with the promise of something more than friendship. Trying to find someone kind-hearted and protective, she's willing to ignore his inexperience.

The film feels and looks right - the rust and chipping paint give the impression that Adventureland is a place that might once have been fun, a long time ago. But things take a an odd turn - just when James' social and sexual ineptitude is at its most appealing, he's suddenly the centre of (female) attention.Improving on his fine turn in The Squid and the Whale, Eisenberg displays brainy, awkward charm. And Stewart has a rawboned vulnerability and range unseen in Twilight. When a saucy little minx (Margarita Levieva) shows an interest in James, it seems forced when compared to the savvy work of Eisenberg and Stewart.

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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:40 pm

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On the contrary, the whole enterprise is infused with a quality of feeling, an integrity, that is rare in such a commercial film. This is partly because of the two leads, Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, who both turn in completely believable, heartbreaking performances, and partly to the marvellous stock company that surrounds them. Every character in the film is given the space to register in this movie, no matter how small.

Source: Times Online UK
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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:51 pm

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Jesse Eisenberg is perfectly cast as James; he comes across as a better looking teenage version of Woody Allen and delivers a series of extremely amusing one-liners. He also has appealing chemistry with Kristen Stewart, who brings a lot of depth to what could have been one of those manic pixie dream girl-type roles and also demonstrates some hitherto unsuspected comic timing.

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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:55 pm

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And the girl that James likes is Em, played by "Twilight" star Kristen Stewart. I don't think she's got to worry about "Twilight" defining her whole career... she's already proven herself capable of making smart choices and doing good work in interesting films. Her brief role in "Into The Wild," for example, or this work, where she plays Em as a bruised girl who can't articulate the rage she feels towards her father and her stepmother, and so she's acting out, pushing people away with this act of hers, and indulging in some seriously self-loathing liasons with Mike (Ryan Reynolds), the park's handyman.

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PostSubject: Re: Adventureland Reviews   Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:02 pm

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Mottola is aided considerably by the charisma of its unlikely leading couple: Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. I say unlikely because Stewart is gorgeous and comes across strong while Eisenberg looks and mostly acts like a dork. In the real world, of course, there are plenty such pairings, so it only takes a few moments to buy into this one – especially since Mottola makes it clear that the two have a fair bit in common; they’re both smarter than most of the people around them, they’re looking for something real and they’re most certainly flawed.

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