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14

CULTURE
THE GUESTLIST NETWORK | OCTOBER 2009
Adventureland
Gizmos and
Gadgets
By
At Ridgemont High in 1982. That’s a
long time.
Peter Berg
So perhaps it’s only fitting that this
Just when you thought it
was safe to go into a maths
Following the success
film is also set in the ‘80s – 1987, to
be exact – though we’ve left behind
lesson. A James Bond sec-
of his 2007 film, Super- the sunny climes of California for din-
ondary school essential,
bad, it would seem on
gier digs in suburban Pittsburgh. After were, in all our awkwardness
this is a calculator with a
first glance that writer/
his parents’ sudden financial troubles and/or arrogant this-is-how-I-
difference: a small lens in
director Greg Mottola
spell the end of his European back- see-the-world-and-you’re-all-
the side allows you to cap-
packing summer, James finds himself f*cking-idiots glory, which is
ture both video and audio,
was playing it safe with
in desperate need of cash. And like almost certainly why the rest
so that you can “record
his latest, Adventureland. just about every other naïve humani- of the film plays as well as it
interviews, meetings, and
Again, we’re introduced
ties graduate to ever walk out the uni- does.
office discussions without
to newly graduated stu-
versity gates expecting a bright future
intimidating anyone”. Or – more likely - spy on col-
There aren’t more than a hand-
leagues, friends and family members. Conscience
dents (last time: high
to sweep them up (umm… myself
included), he finds himself massively ful of genuine belly laughs in
not included.
school, this time: univer- under qualified for any practical form of the film and it could be said
sity). Again, the charac-
employment. Leaving behind any hope that not a great deal even hap-
www.chinavasion.com
ters primary concerns
of respectable employment, James en-
be not such a great friend, to (potential
pens – pot is smoked, sacks are
spoiler alert) the homage to a classic
seem to be partying and
lists with fellow underachievers and lit whacked (repeatedly), tentative love
If the phrase “I’m not wear-
graduates at Adventureland, every inch
1960s film’s youth-in-transition ending
connections are tested (and somewhat
ing that laptop bag with these
getting laid (the “Scarlet
what you’d expect from a big (broken)
– Mottola treats everything with care
quietly forged or broken), and insight is
shoes” is something you can
V” virginity card rears its dreams/small funds local theme park in
and weaves them seamlessly into the
ultimately gained – but Mottola is more
relate to then boy (or, very
ugly head as usual). And
a tourist-free zone like Pittsburgh.
proceedings, as though he’s preserv-
interested in the cumulative effect and
possibly, girl) do I have a solu-
again, we’re stuck in a
ing his own memories on celluloid and
what can be told or revealed through
tion for you. Knomo have pro-
an expression or word left unspoken.
duced a range of extremely
small suburban Ameri-
From his post on the skee ball horse
desperately doesn’t want any of it to
racing stand, James quickly gets to
feel fake. As a result, the film seems
For instance, a look of embarrassment
stylish laptop bags which are
can town, waiting for life know his fellow fair workers: Kristen fresh and original, in much the same plays across James’ father’s face in an
designed to look like, well, ex-
to start. Or at least, that’s
Stewart’s (emo ‘It Girl’ heroine of Twi-
way that all of our universal human ex-
important scene late in the film; a look
tremely stylish normal bags.
what’s happened to Com-
light) fellow games worker, and con-
periences and rites of passage from
his son leaves unaddressed but not
Handbags, man-bags – all
parative Literature gradu-
fused love interest, Em Lewin, Apatow-
youth probably felt utterly unique to us
unnoticed. The moment clearly has an
sorts of bags. Not everyone’s
regular Martin Starr as hyper-literate
at the time.
impact on James’ following decisions,
cup of tea, mind… but then they don’t do teabags.
ate and wannabe jour-
and socially inept Joel, and Ryan Reyn- but we don’t need a showy argument
nalist, James Brennan, olds (The Proposal) as philandering
Mottola displays great skill in drawing
to make that clear.
www.knomobags.com
a well-cast Jesse Eisen-
maintenance man Mike Connell - all as
out the depth in his characters (and
berg (The Squid And The
desperate for a new face as James is
is well supported in the task by an ex-
Following in Superbad’s footsteps,
This peek clock from Chi-
Adventureland seemed destined, pre-
asso only illuminates the
Whale).
for funds. It’s perhaps a bit of a cliché
tremely capable ensemble), refusing
that the film’s lead is a lit major who has
to go down the typical youth genre
release, to be lost in its more showy,
correct time, blacking out
spent his life studying the complexities
film route by just giving the audience
famous brother’s shadow and forgot-
all of the other numbers
But similarities aside, Adventureland
of human nature and lofty Shakespear-
sharper, better looking and funnier ver-
ten in cinemas (only shortly after its re-
so that you don’t con-
ends up being that rare breed of Hol-
ean love and passion, yet is utterly
sions of the people we wish we’d been,
lease, I was one of seven people in the
fuse your precious little
lywood teen/young adult film – the kind
lacking in actual insight or experience
or maybe even pretend to have been.
audience for a prime time night show),
mind. Both simple and...
with a head and a heart (and, of course,
in such things. But like a number of
Not to say that we weren’t funny or oc-
but an appreciative audience surely
er…really, really simple,
fully functioning reproductive organs) –
things that seem familiar here – from
casionally slick with the ladies, but this
awaits in the forgiving afterlife of DVD.
it’s the perfect Christmas
that probably hasn’t been seen since
the wicked, social-climbing stepmoth-
film gives us a far more (uncomfortably) gift for both cool people
Jeff Spicoli and co. gave us Fast Times
er, to the yuppie friend who turns out to
accurate picture of who we actually and dumb people. Luckily
I know plenty of both so I guess I won’t need to go
shopping on Christmas Eve this year. And if I do at
least I can guarantee I’ll get to the shops on time.
www.chiasso.com
Do you like to
look smart?
Do you like
music? Well if
you’re one of
the 7 billion
people who
answered yes
to both ques-
tions then
this could be
the gadget for
you! This media player from Jinwoo Han comes in
the form of a tie-clip, and will both improve your
image in the office and allow for some discreet
desk-based tunage sessions. Just remember to
listen out for the phone. I SAID JUST REMEMBER
TO… too late.
www.jinwoohan.com
Walls are better than
screens – that’s a scien-
tific fact - which is why you
should go and purchase
this new plug-in projec-
tor for your iPhone. Turn
any flat-surface into your
own personal cinema and
amuse yourself and your
friends wherever you go.
Alternatively, place your pro-
jector at ground-level and force passing rats to pay
an admission fee. I know what I’d do.
www.store.apple.com
by William Benn
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