Thursday, April 23, 2009

adventureland

is the definition of winsome.  the "from the director of 'superbad'" tagline is doing it a major disservice, if you go in, as my friend N did (we talked about it today and he didn't like it) expecting a blue, raucous comedy with side-splitting laughter.

what you get instead is a fantastic gem of a coming of age, post-university, self-discovery flick that unfolds over the most portentous of youthful seasons, summer. the summer that stretches long and practically reverberates with as-yet-to-be-discovered potential when you're a teenager suddenly turns on you when you're finished university, yawning before you and encapsulating the entire rest of your life in its bottomless depths. jesse eisenberg does a great job of portraying the stuttery, nervous, teetering-on-the-edge-of-cynicism protagonist, who still has enough romantic in him to believe that he can have what he wants (columbia journalism degree) but has been burned enough from wearing his liberal arts education on his sleeve to not quite trust his own sensitive, nice guy allure.

i loved the soundtrack - it was a spot on reference of 80s cool without devolving into pastiche (no 99 luftballoons here!) i loved the way the movie was filmed, kind of gritty and without flash and sparkle, the way you remember those insignificant but portentous defining moments of your own youth when glazed with nostalgia. the camera catches the summer light just so, and the magic hour between dusk when conversations flow limpidly from one tangent to another is rendered in perfect hazy shades of midnight blue. it felt really real and you could get lost in the stories and the characters - you could feel/remember the burning thrill of furtive summer make out sessions in the back of a car, the scenes flush with tenderness even as the air turns thick with desire.

the pacing was great, the performances were well-acted and believable overall - even though kristen stewart seems to only be capable of playing one role, it's one she does well. i thought the only off moments were in the kristen wiig and bill hader roles...it almost seemed like they thought they were in a different movie. it was a little too much of a caricature and i say this even as i find kristen wiig super funny the rest of the time (hader is hit or miss with me.) i thought the film had enough funny moments without those two kind of over-playing their hand.

the film showed a deft hand for human relationships and realistic moments. i really enjoyed it and i highly recommended. in my film notebook, it gets a star in the margins.

i initiated D in her first chipotle burrito experience. it was tasty! i wish i lived closer or the AMC food court wasn't SO packed with good stuff so that my dinner options aren't always so divided. everything in that food court looks really appetizing and fresh. K and J make lovely movie company as always.

tonight was the first thursday night dodgeball game of the season. for some reason, my team signed up for the rec league and we demolished our opponents 23-3. i think they wanted to play rec so we could play against this other team that my team seems to be all weirdly buddy-buddy with. i find it kind of odd. i mean, i don't mind making friends with other teams, but playing rec when we should be intermediate just so we can play people on a team that we ALREADY play against on sundays seems wack.

another wack thing is that originally we weren't going to play this other team at all and then this dude on the other team emailed the league so that we could play against each other, which meant shifting the gym location so that it's way the hell up in east york and now MY team is talking about getting a zip car to get there (it turns out it's actually pretty accessible by bus, if you live on the east side, as i do.) but i'm like, guys...that's totally wack! i would NEVER care enough about another team to re-jig the schedule and make it MORE inconvenient and necessitate RENTING a car just to play against people we already play against. i'm a little pissed off at it. if it hadn't have worked out that i can get there easy by bus i totally wasn't going to throw in on a zip car and i would've bailed entirely.

i'm not really into unilateral team decisions being made without consultation - especially when those unilateral decisions are made for stupid reasons (because some people really want to play against another team - THAT WE ALREADY FACE OFF AGAINST ON A DIFFERENT NIGHT!) and they inconvenience people and mean we have to spend more money. that's kind of ghey, imo.

anyway, i ended up eating leftover indian food at work.

fin.

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