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Boring, pointless, unoriginal
This movie had no point. I'm sorry but unless there is some sort of theme that inspires some thought or contemplation I have no interest in watching the immature love affairs of a bunch of self obsessed young adults. I watch a ton of movies and rarely do I see something as pointless as this. It pretty much was just a high budget soap opera with some 80's alternative music thrown in for what seems like no reason whatsoever. Some of his interactions with his family are amusing at the beginning of the film but those funny bits make what happens with the rest of the movie all the more infuriating. I kept waiting for something not totally predictable to happen in the second half of the movie but no such luck. I may as well have turned off the movie (I wish I had) as I didn't need to watch the second half as I already knew what was going to happen with all the characters as the all follow boring, unoriginal character arcs that all end exactly where you expect them to. Also some of the actions of the characters were totally unbelievable and they chose to do things that normal people wouldn't ever. I love absurdest entertainment, Monty Python is the best, but if you are trying to make a film in which it's only effective if you can identify with the characters and root for them as they try and overcome the trials that we all face then you have to create believable, coherent characters. The people in Adventureland seemed like a bunch of overemotional whiners who consistently over react to life's usual trials and tribulations in ways that seem motivated simply to keep the boring plot moving. Not original, passably acted, and a lame predictable ending. Oh, and last but not least I don't think I've ever seen a less realistic rendering of people smoking pot, seriously, they have to keep mentioning in the dialog that they are stoned in each scene because if they didn't you wouldn't have any idea that they were. Again, them smoking was just a pointless affectation in an overall pointless film. I can't tell why this movie was made, as others have pointed out it was probably just a film that was churned out to capitalize on the success of Superbad and they may be right. Save yourself the time and watch Superbad again, this movie sucks.
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Superb action mystery
From the opening shot of a camera rushing up behind a cart on the streets of London Guy Ritchie's signature kinetic style is on full display, and it is the fact that this energy is matched head on by Robert Downey Jr's exuberant turn as the titular hero that in large part makes this such an enjoyable film. This is a film where you cannot point at any singular part of the whole as the strongest part as it is impossible to imagine any without the other. The energy and wit of the script match the performances and the direction. It seems to be one of those movies where everything just fell into place.
For me some of the most enjoyable moments of the film were just watching Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr's banter as they go back and forth, they inhabit their characters in a way rarely found in larger Hollywood productions nowadays. Some of the awkward moments that occur between the two as they traverse their complicated and realistic relationship with each other are priceless. This isn't a deep movie by any means but it does touch on some interesting themes of friendship and the choices we have to make as we move forward in life.
A word must be said about the fight scenes. While they won't be winning any awards for kung fu choreography the melee is universally impressive and believable, except where it's turned on it's head for comic value. This ability of the film to jump back and forth effectively from violent comical romp to period mystery and back almost seamlessly illustrates Guy Ritchie's assured hand behind the camera, never veering too far into gravitas, and at the same time wholly avoiding camp. They are never making fun of the material, they are having fun with the material.
As far as I could tell the production design was flawless, every scene seemed as big or as small as it needed to be, and there are a couple of impressive set pieces thrown in there too. This movies budget came in at about $90 million and you can surely see it in the scenes where the set is literally being ripped apart. All in all Sherlock Holmes has a strong script, good acting (superb from Robert and Jude), great casting, and confident, imaginative direction from a director who seems to have found a project that plays to all of his strengths and none of his weaknesses.