Skateland 

Visually reminiscent of "Dazed and Confused," virgin director Anthony Burns' only lightly comedic coming-of-age drama
ambles its way through all the subgenre's touchstones: the questionable fashions, the wall-to-wall Billboard hits, the hook-ups, the hang-outs, the mall jobs, the intoxicants.

Weaving through it all is the misery of wannabe writer Ritchie Wheeler (Shiloh Fernandez) trying to find his place in the world. As college beckons, all he's ever known crumbles: his parents announce divorce, his job at the title site disappears as business wanes.

It's a watchable, competently made period piece, but its events are as lasting as the hairstyles. Fernandez, who barely registered in "Red Riding Hood," shines in a natural performance, but his peers aren't nearly as well-developed as characters. Burns dedicates "Skateland" in the memory of John Hughes, but the movie doesn't feel like John Hughes at all. —Rod Lott

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Rod Lott

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