Wednesday, June 5, 2013

PCP on DVD - Pitch Perfect

I am a sucker for a cappella music.  I grew up a big fan of the genre, thanks to my dad loving that kind of music and playing it for me a lot when I was young.  It obviously has had a bit of a popular resurgence lately, between the shows Glee, the Sing-Off, and now this film. When I first heard about Pitch Perfect, I thought to myself "that could be good, or it could be horrible."  I didn't catch it in theaters, but I saw a lot of my friends list it as one of their favorite films of 2012.  So, I decided to check it out, and I was very pleased with that decision.

Pitch Perfect - 2012, rated PG-13.  My rating:  9 out of 10.

Oh, where to begin with this review.  This movie has so much positive going for it.  It stars the incredibly talented Anna Kendrick as Beca, a college freshman who gets coerced into joining an a cappella group at the behest of Chloe (Brittany Snow).  The group, the Bellas, is a rebuilding group, having blown their big shot at nationals the year before, and has to turn to girls that don't meet their conventional norms to find members.  They want to return to nationals to take down their rivals, the Treblemakers, the defending national champs.  It is your typical underdog story, basically.

The film is incredibly predictable, but that doesn't ruin the film.  In fact, part way through the film, Beca and her love interest Jesse (Skylar Astin) have a discussion about whether or not a film can actually be good even if you see the ending coming a mile away.  This film is definitely one of those types of movies.  But the journey is what makes the film worth watching.  The arrangement of the musical numbers is outstanding, especially the Bellas' final number that combines pieces of 6 songs into one seamless, gorgeous a cappella performance.  The movie is worth watching for that sequence alone. 

Also making the movie worth watching are the outstanding supporting players.  Several of the side characters steal every scene they are in, especially Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), Lily (Hana Mae Lee), & Donald (Utkarsh Ambudkar).  Also, some familiar faces pop up for brief moments of glory, most notably Turk from Scrubs, McLovin, and Elizabeth Banks (who also produced the film).

Overall, the film is a ton of fun.  Between the great jokes, sarcastic tone, and incredible musical numbers, this film is a blast, and easily the 2nd most fun I had watching a 2012 film (behind the Avengers).  I only have a few quibbles, and I will discuss those after the jump as they contain spoilers.  So read on if you have seen the film, if not come back after watching it and read them then.  Either way, thanks for stopping by today!

After the jump - spoiler section, so read on if you've seen the film.


Ok there were a couple minor plot things that bugged the hell out of me in this movie.  First off, I have a beef with the auditions process.  So apparently the auditions process is that a whole month of classes goes by before the groups (there are 4 on campus) all collectively get together and hold auditions.  Why on earth would they wait a whole month to hold auditions?  And why would they hold them collectively?  That makes no sense to me at all.  Furthermore, after the auditions are over, we learn that the Bellas have a booked gig about a week away.  Really? That would be some awful planning by their leaders.

Second thing that bugs me:  Jesse's roommate Benji.  Specifically, at the semi-finals. The groups have to travel to a location far enough away from campus that they had to rent buses to get there, far enough away that the buses need to stop for gas along the way.  Yet somehow, Benji has managed to hook himself a job as some sort of stage hand at this event?  How on Earth is that remotely plausible?

But to end on a positive note - the movie had two really funny knocks on Glee.  The first is delivered verbally by McLovin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) during the auditions process, but the second one is more subtle and requires you pausing your DVD.  During the "riff-off" (which is awesome by the way) they have the wheel of categories.  Mixed in there with the categories of Black Michael Jackson, White Michael Jackson, Overplayed Black Eyed Peas, & Ugly Lead Singers is the category of Songs Ruined by Glee.

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