Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pitch Perfect review

Not once did I see a promotional ad or trailer for Pitch Perfect (2012). If not for people posting Pitch Perfect images, clips, and quotes on Tumblr, I never would have heard about it. It would have been a shame, too. Pitch Perfect wasn’t exactly my kind of movie, but I must admit that it achieves what it sets out to do very well.
The Barden Bellas are a collegiate, all-girls a cappella singing group thriving on female pop songs and their perfect looks. After a disastrous failing at last year’s national finals, most of the ladies quit. The two remaining members, Chloe (Brittany Snow) and Aubrey (Anna Camp), work on getting a new group of Barden Bellas together for a shot the following year, though the girls who show up for tryouts do not fit the Bellas’ typical mold.  Among the new recruits are Beca (Anna Kendrick), an independent, aspiring DJ with no interest in the college life; a lesbian named Cynthia-Rose (Ester Cean); the promiscuous Stacie Conrad (Alexis Knapp); the quiet, inaudible Asian, Lilly Onakuramara (Hana Mae Lee); and a sarcastic, overweight exchange student from Tasmania who calls herself Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson). But after Beca meets Jesse (Skylar Astin), from the rival all-male a cappella group called the Treblemakers, Beca has a new outlook and takes it upon herself to help the Bellas find their new look and sound to get back into the competition.
Like many movies that feature obscure competitions, Pitch Perfect seems to try to convince us that a cappella music is a big thing that matters to a lot of people. Like, when you have a movie about boxing (Rocky for example), everyone in the whole world seems deeply interested in boxing; but in the real world, I don’t think I’ve met anyone who gives a hoot about it. In Pitch Perfect, Barden University not only has one, but several a cappella singing groups who are all at odds with one another, and there are tons of a cappella groupies that follow each one religiously. Not very realistic, but if it was realistic you might have a small handful of attendees at each of the Barden Bellas events which would make their efforts seem ludicrously trivial.
Pitch Perfect is a musical of sorts. In my mind a musical has the characters randomly breaking out in singing and dancing to songs that are pertinent to the plot or character development, like they do in Hairspray or Les Misérables. Pitch Perfect is about a group of ladies who sing whatever they feel like because that’s what they do. They have singing competitions, practices, etc; they don’t spontaneously burst into a well rehearsed and choreographed number. That’s a bit more believable than a traditional musical. Also, the music used in Pitch Perfect was varied and interesting; songs included contemporary songs like “Don’t Stop the Music” by Rihanna, “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson, “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus, and older [better] songs from the 80’s like “Mickey” by Toni Basil, “Hit Me with Your Best Shot”, by Pat Benatar, and “Let It Whip” by Dazz Band. The music is varied and will probably appeal to a large range of viewers.
The humor in Pitch Perfect was hit or miss. Some of the jokes fall flat while others are simply hilarious. I’ve got to give credit to Rebel Wilson as Fat Amy. She’s absolutely hysterical! She’s got a talent for doing comedy; her delivery is spot on, and nearly every one of her lines is a crack up. One of the Treblemakers tries hitting on Fat Amy, “I have a feeling we should kiss. Is that a good feeling or an incorrect feeling?” She responds with, “Well... sometimes I have the feeling I can do crystal meth, but then I think, mmm... better not.” She makes the movie very quotable.
In a lot of movies like these the entirety of a character consists of one attribute that defines them; such as the handsome guy’s character is “The Handsome Guy” or the mean girl is “The Mean Girl.” No depth or character development beyond that; it makes for uninteresting, flat characters. Interestingly, the characters in Pitch Perfect were more developed than I’m sure anyone would have expected. Yes, most of them consist of one attribute that defines them, but for most of them we get some interesting background stories throughout the movie that helps us understand what motivates those behaviors. It makes the characters much more interesting and even relatable.
Pitch Perfect was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. The music is varied, interesting, and will appeal to a wide range of viewers. The characters were more interesting than a typical “teen movie.” The plot is predictable, yet fun and enjoyable. The humor is pretty good, though crude at times; I laughed a good deal throughout. It’s probably not something I’d want my 10 year old to watch, though. The sexual jokes and dialogue gets annoying pretty quick. While I’ve never seen an episode of Glee before, I imagine that Pitch Perfect is like a longer and better written episode. Glee fans will probably love Pitch Perfect. Pitch Perfect knows what it was trying to do and achieved that very well, so I have to say it’s a good movie. I don’t think it’s quite worth buying if you’re not into musicals in general, but I think Pitch Perfect was just good enough to go out and rent. It’s worth at least one viewing, I think.

What is your favorite movie soundtrack? Mine is probably the one from Watchmen. Comment below and tell me about yours!

1 comment:

  1. I soooooo love this movie & especially the pitch perfect songs! Old and new songs with a twist on their renditions. Totally aca-awesome! :) Utkarsh is my crush <3