Movie Blog: Pitch Perfect: Making music with their mouths

I am a huge fan of musical movies because of the talented singer-actors and actresses and the amazing song mash-up. So when Pitch Perfect became a trending topic among my Twitter friends and hearing loads of good things about the film, I’ve been looking forward to the movie and I talked about how excited I was to see it!  But do know that if you’re not really into the whole singing in-between speaking lines, don’t worry, this isn’t anything like that.

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The film is sort of like a mash of High School Musical and Glee. It is also based on the book ‘Pitch Perfect’ by Mickey Rapkin. I wonder what it’s like to read a book about singing…Anyway, it was the perfect ensemble movie.  Each character was perfectly quirky, but no one stole the spot light from anyone else.  Though I have to admit that Rebel Wilson is becoming one of my new favorites!  Seriously, her comedic timing is awesome!

The concept of the flick is extremely simple. After a woeful performance at last year’s ICCA (International Championships of College A Capella) which ended abruptly when Aubrey (Anna Camp) projectile vomited mid-song straight in to the audience, the Barden Bellas are on the lookout for new recruits. However, this Acapella competition is quite different. No musical instruments are involved and every sound will have to be from your own mouth. So you can beat box your way into the tune or whatever so that’s quite unique about this show =) you can actually see real talents in this show!

Beca is approached by The Barden Bellas
Beca is approached by The Barden Bellas
THE BARDEN BELLAS
THE BARDEN BELLAS

New to Barden U is Beca (Anna Kendrick). Beca a slightly dark, sort of edgy-ish girl who finds herself as a freshman at Barden University, even though she’d rather be out of school trying to work on her music. She has a deal with her Lit-lecturer dad. If she gets more involved at university, he will help her move to LA so she can follow her dreams to be a music producer. After an encounter in the showers with Bella member Chloe (Brittany Snow) Beca joins the group along with a bunch of other newbie’s including Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), and super quiet Asian girl Lilly (Hana Mae Lee).

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The Bella’s are under Aubrey’s rule and she makes the group sing the same boring arse songs over and over again. ‘I Saw The Sign’ and ‘Something About Feeling Percussion’. There’s no way the group will get anywhere in the competition if they don’t evolve. The group’s main competition are boy-group Treblemakers led by singer and Jack Black try-to-be Bumper (Adam DeVine). Also new to the group is Jesse (Skylar Astin) who wants to score films and loves watching The Breakfast Club.
THE TREBLEMAKERS
THE TREBLEMAKERS
Anna Kendrick (Beca) is, as always, a fantastically confident and assured screen presence, proving here that she can anchor an ensemble with ease. She is undoubtedly the film’s strongest element. She gets a lot of good notes to play, finding organic character-based laughs interacting with peers who want to get her out of her shell.
Anna Kendrick (Beca): Rebel with a voice
Anna Kendrick (Beca): Rebel with a voice
The rag-tag bunch of girls that form the main a cappella group are nicely defined and share a pleasant, quirky chemistry, and the film takes special care to only mock them lovingly. Brittany Snow (Chloe) and Anna Camp (Aubrey) are particular highlights as group leaders Chloe and Aubrey, obsessive and controlling to such keenly observed degrees, the group’s leader who foiled their plans to win the national championship the year before by vomiting on stage. She also uses dorky expressions like a ca-mazing or a ca-cuse me.

Anna Camp (Aubrey): Blows under pressure
Anna Camp (Aubrey): Blows under pressure
Brittany Snow (Chloe): It's all from her mouth
Brittany Snow (Chloe): It’s all from her mouth

Giving each Asian character a wacky personality quirk that, again, defines them entirely. Beca’s Asian roommate is exaggeratedly standoffish and spiteful, and has friends who are equally indiscernible, while the choir’s Asian singer, Hana Mae Lee (Lilly), the girl who speaks so quietly no one can hear her. Ester Dean (Cynthia Rose), interpretation of a “gay” character, the butch, short hair sportin’, black bully stereotype.

Hana Mae Lee (Lilly): The quiet one
Hana Mae Lee (Lilly): The quiet one
Ester Dean (Cynthia Rose): The Butch bass
Ester Dean (Cynthia Rose): The Butch bass

But most viewers will walk away singing the praises of Rebel Wilson’s Fat Amy, the overweight, scene-stealing singer with attitude. She makes a lot of lines funnier just by virtue of her expert delivery and dry sense of humor.  It is a character type we are too familiar with these days –but Wilson is very good in the role, and easily earns the film’s biggest laughs.
(Rebel Wilson) Fat Amy: The Pitch slapper
(Rebel Wilson) Fat Amy: The Pitch slapper
Skylar Astin (Jesse), the friendly, charming guy who loves music and movies. He and Beca become friends because they work at the college radio station. Despite Beca’s reserve and distant character, Jesse was able to break her barriers with his charm.  I loved watching him sing and swooned when he tried to give Beca a Hollywood movie education, starting with “The Breakfast Club.”
Skylar Astin (Jesse): On scores stage
Skylar Astin (Jesse): On scores stage

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Adam DeVine (Bumper), the Treblemaker’s, in Aubrey’s words, “egotistical, big-headed, garbage dirtball”, leader.
Adam DeVine (Bumper): The Treblemaker
Adam DeVine (Bumper): The Treblemaker
I loved the banter between ICCA Emcees played by Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins. Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins are absolutely hilarious as professional singing competition commenters (a concept that is exactly as crazy as it sounds).
John Michael Higgins (John) and Elizabeth Banks (Gail): The Commenters
John Michael Higgins (John) and Elizabeth Banks (Gail): The Commenters
Pretty much, you can predict every beat of Pitch Perfect before it happens. Also, what elevate things are the great cast and little doses of random humor. Oh, and the music is awesome as well! Acapella singing is always impressive and “Pitch Perfect” proves that in aces!  Plus, Beca’s DJ-ing skills aren’t bad either and her mixes are wonderful to listen to! But…for those who watch Glee for the songs and who love spirited Acapella renditions of everything from Rihanna to Cyndi Lauper…you’ll probably love this. Some of the songs grated on me, but I’ll admit that I was at times won over by all the 80’s classics that play a big part in the movie.

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The movie does a nice job of mixing and editing the musical numbers and making them fun to watch. And if you’re a guy (though let’s face it, many dudes will be staying far away from this), you’ve got many minutes of Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, and Anna Kendrick dancing semi-provocatively to look forward to. So there’s that. If you’re a girl (let me clarify – the kind of girl who eats up all things Glee and loves Bring It On) well, you’ll probably love this movie.

Oh well. Pitch Perfect has enough pleasures to overcome its failings, even if the margin is fairly slim at times. I do enjoy most of these characters, I like that the setting and tone offer something a little different, and I believe audiences will get a kick out of it.

Overall, this was such a fun film. Everyone can sing (which is always a plus). Pitch Perfect certainly delivers some of that, along with decent characterization, fun performances, and several outstanding musical numbers. It is the sort of film I can easily see audiences latching onto. It has a good amount of heart and attitude. Pitch Perfect gets that last part right – the ending is excellent, fun and fulfilling on several levels but it will left you hanging…But I guess, and I’m hoping, there’s a Pitch Perfect 2!! Nevertheless, all I have are thumbs up for the movie. :D Amazing song renditions, awesome cast…the whole movie is very ENTERTAINING!

Check out the girls’ version for rehearsal number, by Bruno Mars – Just the Way You Are. Also, here’s the video of Mike Tompkins “STARSHIPS” performed by the Pitch Perfect casts. And, one of the movie highlight,“THE RIFF OFF” It was perfect. But then again, what isn’t? Gave me goose bumps.

Here’s the trailer if you haven’t watch it already!! ENJOY! :)

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