Skip to main content

Movie Review: Pitch Perfect (2012)

Universal Pictures
Runtime: 1 hour, 52 minutes
Rated: PG-13 (for sexual material, language, and drug references)
Director: Jason Moore
Writers: Kay Cannon, Mickey Rapkin
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson
Comedy | Music | Romance

Young “Beca” (Anna Kendrick) is a freshmen at Barden University, but as much as she finds herself surrounded by new people and potential friends, she is more wrapped up in her own little world of music. She carries her computer with an advanced sound program on it and large headphones around nearly everywhere. Mostly estranged from dad through “stepmonster” (her own term of anti-endearment for the step-mom), she isn’t all that easy to get to know, but compared to her new roommate, she comes in just likable enough.

From the moment she sets foot on campus, she is offered an opportunity to sing for The Barden Bellas. They need new talent to go up against their Acapella archenemies, the all-boys band known as The Troublemakers. But Beca refuses—until she is hassled into changing her mind. But even when she’s finally into the swing of things, it’s not one big happy party.

Her fellow band members are all different people, an out-of-bounds combination of slutty, crazy, confused, and generally oddball-ish. The only thing they have in common is that they sing beautifully together. And while Beca has a lot to offer the group, her own internal dissatisfaction causes friction, not just in a budding romantic relationship with opponent and fellow record shop employee, “Jesse” (Skylar Astin), but with the band’s bitch-ily old-fashioned leader, “Aubrey” (Anna Camp). With her retro-fied musical re-styling and the new direction she wants to take the band, tensions begin to build to the boiling point. They’ll either learn to work together or go crazy trying (or possibly a little of both).

In Pitch Perfect, it is college life on display all over again, and compared to so many successful pre-teen-targeting movies before it, the new styles and retro-isms are more outlandish than ever before. In fact, the movie counts on them. Everyone in the film is an epitomized stereotype of geek, Goth, loser, blowhard, or all-round drama-queen. These exaggerated personas become annoying, and at times, unnerving.

Not a one of these stereotype-reliant characters are an immediate sell, but we are slowly won over by, not so much them, but the story—while sometimes cringing at the cartoonish comedy that seldom draws a laugh. In that time, we get neologisms like “aca-bitches,” “aca-awesome,” and “pitchslapped” until we start to want to bleed through the ears. But we don’t only for one reason—the cool retro-remastering of musical hits from songs going back to the 70s to modern times. It is a catchy affair, this film (if a trade-off of quality for determined performances).

And even with talent in the form of Elizabeth Banks, John Michael Higgins, and Christopher Mintz-plasse, Pitch Perfect is no Bridesmaids, but it only has to be somewhat like it. “Fat Amy” (Rebel Wilson) brings back her talent to a movie whose characters' extreme projections can be on a merry-go-round of like/not-like, but herein is found a sense of redemption and growth and something to walk away from with a sense of appreciation. Kendrick’s performance – and those of her co-stars – exhibit a good helping of dedication.

As far as I am concerned, no truer statement could be made but that the movie itself is a testimony that quality pieces of musical art transcend the times in which they were created.


Popular posts from this blog

When Jesus Turns Down the Glory: 10 Worst Ever Christian Songs

It’s a sad testimony when even the creator of a thing realizes that the product isn’t what it was intended to be. Well, actually it’s a good thing. It just doesn’t happen often enough. The Christian music industry is, shall we say, not up to par with where its admirers (and even creators and ardent well-wishers) would hope it would be. And when even the average believer realizes that their music is not market-cornering stuff, all should know that there is a problem.

Now not all Christian music sucks (you might even find a few rock songs from artists like Petra on Joe Holman’s ipod that he still sometimes listens to and enjoys), but what makes the stuff that does suck suck is that what sucks sucks for a number of different reasons. We begin the countdown going from best of the worst to absolute worst...

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part I of II)

It’s a subject that is rarely tackled in any form outside of random questions on a message board, but here we will devote a sensible examination of it. Who – what – is the most powerful being anywhere in every realm of sci-fi or fantasy ever dreamt up by a finite human being? I’ve been contemplating this subject since I was 8 years old. At 39, it hasn’t left my mind. That means several things; (1) I’m a fucking geek. (2) I’ve invested enough of my life pondering this for it to qualify as an obsession.

As with all “Most” anything lists, we are faced with several problems, one of them being limited source material. A couple of these only made one or two brief appearances somewhere and that is all we have to go by. But sometimes, those situations let our imaginations go into overdrive and give us even more creative fun. The mystery tends to add to the experience of contemplation.

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part II of II)

#1) The Douwds – From Star Trek The Next Generation

Claim to fame: This Douwd went from pacifist to mass murderer of 50 billion in a single moment of anger. He appears to hold the record for most murders in all of sci-fi.
Abilities: Just about unlimited.
Nature: True immortals.

Our winner, debatably edging out number #2, is a mysterious race of beings called the Douwds. We only get to meet one of their kind in a single episode (#51, season 3 - see the condensed version here) called “The Survivors.” It was one of the very best of any season. What little we know of this illusive race “of disguises and false surroundings” only adds to our fascination with them.

When the Enterprise gets an urgent distress call from a federation colony on Delta Rana IV about an attacking alien warship, they head over as fast as they can, but they are days away. By the time they arrive, it is too late. All are dead and the planet has been literally leveled…with the sole exception of one house and the small pa…