Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pitch Perfect (PG-13/112 Min.)

Pitch Perfect Pictures, Images and Photos

There are two reasons, and two reasons only, to go see Pitch Perfect. The music scenes and Rebel Wilson. It’s true. The rest of the movie just fell flat. No pun intended. I knew going in to this that it wasn’t going to be a blockbuster but I’d hoped it’d be better than it was. The scenes didn’t flow. The acting was less than stellar (but what did you expect, really?). AND! There wasn’t one but TWO vomit scenes, the second of which almost made me hurl.

Pitch Perfect is about the cut-throat world of collegiate a cappella competitions. That gave you chills, right? Sorry. That was rude. To continue, Beca (Anna Kendrick), a freshman at Barden University, is nagged in to joining the all-girl a cappella group, The Bellas. The leader doesn’t want her and the songs suck so I can’t imagine why it took so much begging to get her to take part. The main goal of The Bellas is to make it back to the finals of the a cappella competition and beat their rivals, The Treblemakers (groan); an all-boy group, also from Barden, led by a second-rate jerk.

I know I’ve mentioned a time or five that I was a band geek from middle school through college so you’d think I’d be a little more sympathetic towards music groups like this. You’d be wrong. It’s just not my bag. There’s a reason such groups are made fun of in TV and movies. Way more so than school bands are. Hey! I don’t make the rules. If this is how I feel then why did I go see Pitch Perfect? Why not? I really did go to hear the singing. It sounded like it was something I could sit through at least once and it was…just.

Despite the number of supporting cast in this film, only two actors are actually worth mentioning. Rebel Wilson and Skylar Astin. Let’s get the negative over with first. I sort of liked Skylar’s Jesse at the beginning of the movie though he did confuse me a bit. His roommate was crazy in to wanting to join The Treblemakers and it seemed to me that Jesse found this a touch silly. Next thing you know, he’s auditioning for a spot in one of the groups. And he only had one facial expression. He joked around for so much of the movie and his face never changed that when he was serious and angry with Beca, it took a minute to figure it out. This happened a couple times. I thought maybe he had forgiven her and was about to be silly again but nope. He was still ticked. He just looked happy to be so. I did appreciate the album cover scene though. If you decide to see the movie you’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it. If you’re leaning toward not seeing it, this scene is funny but not worth sitting through the entire movie for. I’m just sayin’.

Rebel Wilson stole pretty much every scene in which she appeared. Rebel played Fat Amy. Why did she call herself Fat Amy? So none of the other girls would call her this behind her back. What a brilliant idea! Cut ‘em off at the knees and give ‘em nowhere to go. Amy was a bit crude but Rebel made it work. I thought she was mildly amusing in Bridesmaids but she was a breath of fresh air in Pitch Perfect. It seemed that when some of the scenes were getting bogged down with too oft repeated “funnies” or not so great acting she would pop off a one-liner that would bring it all back again. I want to go back and watch other movies she’s been in to see how she holds up in those. If IMDB is to be believed, Rebel was the first person cast for Pitch Perfect. I see why.

The rest of the acting was pretty meh. That’s all I have to say about that.

Let’s go ahead and break it down:

Sex/Nudity – A shower scene is the worst offender and all the naughty bits are kept covered. Sex is mentioned quite a lot but we didn’t see it acted upon. A girl’s nipples (grossly enlarged for cheap laughs) are seen through her white T-shirt. Fat Amy tears open her shirt and exposes her undergarments. This particular action was included in the trailer so if you’ve seen that then this is old news.

Drinking/Drugs – Lots of drinking at an a cappella mixer. Several references to drugs.

Violence – A really lame fight scene.

Cussing – Yup. Quite a bit but either I didn’t catch any of the big ones used or they were, amazingly, left out.

Stomach Turning – I mentioned in my post for Here Comes the Boom that I didn’t want to have to use this category very often and here I go in my very next post. The two vomit scenes were disgusting and absolutely uncalled for. Other than the fact that their songs sucked pond water, the Bellas lost the competition at the beginning of the film due to one of the singers projectile vomiting all over the first few rows of the audience. Later in the film she pukes so much that one of the other girls, who ends up falling in it, makes a “snow” angel. No demon-possession horror movie ever made produced this much vomit. And you know how bad those can get. It was just over-the-top stupid grossness. Why is puke such a big draw?

If you enjoy movies full of cheap laughs you’ll probably like Pitch Perfect. If you’re going for the singing, that’s probably all you’ll like. If you’re going because you like Anna Kendrick…well…more power to ya. I strongly recommend not taking children to see this. I was going to say to get them the soundtrack as the songs were the best thing about the movie but the riff off scene contained several songs about sex. I guess you could get it and always skip that track.

There is a very brief extra scene at the beginning of the credits but nothing after that. Go home and scrub your brain clean of this film. It’s the right thing to do.

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