Friday, May 15, 2015

Pitch Perfect 2 is A Ca-ffensive fun

Movie:   Pitch Perfect 2

GP-13, 1 hour 54 minutes

Grade:  B

In a Nutshell:   If you’re easily offended, this film is not for you. Every group that exists is a target for distasteful jokes by writer Kay Cannon in this college party flick. Jokes fly as fast and hard as if they were being shot out of one of those T-shirt guns at a football rally, some landing better than others.

Directed and produced by Elizabeth Banks, the singing sequel isn’t as good as the first one, but if you loved the first Pitch Perfect like I did, you’ll still be entertained and have a few new mash-ups and choreo steps to try on your own after the final credits roll.
While most of the movie is a bit messy, the ending is sweet and inspiring, leaving us with that sing-a-long feeling like the original movie did.  By the way, keep watching after the rolling credits for a funny scene with Bumper.

Uplifting Theme:
·         Overcome your fears.
·         Everyone has a voice.  Everyone is an original.  Find your unique sound and sing/live it.

Things I liked:
·         There is some pretty good beatboxing.
·         How fun would that be to spend a $42,000 gift card at Dave & Busters?  We use to take the fam         there when we lived in San Diego.
·         I love Emily’s long, gorgeous hair.  Hailee Steinfeld  has grown into a beautiful young woman.          Where have you seen her before?  True Grit and Ender's Game .
·         It was fun to hear Katey Sagal sing.
·         The riff-off scene in the eccentric, rich guy’s basement is a lot of fun.  More please.
·         I loved how Beca could only think of positive things to say about her German nemesis, Valkyrie        (the flawless Birgitte hjort Sorensen).
·         Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) has the best lines.  She also has some of the worst lines.

Things I didn’t like:
·         Lots of slow-motion montages of the Bellas dancing, having a pillow fight, and doing team building activities at a camp retreat. Were they looking for filler material?
·         SPOILER ALERT: There are two odd, creepy, romantic scenes between Fat Amy and Bumper.   I would have liked to see Beca and Jesse sing a duet instead.
·         There are some musical misfires (songs about butts, for example), but overall the music is good. Thankfully, the finale is exactly what we hoped it would be.
·         Beca’s personality vacillates from being the cynical, "alternative" goth she was in the first movie and a more optimistic, happy college girl living her dream.  We all love hearing Anna Kendrick sing again.  How about a solo?  By the way, have you seen her in the musical movie "The Last Five Years"?  She's fantastic in it.
·         Some of the characters we fell in love with in the first movie are in this sequel, but they don’t get developed any further.   If you haven’t seen the first movie, you’ll miss some of the charms of the original characters that get a little lost in this one.

Did you know?
·         The real A Capella group that won Season 3 of The Sing-Off on NBC, Pentataonix, appears in the movie as a group representing Canada in the World Championship.  In real life, they won a Grammy for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella. They’re A Camazing.  Check out their YouTubeChannel, which is the 12 most subscribed-to music channel.
·         The German guy on Das Sound Machine  A Capella team (Flula Borg)  has a funny YouTube channel I discovered a couple of years ago.  Here’s a clip I show my English language students:

Cameo performances in the movie include Snoop Dog, President Obama and First Lady Michelle, Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhymes, and Good Morning America's Robin Roberts.

Producer Max Handelman chose an all male A Capella group from his Alma Mater, the University of Pennsylvania, to perform in the movie as one of the groups in the World Championship.

Funny lines:
·         “Don’t blame yourself.  You’re a ginger; that’s punishment enough.” – Fat Amy
·         “You’re the most talented person I know, and I’ve met three of The Wiggles.” – Fat Amy
·         “Even your sweat smells like cinnamon.” – Beca
·         “We need to scout those Deutschbags.” – Fat Amy about Das Sound Machine
·         “I don’t understand camping.  We’re voluntarily living like dogs.” -  Flo  (Chrissie Fit)

Tips for Parents:
·         Like the first film, there is a lot of crude language and sexual innuendos.
·         Tweens may not understand certain pop-culture references, such as the hate letter supposedly written by Sonia Sotomayor (who is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States) and all of the immigration jokes aimed at Flo, the Guatamalan. 

·         A kalimba is mentioned.  Want to see what one looks like?

Must-haves for Pitch Perfect fans:

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