Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect


2012
Written by Kay Cannon
Based on the novel by Mickey Rapkin
Directed by Jason Moore

This is the fourth time we’ve watched Prometheus and it makes less sense each time!

Who knew that a movie about girls singing a cappella would have the most projectile vomiting you will see in a film since Stand By Me? But it does, and beyond that Pitch Perfect is pretty damn hilarious and will be right up there with cult classics for clubs like the Bring It On features or High School Musicals or Drumline. Does following an all too familiar plot cycle make Pitch Perfect a bad film? Aca-scuse me? Of course not! Take a look out the window on this bus journey, we’ll traveling through uncharted and funny territory, singing all the while.

The danger they don’t tell you about at Del Taco!

Pitch Perfect is based on the nonfiction book by Mickey Rapkin dealing with the college a cappella circuit and all the drama it causes. I’ve not read it, so I don’t know how much of the film is real and how much is fake. I’m guessing all the vomit is real. So very real. Vomit…everywhere! Noooo..oo…..o..

There is not really spoilers below. In fact, I think the trailer gives away more of the plot than I do!

Beca (Anna Kendrick) – Reluctant college student at Barden University just burning time until she runs off to LA to do music production work, due to her skills at using programs on her Macbook. Open Apple-ctrl-OWNED, suckers! Also she’s a good singer who just needs to join a group to find out she pushes away anyone close to her. Don’t worry, like all of these girls, her alt-style makeup and piercings will disappear by the end of the flick.
Aubrey (Anna Camp) – Leader of the Bellas and obsessed with getting things done correctly and properly. A stickler for rules. Has a summer job as a fire hose.
Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) – If you aren’t leaving the theater talking about how awesome Fat Amy is, you are a horrible monster and was probably the awful person texting during the film. We all hate you. Especially Fat Amy. If you are wondering where you saw Rebel Wilson before, it was in Bridesmaids
Chloe (Brittany Snow) – Veteran Bella who manages to convince Beca to try out despite Beca’s lack of caring about anything at this point in her character arc. Once that is complete, Chloe is free to develop nodes.
I’ve come for the loofah!

If we’re the Bellas, why isn’t the other team called the Edwards?

Beca a college freshman that is totally into making mashups (for those of you not hip to what was hot in the clubs before dubstep, mashups is mixing multiple songs together to create a combined song, usually by putting the lyrics of one song over the tune of another with the same beat, but the better ones get way more complicated.) This mashups mixing skills will enable her to become a whiz master at a cappella! Of course, she doesn’t want to do it at all. Until she’s practically forced into joining a club by her father, who promises to finance her dropping out of college if she does so. Just go with me here on the logic train.

The Bellas are the female a cappella group in the college, lead by Aubrey and Chloe. The prologue let’s us see how they were humiliated at nationals last year, and their main rivals, the all-male group the Treblemakers that everyone loves even though they’re douche nozzles. The Bellas are hurting for members, thus they pick up a lot of strays at auditions.

Aubrey is one of those people who makes huge viral web infographics

Like a lot of these films, Beca is forced to be a bit bland so she becomes more relatable than all the supporting characters who each have their own wacky thing going on. They thankfully don’t try to make Beca all perfect, giving her some flaws that help drive the plot a bit. Flaw #1 is her name being spelled Beca!

The side characters really do steal the show, especially Fat Amy and Lilly. Fat Amy is beyond hilarious, everything uttered by Rebel Wilson had the theater cracking up. Her character is full tilt says what she wants and has the skills to back it up. Hana Mae Lee as Lilly is soft spoken, but everything she says is hilarious. And has the best response to a giant puddle of puke in cinema history. My only complaint is sometimes she was so soft spoken I couldn’t even hear her statements. But as I’ll be catching Pitch Perfect again, I’ll get them that time!

This script Michael Bay sent me is just the word “Explosion” written in crayon and spelled wrong.

Anna Camp excels as the perfectionist Aubrey, who gets nervous to unfortunate consequences. Her serious demeanor and tone help set the stage for the flight attendant style uniforms the Bellas perform in as the audience snoozes away. I thought they were going to do some Big Red sort of thing in the beginning as the prior Bella leader yells at Aubrey and Chloe, but thankfully anything like that never appeared and we go in a different direction. While Aubrey continues to push for tradition and rules and redoing the same thing over and over again perfectly, rebellion is brewing as Beca’s new ideas like mashing up the singing threaten to bring creativity and change into the established order, but it might just save the day. Thus, the central conflict. Can the Bellas learn to sing together in harmony, or will they be forever out of tune?

The male love interest character Jesse (Skylar Astin) is a cinephile, with an emphasis of watching The Breakfast club again and again. Of course, if they made his love of cinema too obscure, they’d lose most of the target audience. The Treblemakers are full of jerks…but most of them don’t end up being jerks, only the leader Bumper (Adam DeVine) is a jerk. How dare they humanize most of the villains like that?!?! They even throw in Jesse’s roommate Benji as an awkward a cappella fanboy who delivers laughs.

Stadium seating goes sour!

There is a bit of a downer about the minority representation, most of them are featured side characters or less. The Asian roommate Kimmy Jin (Jinhee Joung) that Beca has a cold but tolerable relationship, Lilly with her own set of problems, and one of the main Treblemakers who is one of the main lackeys of their vile leader. The Bellas have one black member, Ester Dean as Cynthia Rose (who doubles as their gay member), and the only other notable black character only furthers the plot by what he does that’s morally wrong. Though I like both Anna Camp and Brittany Snow, you could have easily switched one out for someone not white in a leadership role. There are hints of a deleted scene that would probably have some more mixed ethnicities, but that was not present in the cut I saw. Often in college you are paired with people you can tolerate but aren’t going to be besties with, and Kimmy Jin is a good example of that, even making Beca look like an idiot when she first meets her. Pitch Perfect also relies heavily on you being a fan of The Breakfast Club, which is more of a white thing.

And time for the disclaimer: I saw Pitch Perfect at an advanced screening for free, they even stated that this might not be the final edit, though it was pretty complete with credits and background music (usually among the last things worked on) and the pacing seemed liked it flowed okay. I doubt much will be changed before the final version.

Red plastic cups, the universal sign of awful keg beer and underage drinking

Rated 9/10 (rape whistle, obvious boyfriend is obvious, the loudest she will ever be, has a problem, shocked!, shocked!, auditions, one of the bad boys, shocked!)


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Written by Tars Tarkas

Tars Tarkas

Runs this joint!