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Disney Channel Movie on Steroids

Author: Thomas Drufke
26 May 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When a movie like this gets great ratings from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, and even my well trusted friends, I expected great things. But in reality the movie is clichéd and relies way too heavily on popular songs to please the audience. The writing is poor and the funny moments are rare to come. As much as I love music, films focused on music or musicals are never my thing. Pitch Perfect is obvious not a musical, but it's pretty close to a Camp Rock film with a PG-13 rating. In reality, the film could have easily passed for a Disney Channel movie if it weren't for a few swears and sexual jokes.

Anna Kendrick stars as Beca, a hopeful DJ who is pushed into joining a college a cappella group by her father. Sound like a Disney film so far? Just wait until the film is then flooded with an excessive amount of clichéd 'dramatic' relationship moments. We have the prototypical jealous girl who wants to do it her own way but is eventually accepting of the new girl, Aubrey. The overweight character who provides comedic relief by making fun of herself, Fat Amy. Finally, the guy who is on a rival team but falls for her anyway and of course there's a falling out and rekindling just like every other film. Now, there are some redeeming qualities which include Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins strange and outrageous commentary during the performances that give us a few chuckles. Rebel Wilson also has a few funny moments but for the most part the jokes fall flat. The performances are entertaining and well choreographed but it doesn't save a below average film.

There are just several contrived moments such as the fight scene that put Beca in jail for a little bit. It's scenes like this and one where Adam Devine's character just flat out leaves the movie that make it a poorly structured film. It turns out to also be incredibly predictable which can be forgiven if the movie was fun to watch, which it wasn't. I just hope the second one is more enjoyable. Just because these films aren't my niche doesn't mean I cant enjoy them, so here's hoping.

+Performances & mash-up of songs

+Rare funny moments from Banks and Wilson

-Contrived plot elements

-Disney channel clichés

-Cringe worthy writing


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Geeky Randy's summary

Author: Geeky Randy from United States
8 February 2015

The Barden Bellas, a female a-cappella group, add University freshman Kendrick to the club, but she brings with her a creative freedom demand that is much needed but might tear them all apart; however, they'll have to agree on something if they hope to stand a chance against their male rivals in a campus competition. The ensemble cast delivers excellently in both acting and singing, and the musical choices are quite sound (pun?). Worthy date-night movie, but all the laughs are targeted to the female viewer. The hypocrisy of Kendrick ranting about how predictable movies are is quite a turn off, considering how textbook the unfolding of this story is. Loosely adapted from the non-fiction PITCH PERFECT: THE QUEST FOR COLLEGIATE A CAPPELLA GLORY by Mickey Rapkin.

**½ (out of four)

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Great music, so-so story

Author: brchthethird from United States
14 November 2014

First off, I'll admit to not being a fan of GLEE and I don't really get the fascination with acappella. It's just singing without instruments, and the most fun I can see people having with it is as a novelty. Still, I decided to check out PITCH PERFECT and see what all the fuss was about. My general impression was that the musical numbers were pretty good across the board, and quite creative. Everything else just kind of drags it down a bit. The basic plot is that an all-girl college acappella group is trying to redeem themselves after an embarrassing loss at the last year's finals. It also served as an opportunity for a diverse group of girls, who normally wouldn't be together, to get to know each other and become friends. The cast isn't really filled with a lot of recognizable faces, but they all give decent performances. Still, the lack of character depth is apparent and none of them really approach anything past caricatures. Everyone has a couple of characteristics or quirks that get mined for laughs throughout the whole movie, and it did get old after a while. Plot-wise, no new ground was broken either. Everything happens exactly how you expect it to, complete with a last-minute crisis that gets resolved a little too quickly and cleanly. And really, outside of that there really isn't any conflict or reason to care about any of the characters. Still, the musical numbers are quite impressive, and the only reason I'm rating this as high as I am. While the core group, the Barden Bellas, stick to the same songs for the most of the movie, only changing up their act in the final part of the movie, everyone else varies their material and gives it a nice touch. There are a wide variety of songs chosen, and they're performed in visually interesting ways and have good choreography as well. The contemporary soundtrack was also quite good too. Overall, I thought the movie was OK, but nothing to rave about. Despite the great soundtrack and musical performances, the plot is rote and the characters all one-note. It isn't horrible by any stretch, but the only reason to see it is for the music or if you're a GLEE fan.

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Competitive collegiate a cappella. Is this really a thing?

Author: smatysia ( from Houston
26 August 2014

Competitive collegiate a cappella. Is this really a thing now, or is it made up for the movie? There were some solid performances here, from Anna Kendrick, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, and Rebel Wilson. It seems like the ads for this film were all about Miss Wilson, but she is a medium character here. The singing was first-class, but you probably have to like a cappella to truly appreciate it. The plot was exceedingly formulaic. And I suppose that if you are in your teens, or maybe twenties, then teenage angst can seem important, but it is quite boring for those of us who are older. Overall, it was kind of okay, but found myself looking at my watch several times...

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Music Is Very Good Here, Anna Is OK< The Rest Is Definitely Not

Author: denis888 from Russian Federation
18 May 2015

I understand why musicals are so popular - nice actors, cool songs, great choreography, excellent soundtrack, merry atmosphere. Yeah, right. This movie, Pitch Perfect, tries hard to be the one, too. It succeeds in several fields, it fails in several other. Yeah, music is very good. Especially, all those a Capella arrangements of such hits as Don't You (Forget About Me) or some more are very good, and really first-class. Yeah, Anna Kendrick is sweet, she performs very realistic, and her vocal delivery is way too great. Her dances are nice, too. But then, the rest goes. Almost all other actors are so all over the place, thrown on a kitchen sink and exaggerated that one can only eye them in utter disbelief. They overdo, overplay, overact almost everything, so the comedy quickly falls onto a farce and a mockery. The film is long, as well, it would've been better if it were shorter. By so far, what we have is a mediocre movie with some unfunny gags, sick scenes and trite jokes. Can be watched once and then quickly dismissed

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Fun, But the Song Numbers Can Be Hit or Miss

Author: 3xHCCH from Quezon City, Philippines
9 April 2013

I only got wind about this film after I saw a couple of teenagers singing a song a capella while rhythmically flipping tumblers during a birthday party. They said it was from "Pitch Perfect" so I sought out a copy to see what this film was all about.

This film's theme is very much like "Glee." Some misfit girls try to make their mark in college by joining a disgraced a capella singing group called the Bellas. The story follows the girls as they try to be the first all-girl group to win Nationals. However, with all the drama queens in their small group (ala "Mean Girls"), it is not going to be easy an easy task.

This film is very popular with the teenage set. However, for me, the humor is already very much at the boundary of raunchy comedy at times. Definitely, it crossed the gross-out comedy boundary of PG with all the inexplicably voluminous projectile vomiting scenes. There were some weird comedy like the mousy Asian girl Lilly whose voice was so soft you'd wonder how she got into a singing group at all. (She is cute though, but she says the darnedest things, if you actually hear what she says.)

The personality of Beca, as played by Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick, was so unlikable. She sticks out like a sore thumb playing it so seriously while the others were obviously having fun with their characters, especially Rebel Wilson (as Fat Amy). I can't really say I was rooting for her at all.

The singing scenes, which were supposed to be the highlight of the film, were hit and miss. Some were very good, like "No Diggity" and the other songs sung during the sing-off in the gym. However, there were those where the mix was not too good. The final song number by the Bellas in particular, while generally good, was marred by a terribly pitchy solo by no less than Beca herself.

Anyway, despite all my problems with the execution of this film, in general it was entertaining to watch. I can completely see why the teen set loves this film with all the hip song mash-ups and the funny scenes and lines, but I do hope they are mature enough to recognize that is only "comedy," so far from what really matters or happens when they are in college.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

It was fun, whether i wanted it to be or not...

Author: milanpthecharming from Serbia
4 April 2013

I hate Glee type of movies. Same story, same characters, same perfect improvisational abilities every average teen has (?!?). This movie doesn't differentiate much from the picture, but, somehow i can't give it less than 7/10.

OK, the plot is not very innovative, we have the cliché romance string and most of the characters in this movie are generic, but what happened here is that we have a leading female role which is not at all your typical chick. Although many people see and understand her as an 'alternative' girl (she is portrayed like by other characters), she is just an ordinary girl, somewhat socially awkward, trying to follow her dream. Not at all dramatic as an 'alt' person could be, and definitely not emphasizing that what she is. To be said, she doesn't even listen to 'alternative' music, which is a thing that somehow bothers me. If she doesn't listen to that kind of music, doesn't really act like she does, but tries to look like she does, we have a case of a badly put together character. They made her 'alternative' just for the sake of it... Anyways... A bit phlegmatic, she wouldn't fit the role in, let's say, Bring It On, but, she does fit this flick perfectly. Other characters were a variety of templates. The Bellas' leader Audrey and The Treblemakers' leader Bumper were the queen and the king of the cliché, but somehow i got to connect with Audrey. Others like Fat Amy and Lilly were refreshing.

I am a musician so this affects me heavily. I HATE the performances of all of groups!! They jump all around the stage and have like the perfectest pitch. It just bothered me to the point i had to sustain myself from skipping the scenes. Not to mention they are auto-tuned to the max. Unless they all had Melodyne in their mics, which they didn't, i find it wrong, unrealistic, even utopistic. And yes, this is where the perfect improvisation skills fall into. You just can't improvise if you don't know the song at all, and if you can, you are a godly talented chap, but the rest of your singing group sure aren't clones of yours. And this is generally what i hate about music movies. You can't convince me if you make mistakes like this. I don't believe anyone could enjoy their 'live' performances when they sound so unnatural.

At last, i find John and Geil highly inappropriate and not at all funny.

When i read my review i feel like i've given this movie a negative grade, but it actually made me laugh from time to time, i found some of the characters appealing and the overall impression it left after watching it was positive, so, 7/10.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Strains mightily against its PG13 rating

Author: Jonny 99 from United States
2 April 2013

"Pitch Perfect" becomes a somewhat painful experience for empathetic souls who can feel the writers struggling against its PG13 constraints. The biggest confirmation of this is a joke involving one of the a Capella singing groups covering Lily Allen's "F*** You". It has to pull its punches by only suggesting bulimia jokes around Anna Camp's character Aubrey. Seriously dark lines are uttered at a whisper by Hana Mae Lee's Lilly although these are some of the funniest in the piece (as a bonding ritual she's asked her biggest secret to she stops the show with "I ate my twin the womb".) It's unfortunate the producers didn't abandon the tween market and go for the "Hangover" hard-R crowd - while funny this could have been hilarious. As far as the cast Rebel Wilson's "Fat Amy" ("it saves you having to call me that behind my back anyway") stands out among a group of actresses not sufficiently distinguishable from each other. In short, while short of its potential, an entertaining film.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

good singers

Author: chibitapy
21 December 2015

What the movie really wanted to tell us is a bit too normal that character grow up by conflicting with people in a group, but I like the music and some characters in the movie. Especially, I like the scene that girls group and guys group compete singing with each other, they change the genres of songs so quickly. More than anything, they sing so well. Also, I like the main character starts singing with using a cup on the stage at the audition. Actually, the way of making rhythm is very unique and fun watching so there is no doubt the song become very popular. I'm looking forard to watching Pitch perfect 2 when i get to be able to rent the DVD.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Pitch Perfect Entertainment.

Author: Python Hyena from Canada
26 November 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Pitch Perfect (2012): Dir: Jason Moore / Cast: Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow: College musical with a title that not only references the music but also the efforts placed on relationships. Anna Kendrick stars as Beca who arrives at college in hopes of becoming a disc jocky. She lands a position at the radio station and then is thrown in the middle of a female singing group called the Bellas, when she is overheard singing in the shower. From there the screenplay details their high spirited competition with an ending we can all see coming, but the music numbers are fetching. First time director Jason Moore seems to be taking the music element seriously while also creating a partial parody of the Step-Up films. The cast are passionate with roles that elevate beyond conventions. Kendrick is fetching as the determined Beca who battles the political side of the Bellas while proving to be the function that is most effective. Rebel Wilson as Fat Amy also steals scenes with the best comic lines. Skylar Astin as Beca's potential love interest who works at the radio station as well as sing in a rival group. His ambition is to write scores for movies. The rest of the cast are amusing types that steal the odd moment but Anna Camp highlights as the spewing Bella leader, and Brittany Snow who overhears Beca singing in the shower thus resulting in a creepy introduction. Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins are also funny as cynical commentators. The film is a tribute to music and culture and it is pitch perfect for its target audience who know the lyrics to the songs as well as the merge in performing arts. Score: 9 / 10

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