Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pitch Perfect

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching!  It is required to sing this review while reading it. 

Pitch Perfect – 3 out of 5

I will always take requests for films to review on my blog. Friends, followers, family and foes (yes, my enemies request reviews) all will send me emails, texts, carrier pigeons and notes written in blood asking me to do a write up on a movie they want to see or something they’re curious to see my perspective on…and, despite what some commenters will tell you (like the Juggalo who sent me a death threat for giving an ICP movie a bad review), some people find my reviews amusing. Well, my niece one day handed me a copy of Pitch Perfect and said I should watch it and review it because she had a conspiring thought in her head that I would hate the movie.

I'm pretty sure this is what my niece thought I was going to be doing while
watching this.

Pitch Perfect is about college freshman named Beca (Anna Kendrick) who is your typical loner (you know she’s a loner because she always wears headphones and puts on a lot of eye makeup) but ends up finding that, mysteriously, her college is really, REALLY into acapella groups—bolstering the fact they have several groups and officially making that college the scariest place on Earth. Beca eventually joins a ragtag, all-female group—you know they are ragtag because their group is filled with eccentric girls like one who only talks in whispers and one who is called Fat Amy (played by Rebel Wilson…and not to give away any spoilers but she’s called Fat Amy because of her charming personality). This all-fem group is in direct competition with a group of dudes who look like they slipped in a pile of Swag and Axe body spray and is out to finally beat them at the national competition. It’s like Step Up if it was written by the writers of Glee—at least, I think…I’ll be honest, I don’t watch Glee and have never seen Step Up. As luck would have it though, one of the guys in that group ends up being the love interest of Beca—because, you know, it’s a movie and if she just was a girl who enjoyed singing with her group, that might frighten audiences.

Guys, stay away from her.  She's clearly such an independent loner.  I mean headphones
AND heavy eye make-up?!?

Honestly, Pitch Perfect wasn’t that bad and I mostly enjoyed it (take that, niece! You lost the bet I know you made with your mom about whether I would like the movie or not!). I never found the movie to be that funny but it did have its moments. The two ragtag members I mentioned in the group (the whisperer and Rebel Wilson) were very funny and I thought Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins as the announcers for the acapella competitions were extremely hilarious, however, I really only laughed a few times but that’s not because the film wasn’t hilarious—it was—I just didn’t think the jokes were that funny. I felt they were more amusing than anything I would laugh out loud to...or "LOL" as you youngsters say.

These two definitely made me LMFRHO--or whatever the fuck the kids are
saying nowadays to represent "ha ha."

However, there were some things the movie had that kept me from really getting into it.

And no, Rebel Wilson was not one of them.

First off, I mentioned it at the end of my synopsis, the love story element felt unnecessary and tacked on. “But Rev. Ron, Beca finding love is what Pitch Perfect is all about.” Not really. I thought the film was centered on acapella groups and their song battles, not a generic romcom set to tunes. This film could have easily existed without Beca finding love with the persistent (and yet, kinda douchey) presence of the character Jesse (played by Skylar Astin). Aside from the fact that Skylar’s performance is emotionally one-dimensional and has an arrogance about him that makes him a passive aggressive dick to all those around him (I can't emphasize enough what a dick I thought his character was), the only real connection that this character and Beca have is the fact they are both in acapella groups and both work at the campus radio station. Little to nothing is done to give them any common ground or why they are even hanging out when Beca literally has absolutely no reason to be around him.  It's just a mystery and a detail they didn’t bother to really explain beyond the fact it’s clear Jesse wants to bone her, so he basically stalks her and will be in her dorm room despite the fact that through much of the film she says she doesn't want him around. I honestly would have felt the film would have worked if the two just ended up platonic friends (it would, at least, made Jesse's sudden and numerous appearances around her feel less "attempted rapey"). It also would have been a refreshing change from the usual Hollywood love story crap that is used in every film.

Judging by the way the Jesse character acted towards others the entire film,
he's either going to be nice to the singer and pretend he's deep and emotional
 in order to sleep with him or he'll just be a passive aggressive dick who insults
him in order to make sure he feels superior. 

On a related note:  Ben Platt (the guy on the right who doesn't
look like he keeps roofies on him at all time) should have been
utilized more in this film.  I saw him in the Chicago
production of The Book of Mormon and he was amazing.
 Maybe it’s just my musical interest but I had a hard time deciphering what songs these acapella groups were singing. I am one of “those guys” who thinks that all new music is just awful and capable of making people sterile and spontaneously make their ears bleed, so I rarely listen to music that was recorded after the 90s (I pretty much stand firm that the best music was produced in the 60s and 70s but I’ll take some 80s and 90s). That being said, the music in this film was mostly songs I’ve never heard before and then hearing it in an acapella version only made it that much more difficult to figure out what song they were creating. The only time I really knew what they were singing was during a acapella battle in a drained pool where they sang some songs from the 80s but I spent more time thinking to myself, “If someone stumbled upon an event like this—a bunch of college kids singing in an empty pool—it would be the scariest god-damn thing to ever be viewed.” There is an audience for the songs used in this movie, it’s just more for my younger niece who lent me the DVD and not for dudes who thinks the excuse “because it’s M.C. Hammer” makes perfect sense when people ask, “Why do you have M.C. Hammer on your iPod?”

"Hmm, a bunch of people singing at each other in an empty pool...I'm just
going to walk away now and wet myself."

Not to mention the only time I’ve ever really enjoyed acapella was when it was used for the theme song of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Other than a few complaints, the movie does its job decently. The story is the tried-and-true formula of the underdog in the sports competition—only this time, the sports is singing without instruments backing your ass up. The acting is decent and, while never truly memorable for me, wasn’t that bad to experience. Anna Kendrick doesn’t carry the film the greatest as Beca but it could have been worse. I mean she could have been in a tween movie about sparkling vampires or some stupid shit like that.

Honestly, even though Kendrick is pretty vanilla in her presence on screen, she wasn’t really that awful to experience…of course, there were some bad apples. Skylar Astin is annoying as the character of Jesse with his “I’m totally just trying to be your friend but it’s obvious to all of mankind that I just want to bone you and will probably dump you after I’m done” attitude. If this was truly how his character was suppose to be, then I guess he played it well but after watching 21 & Over I realized this is the only way Astin can play a character, so he’s really not that good.

The look of a man who sneaks into girls' bedrooms, watches them while they sleep
and steals their underwear.

The acapella life is a strange one.

Even worse than Astin, however, is Adam DeVine (from Workaholics) as the douche bag acapella-er Bumper. DeVine is my least favorite character from Workaholics as he just comes off as an unlikeable D-bag that is one of those friends that everyone has that will always show up, embarrass himself, talk shit about you, ask for money and almost always start a fistfight with someone before he pisses all over your bathroom walls and passes out with his pants down and vomit pooling around his dome. This friend is someone you actively try to avoid but he always shows up to ruin your good time. That's the reason I find him to be the least amusing person on the show that I find to be more mediocre than amazing and, it’s actually not surprising, but he’s playing the same person in this film and I found he did little to add any humor to any scene he was in. Like Astin, his presence was more grating than enhancing but only at a far greater degree.

Or maybe he was just playing his character from Workaholics during his college years.

My few minor complaints aside, Pitch Perfect was pretty fun to sit through—although there was a lot of sex talk and swears in it and I’m not entirely sure why my pre-teen niece is watching it. I may not know what the hell the groups were singing most of the time and I may have felt that the love story was completely and utterly pointless to the story and did absolutely nothing for the character of Beca that her friendship with her singing group couldn’t do (remember, she was a loner character and singing helped bring her out of her shell, not by a pleading man with stalkerish ways that scream he’ll be sending her dick pics from his cell phone the moment the credits start.) Besides the shortcomings I had with some of the acting, the story and much of the humor, the stuff that works in this one works well enough that I didn’t feel like I wasted my time on a film that should not be for an audience composed of guys like me…or an audience of a bunch of Rev. Rons. I know that thought may scare you but I’m thinking I’m going to make a softball team with all those Rons.


  1. I soooooo love this movie & especially the pitch perfect songs! Old and new songs with a twist on their renditions. Totally aca-awesome! :) Utkarsh is my crush <3

  2. Rebel Wilson is one of the worst things to ever happen to comedy.


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