Reel Reviews: A ‘cappelling’ comedy

Anna Kendrick stars as Beca in the musical romp, Pitch Perfect. - Universal Pictures
Anna Kendrick stars as Beca in the musical romp, Pitch Perfect.
— image credit: Universal Pictures

An all-girl college a cappella group called The Bellas has been boring Barden University with their rather dull versions of 20th century standards.

A somewhat reluctant freshman, (freshwoman?) who can both sing and produce remixes, gets roped into joining The Bellas.

After butting heads with the group’s leader over their repertoire, Beca (Anna Kendrick) convinces them the way to win is to be hip, modern and sexy.

We say, “Gleekers should love it.”

TAYLOR: Anna Kendrick has been in a few movies that I’ve enjoyed, Up in the Air, 50/50, but I wasn’t aware that she could sing. Although, I guess with the technology available today, I think anyone could be made to seem as if they can sing. However, this movie did nothing to offend my ears and as singing was the main feature of the film, Pitch Perfect succeeds well enough.

HOWE: I’m always a sucker for musicals and there’s been a couple of music/dance films this year: Rock of Ages and Step Up Revolution. Pitch Perfect is up there with them. I haven’t seen Kendrick in anything, but I thought she did a fine job as the moody teenager.

TAYLOR: I like mash ups, (where you mix songs together using elements from each), and that seemed to be Beca’s forte. Only, rather than mixing music, The Bellas mixed choral arrangements. All of the musical numbers in the film were well done, interesting and pleasant to listen to.

HOWE: Even the cheesy remix of Don’t You Forget About Me at the end of the movie?

TAYLOR: Yes, well there had to be something meaningful, something for the subplot to sink its teeth into. I’ve got nothing against Simple Minds, but they should have chosen a more modern movie song to stick to the plot. Then again, no one should be going to this movie for the plot anyway, despite there being some decent laughs in it.

HOWE: Most of the funnies you can see in the trailer for this movie, yet saying that, it is still a fun movie. Nearly all the laughs come from Aussie actress Rebel Wilson. Her timing and delivery of the jokes are spot on. The real comic genius comes in the form of commentators Gail (Elizabeth Banks) and John (John Michael Higgins).

TAYLOR: The commentators, with their often inappropriate comments, reminded me of the commentators in Dodgeball or Best in Show. And, I agree, Rebel Wilson’s self-deprecation and hooked barbs provided the best zingers. However, I think the funniest character in the film was Lilly, (Hana Mae Lee), who whispered all her lines, barely audibly, like they were confessions: “I set fires just to feel joy.”

HOWE: Pitch Perfect has a little bit of everything thrown in: romance, great songs, excellent singing, comedy and strained relationships. If you want something candy flossish and not something that takes itself seriously then this is it.

–– Howe gives Pitch Perfect 3.5 magic tricks out of 5.

–– Taylor gives it 2.5 jugs of jiggle juice out 5.

The film is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

–– Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are movie reviewers based in Vernon. B.C.

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