Pitch Perfect (DVD Release)
It’s scary how fast movies are released on DVD now. Pitch Perfect was released to nationwide theaters less than three months ago, and it’s already out on DVD and Blu-ray, just in time to be stuffed into stockings. (Do DVDs qualify as stocking stuffers? Awkward shape. Like an anaconda swallowed a book.) Anyway this post introduces my DVD reviews, which will probably help me be lazy and save money. I’ll write these about movies I kind of wanted to see, but was unwilling to pay the full theater price for.
First up is the musical teen comedy. Pitch Perfect is a sassy little thing. It’s Bring It On and Mean Girls with a few musical interludes thrown in, or what would have happened if Disney’s High School Musical script had gotten stolen by Seth McFarlane. Or to put it in television terms, it’s, uh, Glee. With a slightly more mature TV parental guidance rating.
The film’s plot sounds like a cheap cover of other teen comedies, but its over-the-topness keeps it from wavering off key. The Barden Bellas are an all-female a capella group attempting to redeem themselves after an embarrassing accident, er, projected them to a last place finish at an international choir competition. The group’s two remaining members Aubrey (Anna Camp) and Chloe (Brittany Snow) scrounge up a mismatched group of freshman girls to compete, including aspiring DJ Beca Mitchell (Anna Kendrick) and boisterous Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson). The Bellas’ main rival, the male group Treblemakers who just so happen to go to the same college, is prepared to harmonize their way to the crown again under the rule of heinous douchebag Bumper (Adam DeVine).
Riffing off of an arguably flawed script, the cast of characters is the most uniquely lovable since the likes of Easy A (which was albeit just a year or two ago, but still). The mostly unsung cast shares the screen with bigger stars (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Elizabeth Banks, and John Michael Higgins appear in hysterical yet criminally stinted roles), but I sincerely hope the newbies are more than one-hit wonders. Rebel Wilson could potentially become one of the funniest actresses of this generation if she continues her streak of knock outs, because Fat Amy may have some of the best comedic delivery of 2012. “You guys are gonna get pitch-slapped so hard, your man boobs are gonna concave.” Seriously, I want to be Fat Amy.
The film took many contemporary pop songs and removed all back up instruments and squelchy synths, exchanging them for inventive humming, beatboxing, and whatever other noises people can make with their mouths, imitating the original song. The a capella is hit-or-miss – it brings some cool (I said ‘cool’, not ‘good’) remixes of songs like Since U Been Gone (Kelly Clarkson), Just The Way You Are (Bruno Mars), and surprisingly No Diggity (Blackstreet). Ke$ha, take note. Not all singers require heavy dance beats and excessive auto tune to pass by as a singer.
The film then proceeds to subject us to awkward failed attempts to cover Right Round (Flo Rida), Magic (B.o.B.), and an inexplicable three performances of oldie Eternal Flame (The Bangles). I haven’t listened to the soundtrack, which uses versions not showcased in the film, but glancing over the track list, it excludes the only track I would have considered downloading, David Guetta and Sia’s Titanium (which was performed in what was probably the most awkward scene of any movie released this year).
The poorer songs aren’t actually a detraction from the movie, however, and are sandwiched between whip-sharp lines and loveable characters. A movie that easily could have been cheap karaoke turned out to be a smash hit thanks to the cast of mostly obscure actors. Tune in soon, because it has ‘future cult classic’ written all over it.