All of my best friends from college are the people from my co-ed a cappella group. In fact, just last night I was hanging out with about eight of them in a bowling alley for someone's birthday. I attend the current group's shows a few times every semester and once every year the many members from all eras gather together in a different city for our annual Reunion, where we spend a weekend in a state of general and musical intoxication. It is, without a doubt, the highlight of my year, every year.
Keep that in mind when I tell you that I don't give a shit about Pitch Perfect. (And know that the rest of my a cappella group thinks I'm nuts.) I can appreciate the first film from a musical perspective - all the arrangements are absolutely top-notch and the performances are excellent. I like Anna Kendrick as a rule and there are a few discrete moments that I enjoy, like the aging quartet of dudes still trying to relive their a cappella glory days (yeah, yeah...) and the color commentary by Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins. But I think the characterizations in general are way too broad, particularly the over-the-top stereotypical Asian roommate whose every scene causes instant eye-rolls. More importantly, I HAAAAATE the way they portray a cappella arrangements as something that the performers just make the fuck up off the tops of their heads, as opposed to something that requires hours of work and intense attention to detail. For me, both of these issues are perfectly encapsulated by Anna Camp's shrill musical director. The fact that she does not immediately recognize Kendrick's talent for producing mashups as an essential skill of musical arrangement is frankly idiotic, and every time she adds the "aca" prefix to another word, I want to aca-set her hair on fire.
Besides, the Treblemakers were just plain better than the Bellas. THERE, I SAID IT!
I'll admit that I was mildly curious at the prospect of a sequel, mostly because it marks the directorial debut of Elizabeth Banks, with whom I am utterly enamored. That was until I saw this trailer.
I appreciated that the original was centered around the ICCA's, an actual competition that is a big fucking deal in the world of college a cappella. This giant, bombastic "World Championship" they're touting here? Whatever. I'd much rather watch two hours of what appears to be an underground a cappella fight club held in David Cross's basement. And I don't want to be that guy, but what is wrong with Rebel Wilson's face? It looks alien and painted on and I don't understand. I have nothing but love for Elizabeth Banks and this thing will absolutely make a pile of cash, but I'll wait until it comes out on Blu-ray and my wife starts watching it on a permanent loop for weeks on end.
Sidenote: Are we really using Snapchat as a movie marketing tool now? When did that become okay?