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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Sep 222015
 

 
photo for Pitch Perfect 2 It’s been three years since 2012’s early Fall sleeper hit “Pitch Perfect” stormed the boxoffice barricades, starting out with a sleepy $5 million in its first weekend and then building during the course of the next three months — via word of mouth and repeat viewings — to a respectable $64 million theatrical (U.S.) and, later, a whopping $117 million on DVD. The story of college freshman Beca (Anna Kendrick), who joins an a cappella girls singing group at Barden University and helps the conglomeration of mean girls, sweet girls and weird girls known as the Barden Bellas become the first all-female group to win a national title, was a different kind of musical — fresh, exciting and, well, uplifting. The highlights of the film included the delightful and infectious singing, Rebel Wilson’s antics and the off-the-wall Greek Chorus comments by a cappella commentators John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks (who also produced). “Pitch Perfect 2” picks up three years after the original, with the Barden Bellas, coming off three years as national winners, performing for the president and the first lady at Lincoln Center, a performance that is botched by an embarrassing Rebel Wilson wardrobe malfunction. Striped of their U.S. performing duties, the only way the group can redeem itself is to travel to Copenhagen to face off against Germany’s Das Music Machine for the world title. “Pitch Perfect 2” fine tunes all the tropes from the original, adding in more awkward situations, meaner opponents, more sexual innuendo and, of course, more frenzied singing. If you liked Kendrick’s pensive angst, Wilson’s scatological humor and (Bella leader) Brittany Snow’s unbridled enthusiasm, then you’ll love this sequel. The only shortcoming: the addition of Hailee Steinfeld (of “True Grit”) in a weak role as a legacy newbie who helps spur the group on to success. The best part: the continued bickering and wisecracking of (now) podcasting duo John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks (who not only produced this edition but deftly directed it to boot). A fun outing. Scheduled for 2017: “Pitch Perfect 3.”Vitals: Director: Elizabeth Banks. Stars: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Ester Dean, Alexis Knapp, Hana Mae Lee, Hailee Steinfeld, Elizabeth Banks, John Michael Higgins, Katey Sagal. 2015, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 115 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $183.560 million, Universal. Extras: Extended musical performances, deleted/extended/alternate scenes, “The Bellas Are Back,” gag reel, commentary with director-producer Elizabeth Banks and producers Paul Brooks and Max Handelman. Blu-ray adds bonus song performed by the Treblemakers, Das Sound Machine finale breakdown, line-aca-rama, Green Bay rap, “Elizabeth Banks’ Directorial Debut” featurette, “Aca-Camp,” “The Making of the Riff-Off,” “The World Championships of A Cappella,” “Snoop is in the House,” “Residual Heat Internship”, “An Aca-Love Story: Bumper and Fat Amy,” “Legacy: Hailee Steinfeld.” 3 stars

 Posted by on September 22, 2015  Add comments

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