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Entries in Pitch Perfect (10)

Saturday
Nov222014

Tweets o' the Week

Clash of the twitter threads. I recently started muting words on twitter on subjects I just had no interest in hearing about anymore and in some cases never did despite the rest of the world's inexplicably insatiable interest (my timeline is blessedly "Kardashian" free - you should try it! I'm missing nothing) and I've been so much happier.

Twitter is still a colossal time sucker in some ways but it keeps the pop culture conversation lively and my favorite thing about it is hearing smart people say amusing things that I didn't think to say - that I felt but never put into words (like the first tweet below). Anyway, here are a dozen or so tweets that amused or edified. Just because it's fun to share them.

 

 

More after the jump including Viola Davis, Janis Joplin biopic, Matthias Schoenaerts, Selma, and the greatest title card of all time...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Nov222014

Yes No Maybe So: Pitch Perfect 2

Margaret here...

Long have we waited. Our lands have been barren, our sleep fitful, our souls thirsting for what we have been promised. But hope may yet again have a life in our hearts, because the trailer for the Pitch Perfect sequel has been granted unto us. Aca-praise be.

Honestly, Pitch Perfect 2 is exactly the kind of movie where most of us know long before a trailer hits whether we're a yes or a no. (I'm a yes because when I saw the first one, it was at a three-dollar theater after a happy hour, and I was with resident TFE ray of sunshine Anne Marie. Five-star experience, would recommend.)

That said, the trailer calls irresistably for our scrutiny. Excited to join our acappella brethren and sistren for an evening of good/clean/goof fun featuring extensive cameos from the Top 40 of our recent past? Hop on board.

 

YES:
  • Who among ye can resist the bewitching call of pretty, pretty harmonies? Bless this team for hiring a group of actors who sound genuinely lovely when they sing.
  • Anna Kendrick is as good a leading lady for this mini-franchise as they could possibly have landed. She's such a star, and musical comedy sure is her sweet spot.
  • Lilly (Hana Mae Lee) licking Beca's nose! A+ character, will need much more of her in the sequel. She brought a welcome dose of genuine weirdness to the first movie and I hope this time around they let her comic chops roam free. 
  • So they cast David Cross as the gatekeeper/emcee of some kind of underground acapella speakeasy? Y'know, that.... sounds pretty right to me. 
  • There is a downright absurd suite of performance outfits we see on the teams, and I am all for it. Can't have show choir world championships without Scottish BDSM enthusiasts, a disco bowling league, prep-school altar boys, or Chili's hostesses. 
  • Ahhh ha ha ha the tagline for this is "The Pitch Is Back." I can't even be mad at that, that's High Cornball genius.
 

NO:
  • Pretty pretty harmonies notwithstanding, am I seriously hearing that damn Cups song right now. I'm pretty sure it only just left the Billboard charts/my brain after being beaten into us all for a solid two years and now it is coming back to taunt us all and when will it end, Anna Kendrick, when will it end?!?
  • This isn't a dialogue-heavy trailer but they still manage to squeeze in several jokes carbon-copied from the first movie. If they don't try to find new sources of humor, this is going to be one stale hour-and-a-half. 
  • Velour blazers on the boys' group are a big, loud no. Apologies, but if they're going to position that Skylar Whatsisface as a romantic lead there is going to need to be a strict moratorium on velour blazers. It is for the good of mankind that I speak.
  • Snooty European rivals have been done, and they have been done, and they have been done some more.
 

MAYBE SO:
  • This is Elizabeth Banks' directorial debut, which is a bit of a question mark. She produced the original and clearly gets what made it so beloved, plus her scenes playing commentator with John Michael Higgins are far and away the funniest parts of the first movie and of this trailer. Could mean good things.
  • Pillow fights, slow-motion group hugs, team mud-wrestling.. it looks like they plan to lean pretty hard into the rag-tag misfit sisterhood thing. Not inherently a bad thing but can often tip into triteness on the quick. 
  • For a minute there, Rebel Wilson was all over the place and totally happening. If she nails it here she might be able to kickstart that momentum again. I hope they give her more to do than recycle bits from the first movie..
  • Remember the career we all thought Hailee Steinfield was gonna have? Do you think that's still in the cards?

Suprise surprise, I'm still a yes. Who else is with me?
Tuesday
Aug262014

Curio: Back to (Film) School

Alexa here.  Each year at this time I'm a little nostalgic for the school supply run of yore.  I'm old enough to remember the original Trapper Keepers, and personalizing them with my own doodles and stickers. So in the back-to-school spirit I've been scouring for the best film fan notebooks, pencils and stickers to use for journaling or reviewing.  For that dream trip I'll take some September to TIFF, maybe?

Let's start with Wes Anderson. More, including Pitch PerfectAmelie and Banksy are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jul182014

Pitch Perfect 2 is Almost Done Shooting!

Anna Kendrick posted this last night, with this note:

All these bitches wrap tomorrow and leave me behind...... I totally H💖TE them.

Pitch Perfect wasn't a perfect movie but it turns out to be highly HIGHLY rewatchable. A cable perfect pleasure. I could watch it back-to-back and nearly have. I love "Fat Amy" and every single whispered line delivery from Hana Mae Lee as Lilly. Plus every moment when Anna Kendrick sings.

So pleased that Anna is doing three musicals in one year (see earlier post). That's some commitment to the genre that we haven't seen from literally any other contemporary star.

Thursday
Jan092014

Wintry Hit Musicals and Anna Kendrick To The Rescue!

This time last year the instant if much-hated hit Les Misérables (2012) was topping Billboard's Top 100 Albums chart, powered largely by Anne Hathaway's belting through hacking fits from freezing pneumonia (or whatever she died of - she certainly wasn't dressed for the snow!). Fast forward one exact year: the instant and much-loved hit Frozen is topping Billboard's Top 100 Albums chart and at the same time it's crossing an incredible $300 million at the box office. That's quite a feat. No Disney toon has topped Billboard since Pocahontas 18 years ago and no Disney toon (sans Pixar) has crossed that box office threshold since The Lion King (1994)... though if you adjust for inflation it's closer to a Beauty & The Beast (1991) level of audience rapture. But still... that's quite a lot of rapturizing!

Fast forward to Christmas/Early January next year. Will it be Annie or Into the Woods moving the most discs/downloads? Both of them are opening for Christmas but -- happy news -- they're not the only movie musicals hitting us in 2014...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun242013

"It won't cost much... just your voice!"

I realize it's only* voicework but I'm bit sad that Samantha Morton's voice has been removed from the upcoming Spike Jonze picture Her. She was to voice the operating system that Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with in lieu of, one supposes, flesh and blood options. I thought Samantha was brilliant in insert anything from her filmography here, and even though it was only* voicework, I was anxious to "see" her again.

Morton has the most terrible ratio of talent-to-role opportunities. I don't quite get what's happened to her career as she's one of the best screen actors alive. Still, since the world has a very short memory I didn't notice much mourning online about her replacement when the news broke. Or maybe that's just because Scarlett Johansson, her replacement, is early Aughts popular again. Scarlett weathered the storm of a lame but lucrative patch in her career in which she seemed more model/spokesperson/celebrity than talent. She seems interested in actually ACTING again (see multiple trips to the stage and a wonderful spin on Black Widow the second time around) so I am free to root for her again, too.

Scarlett's voice is a wonder, it's true. But also quite an expected choice for this type of role since her timbre is so effortlessly sexy. I guess I didn't quite expect the obvious from Spike Jonze which is why I'm still processing this news.

Anyway, do you miss Samantha Morton? If you're asking "who?"... please state your age! She couldn't have faded from collective memory that quickly, could she?

When it comes to singing actresses, I'm as greedy as Ursula! In other Beautiful Voice News, Anna Kendrick has been cast as Cinderella in Rob Marshall's adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's fairytale mashup classic Into the Woods (2014)... a movie we're tracking closely but very worried about.

Since we first fell in love with Kendrick as evil scheming Sondheim-singing Fritzi in Camp (2003) and haven't ever felt quite that proprietary/excited about her again (but loved hearing the voice again in Pitch Perfect), this is potentially very good news. With Into the Woods and The Last Five Years (just discussed) both arriving in (presumably) 2014, and so quickly after Kendrick's first real success as a headliner (Pitch Perfect) will she be the first modern actress to really embrace becoming a star of film musicals?

Can you already here her version of "At the Palace"? (♥ that song!)

He's a very smart Prince,
He's a Prince who prepares.
Knowing this time I'd run from him,
He spread pitch on the stairs.
I was caught unawares.
And I thought: well, he cares-
This is more than just malice.
Better stop and take stock
While you're standing here stuck
On the steps of the palace.
-Cinderella in "Into the Woods" 

Everyone else in Mainstream Hollywood seems to think of musicals as one-off larks, something to do to say that you've done it or to demonstrate how "game" you are to mix things up. (Though Anne Hathaway won an Oscar that way she's built her massive career on diversity of genre so I'd say she's unlikely to stick to the form or even return to it for some time. Sad face. CZJ was obviously born to do them but it took how many years between Chicago and Rock of Ages?) If Kendrick makes a success of both of her plum movie musical gigs next year, I shall build a shrine to her.  

* I realize "only voicework" might enrage some readers and some voice actors! I don't mean it derogatorialy but for whatever reason I've observed that many TFE readers really value voice-only work in movies more than I do. Is this generational and tied to the second golden age of animation? I wonder... I mean I don't want there to be a whole Oscar category (do you?) but I do agree that brilliance is possible within the limitations of acting with one's voice alone.