DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

 
PITCH PERFECT (director: Jason Moore; screenwriter: Kay Cannon/based on the book Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory by Mickey Rapkin
; cinematographer:
Julio Macat; editor: Lisa Zeno Churgin; music: Christophe Beck/Mark Kilian; cast: Anna Kendrick (Becca Mitchell), Skylar Astin (Jesse), Rebel Wilson (Fat Amy), Adam DeVine (Bumper), Anna Camp (Aubrey), Brittany Snow (Chloe), Alexis Knapp (Stacie), Ester Dean (Cynthia Rose), Hana Mae Lee (Lilly), Ben Platt (Benji), Utkarsh Ambudkar (Donald), Michael Viruet (Unicycle), Freddie Stroma (Luke), Jinhee Joung (Kimmy Jin), John Benjamin Hickey (Dr. Mitchell), John Michael Higgins (John), Elizabeth Banks (Gail); Runtime: 112; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Max Handelman/Paul Brooks/Elizabeth Banks; Universal Pictures; 2012)

"Deliciously filled with wall-to-wall music that comes only from the mouth."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Jason Moore (Broadway's Avenue Q), in his feature film debut, passionately directs this energetic inspirational youth-sports musical comedy, that offers props for The Breakfast Club, is very funny, very goofy and is deliciously filled with wall-to-wall music that comes only from the mouth. It may not be a pitch perfect film or reach for greatness, but it's enjoyable. Pitch Perfect offers the usual sports genre theme of going up against great obstacles to win the big match at the end, but it's easy to forget the tired predictable story line and be dazzled with the awesome sounds, lively cast and overall genial zaniness. It's written with musical pop by Kay Cannon and is based on the book Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory by Mickey Rapkin.

The story is set around an a cappella rivalry on the fictional campus of Barden U between the male chauvinist championship group called the Tremblemakers, with its showy, obnoxious, confrontational frontman singer Bumper (Adam DeVine), and a challenging female group called the Barden Bellas. The all-girl group is led by uptight control freak Aubrey (Anna Camp), who insists on using the old proven songs like "Turn the Beat Around" and wearing the traditional dress uniform. The group's aim is to win the trophy for an international collegiate a cappella singing contest in the finals at Lincoln Center, where the two judges are John and Gail (John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks), also announcers, with John goofing over the contestants with smart-ass remarks and Gail playing it sweet.

The aloof and sullen Becca (Anna Kendrick), embittered by her parents divorce, desires to skip college and try her luck in LA as a DJ and music producer, but is persuaded by her Barden University professor father (John Benjamin Hickey) to take advantage of a free college education and enrolls at the school. Becca is recruited by Aubrey and, second in command, Chloe (Brittany Snow) into the group, and is joined by toughie black lesbian Cynthia Rose (Ester Dean), the whispering Asian Kewpie doll singer Lilly (Hana Mae Lee), the group's always dynamic and funny self-named Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) and the sexy Stacie (Alexis Knapp). Nice guy newly recruited by the Tremblemakers, Jesse ( Skylar Astin), is the love interest and self-declared protector of Becca, but since the Barden Bellas have pledged not to mingle with their male rivals their romance is put on hold. But for those who crave this genre conform to familiar patterns, have no fear everything ends on the upbeat as it always seems to do for these crowd-pleasing mainstream pics.

REVIEWED ON 10/6/2012       GRADE: B

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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