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On Perfect Pitch - a Review of Pitch Perfect
On Perfect Pitch
What's better than a college-age drama, a love story, a healthy dose of competition and a group of hot (mostly) talented women? Adding it to music, of course.
Pitch Perfect is simply the latest in a long line of musical movies to hit the big screen. It doesn't focus on the dramatic elements as much as it draws you into the story, hits you close to home - and carries you away with the music on an epic, unexpected scale. I have to admit, I was a bit hesitant to rent this movie over Christmas. It took me a couple attempts before I could fully invest myself in the story line, but I remember the exact moment in the movie where things started to sink in. I was working on the laptop and only halfway paying attention, then BOOM. Anna Kendrick started singing Blackstreet's famous (infamous?) "No Diggity" - and dang, the girl can sing. That instantly caught my attention. I had to start the movie over again and watch it all the way through. Since I grew up in musical theater in my small-world schools and worked on-stage in my college's production of "guys and dolls", music is like a way of life to me. I like everything from Beethoven to Tu-Pac and everything in between. I highly admire talented performers - especially performers who were not typically known for their musical prowess. Anna Kendrick took me by surprise in a huge way that I never saw coming.
The plot itself can hardly be called original. It's been done more than once in many different venues. True, the movie added some new twists, injected its own personal character and charisma and brought humor to literally every element. Pitch perfect focuses on a new college student who has typical but haunting dispositions that keeps her from letting people in. She is drawn into the understated yet highly competitive world of a-Capella college competition and her group is run by a tyrannical, outspoken female lead. When she makes the cut for the Bellas, she tries to conform - but rebels in an attempt to bring the group to competitive level against their arch-nemesis male group. She develops a predictable love interest in one of the guy's lead singers. Ultimately she has to confront her own issues head-on and lead the Bellas to a climactic, epic performance that knocks the socks off of the competition - and enables them to express themselves in unique and beautiful ways.
Who knew that Anna Kendrick could sing? This girl came out of nowhere, and it's only after research post-movie that I discovered that she had her beginnings in musical theater. She's hardly alone, however. With other notable names like Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson, Skylar Astin and Ben Platt, this movie takes the performance art to an entirely unexpected level.
With wit, sarcasm and charm spilling out all over this humorous hit on an old, classic storyline, the writing of this film is sacrilegious and brilliant. What I thought would be a tired old remake of a familiar theme turned into an epic surprise on multiple levels - and it quickly rose through the ranks of my all-time favorite films to cap out safely and securely among the top five.
Immediately following watching the movie (and rewinding certain parts multiple times, much to my wife's chagrin) I downloaded the soundtrack, and I haven't been able to stop listening to it since. These guys can rock it - and they bring 80's songs to life with their unique spin on old favorites. Nothing says "instant classic" like an a-Capella female rendition of "no diggity" or a mash-up of modern day favorites compiled in the epic finale from both teams. I was impressed. Since it was a two day rental, after watching the movie thoroughly on day one, I spent almost all of the second day rewinding and re-listening to my favorite musical numbers - and trying to wrap my mind around how brilliantly they were written and performed.
This movie, despite some not-so-kind reviews, took the cake and made the holidays a bit more of a treat. I can't wait to purchase the DVD, listen to the soundtrack for the thousandth time - and completely annoy everyone in my company as I try (unsuccessfully) to not dance around the office as I enjoy it to the max.