Review: Pitch Perfect (2012)

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“John, a change of pace could not come soon enough here for the Barden Bellas. This is not a great way to start their season.”
– Gail

SYNOPSIS: Beca, a freshman at Barden University, is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school’s all-girls singing group. Injecting some much needed energy into their repertoire, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition. – via IMDB

I was roped into watching this years ago and I wasn’t overly impressed with it, but since there are three of these things now and I was out of things to watch and I wanted something that required zero commitment from my side, I decided to give these a shot and see why people love them. Honestly, I still can’t see it.

Granted, I’ll give Fat Amy her due because stopping those twig bitches in their tracks was pretty sharp. Now, aside from that, all I could picture while watching this was Anna Camp as Sarah Newlin, telling Jason Jesus was alright with them boning. That is all that woman is ever going to be to me. The rest of the cast is alright in a totally bland and generic way, except Rebel Wilson who, of course, puts herself right out there – not necessarily with good lines or great jokes, but she just gets so into it you can sort of deal with having her around. Not all of the music in this movie was created equal, and some of it was really not that good. A lot of it was tired.

The humour wasn’t always to my taste, I found it just a bit icky, too, what with body and toilet humour, but I guess you can’t really expect more. There were also too many racist and sexist jokes thrown in here. I was totally let down by the lack of eye candy – for reals, the movie is just okay, but I didn’t even have something to look at and make it halfway okay. The story is completely generic and super bland, bringing nothing new to the table. It is ridiculously cheesy (and not the cool type) and incredibly predictable. Also, then there is Adam DeVine, and I don’t get why people like him. I find him to be annoying as hell.

Anyway, when all is said and done, Pitch Perfect isn’t really my scene and wasn’t that great. Oh well, I tried, and it totally ticked the boxes for me for a brainless, easy watch.

Review: Role Models (2008)

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“No, venti is twenty. Large is large. In fact, tall is large and grande is Spanish for large. Venti is the only one that doesn’t mean large. It’s also the only one that’s Italian. Congratulations, you’re stupid in three languages.”
– Danny

SYNOPSIS: Wild behavior forces a pair of energy drink reps to enroll in a Big Brother program. – via IMDB

You know, I watched this movie when it came out and I have gone back to it a few times over the years and I still thoroughly enjoy it. No, it isn’t a perfect movie or anything like that, but it is a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

First and foremost, Paul Rudd is absolutely fantastic in this. I adore the man, so will pretty much watch anything he’s in. I think he’s sweet and hilarious and so dry, which works for me. This is no exception, he is plenty entertaining, and works wonders with Stifler Seann William Scott. Scott provides just the type of role you would expect from him, but he does it well. McLovin Christopher Mintz-Plasse entertains endlessly as awkward Augie. Another hilariously awkward character is cocaine-crazy Sweeny, and Jane Lynch has a ball with the role. As you can tell, the movie hinged quite heavily on the actors having fun with the material, and it works. 

The humour made me laugh, too. It’s witty, dry, sarcastic and crude at times throughout, and it totally works. The movie also doesn’t drag out the run-time, so it plays it out and does its thing but doesn’t overstay its welcome, which is great. You just have fun, and then it is over, before it wastes away and tries too hard to be something it isn’t. The story, while not new, is handled deftly. There are a lot of crappy movies in this genre, but every now and then there is one that stands out, one that tries to and succeeds to be more. This is one of those. It has a lot of heart and a lot of humour, knows what it is and goes for it, without being apologetic.

I really enjoyed some of the situations the characters found themselves in and I liked how things were handled. There was even character growth to be found throughout here, which is more than I could have asked for. The soundtrack and score worked, not once taking over and becoming the focus, which is just fine.

So, all in all, if you haven’t checked out Role Models before and feel like a good, light comedy with plenty of heart, I can highly recommend this one, it is quite fun. I don’t really know what to say other than I like this one and I find myself returning to it time and time again and enjoying it without fail.

Rapid Review: The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part II (2015)

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the hunger games mockingjay part 2

“Our lives were never ours, they belong to Snow and our deaths do too. But if you kill him, Katniss, all those deaths, they mean something.”
– Peeta Mellark

SYNOPSIS: As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts by the Capitol, Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance. – via IMDB

finnnick mockingjay mutts

GRADE 7I was excited for this, I really was. I was unhappy with the split of this book into two movies, and it seems that that was justified. I just don’t quite get it… you all know I was not really a fan of Mockingjay Part I. It felt unnecessary, though it was interesting to explore some of the political issues there. Then there is Mockingjay Part II, and it is uneven, and a mess, and somehow manages to feel so rushed. I don’t get it. There are also things that really irritated me. The main two offenders being SPOILERS that Finnick’s death was not done more justice – because it was really just glossed over in the book, and that Prim barely featured, so her death  meant absolutely nothing here. The movie felt cluttered, and it was not nearly as smooth as Catching Fire, which remains the crowning moment for this franchise. I maintain that Jennifer Lawrence succeeded in making Katniss Everdeen far more likable than she ever was in the books (ask anyone – Everdeen is a total pet peeve of mine, ugh, whiny brat). This is not the worst way to end out the franchise, but really less oomph than I was expecting. Visually, of course, the movie was great to look at, but I was extremely disappointed in the pods at the outer edge of the city. Way less bang for my buck than I was expecting. The conclusion is also portrayed in a far more upbeat manner than the book, which is much better for me because the book made me want to throw it out of frustration because Katniss is such a selfish child. The trailer contained all the really good things, unfortunately, so there was spans of filler stuff (for me) while watching this. I feel that the cast again did a fantastic job with their characters, bringing all of them to life, though many characters were glossed over. Sam Claflin is still fantastic as Finnick Odair, Josh Hutcherson is precisely what you would expect Peeta to be, and Liam Hemsworth is a really good Gale, exactly what I pictured him to be (don’t know why he gets so much hate – but then I have only ever seen him in this franchise). That’s just glossing over the main cast, as it really is just too large to talk about them all, but just know that they all worked very well with what they were given. I liked this alright, but I did not love it – it just feels like it never really took off like it was supposed to. It felt unpolished, unfinished, and uneven. That being said, it is still a fun franchise, and I am totally looking forward to a nice box set to add to my collection!

Review: The Uninvited (2009)

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“We survive by remembering. But sometimes we survive by forgetting.”
– Dr Silberling

Anna (Emily Browning) returns from her “sabbatical” at a psychiatric institute ten months after a fire ravaged her home after she had returned from a party early. Her sickly mother perished in it, and try as she may, Anna has no idea what happened that night, the memories completely escape her. Now Anna is returning home with her father Steven (David Strathairn) and his new girlfriend Rachel (Elizabeth Banks). Anna is incredibly unhappy that her father has moved on so quickly, and reacts negatively towards Rachel.

the uninvited new family

“I need you to figure out if you are ready to be part of this family.” – Steven

Upon arrival, Emily is thrilled to be reunited with her sister again, though Alex (Arielle Kebbel) is upset with Emily for having ignored her messages and letters, etc. Alex picks a massive fight with Steven about it, and he does not defend his actions. Anna is finding it difficult to fit back into normal life, and is plagued by dreary dreams, as well as her mother constantly visiting her in her dreams, always talking to her. The sisters despise Rachel for having been their mother’s nurse prior to her death, and are angered with her for usurping their father’s love and affection so quickly. Soon Anna draws the conclusion with Alex that the visage of her dead mother is trying to tell her something. She was murdered, and Rachel is responsible.

the uninvited stills

“You know Anna, I don’t think this is going to work out.” – Rachel

The sisters freak out, and start looking into Rachel and her past, which they find to be very sketchy. Rachel initially tried very hard to befriend Anna and have a relationship with the young girl, but has since abandoned the idea. It is evident that Anna dislikes Rachel, and that she will not let the young woman into her life. She does not want a replacement for her mother. The more she learns about Rachel’s past, the more terrified Anna becomes. Anna’s ex-boyfriend Matt (Jesse Moss) runs into her and tells her that he saw what happened the night of the fire. They arrange to meet later that night, though he does not meet with her, and is found dead the next day. Digging further, it would appear that Rachel’s MO is to care for a dying mother, kill the children and have the father to herself when all is said and done.

the univited police

“Who will I tell my stories to?” – Mildred

Anna has lost enough and cannot afford to lose any more in her life. She and Alex begin to make waves about Rachel, though Steven is furious about how everything is being done. He loves Rachel, and wants to have a happy family, and will hear nothing against Rachel. Will Anna be able to convince her father of Rachel’s treachery? Is there a way to prove that Rachel is not who she says she is? What will Anna do now that Matt has been murdered? Did anyone else see what happened that night? Can anyone else help her get through the block that is keeping the memory locked up tight?

GRADE 5I didn’t mind this one. Emily Browning pulls off her young teenage mental disorder rather well. The story itself is ok, though sometimes it gets a little bit jumbled when it tries to be too smart. There were also plenty of times where the story slowed and became predictable, and relied very much on jump scares that didn’t do much in the way of jump. I was already incredibly sceptical thanks to the opening lines (not a fan of them at all). Nothing we haven’t seen before, so it is fine for a movie night with friends who don’t want anything too serious or to watch between other movies if you are undecided. It wasn’t dreadful, I didn’t mind the movie that much, but it was certainly not mind blowing, or worth watching again. The cast delivered some decent performances, though at times the soundtrack is overbearing to point out the dark and evil insinuations that are made, which you would notice perfectly fine if you are just watching with even just half an ear.