Pitch Perfect 3 – Review

Everyone remembers the shock of Pitch Perfect. The musical comedy of 2012 seemed like your standard easy watch but turned into the break out film, and cast, of the year. The story, the music and its lovable characters made the film a smash hit and a sequel was quickly announced. Unfortunately, Pitch Perfect 2 did not really measure up to the brilliance of the first yet a final, Pitch Perfect 3 was greenlit.

Fans of the original hoped this would put the characters back on track and send The Barden Bellas out with a bang. Sadly, as is the case with so many sequels, the filmmakers jumped the shark with their first outing and cannot recreate the magic of the original film, despite the cast’s best efforts.

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We catch up with the Barden Bellas after they have graduated and entered the real world. Unsatisfied, they are happy when junior member Emily invites the girls to a reunion, only to realise they are not there to sing but to watch. Together again, the girls decide to regroup and get an invite to a competition that entertains the American troops. Against talented bands, that can sing as well as play instruments, are the Bellas in over their heads?

The third in the Pitch Perfect Trilogy, is again written by Kay Canon, who wrote both previous screenplays. Trish Sie directs this outing, following on from Jason Moore and Elizabeth Banks respectively.

There are multiple issues with the film but predominately, the story is too silly. Going from the Bella’s struggling with life to the usual musical competition, the film then throws the audiences into corrupt fathers and kidnapping scenarios. So much of the original’s appeal was that it was simple and let the characters develop and shine. Here no character development is possible with such an over the top story overshadowing them. You will long for the action to return to the singing competition, instead of the overblown crime elements.

The music in the films has always been a massive draw and despite the story, the music and numbers are still great. From covers of Britney Spear’s ‘Toxic’ to George Michael’s ‘Freedom’, the soundtrack contains something for everyone and is well sang by its talented cast.

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For the final outing Anna Kendrick and most of the cast retain their charm, despite their lack of development. Be ca is still a feisty, lovable, awkward lead and the Bellas all struggle with new challenges that they have band together to solve. Rebel Wilson’s Fat Amy, despite being the breakout star of the first film, is sadly the weakest link here. With her absurd back-story of her wayward father, she is given more to do but puts in an awkward performance. Not able to tell when she is attempting to be serious or funny, this is the classic case of bringing a strong side character forward and ruining them. Her awkward performance is matched by the usually brilliant John Lithgow. His Australian accent and story are so below such an actor. Also within the film, opposing bands to the Bellas are introduced, with characters played by the likes of Ruby Rose and as quickly as they are introduced, they are gone and underused, frustratingly.

The casts charm and brilliant soundtrack are still here but an overblown story and some very dodgy acting make Pitch Perfect 3 an unworthy farewell to The Barden Bellas.

Pitch Perfect 3 is out on DVD & Blu-Ray now! 

East End Film Festival: Blue My Mind – Review

Adolescence is a tricky time. It is one shrouded in nightmarish hormonal changes that rage within us. Hair sprouts from every crevice, even ones you didn’t know existed. There’s all these smells that your body produces much to the ire of those around you. Emotions twirl and dip and glide, causing you to transcend different personalities all in the same day. What’s worse is that it is the time of your life where the world is throwing all kinds of social and adult pressures at you, demanding that you decide on your future now, now, now.

Now imagine your body just goes bat-shit insane, that’s the plot of incredible drama Blue My Mind.

Directed by Lisa Brühlmann, the film revolves around a young girl named Mia who has just moved to a brand new part of town. With her mother being over-bearing and her father not understanding, Mia struggles to fit into the students at school. When she is drawn to an outrageous group of girls who drink, smoke, and do drugs, Mia unexpectedly finding a close-knit of friends. However, after her first period, she starts to experience bizarre and strange changes. As she tries to keep her cool and new popularity, can Mia also keep her disfigurement a secret?

Luna Welder is an entrancing lead in this mysterious and poignant piece that studies teenage changes within the umbrella of magical realism. The lead takes charge in Brühlmann’s work as she tries to battle against the world around her as well as the rage within her. As extreme urges compel her to do weird things, she is battered by her sexuality, the need to strive in an adolescent world, as well as the pressure put upon her my her parents. It culminates in a terrific performance that leads an engrossing story.

What I am most obsessed with in this film is the colouring. Blue is, indeed, the warmest colour here as cinematographer Gabriel Lobo enhances the sea-like hues around Mia as she explores this brand new world of emotions. The piece is deep with aquamarines and turquoises that add a certain depth to the colouring. It is a completely beautiful watch.

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Though the film falls into teenage drama pitfall (seriously, who has this much alcohol and drugs when they are like 15?) Blue My Mind swims into a different conversation. There are interesting character decisions here that do differ from the norm (for example, the mean girl/leader of the girl tribe isn’t the horrible bully that you’d expect and eventually becomes the best person for Mia.) Feeling like a combination of Raw and Thirteen, this movie is such a beguiling film that will take you to the depths of adolescence and growing up.

Blue My Mind plays at East End Film Festival on 21st April