Pitch Perfect is a surprisingly fun film that goes about as emotionally
deep as it needs to without getting overly mushy. The storyline is of a
reluctant college student (Anna Kendrick) who learns to open herself up
more to people and possibilities through joining an a capella group.
Anna Kendrick, who's been nominated for an Academy Award, is probably
too good for a film like this, but thank God the producers were able to
get her because she gives her all and elevates the film significantly.
film, adapted from a book wherein the author spent significant amount
of time with 3 college a capella groups, delves deep into the a capella
world and it's clear that the filmmakers have done their research and
this sets this film apart from the typical coming-of-age college film as
we're taken deep into the world of this subculture. The music itself is
also very entertaining..
Although there's a sort of love-hate
romance (wherein the boy's primary method of winning over the girl is
annoying her to death), the film is all about girl power and how this
loner learns to bond with other females for the first time and (excuse
the pun) make beautiful music.
With Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow,
Skylar Astin, Adam Driver, Anna Camp, and Rebel Wilson, the supporting
cast has a great chemistry despite the fact that it's difficult to
believe some of these people are 18-22 years old (Anna Camp and Rebel
Wilson in particular)
The film's screenplay is by Kay Canon (who
has written for 30 Rock and is well-known in comedy circles) and while
there are some laughs, it's not primarily a comedy. It IS a fun film.
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
An Altmanesque ensemble piece exploring old age, wistfully weaving in
and out of several story lines fluidly. The story centers around seven
random British retirees (all feeling various stages of incompleteness
with their situations) who get lured by an ad to spend their retirement
in a hotel that's not as glamorous as advertised.
Tom Wilkinson shines as Graham: a gay man who grew up in the days of
the Empire in India before moving to India. It's true what they say:
Bonus points on your acting resume for going gay. Graham's storyline,
involving reconnecting with his homeland and a lost lover lies at the
heart of the story.
Elsewhere, we have a couple horny seniors looking for love for
different reasons (one to feel young, one for financial security), a
woman recovering from surgery (Maggie Smith), a hypochondriac, a
marriage in flux, and a newly widowed woman taking her first job (Judi
Dench). Each of these story lines all provide relatively satisfying
layers of richness.
Trouble with the Curve
An aging scout who looks like Clint Eastwood (who in real life, by the
way, is over 80) is being pushed out of his job (hello, it's called
retirement) and adopts an attitude of spunky rebelliousness, when in
fact he can't do the job anyways because he's losing his vision. A
movie premise based on a plot hole a mile wide is on some shaky ground
to begin with. It doesn't help matters that every person who disagrees
with him about retirement conveniently turns out to be an incompetent
The film still has some nice moments and takes us moderately deeply
into the universe of baseball scouting and going somewhere new is
always interesting. At the same time, a more realistic film might have
made us feel like we were actually experiencing the life of a baseball
The film's other strong points are Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake. As
someone who is not in the camp that Timberlake has previously displayed
any acting skills, this is Timberlake's first role in which he could
legitimately be called an actor. Amy Adams, who is always wonderful,
showed here that she can actually be sexy on screen on top of all the
other great character beats she bought with the character.
Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises was the pivotal success of Batman if you consider
that Batman Begins had too much exposition and Dark Knight was so
focused on the Joker and his omnipotent brand of evil, that it made for
more of a horror story than an event film. The Dark Knight Rises really
was the optimal blend of ingredients that one would come to expect in a
Nolan film. Like Inception and Prestige, it was an epic story with
twists that unraveled satisfyingly. More importantly, the film really
was about Batman which is a hard chore considering he is usually always
upstaged by more interesting and colorful visions in pretty much every
auteur's vision of Gotham city.
The story lines are and expertly juggled and the production quality is
top notch. It's also fair to say that the emotional content of a Batman
film has never resonated so well with me and I even found it more
realistic (and slightly amusing) that the facade of Batman wasn't kept
sacred and pretty much every character just said "screw it, he's Bruce