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November 10, 2017

Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) --- "College Girls' Singing Group Go To Boot Camp In Order To Beat German Rivals."

Plot Summary
It's been three years since the Barden Bellas (Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson) became the first all-female group to win a national title. All seems well until a botched Lincoln Center performance for the president leads to a scandal that strips them of their performing duties, causing internal tension and strife. With the world championships on the horizon in Copenhagen, Denmark, the women must get their act together for their one and only shot at redemption. (1) 

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Pitch Perfect (2012) was pretty entertaining and humorous, so Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) adds to it. One thing you have to keep in mind is this film is based on characters that are in college, so anyone who has been to college should understand that you can experience much of the same things that our characters experience in the film (parties, people, incident, etc). Pitch Perfect (2012) was a combination of Mean Girls (2004), Clueless (1995), and seasons 1 – 3 of Glee. While Pitch Perfect 2 has evolved to a combination of House Bunny and the season 4 – 5 of Glee. The first film was a surprise hit as nobody expected a film about an all-girls a cappella group would leave such an impact on the next generation of teenagers.  In addition, I did not nor do I believe the majority of moviegoers believed that there would be a sequel film but there was and it held the same heart as the first film.

     The entire cast is pretty great, including newcomer Emily played by Hailee Steinfeld (Edge of Seventeen). The only issue I have is with Guatemalan character Flo (Chrissie FitTeen Beach Movie), who is added to the Barden Bellas in order to represent the common stereotypes surrounding Hispanic/South American individuals. Now I am Hispanic (dad) and Caucasian (mom) mixed, so I have nothing against her in that regard. What I have a problem with is that every time she speaks she attributes to some sort of stereotype in her life. And I know that there are people in the real world who have to deal with these stereotypes on a daily basis but it gets tiring/annoying when you’ve heard it so many times before. I guess it was supposed to be used as comic relief and joking but the “jokes” change the tone abruptly from light-hearted fun to racial issues. Another character that I have a problem with is John (John Michael HigginsYes Man), who is one of the two competition announcers. In the first film he was a simple and effective comic relief but in Pitch Perfect 2 he is now mean-spirited and sexist. Although I was not offended, it is confusing that people can so easily brush off racism and sexisms in comedies but then condemn the same actions in real life.
     Aside from all that, the final song was very good; although it was not as unexpected as the final song in the first film it was still brilliant nonetheless and served as an appropriate ending to the film by giving it a very personal touch. The humor is a bit childish and there were a few absorbed moments that made things awkward or confusing or were just plain annoying. However, that is to be expected because, as stated before, the film is centered on college students and most humor surrounding teenagers/young adults are going to be a bit childish.
     Overall, first-time feature-film director Elizabeth Banks (Hunger Games, Power Rangers) succeeds in making Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) a visual spectacle and it is emotionally touching by the end. There is a style of beauty in these films where we recognize the characters for their individual talents and personalities. Despite a few distractions, one cannot deny that the glamor and beautiful sets are a wonder to see if only to be brought back to reality through occasional moments of nonsense and ridiculous jokes. Once again, Pitch Perfect 2 is a musical done right; we have wonderful singing moments and great character development. I’m not saying that this is the best film of all time but it is most definitely fun to watch.

"Don't take this the wrong way: you're the dumbest person alive."
- Fat Amy

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  3.8 of 5 star
Worth Buying:  3.8 of 5 stars

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Movies Similar 
Bridesmaids (2011)
Bring It On (2000)
Drumline (2002)
The DUFF (2015)
Easy A (2010)
Fame (2009)
Footloose (2011)
Hairspray (2007)
House Bunny (2008)
Jem and the Holograms (2015)
Josie and the Pussycats (2001)
Joyful Noise (2012)
Legally Blonde (2001)
Legally Blond 2: Red, White and Blonde (2003)
Mean Girls (2004)
Pitch Perfect 1 (2012)
Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)
Raise Your Voice (2004) 

Cast & Crew
Directed by Elizabeth Banks
Writing Credits  Kay Cannon and Mickey Rapkin
Produced by 
     Elizabeth Banks          ---       producer
     Paul Brooks                ---       producer
     Kay Cannon               ---       co-producer
     Garrett Grant              ---       line producer
     Max Handelman         ---       producer
     Jeff Levine                 ---       co-producer
     Jason Moore               ---       executive producer
     Scott Niemeyer           ---       executive producer
     Jonathan Shore           ---       associate producer
Music by Mark Mothersbaugh          
Cinematography by Jim Denault     
Film Editing by Craig Alpert
Casting By Kerry Barden and Paul Schnee  
Production Design by Toby Corbett
Art Direction by Nate Jones 
Set Decoration by Monique Champagne      
Costume Design by Salvador Pérez Jr.         
Anna Kendrick                        ---    Beca
Rebel Wilson                            ---    Fat Amy
Hailee Steinfeld                        ---    Emily
Brittany Snow                          ---    Chloe
Skylar Astin                              ---    Jesse
Adam Devine                            ---    Bumper
Katey Sagal                              ---    Katherine
Anna Camp                              ---    Aubrey
Ben Platt                                   ---    Benji
Alexis Knapp                            ---    Stacie
Hana Mae Lee                          ---    Lilly
Ester Dean                                ---    Cynthia Rose
Chrissie Fit                               ---    Flo
Birgitte Hjort Sørensen           ---    Kommissar
Flula Borg                                 ---    Pieter Krämer
Kelley Jakle                              ---    Jessica
Shelley Regner                         ---    Ashley
John Hodgman                         ---    Tone Hangers
Jason Jones                               ---    Tone Hangers
Joe Lo Truglio                          ---    Tone Hangers
Reggie Watts                            ---    Tone Hangers
John Michael Higgins              ---    John
Elizabeth Banks                       ---    Gail
Snoop Dogg                              ---    Snoop Dogg
David Cross                              ---    Riff Off Host
Keegan-Michael Key               ---    Beca's Boss
Shawn Carter Peterson           ---    Dax 

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