Pitch Perfect 3 is the completely unnecessary third installment in the Pitch Perfect aca-trilogy. I say unnecessary, because Pitch Perfect 3 lacks just about everything that made Pitch Perfect and even Pitch Perfect 2 so aca-good. The collection of aca-songs is never a problem though. Pitch Perfect 3 is about the Barden Bellas falling on aca-hard times and reuniting. They join a USO army tour just to stay aca-relevant. Even though the other two movies clearly showed that acapella was insanely popular, worthy of celebrity attention, fame, and fortune. Sadly that’s not the only inconsistency this aca-sequel has. They also down play every characters stereotype to the point where their not even aca-funny anymore. Which is a serious problem for an aca-franchise that didn’t care less about using that type of humor before. Another problem is the movie’s lack of the aca-boyfriend characters. Important aca-characters Jesse, Benji, and Bumper are all gone (tossed away like they were aca-meaningless). There’s also a completely out of nowhere action scene in the middle of this musical aca-comedy. For some reason they turned Fat Amy into an aca-action hero who fights off several assailants. This is the same aca-girl who didn’t want to do cardio. Pitch Perfect 3 is just a horribly lackluster final aca-installment that falls completely flat.
The Bellas meet their competition
Preceded by: Pitch Perfect 2
Pitch Perfect 2 is the aca-sequel to the sleeper hit Pitch Perfect. If you thought making a follow up to a movie about acapella singers was impossible, think again. As Pitch Perfect 2 was an even bigger financial success then the first aca-movie. Since I did become such a big aca-fan of Pitch Perfect, I decided to see Pitch Perfect 2 in theaters. For me this aca-sequel was just okay. Their song selection is just as aca-good as before. Only this time the movie’s new signature aca-song is an original called “Flashlight.” Pitch Perfect 2 is about the Barden Bellas trying to regain their credibility after Fat Amy accidentally flashes the aca-president. So they enter a world championship for acapella (aca-seriously). The Bellas also add two new aca-members to the group. One of them being a hispanic stereotype who often says aca-funny random things. Becca is still the main character, but Hailee Steinfeld’s new character Emily is also sort of the aca-lead. She’s the one who aca-sings the original song “Flashlight.” Elizabeth Banks who played one of the two commentators in the first movie, is director this time around since the entire aca-franchise was her idea. There’s also an abundance of aca-celebrity cameos considering the popularity the movies got. Pitch Perfect 2 isn’t quite as good as Pitch Perfect, but it’s still a highly entertaining aca-smash.
The Bella’s final performance
Preceded by: Pitch Perfect & Followed by: Pitch Perfect 3
Pitch Perfect is the aca-hit nobody was expecting. I know I didn’t aca-spect it. Pitch Perfect is at least 70% responsible for my love of listening to acapella videos on YouTube. Something about singing without using aca-instruments really draws me in. However, I didn’t see Pitch Perfect until after it got really aca-popular. A lot of my aca-friends in high school were in glee club and they couldn’t stop talking about the movie. So. I decided to watch the aca-movie just to see what the big deal was. It fast became my favorite movie about acapella singers ever. Pitch Perfect is about a group of college all female acapella singers called the Barden Bellas and an all male group called the Treblemakers. It’s a regular aca-battle of the sexes. Anna Kendrick stars as Becca, the latest fresh faced actress in need of a young adult aca-franchise. Her unexpected singing chops made her the perfect choice for the aca-role. But the biggest breakout star in the aca-movie is easily Rebel Wilson as Fat Amy. Her character is by far the most aca-hilarious. The rest of the Bellas are made up of other fun over-the-top aca-stereotypes. Specifically the mean girl, passionate girl, fat girl, weird girl, gay girl, promiscuous girl, and the other two aca-girls. There are so many great aca-songs covered in the movie, but “Cups” is easily their signature song. It even inspired me to aca-learn how to do the whole cup clapping routine (which I aca-did). Pitch Perfect is just an aca-awesome musical comedy.
The Bella’s final performance
Followed by: Pitch Perfect 2
Zoom is the second worst reviewed superhero movie of all time. It currently sits at a 3% on Rotten Tomatoes for good reason. By this time in the mid 2000’s, Hollywood was still trying to figure out how to make superhero movies. For every 2 comic book movies, there were at least 3 or 4 original superhero movies. While there were good ones like Sky High (see review here), there were also awful ones like Zoom. Like Sky High, Zoom is also about a school of superheroes. Only less charming, more stupid, and completely unwatchable. Their powers include super speed, telekinesis, invisibility, super strength, and body enlargement. Bad CGI and cliches follow. With a few exceptions, Tim Allen is just better on TV then he is in movies. The same goes for most of the other actors in the movie. There’s also blatant product placement from Wendy’s. I watched Zoom once and I never wanted to see it again, but it’s just what we had to put up with till we got to bigger and better superhero movies.
The team fights Concussion
The Wicker Man (2006) is the American remake to The Wicker Man nobody asked for, but got anyway. Although strangely enough, I had the exact same opinion I had watching the original. In the way that the movies don’t really get good until the end. It’s just good in a bad way for the remake. The Wicker Man (2006) has the exact same premise of the original and most of the scenes and dialogue are the same. Yet somehow everything sounds a lot stupider and less sophisticated. The fact that the movie’s set in America instead of England is probably partly to blame for it. But we all know the real reason this version sucked, an actor by the name of Nicolas Cage. His over-the-top acting is usually welcomed in most movies, but it comes completely out of nowhere in this one. We all know the hilariously infamous “Bees” scene. The Wicker Man (2006) is mostly a dumbed down Americanized rehash, but there are a few differences, none of which make sense. Instead of having strong religious context, it’s about women dominating men. Which doesn’t have the same impact compared to faith and purity. They’re still pagan, but it doesn’t link up as well. They also replace crop shortage with honey shortage (that’s where the bees come in). Not to mention the numerous nightmare sequences that pop up every so often. The original Wicker Man was genuinely creepy and impactful. The remake just turns everything into a joke. Even the ending loses its effect when Cage is screaming like a banshee.
“Oh no, not the bees!”
Remake of: The Wicker Man (1973)
The Wicker Man is unlike any horror movie I’ve seen before. It’s bright, it’s colorful, and it’s filled with music. Half the time it felt more like a musical then a horror movie. Then again this was the 70’s and made in Scotland. So I shouldn’t have expected something like I’m used to here in America. The presence of Christopher Lee is how you know it’s a horror movie. The Wicker Man is by many considered to be either one of the best horror movies or one of the best British movies ever made. I wouldn’t put it on my list, but I can see why people would say that. The Wicker Man plays on the trope of an outsider in a secluded place that seems normal, but hides a dark secret. Police officer and devout christian Neil Howie investigates a missing persons case on a remote island. The people seem normal, but things get progressively stranger. People get drunk, sing regularly, teach inappropriate things, and dance naked in public. It becomes more apparent that the people on this island are practicing pagan rituals. As a christian myself, I could relate to everything the officer was feeling. Unfortunately, The Wicker Man doesn’t have a happy ending. SPOILER ALERT! The officer ends up dying inside the burning wicker man. It’s one of the most iconic horror movie endings of all time. However tragic it is, at least he died an unwavered christian and the island’s retribution may come some day. The Wicker Man is truly shocking.
The Wicker Man
The Birds is one of the greatest animal attack movies of all time from the mind of one of the greatest directors of all time, Alfred Hitchcock. The Birds also happens to be my personal favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie. Mostly because it was the first one that I saw. I haven’t talked about Hitchcock yet on my blog, so I felt it was the best movie to start with. The Birds has all the trademarks of a great Hitchcock movie. It takes an average everyday occurrence and turns it into something terrifying. We see birds every single day of our lives, but we never think of them as dangerous. Birds are generally afraid of humans. They fly away the second you get close to them. Just imagine how bad it would be if birds did suddenly try to attack us. Well we don’t have to imagine, that’s what we have The Birds for. The Birds begins with a young socialite who becomes infatuated with a lawyer. She searches for his address so she can meet and drop off the lovebirds he was looking for. Like most Hitchcock movies, this plot point is very misleading. When a bird does attack it comes completely out of nowhere. The bird attacks start to get worse and a lot more violent as the movie goes on. Bird attacks happen at a birthday party, a school, in the middle of town, and in a house. Birds of all kinds attack people (gulls, crows, sparrows, you name it). They utilize fake birds and even real birds in the movie. Blonde actress Tippi Hedren unfortunately had to deal with a lot, because of the real birds. Still, The Birds is a monumental film and Alfred Hitchcock’s last great movie. You’ll never look at a flock of birds the same way again.
The birds prepare to attack
Quest for Camelot is the most blatant Disney rip off I’ve ever seen. Everything about the movie screams Disney, but I know well enough to know it isn’t one. As I said in my Anastasia review (see it here), I know a Disney movie when I see it. Quest for Camelot misses the mark on everything it copies. Most Disney movies are fantasies based on an existing story told with musical numbers, a female lead, wacky animal sidekicks, and a magical villain. Quest for Camelot does all of those things wrong. It doesn’t add anything worthwhile to the Arthur legend and the magic is all generic. The musical numbers are either poorly written, come out of nowhere, or are unaddressed. “The Prayer” is the only song that seems to be good even though it doesn’t match the scene it’s in. Plus the difference between the voice actors and their singing voices are extremely obvious. The lead character Kayley is clearly a rip off of Belle and other Disney princesses. She’s accompanied by a blind hermit and a two headed dragon who also feel like clones of other better Disney characters. The same goes for the movies villain, tragically voiced by Gary Oldman. I didn’t see Quest for Camelot when I was a kid (or if I did I don’t remember), but I’m positive I wouldn’t have liked it even then.
Kayley examines Excalibur
Ghostbusters (2016), oh boy where do I start with this one. It’s no secret that this version of Ghostbusters became the most controversial movie of 2016. People had been wanting a third Ghostbusters movie for a long time, but every original actor had reasons not to do it. So instead of making a sequel, they made a reboot. A reboot with a gender flipped cast. Instead of a team made up of all male comedians, it’s a team of all female comedians. Specifically Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mckinnon, and Leslie Jones (their character names aren’t important). Needless to say this decision drew a mixed reception. As the first official trailer for the movie is currently the 23rd most disliked YouTube video of all time with a total of 1,082,532 dislikes and counting. That also makes it the most disliked movie trailer of all time. I went to see Ghostbusters (2016) with the sole reason of comparing it to the original. While it did make me laugh occasionally, you can’t ignore the movies faults. It’s not enough to reverse the gender of the cast, they have to be funnier than this. I’m sorry to say Chris Hemsworth was the funniest actor in the whole movie (he’s a natural). Paul Feig normally directs great female lead comedies. This random grouping of actresses feels a little too manufactured. Their good own their own, but together their all competing to be the comic relief. It doesn’t help that a lot of the humor is either prat falls or gross out gags. They also give uncomfortable cameos to the original cast and don’t get me started on that awful Fall Out Boy remix. Ghostbusters (2016) isn’t horrible and it does try. However, its first mistake was rebooting an untouchable classic.
Reboot of: Ghostbusters (1984)
Ghostbusters II exists and that’s about all it’ll ever be known for. It’s not as iconic, memorable, or even rewatchable like Ghostbusters is. Like I said in my Ghostbusters review, I watched Ghostbusters II as part of a 2 pack. Although I can’t recall whether or not I watched both movies back to back. I think I did, but that shows the problem with Ghostbusters II. By this point in 1989, Ghostbusters and the animated series The Real Ghostbusters were hugely successful. So the studio kept pressing the actors to make a sequel even though they didn’t want to. Eventually they relented and that’s how we ended up with Ghostbusters II. This time the threat is some kind of evil painting and slime that brings things to life. The Ghostbusters are now labeled frauds and are each doing their own thing. Also Dana has a baby named Oscar, Louis wants to join the team, and Janine is suddenly attracted to Louis. Unfortunately most of the jokes don’t land and the ones that do aren’t memorable. The same can be said about the villain whose name I can’t remember. This was of course after the animated series. So the adult humor is way toned down. No casual smoking, swearing, or sexual innuendos to be found. Slimer was meant to have a big role like in the series, but it would have been too expensive. Not that the movie is completely without merit. The Statue of Liberty scene is pretty great. Ghostbusters II is just an unremarkable sequel to an already perfect movie.
The Ghostbusters save the day
Preceded by: Ghostbusters