It’s time again for another 2fer, two movie reviews for the price of one! 2 very different movies, each with their own pros and cons! Let’s get started with the funner of the two!
Pitch Perfect 2
Pitch Perfect came out at a perfect time, when Glee was a hot show and a capella was seeing an unlikely resurgence of popularity. Interestingly enough, despite this Pitch Perfect actually served as a parody to the medium while still respecting it, having fun with the silliness of glee clubs while also providing some incredible music, particularly with the mash-ups. It became a cult hit, a fan favorite, and it made a capella fun and cool again. Since then, shows like The Sing-Off launched the career of superstars Pentatonix (who just so happen to appear in this film!) and have furthered expanded the popularity of singing. Honestly, this movie sat well on its own, and set the bar pretty high, so a sequel was a risky move. On the one hand, who wouldn’t want more of that awesome cast and incredible music? But on the other hand, it’s hard to get better than that first movie, especially now that the concept isn’t new and fresh anymore.
I’m happy to say that Pitch Perfect 2 is not only a fantastic sequel, but a fun stand-alone movie as well. While you certainly don’t need to watch the first one to enjoy this one, it’s a lot more fun when you know some of the history and personality traits of these characters. This movie is even funnier than the first, thanks in large part to its comedy heavy hitters and in particular it’s awesome cameos (I don’t wanna spoil it but trust me, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by some of the people who appear in this film!). The protagonists of the film, the Barden Bellas, have a wonderful chemistry with each other that is fun to watch on screen, even through their rocky moments. But the highlight of this film is once again the music, which is amped up even more this time around. I obviously have a bias because I love singing and I love music, but honestly I felt chills with some of the music in the film, particularly the last song. The German group in the movie and the antagonists, Das Sound Machine, as well as the protagonists of the film the Barden Bellas, are phenomenal singers and interpret the songs they cover in a unique and interesting way.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS: 9/10
A hilarious and fun movie with incredible music and a great cast (and even greater cameos), Pitch Perfect 2 continues to make a capella cool and hip. If you loved the first film, you’ll absolutely love this one!
Mad Max: Fury Road
As is the case with a lot of the films I review, I have to premise this by saying that I haven’t seen any other films in this franchise. I don’t know if that would help or hinder enjoyment of this film, since I’ve heard this film is the first in a new trilogy, but what I do know is that the plot for this movie was a little complex, and it took me awhile to understand what was going on. There are a lot of questions regarding the citizens of this dystopian future, how they ended up the way they did and why, what exactly led to this apocalypse, and so much more, but I’m sure that they will be answered in the upcoming sequels, which are rumored to be prequels. Regardless, once you get past the initial confusion (again, coming from someone who hasn’t seen the other films) and comprehend the main plot of this film, it becomes a total thrill ride of a movie!
One thing that you notice immediately is that this is a gorgeously filmed movie. The cinematography is absolutely stunning, which is surprising considering the film takes place entirely in a desert wasteland. From the vast emptiness of the desert to the intimidating sandstorms to the rough terrain of the canyon, the scenery is absolutely beautiful. In particular, the main location known as the Citadel is fascinating in how it’s organized. The cages in which they lock up “blood bags” and the human-powered lifts are just some of the interesting features of this insane home. Speaking of which, the unique cast of characters match this scenery, and the make-up and effects are used very effectively to show their state of desperation and disarray. The pale skin, the warts and lesions and other physical abnormalities, the masks and armor used as protection from the harsh elements, and more all provide for a truly unforgettable cast of characters. Another fun technique that adds to the madness is the occasionally shaky and almost stop-motion-like feel of some of the shots. It’s jarring and a bit unnerving, but totally appropriate for the film and adds to the intensity of it!
But let’s get to the main reason why this movie is awesome: the non-stop action! The film is appropriately subtitled “Fury Road” because this film has the most thrilling car and motorcycle battles you will ever see on the big screen. The vehicles are all pimped out and designed specifically for battle (except for one bizarre but entertaining car that is purely designed for delivering the soundtrack to the battle, with a guitarist and drummers rocking out while the other cars duke it out). The drivers are fearless and relentless, doing whatever it takes to get their target. It’s incredibly fun and exciting to watch and definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat!
FINAL DIAGNOSIS: 8/10
While the story may be a little difficult to follow at first since it throws you right into the middle of this crazy world, once you understand the main plot, you’re in for a fun and exciting treat. It’s one of the most beautiful action movies I’ve seen in a quite awhile, and absolutely deserves the theater experience, especially in 3D to help you feel the magnitude of the film. It’s getting high praise from critics and movie-goers alike for good reason!