Pitch Perfect 2

Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) by Elizabeth Banks

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Waiting for this movie has been torture. Watching trailers and clips has been torture. Two and a half years of torture. And then it came out and I’m not in Berlin anymore and can’t get my hands on an original copy and have to watch it in German – worst TORTURE!

pitchperfect2.5I’m over this now. So let’s look at what it’s about:

The Barden Bellas (among them Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Ester Dean and Alexis Knapp are banned from competing on a collegiate level because of a mishap involving the president of the U.S. and Fat Amy’s (Rebel Wilson) vagina. But since they’re reigning national champions (for the third time in a row), they are invited to the World Championship. If they win it, future generations of Bellas can compete again. But the competition is great and the reigning World Champions, an intimidating German team, are not going to give up their title without a fight. Gay things happen and the Bellas win.

Sorry for the spoiler, but you didn’t actually think they wouldn’t, right?

Is this movie as good as the first one? No. Is it bad? No, far from it, actually. It’s a lot of fun; it is pitchperfect2.7 pitchperfect2.4entertaining and well-timed. Love the music. But there are a couple of things that are off. Namely, why are the Trebles still in the big picture? Why is Beca still with Jesse (well, I think they’re together despite the fact that their relationship feels like an awkward brother and sister-thing)? Why did they have to make every other Bella a one-line joke (honestly, most fanfictions have better character development)? And why does Chloe behave like Aubrey at times (minus the throw-up)?

I’ll be writing about these things on my other blog. I’ll probably write about PP quite a bit again. But here and now, let me tell you: just seeing the Bellas together again, is heart-warming. I missed these girls; most of all Beca Mitchell who is still a lovely, sometimes awkward character who can be a dick sometimes. The music numbers are great, even those who are over the top. You can see that the actresses worked their butts off and it still looks effortlessly in the end. The chemistry is still there. Not just between Beca and Chloe – which is, of course, the heart piece of the Bellas as a group – but between Amy and Aubrey, between Stacie and Cynthia Rose and Jessica and Ashley. They brought most beloved characters back for the sequel, and I honestly only missed Donald, because the Trebles lost all their cool without him.

So, yeah, I enjoyed Pitch Perfect 2 – not so much the German version, and let me also add how pitchperfect2.2embarrassing it is for every German to have a group called DAS Sound Machine, when it is grammatically incorrect and you could hear it repeated and whispered throughout the theater whenever someone says it on screen. It could have been better, yes, but, oh boy, it could have been so much worse!

Whip It!

Whip It (2009) by Drew Barrymore

The original title may not have an exclamation mark, but I think it does deserve one. And not in the way it is used today by overenthusiastic text messaging adolescents where a sentence is put between an OMG and three exclamation marks (as in: OMG that’s awsome!!!) but in an understated Virginia-Woolf-kinda way.

Whip It hasn’t officially started showing in Germany. I saw it as a sneak preview. I was so desperate to watch a movie yesterday that I would have watched anything but the worst case scenario would have been “Due Date” which is bound to start here next week. I hoped for Machete but got Whip It instead – I was not disappointed, though. How could I have been?

The movie is great. The story may not be innovative (how many times have we watched a girl grow into an ass-kicking swan, now?… not that I’m complaining) but fun. Ellen Page is gorgeous, so was everybody else, and Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut is absolutely positively empowering. I loved it.

So did everybody else. I don’t think that many men would have chosen the movie had they had a chance. But there were actually more men than women in the theater and the room was already abuzz with the excitement, the expectation a screening like that would usually bring. The screen opened to a seen that all the men there dreaded: a beauty pageant… and even I was a little shocked at that. But the next shot showed a girl leaning over a sink dying her hair and I knew it was Whip It. A noiseless ‘yay’ formed on my lips and then I just enjoyed myself. Everybody did. As I said: empowering, fun, girls in short skirts… okay, I may not have mentioned that last one but it was definitely there.

The actresses involved showed skill on the track, they were tough, they were charming… and Pete, were they hot! There was also some serious lesbian subtext going on (especially between Rosa Sparks (Eve) and Eva Destruction (Ari Graynor) in the hot tub…).

And because you were especially good today (not that I would know) I give you… Zoe Bell’s bruise:

I hope you liked.

And… OMG this movie is F***ing awesome!!!

Resident Evil: Afterlife (3D)

Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) by Paul W.S. Anderson

So, here we go again. Another – and possibly the last – installation of the Resident Evil merchandise has arrived and one of the best things is this:

No, not the picture per se (though, honest, I love it) but the fact that Ali Larter’s character Claire (is it just me or was her character named Clear/or Clea in the third movie?) made it back (even if a little brain-demaged). And those two ladies do not just “look good when wet,” they seriously kick ass which is just as good.

The plot, well, you know, this is Resident Evil: what do we need a story for? But since we have the makers from the first movie back it has a little more substance than the 2nd and 3rd movie of the series: Alice is back and she is lonely after having send her clones into Umbrella HQ in Hong Kong where they all died – some of them killed by the guy who is supposed to be the new T-virus supervillain (figures that they take a male to replace Alice). He is also the one that changes Alice back into a mere human – and she thanks him for it before they crash land with their superheli.

Afterwards Alice tries to find her girlfriend… er, other human beings alive who went to Alaska. She finds Claire who has amnesia and attacks her but this is still Alice we are talking about and she hog-ties Claire and they fly down the coast to find others alive. Which they do in L.A. which is pretty much only a big pile of ashes with one prison-building still intact and on the roof of this they find some new stereotypes… err, canon fodder… no, comrades-in-arms.

The basketball star, the mechanic, the starlet, the producer, the nameless asian-guy, and the voyeur were hoping that Alice and Claire came from the Arcadia, which is not a place in Alaska but a ship currently lying in convenient sight of the prison at the coast. But how to get from the prison to the ship when the prison is surrounded by… what else: zombies?

A prisoner the rest of the troop has taken may be the only hope, especially since there is a giant zombie of unknown origin helping his little brothers slamming in the front door and others of the little critters have already dug a tunnel to get into the prison (that’s new, isn’t it?). The prisoner claims to be military and it turns out he is Claire’s brother – which she naturally does not recognize (okay, this coincidence was a little too much, then again, those Redfields are fierce so maybe it is not so surprising that they both survived).

So, while breaking out of the prison some of our heroes get slashed into little pieces and fed to the zombies. But they somehow manage using the same tunnel the zombies have dug to get into the prison. They get to the Arcadia – just the two Redfields and Alice now – and discover that it is really just a trap built by Umbrella to get those last surviving humans to experiment on them. Seems the t-virus supervillain is not so super as Alice was since her blood and the t-virus bonded better than his blood does with the t-virus, so, now he needs her blood. Alice won’t give that up without a fight, naturally.

The ending is kinda strange and you should look at it yourself, I won’t spoil it for you. Just one word: confusing.

So, I liked it. Loads. Paul Anderson put some fun into the fourth RE movie. He plays well with stereotypes and serves to the fans of the series – probably because they are the only ones who are still watching. I really love Alice and the chemistry between her and Claire – and I guess it is not too far-fetched to indicate that there is some serious girlfriend-trope going on between the two. Of course, the first movie is still the best – nothing beats Michelle Rodriguez’ bad-assedness – but this one is a good homage to the whole series. The beginning is a little bumpy, though.