Pitch Perfect 2 Blu-ray Review

Actors: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Elizabeth Banks, Hailee Steinfeld
  • Director: Elizabeth Banks
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (DTS 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish, English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • Release Date: September 22, 2015
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: May 2, 2016



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            The basic premise is downright asinine; the structure is a mirror image of Pitch Perfect; the climactic final song never believably sold me as a winning number; and yet, despite the many flaws of Pitch Perfect 2, it is undeniably entertaining. Even though the film feels directed at a specific demographic of teenage girls (who make up a surprisingly large percentage of all cinema ticket sales), I found myself easily won over by Pitch Perfect 2 and its irreverent charm. More impressive was how little this movie reminded me of the similarly toned television series, “Glee,” which far outstayed its welcome.

     


            The old crew that made up the Barden Bellas is back again, forced to do damage control after an unlikely accident involving a wardrobe malfunction during a performance in front of President Obama. The only way to keep their singing group from being disbanded is by winning the World Championships of A Cappella in Denmark. This puts them at a complete disadvantage competing against the legendary German super-group known as Das Sound Machine, especially since Americans are hated by most other countries in the world.  

     

            The old familiar voices return in harmony, joined by newcomer and Barden Bellas legacy, Emily (Hailee Steinfeld). Emily wants to follow in the footsteps of her mother (Katey Sagal) by building close friendships with the singing group, though she also has songwriting abilities often frowned upon in the world of a cappella. At the same time that Emily is trying to find her place in the Bellas, many of the other members are planning their lives after college, knowing that the World Championships will likely be their last time to perform together. Preparing for a career in music, Beca (Anna Kendrick) lands an internship at a recording studio, given her first opportunity at producing while helping to work on a Snoop Dogg Christmas album.  

     

    All of the other beloved oddball characters from the first film are also back, even though most of them are more personality quirks than actually developed roles for the actors. It is a cast filled with comedic support, from the butch lesbian Cynthia (Ester Dean) to the Lilly (Hanna Mae Lee), the soft-spoken weirdo. My first instincts were pity for the character named Fat Amy, as well as the actor forced to take on the self-deprecation required by the role, but Rebel Wilson has the rare gift of making audiences laugh with her, not at her. Just in case the Bellas are not stacked with enough quirky personas, the cast also sees a return of Adam DeVine as Bumper, the campus safety officer, and traveling a cappella commentators John and Gail (played by John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks).

     

    As well as reprising her role as the sexually frustrated commentator, Banks made Pitch Perfect 2 her feature-film directorial debut (aside from an easily forgettable section of Movie 43). With four projects in the works, including a highly anticipated YA adaptation and a remake of Charlie’s Angels, Banks has used the financial and critical success of Pitch Perfect 2 to launch a new career behind the camera. This was also enough of a success to warrant plans for a third installment into the Pitch Perfect franchise, no doubt continuing the journey of the latest member of the Bellas.

     

    Fans of the franchise will find more reasons than usual to upgrade their purchase to Blu-ray, with plenty of additional footage that includes more jokes and extended/deleted musical performances from the Treblemakers, Das Sound Machine and the Green Bay Packers. This is on top of the deleted/extended/alternate scenes that are already included in both the DVD and Blu-ray release, with even more musical performances and a gag reel. There are also a handful of featurettes and a filmmaker commentary track, not to mention a digital HD copy of the film to go with the DVD and Blu-ray. 

     

    Entertainment Value: 8.5/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 6.5/10

    Historical Significance:  7/10

    Special Features: 9/10



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