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Flash Movie Review: Pitch Perfect 3

SOMETIMES OUR DREAMS DO not come true or at least not the way we had hoped they would. I have mentioned in previous reviews I feel dreams are a vital part of a person’s life; in my opinion, they are the oasis in the voyage of our lives. Just recently a friend was telling me the next 3 months were going to be intense for him at his workplace. He needed to dangle something in front of himself to strive towards (like that carrot in front of a horse thing), to get through his grueling work schedule, so he was planning a trip in April. I listened as he told me how he will think about exotic locations he wants to visit while crunching data for reports. I saw it as a pressure valve thing where he needed to take his mind off of the tedious and monotonous motions of his day. Let us face it who can sit in a sterile work cubicle every day, doing the same thing over and over, without letting your mind at some point drift to something more pleasurable?     ANOTHER AVENUE WHERE OUR dreams may come into play is when we encounter people who were with us during the birth of a particular dream. These individuals represent validation that our dreams were a real thing that we wanted to achieve at some point in time. Think about the friends you had during high school and college, where you would all talk about what you wanted to do after you were done with school. I remember bumping into a former classmate who recalled my interest in photography; they asked me if I pursued photography as a career. As the two of us started to talk about the past I saw images in my mind of me spending every weekend in the darkroom, developing the past week’s worth of photographs. I dreamed of being a photojournalist back then, remembering the amount of photos I would take in hopes of submitting some of them to news organizations. After meeting that former classmate my dream of being a photographer came back to life for a short time. I found my camera up on a shelf in the closet, so I started taking photographs again to see how it would feel. The feeling only lasted a short time but it did feel good. A similar thing happened to the friends in this musical comedy sequel.     DISENCHANTED AND DISILLUSIONED WITH the life they were now leading the former Bellas singing group got back together to audition for an overseas USO tour. Being chosen meant each of the members could leave their life behind and start over with a new one; however one had to be careful what they wished for. Starring Anna Kendrick (The Accountant, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates) as Beca, Rebel Wilson (How to be Single, Bridesmaids) as Fat Amy, Brittany Snow (Hairspray, Prom Night) as Chloe and Anna Camp (The Help, True Blood-TV) as Aubrey; this 3rd installment quickly went from a cute to silly story. I thought the script was awful and missed the opportunity to relive the original film’s charm. There seemed to be less singing and an increase in lame comedy bits that bored me. It was a shame the producers decided to make this sequel that dragged down any fun memories one might have had with the former films. And with the different story lines that were thrown into this picture all I have to say is this 3rd one was not the charm; instead it was off key.


1 ¾ stars      



Flash Movie Review: 20 Feet from Stardom

Look closely at a favorite picture or photograph; I mean really take a good look at the details. The use of shadowing, the way brushstrokes accentuate the hair or how color is used for depth; each component adds to the richness of the picture. One of my favorite pieces of art was created with tiny dots of paint. The same concept of layering applies to music. There is the use of instruments, in some cases random noises, besides sound levels; each part makes an important contribution to the ultimate musical piece. I was already aware of background singers; but after seeing this remarkable documentary, I can now refer to them as musical angels. You may not be familiar with the names of Lisa Fischer, Darlene Love, Merry Clayton or Judith Hill to name a few; but I know you have heard them sing. I loved the way this film took an iconic song and used multiple interviews to create a frame of reference on its creation. Some of the musicians interviewed were Mick Jagger, Sheryl Crow, Sting, Patti Austin, and Bruce Springsteen. What made this movie special was hearing the back up singers’ recollections of the songs they performed. If that was not enough to make you tap your feet to the beat, the old film clips that were used were incredible to watch. The beauty of this film festival winning film was how it took human emotions and thoughtfully infused them into scenes, where I would tear up at one point and then suddenly be chuckling at the next. Talk about unsung heroes; listening to the lives of these singers, I have a whole new level of appreciation for them. To see their drive, determination, passion, their souls, just to do what they love; it truly was inspirational to witness. One of the best films I have seen this year. With yesterday’s movie review, I certainly am having a musical week. After seeing this film, I dare you to try and not hum one of the songs from the movie as you leave the theater.


4 stars

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