Tag: Anna Kendrick

Pitch Perfect 3

In 1992, The Mighty Ducks came out, introducing a lot of youth to hockey and bringing an okay film to the world. It had a team of irregulars come together to win a competition. Standard story. Two years later, we were given D2: The Mighty Ducks, a much superior film, funnier, stronger, better. We got more exciting characters, the stakes were raised as they now had to compete and win in an international tournament. It gave us the knuckle puck!

Then another two years later, Disney had reached too close to the sun and tried for a third film. But where do you go after your group of kids have won a world championship? There is no intergalactic hockey (barring the Mighty Ducks TV Show). So they instead just made them go to a school, and play the varsity team of older players. It was a terrible idea, it was boring, no one cared.

That is what my concerns are for Pitch Perfect 3. In the first film they won the US, in the second film they won the world, and in the third film they are just…singing for the troops. What’s the point? The only real difference I could see is that at least in Mighty Ducks the second film improved upon the first, while in Pitch Perfect 2 it lowered in quality due to lesser plot lines.

Oh well, let’s see how it manages to justify its existence. And that is coming from a fan!

Group shot
Well at least they are patriotic, so they can

Our third film is taking place probably around 3 years after the events of Pitch Perfect 2. Our heroes (?) now have all moved on with their lives, in graduate school, or with jobs, or no jobs at all. Who knows.

Becca (Anna Kendrick) is officially a music producer, but dealing with shithead artists who have bad tastes makes her quit and question her future in the business. Thankfully, the Bellas are having a reunion show at an aquarium, so she has that to look forward to since her life is falling apart.

All the girls are there (Alexis Knapp, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Chrissie Fit, Ester Dean, Hana Mae Lee, Kelley Jakle, Rebel Wilson, Shelley Regner) and even their protege Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) is there. At this show, everyone realizes that their lives suck, they are sad, and they just want to sing and be happy. Thanks to plot magic, they are able to quickly agree and get invited to a USO show to entertain the troops.

And lo and behold, this is secretly a competition. They are performing alongside three bands with instruments and sound systems, but apparently DJ Khaled is there sponsoring it all, and his favorite band will get to open for him on tour. I learned after the fact that this is a real famous DJ playing himself in this movie, not another character.

Oh joy, a competition, in order to really bring out their best. Also, John Lithgow is in this movie to play Fat Amy’s elusive father who was apparently a criminal in the past. Starring Elizabeth Banks, Ruby Rose, John Michael Higgins, Matt Lanter, and Guy Burnet, who is playing our Jesse replacement. Because Jesse/Benji/Bumper were written out of these stories, with only two of them getting a line to explain what happened.

Sing
0-3 on Riff Offs because these people used instruments.

Let’s start this analysis with another franchise comparison. I don’t like Cars. Some people do like Cars. No one liked Cars 2. Cars 2 had the main character change and a terrible no good very bad spy theme.

Pitch Perfect 3 starts off with the group actually on a boat performing, then danger guns explosion. “Oh gods,” you wonder, “Did they change this to a spy series and not put it in the trailers. Oh no no no.” And then you forget about it. You hope it is just a movie in the movie scene, maybe they become fake stars. Sure.

And then the terrible Fat Amy father plot continues, with Lithgow acting quite terribly at being a thief or whatever. It was such a bizarre aspect to add to a very lackluster film. When they finally were back up to that boat scene I started falling asleep in the theater. Oh it was so bad and unnecessary.

As for the main plot, it was so bad and unnecessary. Banks and Higgins were trash in this movie, their quips less good and they felt so useless. The competition aspect was forced, with an extremely long into and “riff off.” They spent all this energy into setting up their first USO show and raining down shit upon the group and their antics to be loved. After that? We were given a montage over the other performance, and hey, apparently now everyone loves them and all that strife was just filler. They fixed their goddamn problems and got popular again after two bad events magically through montage.

The second film did really well monetarily so they probably felt like they had to make this one. But with forgettable performances, less mashing up, forgettable and enraging plot points, this is not a movie that needed to be made at all. But sure, some side characters had good one off jokes. That’s the plus.

1 out of 4.

Table 19

Ah, Anna Kendrick. She had six movies come out in 2016, and I was disappointed in the five I saw. I am sad to say The Hollars, which looks great, I still haven’t gotten around to.

I used to love Anna Kendrick, since I saw her in Rocket Science and Up In The Air. But her choices that don’t involve singing in the movies have been bad choices, and that really just sucks.

So on that note, I wasn’t rushing to see Table 19. For a lot of reasons, but even the Anna Kendrick appeal was losing its lure on me. At this point it just feels like I should just wait until Pitch Perfect 3 before trying to trust her again.

Camera
And then Kendrick might have more than one person following her around for paparazzi.

Ah the joys of a wedding. What a splendid time where people come together to laugh, sing, dance, be merry, all in celebration of the love of a couple!

Except for those who feel like they had a pity invite or shouldn’t be there. Or maybe people there for alternative reasons. Or maybe you are just Eloise (Anna Kendrick). A month ago you were the bridesmaid, but you bailed out of the wedding due to an awkward situation. You are great friends with the bride (Rya Meyers), but you were also dating her brother, Teddy (Wyatt Russell), the best man. And a month before the wedding, he broke up with you over text. Oh yeah, lot of confusion now over what you should do. ‘

But Eloise still shows up! She decides to come anyways, for her friend, and maybe for rekindling love, but it is awkward. And she is now put at Table 19, with the random people who they couldn’t put anywhere else. The people who came but really, why?

Like Jerry (Craig Robinson) and Bina Kepp (Lisa Kudrow), who own a diner, have a lose connection to a family member of the bride, and sort of hate each other. There is Renzo (Tony Revolori), a high school student looking to just get lucky, who is young and unaware of how to be social. We have Walter (Stephen Merchant), a cousin who is awkward and a criminal. And we have Jo (June Squibb), the bride’s first nanny who they love so dearly, maybe.

Eloise now has to exist in misery with this group of strangers who have issues, while hoping she doesn’t also accidentally ruin the entire wedding.

Also starring Andrew Daly, Amandra Crew, Charles Green, Jay Klaitz, Margo Martindale, Richard Haylor, and Thomas Cocquerel.

Freaks
Oh my god look at these freaks and weirdos.

Table 19 is a shocking film. Not in the extreme graphic language, violence, or nudity way. Not in the amount of laughs that it provides. But how different it was from its advertising, which most people would assume is a comedy with a bunch of weirdos, doing weird stuff. But it was hardly ever funny. There were some amusing bits, but it was extremely lacking on the actual humor.

Yep, we have a drama comedy that is more drama, with a bit of romance. It just drives the film into the average territory as it goes for several genres without excelling at any of them. If you have read certain films this year that I have reviewed, like Get Out or Colossal, I praised them for their genre bending. But the difference between them and Table 19 is that when the genres change, each the movie is awesome on each level. Table 19 is just middling, where the shifting doesn’t help it but hinder it.

Sure, it is realistic. But a lot of the story lines feel like missed opportunities. Kudrow/Robinson story felt like it didn’t help anything, Merchant’s story didn’t feel finished, and Revolori’s plot was just disappointing. The only other character to have a decent story was Squibb, who really brought the whole film together.

Table 19 has some cute moments and the occasional laugh. But the selling points of the film are how Kendrick and Squibb carry themselves throughout the movie, the realism they bring to the whole thing, to give the film a little bit of heart.

2 out of 4.

The Accountant

I am thankful that I waited to review The Accountant. If I reviewed it months ago when it came out, it would have been so less…relevant.

What? Reviewing a movie when it comes out in theaters is LESS relevant? How crazy.

But yes. Because now I can say that regardless of the films topic and plot, this film should actually be about the 2017 Oscars. The two men responsible for the envelopes, the accountants at PricewaterhouseCoopers, have lived their lives up to that night probably in perfection. Never flubbing a number, never getting BBQ sauce on their beards, just perfection.

And then they fucked up at the biggest award and took a little bit of time to fix it. It wasn’t a smaller technical award (which would have been equally devastating for those involved), but the Best Picture, which affects large groups of people.

Just fucking insane. I want their story. But this one will have to do.

Numbers Real
Ah good, numbers, now we know it is an intense mystery film.

A lot of threads in this film, so I will try to keep it simple and brief.

Ray King (J.K. Simmons), some head of a treasury department, is looking for this Accountant dude, who might behind all these various…accountant things. And crimes. He gets some underling, Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), to look into it. Some blackmail was involved too.

Chris Wolff (Ben Affleck) is of course our Accountant in question. He is a high functioning autistic dude, so he is good with numbers, but he was also trained to fight and stuff as a kid by his dad, because why not.

He is called into some company to look up financial irregularities. Turns out a lot of shenanigans are going on, we get some action, we get some mystery.

Starring Andy Umberger, Alison Wright, Anna Kendrick, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor, John Lithgow, and Jean Smart. The A’s and J’s of the Hollywood complex.

Numbers
He punched those numbers so hard they turned into tiny booklets and the room emptied.

A couple of days after I watched The Accountant, I realized something powerful. I don’t remember a whole lot about The Accountant.

The experience while watching it had some okay moments, but for the most part, nothing anymore stands out. It is a completely forgettable film, and that is not a good thing at all. If I wrote this review right away after watching it, it would have still only been a 2 out of 4.

But at this point, a die hard Ben Affleck fan, I am just wondering what happened? Is it worth ever seeing again? Shit, should I even watch Live By Night? I feel like I am automatically going to get the exact same reception for that film, and I can’t handle that happening right now. Another recent movie is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and I don’t think I can handle that much shitty Ben Affleck in a row. I cannot go back the early 2000’s. Gone Girl was supposed to help lead to better roles, not worse!

I am just worried about my friend. Most of his upcoming films involve DC and I don’t want him to lose his acting career. He is lucky he even has one after all those shitty movies in the before time, here is no way he can survive a second falling out.

The Accountant is a forgettable action thriller. It might have smart moments, but it is not anything that I will care about discussing in the future, unfortunately.

1 out of 4.

Trolls

This is my fourth movie this year reviewing with Anna Kendrick in it, and it hasn’t been a great year. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates was on top, above Mr. Right and Get A Job, all very mediocre to poor. Sorry, I haven’t hit The Accountant yet and The Hollars looks good too, but that is still six movies this year.

After the year she had been having, I wasn’t super surprised to see her starring in Trolls as well. Trolls is probably one of the most least anticipated animated movies of the year for me, after Sing.

I mean, I get it. Getting rights to old toys to make new movies for is in right now. The Smurfs movies did okay, why not create a world about Trolls? Gotta get that merchandising money back somehow right? Fuck new risks!

Sorry, I almost complained about films these days. Trolls just seems like a lazy cash grab, and they have been hyping it since Timberlake released that song like, six months ago at least. I am trolled out already and I haven’t even been forced to see a real advertisement for it.

Hug
One of those trolls is a fucking giraffe what is going on here?

The Bergens are large, basically ogre like entities that are disgusting and sad, lives devoid of happiness. The Trolls are tiny creatures full of color who are always partying and full of happy. The Bergens hate them and are jealous of them and also found out that when they eat Trolls, they get to feel happiness inside of them and it is kind of a big deal. So they captured all of the trolls and every Bergen eats one on a holiday called Trollstice.

Except this year they have escaped underground, thanks to King Peppy (Jeffrey Tambor), saving every last troll, including his baby daughter Peppy (Anna Kendrick). This gets the Bergen Chef (Christine Baranski) into quite a big trouble, because King Gristle (John Cleese) cannot feed his baby, Prince Gristle (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). So the Chef gets banished from the kingdom. The Trolls find a new place to live and they party for ever after.

Until twenty years later. Princess Poppy is throwing a huge party to celebrate being free of the Bergens. Everyone is going to be there, everyone but Branch (Justin Timberlake). The weird troll who is grey, doesn’t sing, doesn’t dance, doesn’t HUG. He warns them not to do the party like that or else the Bergens will come. And sure enough, the Chef Bergen finds them and takes all of Poppy’s friends. All of them, even the spiritual one (Russell Brand). So Poppy decides to get the rest of the Trolls into hiding and trick Branch into coming along with her to rescue them!

Back at Bergen Town, the Chef is getting back into business with the handful of trolls she captured. The king is dead, so the new king is that poor Gristle Jr. who never got a Troll before and he decides to restore Trollstice to make his kingdom happy! There is also a small maid, Bridget (Zooey Deschenal), who likes the king. This plays a part in the plot.

So yeah, get into the town, save the friends, and you know, survive. Whoa re the friends? Well, a lot of them are played by famous people, but if you asked me their character names I would have no fucking clue, as they kept them kind of hard to figure out and match. But we have Gwen Stefani, James Corden, Ron Fuches, Aino Jawo, Caroline Hjelt, Kunal Nayyar, Quevenzhane Wallis, Walt Dohrn, and Rhys Darby! Oh okay, fine, I could figure out who Guy Diamond was based off of his name.

Scary
They live in a scary place where literally everything has a mouth and eats something.

Oh hey, Trolls. Of course it was a Jukebox Musical in some regards, and I hoped to see something creative. Instead, for the most part, the songs were bad mash ups with a loosely related theme and just choruses to get the little kids moving their feet. I don’t hate Jukebox Musicals, I just hate bad music ones. It was overall a lesser Happy Feet in that regard, but better than Strange Magic.

Overall there were two really good musical moments, one was the song Get Back Up Again which is technically the only original song in the musical (Does the JT one count as original?), and another song near the end that captured the emotions of the moment extremely well. It might have made me cry, but crying does not mean I give the film a passing grade. There was also a very awkward song moment with Deschanel’s character. She gave a unique voice for Bridget, but when Bridget sang it was uncomfortable as the voice did not transition at all into the song.

The colors are bright and kid friendly, but the animation style on its own felt quite dull. It felt too fuzzy and well, doll like. Again, their intentions I am sure to sell toys, but it wasn’t too visually pleasing.

The world they created was an incredibly scary place, as there is a recurring joke of how almost everything eats something else. It frightened me and not in a sexy way.

Plot wise, about 20-30 minutes in it was pretty easy to figure out how the whole thing would end. And yeah, it was true. The love plot between Bridget and the King, although arguably necessary, felt like it was taking too much time from the rescue plot. There are not a lot of surprises in this film, nor intellectual humor. They have a character who farts glitter, and another character who shits cupcakes. Yay butt humor.

Overall Trolls is just okay, which is better than I expected. There are only a few more cartoon movies to go this year and the only place this one will make an impact in the awards is nominations for Best Song, I imagine. It is unfortunately also really dated. They decided to make the Trolls super modern, so they are saying YOLO, OMG and more terms to connect to the youth of today, meaning no one will give a crap about it in ten years.

2 out of 4.

Get A Job

Anna Kendrick movie tracker #3? Yeah, this is number 3 for the year. Unless I post it before Mr. Right like a jackass. This is the second of the three that is also straight to DVD, what fun!

However, Ms. Kendrick isn’t the focus of the film. She is technically just a side character, in a handful of scenes, and not super relevant to the plot. She is all over the cover of Get A Job though.

Oh yeah, this is supposed to be me talking about the movie. I have no idea what Get A Job is about going into it, but damn it, I surely had some pretty dang obvious guesses.

Sex/!
The over/under for hearing the term Millennials is 15.

This movie is actually about Will Davis (Miles Davis), well known slacker and pothead. Well, only the occasional bong stuff. He is about to get hired at a shitty internet clickbait journalism site, so he is celebrating with his dad (Bryan Cranston) and girlfriend (Anna Kendrick). His dad gives him some money, finally ready for his son to be a man and need no more handouts.

But of course, day one into the job he is fired. Right as he walks into the door, they couldn’t hire like they thought they could. He lives with a group of guys, not his girlfriend. Charlie (Nicholas Braun), a slacker who is getting a job as a chemistry teacher somehow. Ethan (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), a slacker who is making an app to help stalk people. And Luke (Brandon T. Jackson), a slightly harder working slacker who is getting a job as a stock broker!

Yay jobs for everyone. Except for Will. And for Will’s dad, who also loses his job despite being with the company forever. Shit, being unemployed is hard, especially in today’s world. Thankfully, Will gets a job that eventually matches his passions, making videos for some corporate company. His boss (Marcia Gay Harden) hates him, the bosses boss (Bruce Davison) likes him, and the other kind of boss (Alison Brie) wants his body, but hey, money is money. And I guess, really, this movie is just about getting jobs in this day and age and the struggles they bring.

Also featuring in smaller roles, Greg Germann, John C. McGinley, Jorge Garcia, and John Cho.

Ties
Corporate jobs means ties. Ties get in the way of food. Corporate jobs hate food.

I expected Get A Job to be a completely shit movie. And honestly, on some levels, it is still that film. It is mostly an incredibly pointless story. It is simple, basic, and more synonyms. The only thing that can possibly make this a worthwhile film experience is if the comedy is on point.

And you know what? It barely reached a good enough level at that. Davis’ character isn’t very funny, being our lead. Cranston is giving a few amusing moments, but he also basically plays a straight man this time around. All of the humor that actually interested me in this movie came from Braun and Jackson. For whatever reason, I found the chemistry/coaching plot from Braun to be almost hysterical. I didn’t giggle out of my seats, but I definitely tittered. Jackson’s scenes, especially with McGinley were a nice change of pace. Higher energy and a bit stressful.

Everything else you can practically ignore. The main plot line is meh. Kendrick is barely in the film. Mintz-Plasse’s plot is pretty shitty.

No one will ever watch this movie and change their life from it. No one will probably really watch this movie over ten times in their life. But for whatever reason, two side character plots just really clicked with me and put this film into mediocre territory.

2 out of 4.

Mr. Right

Anna Kendrick is in six movies this year. Six! That is a crap ton for a single year.

Yes, one of them is animated, so just voice work for Trolls. And two of them I don’t know a thing about. And a wide release comedy. But then there were two films that had extremely limited release, basically straight to DVD.

Mr. Right, of course, and Get A Job. Now going into Mr. Right, I am super biased against it, because I accidentally watched the trailer and basically cringed through out it. Had I not known anything, I might have been a bit more optimistic. But factors working against it include a cringey trailer, a lame title, and a very big age gap between our two romantic leads. Arguably that last point should be put under cringey though.

Couple bitches
At least the fashion is bangin’.

Oh, Martha McKay (Anna Kendrick), why do you like such assholes? She is ready to surprised her boyfriend at his place, and he shows up with another lady. Great. So now she is drunk and sad and going to be miserable for ever. Not even playing with kittens seems to help.

Then she runs into Francis (Sam Rockwell). Literally. He does something impressive and invites her out on a date. Right then and there, not knowing anything about her, and she says sure. And aww, it is nice. He might be the one. Sure, she doesn’t know his name, but she will find it out eventually.

Francis also used to be a very high paid assassin. However, he grew some morals and didn’t want to do it anymore. Instead, he would go back and kill the people who paid him to kill someone else. Obviously the morals are shaky and it doesn’t make a lot of sense. So people are out to get him now, as he pissed off many groups of people. Hopper (Tim Roth) used to be a co-worker and is the main antagonist here.

Francis likes Martha and Martha likes Francis. And technically he doesn’t like to her when he says he just killed a person, but she thinks it is a joke. However, eventually she finds out, conflict, some action stuff, and then some more romance. Typical, you know?

Also featuring, as mostly bad people and hitmen, RZA, Michael Eklund, James Ransone, Jaiden Kaine, and Anson Mount.

Nose
Gotta have a killing trademark, I guess.

Mr. Right was written by Max Landis, that guy who did American Ultra and other writing things that people love. He is super active in Hollywood right now (not Anna Kendrick active, but high for a writer). American Ultra was weird and unique but still landed to be just okay. Mr. Right is average, kind of dumb, with the occassional great moments. That is not a good sign for Mr. Right.

Again, there are some amusing moments. Kendrick goes super adorkable at points, babbling, making funny noises, sure. But that is not a complete movie. Rockwell doesn’t feel charismatic and the couple together never feel great. I can’t see why Martha becomes so smitten by him so quickly. The only real reason we have is just because the writers say so, but they don’t show it in the film well.

As a comedy it is subpar. As a romance it is almost non-existant. And as an action, well, the action is okay. But it is romcom action, not straight up epic action that purely action movies provide. It is mostly just some hand to hand combat fight scenes with a few Rockwell and RZA jokes thrown in.

They should have made some element really stand out. And Rockwell talking to people in a fight is not enough. Mr. Right is overall very forgettable.

1 out of 4.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

Mike. Daveeeeeee. Two pretty bro names. Played by two people who can be pretty bro-like. Maybe a match made in Heaven.

For the most part I tend to miss new comedies that come out because they normally screen against films that seem more important. Not necessarily better films, because they could go against worst movies, just more “important”. Like the first biographical movie of some famous person, or literally any musical, or a blockbuster, etc.

But hey, I got to see Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates! Aka Zac Efron‘s third comedy released this year and it is only halfway done, holy crap. When did Efron become such a comedic working star? Was it…Oh yes. It was with That Awkward Moment when he posed almost completely naked on top of a toilet. That was probably the moment.

Girls
“This movie is sexist! It should have been called Lady1 and Lady2 Need To Get Their Free Vacation On!”

Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) are brothers who like to party. They finished school, but have made their adult living selling liquor to bars, which sounded cool, and is cool! But also unfulfilling. Blah blah blah, family drama, Dave is actually a good artist but he just wants to hang out with his older brother and chill hardcore. And their younger sister, Jeanie (Sugar Lyn Beard) is getting married! To Erik (Sam Richardson), yes a black man, and their wedding is in the wonderful Hawaii. However, there are concerns over Mike and Dave’s party behavior from Jeanie and their parents (Stephen Root, Stephanie Faracy). Every time they get drunk and hitting on women, disasters strike and they ruin the party.

So they give them the task that they have to bring wedding dates. Some nice girls, so they will flirt with them and not hit on everyone else and ruin things. They post an ad on craigslist, this gets them pseudo famous, and it gets Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick) interested. Free vacation! Alice is down in the dumps, what, with getting left at the alter and all.

They decide to dress up, look nice and make up jobs and meet Mike and Dave to convince them to take them to Hawaii! And hey, it works. As you knew.

Of course, they are “hot messes” and only help riley up Mike and Dave more. Hooray destination wedding!

Also featuring Chloe Bridges as the Maid of Honor, Lavell Crawford as the Best Man, Alice Wetterlund as the bisexual cousin, and Kumail Nanjiani as the very foreign massage artist.

Props
Hell, I’d be willing to go to Hawaii as their dates as well.

After watching MaDNWD (that’s the beautiful acronym of this movie title), my first thought is that I really wanted to see Wedding Crashers again. However, I had no desire to ever see MaDNWD again.

I don’t think this is a bad movie, I just think it had a lot of decent potential and it was wasted on more immature comedy elements. Devine is the “Extreme” brother, so everything he does is at the highest levels to garner a reaction. It is just over the top, but for the most part no one else reaches his level. Efron tries at times, but his character is given a lot more of the more natural humor and Devin is playing just the exact opposite.

I liked Efron and Kendrick in this one (barely with Kendrick), but mostly just hated the Plaza and Devine characters. Devine is meant to be annoying, and hey, it works. Plaza is still going hardcore into these extremely crude characters, briefly starting with The To-Do List and hardcore into Dirty Grandpa. Neither were super funny and that is half of their dang cast.

The funniest scenes were the ones that weren’t spoiled by the trailer. They shouldn’t have shown the ATV scene, such a waste. The massage scene was my favorite, along with the “boring” scene. But for the most part, the plot went almost exactly the way you’d expect it to go.

No surprises here. Occasional laughs. Some full frontal female nudity and a whole lot of butts.

I do wonder though, where the hell was the Bocce competition? I was really excited to see Bocce in a popular big release film. But that shit got trailer mentions and no actual screen time. Booooo.

2 out of 4.

Cake

Yay Cake!

Finally a film to give me what I want, which is cake, cake frosting, really anything cake related. This film will put cake so high up on the map, kind of like what the film did for Butter (and for Jennifer Garner‘s accent).

Hopefully it shows cake in all of its wonderful forms. The Wedding Cake, the Birthday Cake, the Cupcake Cake, the Cheesecake, the “just because we want a cake, fuck you!” Cake. I also hope it covers up some of the dark past for cakes, because this should celebrate the cake, and not focus too much on the negatives.

Cry
“I just love cake so. Damn. Much.”

Claire Bennett (Jennifer Aniston) isn’t actually a cake aficionado, but more of a hurt and depressed lady. She lost a child in a car accident, where she herself got pretty injured. She has a lot of back troubles and even goes to a therapy group for people experiencing lots of pain. The story begins a whole year after the accident and right after Nina Collins (Anna Kendrick), another member of the group had committed suicide.

But things aren’t going good for Claire. Her kid gone, her marriage to Jason (Chris Messina) in ruin, her back all sorts of messed up. Her back hurts so much, she can’t drive, and her housekeeper Silvana (Adriana Barraza) puts up with constant complaining and pessimism to drive her too.

Basically, Claire hates everything and maybe she hates things enough to do what Nina did. She ended it all and is probably better for it. Can’t Claire just do the same? Before she decides, she should investigate by hanging out with Nina’s old lover (Sam Worthington) and her son. That sounds like a perfect idea!

Also featuring a bunch of other women and one dude: Mamie Gummer, Felicity Huffman, Lucy Punch, and William H. Macy.

Jesus
“Two rules, man: Stay away from my fuckin’ percocets and do you have any fucking percocets, man?”

Yeah, I know, it sucks that this film had so little to do with actual cakes. But to be fair, there are a couple cakes in it! I am pretty sure I saw too, but part of me also thinks I might have made up one of the cakes to fill my cake void.

The story we did get with Cake can really only be described as okay. The main issue with it was that it didn’t tell the narrative in the easiest of ways to follow. We had to watch Claire wallow for so long without knowing the details behind things. It is hard for one to emotionally connect with a character without getting better information on why they are so repugnant, angry, and basically given up the will to live.

That being said, Aniston does some mighty fine acting here, probably the best of her career. She is raw, emotional and full of flaws, but again without that connection, I didn’t care about her journey. The only other character given a lot to work with is Barraza as the housekeeper, who also does a fantastic job and is definitely someone the viewer can relate to and pseudo cheer for throughout the film. At the same time, her character makes so many aggravating choices given how Claire acts, it is still not one to save the film.

The other men and women involved with the project don’t matter as much in the film, so they can only help it so little.

If you want a well acted Drama from a famous A-lister, this could be a good bet. But if you want something that will really tickle your emotions and take you on a journey, this one will just leave you in the parking lot.

2 out of 4.

Pitch Perfect 2

What up Pitches!!

First of all, I accidentally themed this week. I present to you, Yay Women Week. It should be self explanatory.

I was excited for Pitch Perfect, for like, the year before it came out when I first heard about it. I love it when people make music with their mouths. And I liked a lot of the people in it.

So of course I was excited about Pitch Perfect 2. Well, assuming they had a plot that made sense. I was excited about the additions to the cast and the fact that Elizabeth Banks was directing. But I didn’t understand why certain cast members, who should be gone and out of the picture, have returned.

Rawr. Don’t make a nonsensical movie for familiarity sake! It is a big problem with high school and college movies or shows. I am looking at you Glee. You needed to let your members move on not take it away from high school.

But again, I will forgive it if the plot makes sense. But only then.

Sleep
Or if I really like the music. That trumps a lot of potential bad other things.

The Bellas are back, Bitches! Like literally, most of them are still on the team (Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hana Mae Lee, Ester Dean, Alexis Knapp, Shelley Regner, Kelley Jakle) and even Chloe (Brittany Snow) who refuses to graduate. The only newish member is Flo (Chrissie Fit), who is an immigrant and thus fulfills a lot of new joke material, offensive or otherwise.

Three years later, this is their senior year, and they totally won the next two years of competition too. However, while doing a nationally televised performance, some bad things happen, and the Acapella committee is going to disband their group to make sure everyone knows that things are bad. They can’t recruit, they can’t compete in the national title, nada.

Well, apparently every four years, there is a world competition though. And the winner of the American National always gets to go the next year, so they at least get that right. And sure, if they win, they can keep their team. If you follow the film time line, that means the Treble Makers would have competed in it the year Aubrey (Anna Camp) blew chucks, but you know, continuity things. They do get a new member in Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), because her mom was a Bella. She likes to sing her own music.

So there you go, a very simple plot. Beat all the other countries at singing, especially those very sexy, very well choreographed and amazing German singers in Das Sound Machine (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Flula Borg). Oh, but maybe there is more? Maybe Beca also has to worry about her life after college and actually becoming a music producer with intense internships? Yeah, jobs are still important!

And you know, this movie features a shit ton of people. Of course John Michael Higgins, Skylar Astin, Ben Platt and Adam DeVine. But also Katey Sagal and Keegan-Michael Key! And some of the Tonehangers with new people! And other cameos I don’t want to spoil or tag! And that Pentatonix group! And the Green Bay Packers!

Packers
I assume everyone in this picture is Aaron Rodgers.

I am officially flooded with actors, I think I can avoid tagging anyone in my next two.

Let me start off by saying that I am a bit disappointed that I didn’t get to give this a 4 out of 4. So when I talk about negatives, remember I still enjoyed the movie overall. It is hilarious. For the most part the songs are good. Sure, a few songs features I might absolutely hate in real life, but I got over it. I mean, fuck, the final song out of no where made me all teary eyed, just like the first time. I am actually mad I can’t get the soundtrack immediately to see if they messed up a few songs like he first movie. The friendship chemistry is fantastic. They “Expanded” on the Riff Off game from the last movie, in a new and probably better way. I laughed a ton. The analysts got even more dicey!

But my issues. Ugh. Most of my problems come from a misuse of the cast. Skylar, my favorite part of the movie, felt like he was barely in it. He got one main song, and was in the pseudo-Riff Off. But that was about it. He was so pointless, and he didn’t even talk about movies. Other Bellas, namely Cynthia-Rose, Lilly, and Stacie, felt like they barely had any lines or reason to be in the movie. The former got to sing a bunch, but their jokes went way way down and felt wasted. Even Ben Platt technically got less screen time. So many individuals who were there but didn’t seem to matter. THey tried to fit too much in the movie.

Hailee was wonderful though. Sure, they tried to force this weird Flashlight song down our throats. The original I kind of hate, but by the end of the movie, the few different versions seemed to grow on me. I am probably still going to grab this movie day one on Blu-Ray and watch it again and again, although arguably it is of some lesser quality than the first film.

3 out of 4.

The Voices

The Voices is a movie that came out in early February that I really wanted to see as soon as I heard the plot. But I am not talking about the plot right now, I am talking about Ryan Reynolds.

He had a relatively quiet year in 2014, but that is because he was working so hard to make 2015 a full year for himself. First with this movie, we have at least three other movies where he is the star or a main star coming out this year, across all genres. Family drama, dark comedy, action, sci-fi-drama. How diverse, Ryan! You really want to get away from the stoner comedies! And let’s not forget that next year he gets to be a Superhero and an animated voice again. Jeez.

Maybe it is just that he got himself a better agent. Or maybe ScarJo was holding him back and Blake Lively is actually good at something?

…Yeah, you’re right. Probably the agent.

Dance
All he really wanted was to dance more in his movies. The Sam Rockwell clause, if you will.

Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) is just you average loner guy. He doesn’t have a lot of skills, working as a worker in a factory that makes toilets. Like, lifting and boxing. Very minimal skills. He lives alone with his two pets, a cat, Mr. Whiskers (Ryan Reynolds) and a dog, Bosco (Ryan Reynolds). No, don’t worry, he isn’t dressed up as his pets. He is just their voices, because they totally can talk!

Well, only to him. No one else can hear them. Did I mention Jerry had an abusive child hood, where some seriously fucked up shit went down? Yeah. He is taking pills for his head voices, from his therapist Dr. Warren (Jacki Weaver). But the pills make the world a much sadder place and make everyone seem mean. No, he is happier without the pills.

After all, there is a cutie at work Fiona (Gemma Arterton) who gave him notice and danced with him at the holiday party! So he likes her back. But maybe she didn’t like him too much and she was just friendly. Oh well, either way, they should date.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t have many people to ask advice too, because he doesn’t have any real friends. Guess his pets will have to do. And his cat his a straight up dick. Also featuring Anna Kendrick and Ella Smith as the rest of the accounting department at his work!

Pets
In retrospect, maybe he should have played has the animals in costumes as well. It worked for Wilfred!

Yeah, we get to see Ryan Reynolds play a serial killer and make some pet voices too. Hooray! The first thing I noticed while watching this movie is that it was carefully crafted visually. Someone knew exactly what they wanted to show and how to show it. And the visuals again, were great. The use of color, the difference between his life on and off pills, how other people perceive him, all great. The next thing I really enjoyed was…Ryan Reynolds!

Hey, that is pretty good, because he is the star/main character of this movie. But he actually acts. He isn’t the douche bag role, or a simpleton nice guy. He is a full character and it was kind of impressive. Not sure if because I don’t expect that much from Ryan or what, but I really enjoyed it. Sure, his voices were fun too.

If I had any issues with it, I would just say I didn’t like the ending as much. Things started to unravel, everything went crazy, Jerry was losing it, which all makes sense. But the actual ending just felt a bit of a let down. I was expecting something more, and it just didn’t keep up the momentum that was building. Now the credits were great though. Hell yes to those credits.

Overall, still, a very interesting an enjoyable film. After all, it is pretty weird, and I fucking love weird.

3 out of 4.