Film Friday #231

Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

Three years after the first film, the Barton Bellas are three time defending national a capella champions, performing at the Lincoln Center for the president. Unfortunately Fat Amy’s (Rebel Wilson) vagina gets in the way and they find themselves disgraced and barred from competing nationally. The only way they can restore themselves is by winning the international championships. But it won’t be easy. They’re up against the powerful Das Sound Machine, a German group known for blistering performances, heart-stopping routines and ridiculous accents. Plus Beca (Anna Kendrick) is distracted by her internship at a recording studio, which causes tension with Chloe (Brittany Snow) and the rest of the group. I didn’t love the first Pitch Perfect the first time I watched it but I rewatched it in preparation and definitely liked it more. And I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this outing. Beca is less annoying this time around and the shenanigans at her internship are pretty funny even though Keegan-Michael Key is basically copying Sean Coombes in Get Him to the Greek. Fat Amy and Lily continue to bring major laughs, Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins are hilariously inappropriate as the commentators and the overall message that friendship is priceless and you can move on from a situation without moving on from the people is heartfelt. Not every joke lands, it’s predictable and Hailee Stenfield’s new girl is really generic but if you’re looking for a fun movie to see with your girlfriends you could do a lot worse. 3/5

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Fat Amy’s pillow fight skills were being put to the test

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)

In a universe ruled by a tyrannical empire an alliance of rebel freedom fighters lead by Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) is the only thing that stands in the way of the evil Darth Vader (David Prowse) .  When Leia is captured after stealing the plans to the Empire’s ultimate Death Star weapon she manages to smuggle them out with two droids sending them to find her former ally, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Sir Alec Guinness), On  the desert planet Tatooine R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) and C-3PO  (Anthony Daniels) end up in the hands of young Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). Luke decides to join Obi-Wan to return the plans to the Rebel Alliance but they’ll need a ship, which is where smuggler Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and his Wookie first-mate, Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) come in. The group sets off across the galaxy on an adventure that will change all their destinies. So I’ll be straight, I enjoy the Star Wars experience but I wouldn’t really call myself a fangirl and I haven’t seen these films hundreds of times… or in ten years. I am more of a Star Trek kind of girl. So I am not going to write some big, long epic review of this one or the other two from the original trilogy that Mr O and I decided to watch over a week. What I will say is that A New Hope is fun and exciting and director, George Lucas, does an amazing job of world building, creating a fascinating universe and characters we want to know more about. The practical effects have held up exceptionally well despite being almost 40 years old, as have all the weird and wonderful puppets used to create the aliens. An excellent example of classic science fiction that has stood the test of time. 4/5

Look, if you don't eat your carrots you won't be able to see in the dark

Look, if you don’t eat your carrots you won’t be able to see in the dark

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

The Death Star may have been destroyed but the Empire isn’t sleeping and they set about destroying the secret rebel base. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) escapes and heads off to find Master Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz) and begin his training as a Jedi. Meanwhile Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford), who aren’t doing a very good job of hiding or handling their feelings for each other are captured by Darth Vader (David Prowse). When Luke discovers that his friends are in trouble he must choose between completing his training and attempting to rescue his friends but it won’t be an easy choice since Yoda has warned him that not completing his training will have devastating consequences. I think Empire Strikes Back  is probably my favourite of the original trilogy. Vader is more evil than ever before, we get to hang out with Yoda – who is a riot, we finally get to see some of the real power of The Force both light and dark side and of course there is the big reveal about Luke’s parentage. What’s not to like? While most trilogy’s suffer from having a middle act that is little more than filler Empire Strikes Back rises above its predecessor and gears us up for its explosive ending. 5/5

cdceds

Wearing a beige singlet you are. Fashion icon you are not.

Chalet Girl (2011)

When skateboard champion, Kim’s (Felicity Jones) mum is killed in a car accident she gives up her career and vanishes off the circuit to get a job and take care of her dad (Bill Bailey). When she gets the offer to work as a chalet girl in Austria she reluctantly leaves her dad behind finding herself thrust into a world of privilege she doesn’t fit into or understand. Not only doesn’t get on with her fellow chalet girl, Georgie (Tamsin Egerton) but she thinks the family who owns the chalet are a bunch of stuck up snobs. Her only escape is learning to snowboard with Mikki (Ken Duken), a Finn who enters and bombs out of the resort’s big snowboarding competition annually. Unsurprisingly, Kim is pretty good at snowboarding so Mikki encourages her to enter the competition too… after all she could use the prize money. As Kim trains she and Georgie start to realise they’re not that different after all and she also starts to bond with Jonny (Ed Westwick), the son of the chalet owner but can he be trusted? Don’t get me wrong, this is a big old pile of silly, predictable fluff but it’s also fun and sweet and Jones is such a good actress that she can elevate even a film called Chalet Girl into something watchable. Plus Bill Nighy and Bill Bailey are both hilarious playing their standard dad roles. If you don’t think too hard this is a fun way to while away a Saturday afternoon. 3/5

Kim couldn't understand why her eggs weren't getting beaten

Kim couldn’t understand why her eggs weren’t getting beaten

 

 

30 Comments

  1. The only one I’ve heard of here is Chalet Girl.

    1. Hahaha. I know, right. Too many indie reviews here.

    2. abbiosbiston

      I am not surprised. Some of these films never had much of a theatrical release when they came and and can we really hard to get hold of.

  2. I love that to anyone that has never heard of Star Wars, your layout makes it looks like Chalet Girl is the final part of the trilogy. (Better than those f****g Ewoks, tbh)

    1. abbiosbiston

      It’s not? I wondered why Luke seemed to have traded in his light saber for a snow board!

    2. Hahaha! It does sort of look that way… I scrolled down quick at first looking for Jedi. 🙂 (and I love Ewoks, dammit!)

  3. Gearing up? I can’t wait for winter to watch Star Wars: the next big thing

    1. abbiosbiston

      Me too!

  4. theipc

    I’ve never heard of any of these, thanks for the recos!! Great post!!

    1. abbiosbiston

      I think you would LOVE Chalet Girl!

      1. theipc

        I’m on it!!!!!

  5. I’d beat her eggs, if you know what i mean! (i don’t know)

    1. abbiosbiston

      I think I’d rather not know…

  6. Empire Strikes Back is also my favourite.

    1. abbiosbiston

      It’s definitely the best one.

      1. Glad we agree on that Abbi.

  7. Bill Bailey? Did you say Bill Bailey?!? I’m totally going to watch Chalet Girl now!!!! 🙂 Yeah, we seem to feel similar about Pitch Perfect 2. But I’m a much much bigger Star Wars fan. 4/5??? Hmm. Great reviews, Abbi! 🙂 Return of the Jedi next week?

  8. My hubby & I might rewatch the first SW trilogy before the new one comes out. As for Pitch Perfect 2, well I wasn’t all that interested before but I might rent it as I find Rebel Wilson quite hilarious.

    1. abbiosbiston

      Rebel Wilson is very, very funny. It’s at least worth renting.

  9. Is she really called Fat Amy?? That’s… I don’t even have a word for how awful that is.

    1. abbiosbiston

      She calls herself. According to the film it’s to stop “twig bitches” like the two Barden Belles leaders from calling her that behind her back.

      1. I feel bad for the actress…

        1. abbiosbiston

          I wouldn’t be surprised if she chose it. It’s very much her kind of comedy.

          1. Oh yeah? Wouldn’t know, have no idea who she is :-p

  10. MIB

    Sorry to buck the trend but A New Hope will always be my favourite of the trilogy. Possibly for sentimental reasons as I saw it first time around as a kid (showing my age there…) which kicked off my love of film and fantasy but I won’t deny how good the others are. 🙂

    1. abbiosbiston

      It’s Mr O’s favourite too. I have to admit that I was born after it came out and I didn’t see any of them until I was in my late teens and they were on South African PBS.

  11. I’m not a Star Wars fan, and out of the original trilogy I’ve only seen the first one, but I really do have to praise its awesome world-building.

    1. abbiosbiston

      I know not everyone loves them but it really is the gold standard in world building.

  12. Pretty good viewing week if you ask me. I don’t know if I will watch Pitch Perfect 2… I might at some stage, maybe… maybe…

    Dammit, now I want a Star Wars run again!

    1. abbiosbiston

      It was a pretty good week. You could totally watch Pitch Perfect 2 at home.

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