shaneyah-tnShaneyah Galley reviews Pitch Perfect 2

pitch-perfect-2This is going to be a slightly biased review, as I’ve been hanging out to see this movie since rumours of a Pitch Perfect sequel started flying last year. You have been warned.

The movie starts with the infamous President’s birthday concert that lead to the Bella’s being kicked out of the ICCAs. Chloe is utterly devastated, and is determined to win the world championships so that the Bella’s will be reinstated before they all graduate. Well, all except newbie ‘legacy’ named Emily.

We see routines from two new groups – both of whom we saw in the trailer – and renown acapella group Pentatonix make a cameo in the worlds as the Canadian team. One old group (besides the Trebles) makes a comeback with a new member. It’s so hilarious, I’m not going to spoil it for you.

All in all, this movie is a super fun sequel to the original flick. Catchy songs, a cute and kind of weird romance sub-plot, and lots of self-discovery by protagonist Becca. This is definitely one to see with your friends and lots of popcorn. Major props to Elizabeth Banks who produced the last film, and makes her directorial debut with this one.

Belinda_kisses_tnNow see what Belinda Hamilton thinks.

Pitch-Perfect-2-posterThe Bella’s are back, as are the fun A Capella battles and the great soundtrack.

This time they are trying to save face, or should I say, butt, from a disastrous performance for President Obama, you’ve seen the trailers… yeah that.

As part of their punishment they’re replaced by the European group on what should have been the Bella’s victory tour. Enter Das Sound Machine, the team they have to beat at the world titles.

The old cast is back and the newbies make me smile, including the Green Bay Packers. Uh huh I agree with Fat Amy on that one.

As with most sequels, the impact isn’t as punchy as the first time around; however, there are just enough laugh out loud and ‘oh no he didn’t just say that sexist remark,’ moments to save it from yawnsville.

I didn’t mind paying the $17.50 it cost to sit in a dark room with perhaps the 6 other people and sing along and snort giggle together.

I just hope they either realise the storyline has run its course and quit while they’re ahead or switch it up considerably if a third instalment to the franchise is to be considered.

If money is tight, wait for the DVD, hopefully the extras will be just as funny and add to the comedic value of the film.

4 out of 5



shaneyah-tnShaneyah Galley reviews iZombie, the new offering from Rob Thomas, the creator of Veronica Mars.

 

 

izombieiZombie: crime and YA with braaaaaaaaaains

As a comics fan, I feel like I should be tired of all the TV and movie adaptations from the last few years. But watching iZombie, I kind of want more.

iZombie is about a woman named Olivia who has the incredible misfortune of having been at a boat party that turned into a zombie attack. She survived – kind of. Unlike most zombie movies, her ‘turning’ was an isolated incident, and life seems to have continued as normal for the rest of the world. Olivia quit her job, broke up with her fiance, and is now dealing with her new un-life as best she can. The only person who knows she’s a zombie is her boss, medical examiner Ravi. He is utterly fascinated by her and shows interest in finding a cure for her “condition.”

So far, the character diversity is a little disappointing – there is one female character besides the protagonist, and only two of the characters are non-white. There’s a major romance subplot, but there’s more than enough wit and murder to balance it.

izombie-promoiZombie is incredibly thematic. Liv, the main character, changes personality and acquires new skills as a result of the brains she eats. It’s a little like Psych, where she pretends to be a psychic to explain her extra-ordinary knowledge about crimes. Unlike Psych she does have vision;, she just doesn’t get them from spirits.

Liv and her zombie issues are an almost perfect analogy for post-adolesent struggles. Liv has her life all figured out before she gets turned, but after it happens, she removes and isolates herself from her old life in an effort to protect her loved ones. This has her understandably spiralling into depression. She is afraid of infecting her fiance, but can’t turn to her family, as they’re confused by her leaving her blossoming career at the hospital for a dead-end (hurr!) job as a medical examiner at the police morgue. It’s a smart move, since Liv can now eat brains in safety and in secrecy, without killing – but of course, she’s not going to tell her mum that.

If you like wit and mystery with a dash of introspective angst thrown in, you’ll enjoy iZombie.

HOWEVER, if you’re already a fan of the comics, you may want to skip this one. Adapting to screen is always dicey; I accept that. But the adaptation of iZombie has broken several of my cardinal rules:

 

  1. Never change character names. In the comics, the protagonist is named Gwen. In the TV show, she’s Olivia.
  2. Don’t remove main characters. iZombie is an ensemble piece, set in a far more paranormal type of universe. Gwen has two besties, one of whom is a werewolf, the other a ghost. So far in the series, Liv has only hung out with her boss and a detective named Clive.
  3. Book-Gwen cuts her family out of her life entirely. TV-Liv is still very much enmeshed with hers.
  4. Book-Gwen is a grave digger by trade, an excellent option for a zombie. TV-Liv is a morgue attendant.
  5. Book-Gwen slowly loses her memories as she consumes more brains – so there are definite costs and balances to her zombie appetite. They may integrate this into the TV show, but they haven’t yet.

Alright, those are almost all of my cardinal adaptation rules, which makes me kind of unhappy.

So in summary: if you’re a comics fan, steer clear of this one and grab the trade. If you’re a fan of fun, crime-y shows and don’t care much for comics, you can enjoy this pretty much guilt-free. Personally, I’m going to have to have a serious think before I sit down for the next episode.

 



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