Sunday, June 17, 2018
Movies

‘Pitch Perfect 3’ is a tacky third wheel on the otherwise charming franchise

Pitch Perfect 3 totally eclipses the heart of a charming franchise, turning the scrappy Bellas a capella posse into needy Charlie’s Angels wannabes. It’s a movie taking popularity for granted, a finale saying goodbye with a "you’re welcome."

Because of course fans who adored stanzas 1 and 2, who picked up singing and Solo cups because Anna Kendrick did, demand to see her leap from an exploding yacht in a freeze-frame intro. That, and Rebel Wilson’s Fat Amy faking martial arts until her stunt double takes over. Feels like a dream sequence until nobody wakes up.

The yacht belongs to Fat Amy’s dodgy father Fergus, giving John Lithgow a reason to manhandle an Aussie accent. Fergus has a nefarious motive for showing up 20 years after deserting the family. Lithgow sings Hard For Me to Say I’m Sorry in that accent. Twice. This is where the Pitch Perfect franchise has gone.

The Bellas are in the south of France where the yacht explodes on a USO tour doubling as a battle of the bands to decide who’ll open for DJ Khaled. That sentence alone shows how far we’re stretching here. Pitch Perfect 3 exists in a universe where DJ Khaled may want a tarted-up Pentatonix opening his hip-hop ragers. Mr. Khaled shouldn’t attempt recording an audiobook anytime soon.

Now the Bellas are underdogs since they aren’t a band; they make mouth music, as Elizabeth Banks’ "doc-a-mentary" producer says. The villains here are guitars and drums. In truly non-Bellas fashion, the villains eventually win.

There’s always time for a song, or snippets doled out in medleys or just ended to show something else. The Bellas ably cover Sia, George Michael and Britney Spears while allowing Kendrick and Hailee Steinfeld the spotlight songs their real-life chart success demands. Ruby Rose fronts their rival band Evermoist, sounding more like DJ Khaled’s type. Lithgow waits in the wings. Pitch Perfect 3 is like watching The Voice, wishing my theater chair could swivel around.

Contact Steve Persall at [email protected] or (727) 893-8365. Follow @StevePersall.

 
Comments
‘Incredibles 2’ just might be better than the original — and a cure to superhero fatigue

‘Incredibles 2’ just might be better than the original — and a cure to superhero fatigue

It’s been 14 years since the premiere of Brad Bird’s beloved animated superhero film The Incredibles, one of the mega-hit Pixar films that cemented its reputation for film humor and heart that would satisfy both parents and children. With cool mid-ce...
Published: 06/13/18
Why is Mister Rogers making adults cry decades later?

Why is Mister Rogers making adults cry decades later?

Neighborly block party comes to downtown Tampa.
Published: 06/12/18
 ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ about Mr. Rogers is much-needed emotional tonic for troubled times

‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ about Mr. Rogers is much-needed emotional tonic for troubled times

If beloved children’s television show host Mr. Rogers were once a representation of all things milquetoast, in the summer of 2018, his message of love and tolerance is not only saintly, it’s radical. In the deftly crafted documentary Won’t You Be My ...
Published: 06/12/18
Yes, ‘Ocean’s 8’ is a heist movie, but it’s also an empowering, cheeky comedy

Yes, ‘Ocean’s 8’ is a heist movie, but it’s also an empowering, cheeky comedy

Most every successful heist movie, just like a heist itself, functions by obeying a well-defined formula.First comes the setup and backstory (typically involving the righting of a wrong, to lend the subsequent lawbreaking a veneer of moral justificat...
Published: 06/06/18
TMZ: Last surviving munchkin from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ dies at 98

TMZ: Last surviving munchkin from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ dies at 98

The last surviving munchkin in The Wizard of Oz has died.Jerry Maren, 98, died last week at a nursing home in San Diego, according to TMZ.The cause of death for the last surviving member of the famous Lollipop Guild, made famous in the 1939 classic, ...
Published: 06/06/18
‘Blind Side’ star is at Tampa Theatre for a screening this weekend

‘Blind Side’ star is at Tampa Theatre for a screening this weekend

BLIND SIDE: Summer Classic Movie SeriesAll summer long, Tampa Theatre is showing classic Hollywood movies. Sunday features not only a screening of 2009’s The Blind Side, but also actor Quinton Aaron, who played Big Mike in the film, for a Q&A. Based ...
Published: 06/06/18
In ‘Hereditary,’ Toni Collette reveals a sixth sense for icy terror

In ‘Hereditary,’ Toni Collette reveals a sixth sense for icy terror

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, as Tolstoy noted in a sentence so right, by the time you started arguing with it Anna Karenina was off and suffering.If Tolstoy got a look at Hereditary, he might’ve added: ...
Published: 06/06/18
Jodie Foster makes ‘Hotel Artemis’ first-class experience

Jodie Foster makes ‘Hotel Artemis’ first-class experience

Hotel Artemis is a shining example of how it isn’t the amount of money spent to make a movie, but how the budget is being spent. Director/writer Drew Pearce has managed to take the money that would be the cape-pressing budget for most superhero movie...
Published: 06/06/18
Summer movie guide: All the superheroes, sequels and quirky comedies to see

Summer movie guide: All the superheroes, sequels and quirky comedies to see

Summer started early this year in Hollywood with the record-breaking release of Avengers: Infinity War, and the marquee Marvel superheroes couldn’t have come at a better time. The box office for the year is down nearly 3 percent, and the industry is ...
Published: 06/05/18
How Ybor City parties inspired the sets of Avengers: Infinity War

How Ybor City parties inspired the sets of Avengers: Infinity War

Thanos has nothing on Plant City native Charlotte Lee.For the Avengers: Infinity War baddie to alter the perception of his surroundings, he needed a Reality Stone, which, according to the Marvel movie’s lore, was a remnant of one of six singularities...
Updated one month ago