Pitch Perfect A Hit For Tweens And Teens

Courtesy:  Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Courtesy: Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Pitch Perfect is one more in an ongoing stream of TV shows and movies attempting to cash in on the success of the song based shows and movies currently being seen all over TV and theater screens across the country.  Needless to say that considering this it is anything but an original work.  It’s another of those works in which an unlikely group of protagonists comes together despite its members’ differences to come out on top and be the best of friends in the end.  Though to its defense one can at least say that lip synched or not, the musical numbers are catchy enough to make the rest of the tween and teen centric story bearable. 

Pitch Perfect is hardly perfect.  Audiences have already seen similar plotlines in the likes of Fox’s Glee.  Even NBC has its own singing contest in which groups compete by singing a capella for a major financial payout at the show’s finale each season.  And anyone who has seen Lindsay Lohan’s starring vehicle, Mean Girls, will see a hint of that movie here, too.  There’s even a touch of Romeo & Juliet with the two a capella groups feuding just as the Capulets and Monatgues, while young Becca (Anna Kendrick) and Jesse (Skylar Astin) play the roles of Romeo and Juliet.  Seeing all of this, one can’t help but wonder how in the world this story managed to stay afloat.  But somehow it did manage it amazingly enough. And thanks to that, it will appeal to its key tween and teen audiences.  Those same audiences will especially enjoy the movie’s musical numbers.  The covers of the familiar pop tunes will have said audiences dancing and singing along in their own living rooms now that the movie has been released to DVD, Blu-ray and digital. 

The movie’s key audiences will no doubt enjoy its musical numbers.  They will also appreciate the dynamic between the movie’s largely female cast as each member brings something different to the table.  Each girl comes from a different background, leading them to have to learn one another and learn how to coexist as a group.  It also leads the Bellas’ long running leader Aubrey (Anna Camp) to learn a rather valuable lesson herself, which eventually leads to the story’s happy, sappy and largely predictable ending.  Sure, its ending is sappy and predictable.  But that can be forgiven considering the lesson it teaches its viewers.  It teaches viewers that by accepting each other for who they are, a group can achieve anything.  It’s for that reason and for the standard romance story and songs that Pit Perfect will hit the right notes with its intended audiences.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Glee Seasons One And Two Will Leave Fans “Singing” Show’s Praises

Courtesy:  20th Century Fox

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox

Fox’s Glee is hitting all the right notes and running on all cylinders now in its fourth season.  And even since its very first season, it’s been pulling audiences of all ages both because of its storylines and because of its musical selections.  With the fourth season pretty much wrapped up and Christmas right around the corner, some audiences might be interested in catching up with this hit show from the beginning.  Luckily for those individuals, the show’s first two seasons are available now on DVD and Blu-ray. 

Audiences will enjoy the first two seasons both for their storylines and music.  They will also enjoy them for their extrinsic value, too.  Right off the bat, audiences will note that the packaging for both Season One and Season Two is a positive.  The sets’ discs are placed on their own spot on “leaves” inside the case opposite one another.  In other words, one disc is on one spot of the “leaf” while the other is on the other side.  This is increasingly becoming the norm for both DVD and Blu-ray box sets.  And it’s a very smart method of packaging said box sets, too.  It saves space on DVD and Blu-ray racks and protects the discs at the same time.

Courtesy:  20th Century Fox

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox

Getting into a deeper level, audiences will enjoy and appreciate the first two seasons of Glee right from the show’s pilot episode.  The show’s pilot episode sets the stage for what has become a pop culture phenomenon.  Teacher Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) takes on the glee club, “New Directions” at his new school to prove himself to the school.  The whole high school “caste” system is there, complete with the belief that the glee club is the school’s “untouchables.”  This actually becomes somewhat funny as Will goes to the length of blackmailing a student with marijuana in order to get said student to join the glee club.  One can’t help but laugh at how Will handles this situation.  While there’s lots of laughs offered throughout this and every episode, Glee also presents today’s harsh realities of high school.  It presents the realities of high school life today in a way in which both young audiences and older audiences alike can relate.  As the old adage states, the more things chance, the more they stay the same.  And older audiences will be able to vouch for that in watching Glee’s first two seasons.

The realities of high school life are directly tackled in the first two seasons of Glee.  They make it entirely relatable for all of its audiences.  Those realities aren’t all that are tackled though.  Anyone who hasn’t been living underneath a rock knows of the increasingly tough financial situation facing so many schools across the country today.  That challenge, too is presented in the show’s second season.  In the show’s second season, New Directions has just lost at Regionals.  And because of budget cuts, the glee club has to prove that it’s worth keeping on at the school.  The music yet again takes center stage, as it serves to impressively illustrate the emotions felt by all involved.

The show’s music and its storylines and presentation of high school life make it a huge hit from the current season, all the way back to its groundbreaking first two seasons.  In picking up the show’s first two seasons, audiences will enjoy them not just for their storylines and music.  They’ll also enjoy the bounty of bonus features included in each set.  Viewers can tune into a jukebox that features songs from the show’s second season.  They can even see everything that went into making the Glee auditorium.  There’s even a hilarious feature with star Brittany S. Pierce that shows the person behind the show.  Fans will get to see the process of getting ready for the show, from her trailer to make-up and more.  Fans will be left laughing out loud with this bonus feature.  It’s just one of so many more from both of the show’s first two seasons that will make them worth the watch both on DVD and Blu-ray.  Both Season One and Two are available now in store and online.  They can be ordered online direct at Fox’s online store, http://www.foxconnect.com

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Glee Hits Lots Of High Notes Again In Season Three

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment/20th Century Fox Television

Fox’s Glee has been one of television’s big hits since its very first season.  This little show that could has earned the adoration of fans of all ages with every episode.  Now with the show’s third season the show is just as much a hit with fans as ever.  It keeps the standard of crossing musical genres and brings in even more guest stars.  And of course, Jane Lynch is just as entertaining as ever.

Glee has been a fan favorite largely because of its array of musical choices.  From the likes of Journey to Madonna and Britney Spears all the way to Van Halen, Duran Duran and others this season, the show has kept audiences rocking with its selection.  But the song selections are just one part of what makes Glee’s third season worth the watch.  Sure it covers the drama that its younger viewers will continue to appreciate and relate to.  But it also covers some much more important topics such as bullying and the dangers of texting and driving.  Being that this year’s election recently ended, audiences will appreciate the school’s class election episode.  Not only does it somewhat spoof bigger elections, but it also ties in the major problem of bullying among teens.  And it does it in a way that will reach older audiences, too.  And when a couple of the cast are about to get married, audiences are left with a cliffhanger when one of their friends is hit by a truck as a result of her texting and driving.  The episode that follows drives home the message to the show’s intended audience about the dangers.  The show’s writers are to be highly commended for taking the responsibility to help in the movement to drive home this point.

Season Three’s episodes make for an enjoyable watch.  They however are only part of the overall success of this new set.  Just as with the show’s previous seasons, the packaging goes a long way towards its overall success.  The set is placed into a slim case without placing the discs on top of each other.  Rather, each disc has its own spot inside the case.  They are placed back to back on an insert and on the front and back of the box.  Not only does this save space inside the box, but it also helps to save space on DVD and Blu-ray racks.  Add in episode menus on each disc with a short summary to introduce each episode, and audiences get a fully enjoyable viewing experience.  With the holiday shopping season here, it comes together for a good gift idea for any fan of this hit musical show.  It’s available in stores and online now and can be ordered online direct via 20th Century Fox’s store, http://www.foxconnect.com/glee-the-complete-third-season-blu-ray.html.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks b log at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Three Stooges Update Is Surprisingly Funny

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox

The Farrelly Brothers’ take on everyone’s favorite comic trio is surprisingly entertaining.  On the surface, it would seem that it’s little more than the same style movie as Hollywood’s big screen reboot of Dennis The Menace or The Little Rascals.  But the reality is that those re-imaginings pale in comparison.  Sure the Farrelly Brothers have done much the same thing as what those flicks did.  But at the same time, it’s obvious that they really did attempt to pay homage to the original Stooges.

At first glance, the very thought of modernizing the Stooges makes no sense.  After the utter failures that were Dennis the Menace (and its equally awful sequels) and The Little Rascals, the natural reaction here is to shake one’s head that much the same has been done here.  And while the pop culture references abound (E.g. Jersey Shore, Geico Auto Insurance, etc.), somehow, the Farrelly Brothers managed to balance out the modernization without losing the heart that make the original Stooges so beloved to this day.  Yes, it would have been nice to see the Stooges in their original 1930s and 1940s element.  But at least in this case, the trio’s modernization doesn’t overpower the physical comedy for which Larry, Curly, and Moe became famous.

Sean Hayes (Larry), Chris Diamantopolous (Moe), and Will Sasso (Curly) weren’t the only stars of this big screen remake.  The trio’s interactions with co-stars Sofia Vergara (Modern Family), Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm), and Brian Doyle-Murray (Groundhog Day, SpongeBob Squarepants, etc.) harkens back to the original Stooges’ bits with its constant supporting cast.  It’s obvious through these interactions and the physical comedy together that despite being modernized, the Farrelly Brothers really were making a valid attempt to do more than just toss something up on screen for the sake of throwing it up on screen.  Unlike the people behind the reimaginings of The Little Rascals and Dennis the Menace, the intent behind this update was obviously to entertain and pay the deserved honor to the original Stooges and their fans, too.

The Farrellys succeeded in entertaining audiences nonstop with the combination of classic slapstick comedy.  It took center stage, rather than the updated surroundings.  The pair should also be commended for taking time immediately after the movie to warn all potentially young audiences that the gags used in the movie were not real.  They point out that the hammers, crowbars and other tools were all rubber.  And the sounds used in coordination with said tools were just that.  They were sound effects and nothing more.  They took the time to say to audiences please don’t try what they saw on screen themselves.  It’s all movie magic.  This might have been a minute factor in the grand scheme of things.  But taking such responsibility is deserving of great respect.  So thank you to the Farrellys for that.  And thank you to the Farrellys for this surprisingly entertaining update on a legendary comic act.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.