This week on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Adam, Dave, Greg and Nick take a look at new release films ‘Pretty Good Friends,’ ‘Ex Machina,’ ‘Clouds Of Sils Maria,’ ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ and ‘Infini′. This episode also contains interviews with Rain Fuller, Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Alex Garland, Anna Kendrick, Hailee Steinfeld, Rebel Wilson and Shane Abbess.
Make sure you listen in to see how you can win a double pass to see Pretty Good Friends and also a chance to win our massive sci-fi pack from eOne Entertainment to celebrate the release of Infini.
Summary: The pitches are back! Set three years later than the original film Pitch Perfect 2 finds the Barden Bellas, now led by Beca (Anna Kendrick), as three time National A Cappella champions. They have finally arrived and get to showcase their skills at a gala attended by President Barrack Obama, but that is when everything goes horribly wrong and Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) suddenly finds herself unwillingly flashing the Prez.
With most of America convinced that it was deliberate the Bellas suddenly find themselves suspended from the collegiate a cappella circuit and being replaced on their national tour by the current German champions Das Sound Machine, led by their bitchy leaders (Birgitte Hjort Sorenson and Flula Borg). As if Das Sound Machine don’t get in their face again the Bellas are told the only way they can get back onto the circuit is if they become the first American group to ever win the World Championships.
The task seems impossible as the Bellas struggle to find their sound and Beca keeps a secret internship from the rest of the group it begins to look like the Bellas aren’t going to have enough firepower to see them even compete at the championships let alone win it. Even the introduction of the talented Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) to the group doesn’t seem to be starting a fire for them. Is this the end for the Bellas?
Australian Cinema Release Date: 7th May, 2015
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: Elizabeth Banks
Screenwriter: Kay Cannon, Mickey Rapkin (characters)
Cast: Skylar Astin (Jesse), Elizabeth Banks (Gail), Flula Borg (Das Sound Machine), Rachel Marie Burgess (Taylor), Anna Camp (Aubrey), Jeff Caperton (David), Ester Dean (Cynthia-Rose Adams), Adam DeVine (Bumper Allen), Chrissie Fit (Flo), Karen Gonzalez (Barb), Desiree Hagadus (D-Ray), John Michael Higgins (John), Kelley Jakle (Jessica), Anna Kendrick (Beca), Alexis Knapp (Stacie), Hana Mae Lee (Lily Okanakamura), Austin Lyon (Frank), Shawn Carter Peterson (Dax), Ben Platt (Benji Applebaum), Shelley Regner (Ashley), Trip Roby (Simon), Katey Sagal (Katherine), Brittany Snow (Chloe), Birgitte Hjort Sorenson (Das Sound Machine), Hailee Steinfeld (Emily), Freddie Stroma (Luke), Rebel Wilson (Fat Amy)
Runtime: 115 mins
OUR PITCH PERFECT 2 REVIEWS & RATINGS:
With the surprise success of 2012’s Pitch Perfect there is little wonder that a sequel has surfaced. Pitch Perfect was to the female audience what American Pie was to males and slotted in nicely for those that were just that little too young for Bridesmaids. But aside from the best thing about the film was that it was unique, new and actually made its audience laugh – something that many comedies around that time certainly weren’t able to do.
Pitch Perfect 2 sees one of the stars of the first film, Elizabeth Banks, step into the director’s chair as she tries to make amends for the fact that she was one of the directors responsible for a segment in the awful Movie 43. Thankfully Banks decides not to do what most music or dance flavored sequels decide to do and she steers clear from creating an exact replica of the first film. Teaming up with the same screenwriter from the first film, Kay Cannon, Banks puts her own unique stamp on this film tipping it right over into the outrageous side of the comedy genre without forgetting that this is a film that also needs heart.
Somehow despite the fact that the seriousness of the first film seems MIA (except for the scenes between Beca and her boss) there is still a lot to like about Pitch Perfect 2. Banks and Cannon pile on the comedy with a huge amount of one-liner zingers that mostly seem to hit their mark. Cannon’s script also shows a fair bit of bravery as she makes John’s (John Michael Higgins) one-liners much more outrageous than the first film. No punches are held back as he brilliantly delivers some sexist and racist gags that take a swing at Indians, Koreans and women to just name a few. The fact that a comedy writer is still willing to take a chance and go there in this time of the nanny state certainly shows that this is a film that is willing to be a little bit different.
As is the case with most sequels somethings aren’t explored that really should be. Beca and Jesse’s (Skyler Austin) relationship seems to be pushed right onto the backburner while Cannon and Banks seem more intent in bringing forward the outlandish comedy that can be obtained with the relationship between Fat Amy and first time round bad guy Bumper’s (Adam DeVine) relationship. The film does miss the serious topics explored in the first film, such as how hard it is for someone to try and live in their parent’s footsteps and doesn’t have a memorable scenes such as Anna Kendrick’s Cup Song from the first time around, but it does deliver a laugh a moment and manages to have a fair say about the music industry with some well written scenes at the recording studio where Beca is interning.
Acting wise it almost seems like Anna Kendrick takes a step back in a franchise that is built around her character. While she is on screen for most of the film most of the memorable comedy moments go straight to Rebel Wilson which seems to be what the filmmakers wanted this time around. Still Kendrick does at times step up to the plate especially with some of her scenes with the talented Hailee Steinfeld, who shows audiences that she can also add comedic acting and singing to her many talents. Is there anything she can’t do?
Pitch Perfect 2 may not quite live up to the greatness of the original film but at least it is different enough to be kept interesting and doesn’t recycle any old storylines. The comedy is certainly ramped up to outrageous and over-the-top and to the film’s credit it does actually work. Rebel Wilson’s rise in Hollywood takes another big step-up but it is perhaps the work of Hailee Steinfeld that this film might be best remembered for. Fans of the franchise may be happy to know that the ending seems to suggest that we may soon have a Steinfeld-led Pitch Perfect 3 on our hands very, very soon.
Summary: A dying Secret Service Agent trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter is offered an experimental drug that could save his life in exchange for one last assignment.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 27th February, 2014
Australian DVD Release Date: 27th June, 2014
Screenwriter: Adi Hasak, Luc Besson
Cast: Marc Andreoni (Mitat Yilmaz), Big John (Louis), Jonas Bloquet (Hugh), Scott Burn (The Butcher), Kevin Costner (Ethan Renner), Eric Ebouaney (Jules), Romane Ferreira (Young Zooey), Amber Heard (Vivi Delay), Tomas Lemarquis (The Albino), Connie Nielson (Christine Renner), Philippe Reyno (Young Agent Vivi), Bruno Ricci (Guido), Richard Sammel (The Wolf), Joakhim Sigue (Abbate), Hailee Steinfeld (Zoey Renner), Alison Valence (Sumia), Michael Vander-Meiren (Jacques), Omid Zader (Sergei)
Not long ago it seemed that the Kevin Costner bubble had burst. The success of films like The Bodyguard and Dances With Wolves were completely forgotten about and he was literally box office poison. Actually he was worse than poison because most of his films never even made it to the cinema – instead they copped the dreaded straight-to-DVD tag. But the past few months have seen Costner return to the past box office success as he has had starring roles in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and Man Of Steel, and now he’s back bigger and better than ever in 3 Days To Kill.
Here Costner plays Ethan Renner a CIA Agent who is good… damn good… at his job, so good in fact that nobody seems to be worried that Ethan is feeling ‘off-colour’ while being involved in a sting to bring down two of the world’s biggest terrorists – The Albino (Tomas Lemarquis) and The Wolf (Richard Sammel). However, things go horribly wrong when The Albino works out that something is up and Ethan collapses while going after him.
With both men gone Ethan’s bad news gets worse when he is diagnosed with a form of brain cancer that will kill him within 3-5 months. After he is stood down as an Agent Ethan decides to try and repair his relationship with his ex-wife Christine (Connie Nielsen) and the daughter he has never really known Zoey (Hailee Steinfeld).
Just as he is beginning to repair these two relationships Ethan receives another surprise when a mysterious (yet incredibly sexy) agent called Vivi (Amber Heard) shows up saying she has an experimental drug that will keep Ethan alive but she will only give it to him if he agrees to keep going after The Albino and The Wolf. As she so elegantly puts it ‘KILL OR DIE!!!’
One of the things that no doubt scares people about 3 Days To Kill is the fact that McG is at the helm. Let’s not forget that this was the man that once directed the Charlie’s Angels films and This Means War. However, on the plus side he was also the man behind the underrated Terminator Salvation and this time he is working with a script that was written by Luc Beeson… a man who certainly knows his way around an action film.
The film itself has a strange feel around it. At times it seems that McG can’t work out whether he wants the film to take an in-depth look at a father and daughter repairing a fractured relationship or whether he wants it to be a straight-out action thriller like the Taken franchise. While pondering this the audience soon becomes aware of the fact that the film’s mood simply mirrors the thoughts going through Ethan’s mind – does he want to be a family man or does he want to remain with the CIA? With that in mind the film works although McG should have had the sense to keep the little bits of humor right out of the film.
3 Days To Kill also sees Kevin Costner take back his mantle of a leading man. Here Costner mixes action with drama in the same way that Liam Neeson has in his recent films. It’s an obvious bid for Costner to try and boost his current on-the-rise-popularity and to be quite honest he does it here with ease. He has charisma, plays the downtrodden man well and any movie buff will see the obvious similarities to the character he played in The Bodyguard, especially when he is carrying Zoe out of the club after she has almost been date raped.
True any actor playing a ‘baddie’ in this film is seriously stereo-typed while Connie Nielson should rightfully feel like she has been ripped off by her character not being fully explored but on the flipside both Amber Heard and Hailee Steinfeld really get to show some skill. Steinfeld shows she is really maturing and while her performance here is nowhere near the effort she put in when doing True Grit she again reminds audiences that when she is called to deliver she does. Then there is Amber Heard who continues her recent sexpot role in Machete Kills with an alluring role that would normally go to the likes of Angelina Jolie. The ending of this film suggests that perhaps they are trying to create a franchise around Heard’s character of Vivi and that certainly wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
At the end of the day 3 Days To Kill is not a masterpiece but if you are looking for an action film that also calls upon a little emotion from its characters then you could do a lot worse.
Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):
Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘3 Days To Kill′: Nil.