Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Giveaway: Pitch Perfect Prize Package & Review

Summary: A musical tale of collegiate a cappella filled of high notes, high drama, and high jinks is now a major motion picture.

Get ready to be pitch slapped.

The roots of unaccompanied vocal music stretch all the way back to Gregorian chants of the Middle Ages, and collegiate a cappella is over a century old. But what was once largely an Ivy League phenomenon has, in the past twenty years, exploded. And it’s not what you think. Though the blue blazers and khakis may remain, a cappella groups at colleges across the country have become downright funky.

In Pitch Perfect, journalist Mickey Rapkin follows a season in a cappella through all its twists and turns, covering the breathtaking displays of vocal talent, the groupies (yes, there are a cappella groupies), the rock-star partying, and all the bitter rivalries. Rapkin brings you into the world of collegiate a cappella characters—from movie-star looks and celebrity-size egos to a troubled new singer with the megawatt voice. Including encounters with a cappella alums like John Legend and Diane Sawyer and fans from Prince to presidents, Rapkin shows that a cappella isn’t for the faint of heart—or lungs.

Sure to strike a chord with fans of Glee and The Sing-Off, this raucous story of a cappella rock stars shows that sometimes, to get that perfect harmony, you have to embrace a little discord.

On Monday evening, I was fortunate enough to attend an advance screening of the new (and what's sure to be big!) movie Pitch Perfect with one of my best friends! I admit that I was pretty excited to attend my first movie premiere, and I didn't know what to expect. The only instructions I had were to check in at the main table and give them my name -- simple enough. What I found to be rather interesting, though, was the security surrounding the event! Not only were our purses searched, but two security guards waved wands over our bodies. I guess they were checking for weapons?

Anyway... after I gave my name, we were escorted into the movie theater and shown to our seats. I was still joking with my friend about the security check when I saw that we had two "reserved" signs on the back of our seats. I should mention that my friend was beyond impressed and immediately forgot about the entire search... not! The theater wasn't quite full; however, there was a nice crowd consisting of all age groups -- there were even a few children who were definitely younger than 13 (Pitch Perfect has a PG-13 rating!) I think most of the attendees had won tickets from a few local radio stations, because they became very excited when the on-air radio personalities made guest appearances. There were even random giveaways for tee-shirts and sunglasses, but none was thrown anywhere near us.

Pitch Perfect gives viewers an inside (albeit irreverent) look inside the world of college a cappella groups. (The movie is based on the book PITCH PERFECT: THE QUEST FOR COLLEGIATE A CAPPELLA GLORY by Mickey Rapkin.) The main character is Beca, a misunderstood goth-girl who just wants to go to Los Angeles and make music. However, her father wants her to try a year at college first. And he means really try. He asks Beca to join one activity on campus and give it her all. After much reluctance, she decides to join the a capella group the Barden Bellas.

The Barden Bellas is a traditional a cappella group whose bossy leader is reluctant to try anything new. After a fiasco at last year's Nationals, no one on campus even wants to be part of this musical group; and they are forced to accept a bunch of "misfits"... including Beca. Naturally, there is much drama between the girls, tons of competition with the successful all-guy a cappella group on campus, and even a little romance between the musicians. It's up to Beca to convince all of the girls that they need to "change their tune" if they want to win Nationals!

I am the first to admit that I don't attend a lot of movies, and that I rarely like comedies. I have to say that I found Pitch Perfect to be a lot of fun, and I thought the music was terrific! In fact, I have to say that Pitch Perfect exceeded my expectations. I was honestly surprised by how much I laughed. Granted, most of my guffaws were as result of shocking scenes and even some crude humor; but overall, I found this movie to be highly entertaining. I'm normally a watch-checker during movies; however, I didn't once glance at the time. I just sat back and enjoyed the show.

I loved the casting and I thought many of the voices were outstanding (especially Anna Kendrick's character Beca) I recognized some familiar faces in Brittany Snow and Anna Camp, and I also liked "discovering" some new-to-me talent. However, it was Rebel Wilson (aka Fat Amy) that stole the show! My friend and I both agreed that she was by far our favorite character; and I think I laughed at every time she opened her mouth... or gyrated... or made a weird facial expression.... or pretty much anything!

I wasn't exactly sure that Pitch Perfect would appeal to me since it does take place on a college campus, and with that setting, I knew to expect some raunchy and/or juvenile humor. Since I know that my 13 year old daughter is very interested in this movie, I considered it a bonus that I could see it first. I know for a fact that I'm more conservative than most when it comes to what I want my kids to watch; however, I also know that my daughter is thirteen and technically able to see PG-13 movies. AGH!

I admit that there were quite a few things in Pitch Perfect that might be considered inappropriate (that doesn't mean that they weren't very funny though!), and I guess I'm still reeling from the idea of what's considered "okay" for young teens to see. I'm about 95% sure right now that I would take my daughter to see this movie, but I know I would want to be there with her -- if that makes sense. I am only say this as a heads up to other moms who are reading this, but Pitch Perfect has scenes that reference/feature drug use, homosexuality, underage drinking, and sex. There is also a lot of groping, rubbing, and crotch-grabbing which I know makes me sound like a prude, but I just wanted to put it all out there! 

What I found a little strange about Pitch Perfect is that I'm not sure who the target audience is -- not that it really matters. The movie kind of sent some mixed messages. The story takes place on a college campus, but I'm not sure it would appeal to most college-age kids. There is definitely adult humor, but there are also some very sweet moments that older teens and adults might find a little too saccharine. (Note: Not this adult because I'm a sucker for a love story in a movie!) There are also some references to The Breakfast Club movie which definitely appeals to women my age; however, I didn't feel like it was targeted directly towards me. I've come to the conclusion that I'd have to say it's aimed at young teen girls. I know my daughter and her friends are buzzing about the movie and I do think most young teen and tween girls would love it! But then I go back to some of the humor and adult situations, and I have to wonder if they were all necessary...

Overall, I definitely recommend going to see Pitch Perfect! It's a highly entertaining movie that has a lot to offer -- music, dancing, comedy, and romance!

Soundtrack Track Listing
1. Don't Stop The Music (The Treblemakers)
2. Let It Whip (The Treblemakers)
3. Since U Been Gone (Ester Dean, Skylar Astin)
4. Cups (Anna Kendrick)
5. Riff Off: Mickey/Like A Virgin/Hit Me With Your Best Shot/S&M/Let's Talk About Sex/I'll Make Love To You/Feels Like The First Time/No Diggity (The Barden Bellas, The Treblemakers, The BU Harmonics)
6. Bellas Regionals: The Sign/Eternal Flame/Turn The Beat Around (The Barden Bellas)
7. Right Round (The Treblemakers featuring My Name Is Kay)
8. Pool Mashup: Just The Way You Are/Just A Dream (The Barden Bellas)
9. Party In The U.S.A. (The Barden Bellas)
10. Trebles Finals: Bright Lights Bigger City/Magic (The Treblemakers)
11. Bellas Finals: Price Tag/Don t You (Forget About Me)/Give Me Everything/Just The Way You Are/Party In The U.S.A./Turn The Beat Around (The Barden Bellas)
12. Toner (Instrumental Suite) (Christopher Beck, Mark Kilian)

Universal Pictures
In Theaters September 28, Everywhere October 5!

Genre:                                     Comedy           
Cast:                                       Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson, Adam DeVine, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow with  John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks 
Directed by:                            Jason Moore 
Screenplay by:                       Kay Cannon 
Based on the Book by:           Mickey Rapkin  
Produced by:                          Paul Brooks, Elizabeth Banks, Max Handelman 
Executive Producer:              Scott Niemeyer

Beca (Anna Kendrick) is that girl who’d rather listen to what’s coming out of her headphones than what’s coming out of you.  Arriving at her new college, she finds herself not right for any clique but somehow is muscled into one that she never would have picked on her own: alongside mean girls, sweet girls and weird girls whose only thing in common is how good they sound when they sing together, in the new out-loud comedy Pitch Perfect.

When Beca takes this acoustic singing group out of their world of traditional arrangements and perfect harmonies into all-new mash-ups, they fight to climb their way to the top of the cutthroat world of college a cappella.  This could wind up either the coolest thing they’ll ever do or the most insane, and it will probably be a little of both.

Loaded with new takes on old favorites to hits of right now that are seamlessly mixed together, mashed-up and arranged like you’ve never heard before, Pitch Perfect is directed by Jason Moore, who opened our eyes to the very misbehaved life of puppets in the surprise Broadway sensation Avenue Q.  

Giveaway alert: Thanks to the wonderful folks at Universal Pictures, I have two amazing Pitch Perfect Prize packs available to two lucky Booking Mama readers! Here's what you can win:

·         Copy of the book Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory (movie tie-in edition)
·         Pitch Perfect T-shirt
·         Aca-Awesome Magnetic Poetry
·         Plus ear buds, sunglasses, pen & post-it notes

To enter, just fill out the form below before Friday, October 5th at 11:59 p.m. ET. I will randomly select and notify the winners the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. addresses only. Good luck!

Want more about Pitch Perfect?

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Visit the official site to meet the characters, watch clips and get downloads.
Follow @PitchPerfect on Twitter #PitchPerfect
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bermudaonion said...

Since we moved here and I have a friend to see movies with, I've had to learn to just sit back and relax and enjoy the show but I used to be a major watch checker too! lol

A cappella groups are big on campuses right now - it actually sounds like that's the age group this movie is targeted to.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Serena said...

Sounds like an interesting movie, but not really my cup of tea. Thanks for the background and your impressions.

Carol said...

Sounds like a fun movie, but I'm not sure that it's one I'd want my daughter to see. She's 12 and does see a lot of PG-13 movies, but I haven't heard her mention this one yet.