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(Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was for a poem based in sound, such as using a song lyric. So, thinking of this movie, I tried to incorporate a different song lyric, possibly altered, for each line or two and combine them together. It’s a little different, but hopefully it turned out okay.)

 

Am I part of the cure or am I part of the disease,
Or is that just how I feel? Am I wrong
For feeling so lonely, for feeling so blue?
It’s something to do.
All I know are sad songs.

There’s an old voice in my head that’s holding me back—
You said you loved me; you’re a liar.
There’s not much love to go around
Till I reach the highest ground.
We didn’t light the fire.

Some never pray, but tonight we’re on our knees;
Take my tears and that’s not nearly all.
There will be an answer, let it be;
One day, my father—he told me,
“A tiny rock can make a giant fall.”

(Songs used, in order: “Clocks” by Coldplay, “Am I Wrong” by Nico & Vinz, “Crazy” by Patsy Cline, “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” by Mike Posner (two lines), “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men, “Grenade” by Bruno Mars, “Land of Confusion” by Genesis, “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder, “We Didn’t Light the Fire” by Billy Joel, “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve, “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell, “Let it Be” by The Beatles, “The Nights” by Avicii, “Dream Small” by Josh Wilson)

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MPAA rating: PG-13

I wanted to hope that the Pitch Perfect series might avoid the slump that often comes with a third installment in a franchise, but Pitch Perfect 3 is what I would call a slump, not a total disaster but a slump nonetheless. I was in the minority in actually enjoying Pitch Perfect 2 more than the original, simply because I found it funnier, but Pitch Perfect 3 is undoubtedly the weakest of the three, though still fitfully entertaining.

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Things seemed to be looking up for the Barden Bellas at the end of the second movie, but in order to make another sequel, this third film saddles all of the now-graduated a cappella singers with dead-end jobs and unfulfilling lives, also jettisoning their boyfriends. That way, they eagerly reunite for a new tour/competition, this time entertaining troops in Europe with the USO and vocally sparring against bands with actual instruments for the opportunity to open for DJ Khaled (who is apparently a big deal, though I’d never heard of him before this). That plot sounds too simple of a cut-and-paste from its predecessors, so there’s also a kidnapping spy plot thrown in involving Fat Amy’s conniving father (John Lithgow).

I will say that my enjoyment of Pitch Perfect 2 helped me to bring a lot of good will to this follow-up, and it was nice to see all the Bellas together again for the last(?) time. The colorful personalities are much the same, from Fat Amy’s (Rebel Wilson) boorish self-confidence (why was she so mean to Hailee Steinfeld?) to Lilly’s (Hana Mae Lee) soft-spoken weirdness, which gets an unexpected explanation/punchline near the end. Brittany Snow is still the prettiest of the Bellas (in my humble opinion), and Beca (Anna Kendrick) is still figuring out what she really wants out of the music industry. In fact, one Bella’s absence from the tour (sex-obsessed Stacy, played by Alexis Knapp) due to her pregnancy is a sign that they’re all getting older and indeed need to find their place in the world.

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Aside from the characters, though, the plot is a bit of a mess, with the competition losing much of its weight by the end and Lithgow’s needless villain helming an over-the-top subplot that does feel like the franchise jumping the shark. As evidenced by the strained presence of Elizabeth Banks’ and John Michael Higgins’ aca-commentators, the jokes are also not as funny as in the other films, and the musical moments less memorable. Still, the ending felt like a fitting one for the series, even using one of my and my VC’s favorite songs (George Michael’s “Freedom”). It’s still amusing and I still liked Pitch Perfect 3, but unless they really bring new life to another reunion, I do hope it’s the last one.

Best line: (Calamity, introducing the members of the band Evermoist) “I’m Calamity. This is Serenity, Veracity, and Charity.”   (Fat Amy) “If I joined your group, I could be obesity.”

 

Rank: Honorable Mention

 

© 2018 S.G. Liput
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