Pitch Perfect 2 – It’s a Love/Hate Thing

Here it goes, my round two attempt at a movie review. And yes, I know that the category is listed as books and movies but as a second semester high school senior, reading for pleasure is a hard no. Not that I don’t want to, but even finding time to write a blog post or hang out with my friends is a struggle, let alone trying to plow through a 400 page novel. So, book reviews, I’m hoping will come someday when I have a bit more time on my hands.

This week I went to see Pitch Perfect 2 not once, but twice. Yes, I know I’m crazy. The first movie is one of my absolute favourites of all time and I can pretty much recite it to you word for word. I was nervous about going to see the second one because what if it didn’t live up to my very high expectations?

Thankfully it did. It was hilarious but also oddly heart-warming? I loved that the girls had to struggle with moving on in life while still staying connected to the friends and memories they made in school, something I’m currently dealing with as I move into my last month of high school.  Penetonix making an appearance as the Canadian team? Genius. Also, Fat Amy, that is all. Everything Rebel Wilson does in these movies is hilarious.  And of course, if a good a capella movie soundtrack doesn’t amuse you, I don’t know what will. Let’s be honest, the movie doesn’t have a very complex plot, but as a comedy, it was great.

Kind of. The thing is, as much as I loved it, it also made me a little uncomfortable. I felt that a few of the jokes went just a little too far, past the so-called “acceptable” level of offensive humour and edging into the territory of just plain offensive. Now, others may agree or disagree with me on where that line lies (or even if it exists at all) but I had this slight moral struggle after going to see it the first time. Yet I went again.

On the drive home on Tuesday night one of the girls I had gone to see it with made the comment that it was almost easier to swallow the crass humour because of how straight up it was. Other films will dance around topics. You know exactly what they are getting at but they don’t, if you’ll excuse me, have the balls to outright say it. Pitch Perfect on the other hand, both the first and the second, is unabashedly racist and sexist to your face. It’s part of that absurdity that makes it funny.  Still, how can I love a film series so much but not agree with some of the things it promotes? If someone I knew said those things in real life, I would so not be okay with it.

I guess one thing to keep in mind is that it is a comedy. The things they are saying are said purposely to make people laugh, and yes, maybe even to get a rise out of them. The jokes I had a problem with are stereotypical and rude and it’s almost like they are funny just because they dared to say them out loud. Now, I will say, Pitch Perfect also has a secondary level of humour that you catch more of when you watch it more than once, jokes that aren’t so in your face which is one reason I like them.

At the end of the day, I still loved the movie, I still went to see it again, I will still buy it when it comes out. Does that make me a hypocrite to support media that promotes values I don’t agree with? I don’t know. I really don’t have an answer. I just figured I would share my thoughts on a movie I waited anxiously to see and thoroughly enjoyed, even if it made me question what I find funny and why I find it so. Maybe I’m reading way too much into this anyway haha!

What do you think? Have you seen the movie? Were there any jokes that you felt went too far? Am I a hypocrite?! Sound off below!

 Here’s the link to the trailer if anyone’s interested.

– Until next time, Sam

The Imitation Game

*possible spoilers, proceed with caution!*

“Are you paying attention? Good. If you are not listening carefully, you will miss things.”

The-Imitation-Game-group-shot-600x301This is the opening line of the movie The Imitation Game, which centres itself around the story of Alan Turing, a brilliant mathematician who cracked the Nazi enigma code during WWII. He and a group of other linguists and code breakers spend two years building a machine called Christopher capable of sorting through millions upon millions of possible settings for the enigma machine that could be used to crack intercepted Nazi radio communications.

Turing is an eccentric character to say the least. Incredibly intelligent, fairly arrogant and socially awkward, he reminded me a  bit of Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. Played by Benedict Cumberbatch, the acting was really good and I found myself silently egging on the characters, totally engrossed in complexity of the enigma code and the puzzle of trying to solve it. When they finally did, I actually said “wow” aloud in the theatre. The whole concept appealed to my curiosity. The part that broke my heart was at the end. Turing is arrested for being a homosexual, fired from the job he loves, and put on government mandated hormone therapy that changes who he is, to the point where he can’t even complete a crossword puzzle. He ends up killing himself.

Morton-Tyldum-The-Imitation-Game-600x387

I think we as humans are inherently afraid of the things we don’t understand. Most of us cannot even begin to fathom the way Turing’s brain worked or how he came up with the things he did. Why didn’t I know his name before today? I knew about Einstein and Churchill and Steve Jobs. Historians predict that the cracking of the enigma code ended the war 2 years sooner and saved 14 million lives more than if it had never been solved. And yet I didn’t even know the name of the man who did that, who was the first person to dream of a machine like the one I am writing on at this moment. But he was odd and he was gay. His was judged by his perceived shortcomings rather than praised for his incredible talents and because of that he was lost to our world too soon. Looking at his accomplishments in the 41 years he lived, who knows what he could have done if his life had lasted 60, 70, 80 years? We won’t ever know.

The movie itself was incredible and so interesting to watch however more than that it made me think about the world I live in today. We consistently as a society look for ways to judge each other rather than admire each other. Who cares how talented someone is, they’re ugly. Who cares how intelligent someone is, I don’t agree with their lifestyle. Who cares how kind hearted someone is, they annoy me. And we isolate and push each other away instead of coming together as a community. What if we all helped patch the holes in each other’s weaknesses? Used each other’s strengths to overcome our weaknesses? I’m kind of off on a tangent at this point but it really broke my heart to watch the story of a brilliant man crumble because people couldn’t look past their own bias’ to see the good he brought to the table.

“Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.”

Who are you misjudging?

P.S. It’s a beautiful film. I’ll see it again and I think you should too 🙂