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The Independent Critic

Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Elizabeth Banks
Jason Moore
Jeffrey Roda, Kay Cannon and Mickey Rapkin
Rated PG-13
112 Mins.
Universal Pictures
lots of fun deleted scenes, improvisational bits, music videos and more with the Blu-ray, plus commentary from the director and from producer Elizabeth Banks.

 "Pitch Perfect" Mostly Hits All The Right Notes 
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Penned by "30 Rock" and "New Girl" scribe Kay Cannon, Pitch Perfect is just about the pitch perfect comedy that one can only hope won't get lost in the shuffle of what has proven to be a much better than expected opening weekend. The film centers around Beca (Anna Kendrick), who is transplanted from New York City to small Barden College. Initially, she struggles to fit in until Chloe (Brittany Snow), a member of an all female a capella group on campus called the Barden Bellas, discovers that she can sing (in an awesome scene!) and demands that she join the group alongside Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), Cynthia Rose (Ester Dean) and the group baddie, Aubrey (Anna Camp), who resists any change in the way the group operates despite an epic failure the previous year.

Pitch Perfect may sound like you're in for yet another formulaic music flick where bands battle, singers face off or cheerleaders bring it on, but the film stays remarkably fresh thanks to Cannon's inspired script, the energized direction of Jason Moore and a vibrant and very funny cast.

The Bellas are trying to work their way back to the nationals in New York, the location of last year's epic episode of stage fright by Aubrey that went viral on the web and has led the group to lower its previously high-end standards in favor of finding a few hardcore singers.

Anna Kendrick, who seems to get younger with every performance, seems like an odd pick to play a college freshman but she does so quite admirably here. However, the film is really stolen by the delightful Rebel Wilson, whose Fat Amy is brash, bold, confident and funny. While she calls herself "Fat Amy" to beat the twig bitches to it, she does so in a way that exudes warmth and self-confidence rather than the self-critical/self-loathing we so often see in these "fat people being funny" types of roles. Wilson first popped onto the scene in Bridesmaids, but this film may prove she's just as naturally gifted as that film's Melissa McCarthy (if not moreso). Not to be outdone, Hana Mae Lee is hilarious as Lilly and Ester Dean, who penned Rihanna's "Rude Boy," does a great job as Cynthia Rose, a tomboyish singer with a secret (No, not that!).

The film is directed by Jason Moore, whose mostly dwelled around television as of late but who captured a Tony Award for his direction of "Avenue Q." Among the film's best scenes would be those involving Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins as "Best in Show" style announcers who become increasingly inappropriate and irreverent as the film goes on.

Pitch Perfect may not be quite perfect, but for those seeking a comedy it's one of the better ones to hit theaters this fall season and features a performance from Rebel Wilson that should turn the actress into a household name.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic