The Most Anticipated Movies of 2013: An Odd Assortment

List: 50-46 | 45-41 40-36 | 35-31 | 30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 | Runners-Up: 10-6 | 5-1 |

This part of the list is a hodgepodge of weird and unique movies. I'm really stoked (pun intended! You'll see once you read number 33) about all of these movies - they offer up some very unique tales. What's great about this list is that a lot of these movies are spread out throughout the year. There's five separate months represented in this section of the list and that's a great thing. Hollywood is slowly coming around to the idea of having some blockbuster movies during the springtime. And rightfully so - sometimes the summer can get too crowded and I think number 35 is a great example of trying to sell a summer blockbuster during March.


The Most Anticipated Movies of 2013: This is not the end

List: 50-46 | 45-41 | 40-36 | 35-31 | 30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 | Runners-Up: 10-6 | 5-1 |

The more I write about next year, the more I'm getting excited about how it's shaping up. After a letdown in the comedy department this year, there's a lot of comedies coming out next year. And the summer is shaping up to have a bevy of (somewhat) original movies, including a lot of great action/sci-fi flicks and comedies. It's going to be another exciting year and this part of the list contains a lot of movies that have the potential to be really funny and really good.


The Most Anticipated Movies of 2013: It Continues

List: 50-46 | 45-41 | 40-36 | 35-31 | 30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6Runners-Up: 10-6 | 5-1 |
After a dearth of comedies this year (I can count on my one hand the number of good comedy films that came out this year), it's refreshing to see a lot more for 2013. This part of the list has not one, not two but three comedies! Most of them could've landed much higher on the list, but I'm a little weary of all three of them for various reason which I'll get into. The other two movies are kick starting the science fiction genre that fills up 1/5 of the movies on my list. Yes, science fiction rocks and it's going to be kicking ass and taking names next year.


The Most Anticipated Movies of 2013: Better than Cotton Candy

List: 50-46 | 45-41 40-36 | 35-31 | 30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 | Runners-Up: 10-6 | 5-1 |

Pretty much sums up my feelings.
Welcome back to the annual installment of my Most Anticipated list! This is where I psyche myself up and disproportionately hype up movies to beyond expectations! 2013, on paper, looks to be a solid year - there's a lot to love on this list and I'll take great care to make sure that only the best movies make the cut. This first part of the list is pretty rare - I have five movies that all have trailers attached to them already! Yeah - that's pretty dope and it saves me a lot of time writing plot synopsis. I am excited to get started.......so let's start the countdown....now!


Most Anticipated: The Runner-Up Part II

List: 50-46 | 45-41 40-36 | 35-31 | 30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 | Runners-Up: 10-6 | 5-1 |

The last installment before we get started with the real list (starting next Monday!) is an odd assortment of movies. There's a crime movie, a couple spy thrillers, a coming of age comedy and a magician-themed comedy. It's truly a bizarre list to conclude my runners-up. But what I found out when writing down my list of movies for next year - it's an eclectic mix of comedies, dramas and action. Last year was dominated by superhero movies and science fiction (and sequels!), while 2013 isn't dominated by one genre and less than half my movies are sequels/remakes! I'm excited to see where the year takes us because I know for sure there's going to be some big surprises that even I cannot predict with this list.


Lets Get It Started: The Runners-Up part 1

List: 50-46 | 45-41 40-36 | 35-31 | 30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 | Runners-Up: 10-6 | 5-1 |

2012 was a phenomenal year in movies. I don't think we're ever going to see a summer quite as explosive as this one. Not only did The Avengers live up to the hype surrounding it, it blew box office expectations away. Couple that with Christopher Nolan's end to his Batman trilogy and it truly was a unique summer. But add in a prequel to the Aliens franchise, a surprisingly popular male stripper drama and a successful reboot of a very young Spider-Man franchise - the summer was even more special. And that's not including the spring which saw The Hunger Games and 21 Jump Street surprise everyone with how awesome they were. I've been trying to compile a list of the ten best movies from this year and I'm having a hard time because I have about 15 already!

I highly doubt 2013 is going to be as big of a year as it was for the box office this year. But nevertheless, next year is going to have some amazing movies - I have no doubt about that. While there won't be any sure-fire $400 million dollar hits, next year brings a great mix of eagerly awaited follow-ups and original movie ideas. With that in mind - here's part one of my runner-ups list. These movies didn't quite make the cut, but are worth keeping an eye out for because they do have some potential.


Most Anticipated: Skyfall

11. Skyfall (PG-13) - Runtime: 143 minutes
Starring: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench
Director: Sam Mendes

It was an odd choice for the studio to pick Sam Mendes to direct this installment of the Bond franchise. After all, he's done nothing but a handful of American-focused dramas and a comedy - it's not like he's established himself as an action-oriented director. But the risk paid out - Mendes nailed this one and made it into one of the best Bond movies ever.

Unlike Quantum of Solace's meandering and messy plot, Skyfall gets straight to the point when it comes to the story. Bond has been presumed dead, KIA and a terrorist has taken a valuable document listing all MI6's agents locations and real names. Duh - Bond's not really dead and it's up to him to ferret out the villain. Unlike previous Bond films, the villain doesn't show up until halfway through the movie. But it is quite an entrance for a Bond villain. It's not flashy - but it is effective. Javier Bardem is suitably creepy and mysterious enough to warrant him at least consideration for top 5 Bond villains. Whereas most villains main source of motivation for being evil is money - Bardem's Silva is strictly out for revenge.

It's nice to see the franchise get back to its roots in some form or another: gadgets are back (although not that flashy - again I'm sensing a theme here), the villain is outrageously comical (the dude literally has his own secret island and that hair. Oh that hair.) and there's actually some steamy, sexy sex going on (Bond bags three ladies in this one!). While I enjoyed the previous two Daniel Craig outings, they were lacking in the camp/fun department. I call this the Bourne effect. It seems like Bond was trying to hard to be Jason Bourne, rather than himself. And while that paid off with Casino Royale, it was showing its wear and tear in Quantum of Solace. Thankfully, Skyfall fuses the more serious parts of Bond with the camp and cheesiness from yore in an entertaining way.

For the serious part - Skyfall delves into the past lives of Bond and M. Silva is a figure from the past out for revenge and apparently has enough money and goons to make his dream come true. As for the more campy elements - Q returns with his gadgets, Komodo dragons make an appearance and the aforementioned sexy sex happens quite a bit. Plus there's a lot more jokes/humor in this movie than the previous two combined.

Special mention has to be made for the direction and cinematography of Skyfall. There's a fight scene in Shanghai at the top of a building that is simply stunning. The lighting and camera angles make for some beautiful shots. The final act of the movie is also quite riveting - Mendes knows how to make destruction look beautiful and successfully captures Bond's almost-demise perfectly.

That's not to say this movie has some flaws - the final act, while stunning, drags a little bit and could have benefited from a shorter ending. And while I do say the movie gets back to its roots - it has a very limited leash. The movie isn't flashy enough in certain points. The gadgets are not really gadgets (seriously - a tiny tracking device and a palm-print ID'd gun? That's all you've got, Q?) The film itself acknowledges this when Q says "What did you expect, an exploding pen?" But that's what we want! So I'll knock the film a little - it plays it safe when it comes to reality-bending devices and plots (although the villain is pretty unrealistic from the get-go. Seriously the dude has an island and a bajillion supercomputers with which he can hack into any secure server in the world. Plus he has an unlimited amount of money and resources and he's able to predict his enemies actions/reactions.).

Aside from these nitpicking annoyances, the movie is solid. It has some amazing action scenes, a pretty involved plot that really has some character development and there's a decent amount of jokes. It may not match any of Sean Connery's outings as Bond in charm or wit - but it's pretty fantastic for a modern action movie and it deserves to be called one of the best Bond films!

Rating: See It!


Something sacred

I was watching TV at work the other day (yes, I get to watch TV at work, but trust me it sucks. It has to be family-friendly and that includes basically ESPN talking about the NFL all day or Drew Carey trying to do his best Bob Barker impersonation) and this commercial came on:

First of all, let's just get this outta the way: Sailor Jerry is a poor choice in naming your rum. You are directly competing with Captain Morgan's demographic: the tattooed, smelly hipster. And not only that, Captain has an official title. He's not Pirate Morgan, but a Captain. It's exactly how Mr. Pibb pales in comparison to Dr. Pepper - dude doesn't even have a degree! (Thanks to the late Mitch Hedberg for that joke) I don't even care for rum, much less alcohol. I am a weirdo in that respects. My evenings include guzzling a Mountain Dew and watching Friends reruns.

But the song in the commercial caught my attention. They're using a Misfits song, Where Eagles Dare. Something sacred has been broken. I thought the Misfits were untouchable when it came to mainstream popularity. I should have seen the warning signs. First they popped up on the Jackass movie soundtrack with Hybrid Moments. And then Rihanna was wearing the skull logo at a concert. Then this:

I'm not saying that The Misfits were this obscure band ten years ago. Hell, they've had a massive following ever since I was in middle school fifteen years ago. And their logo is so cool - it's hard for that to not break through into mainstream culture. But the music was pretty much off limits. That seems to be changing. I sound like a petulant hipster still clinging to my vinyl records screaming "I heard them first!!" While part of that is true, I do believe it's awesome that more people are being exposed to obscure music. I'd be a giant hypocrite if I didn't acknowledge the importance of music in commercials, Youtube videos, etc. to exposing certain bands to the masses. I would not have found out about M83, one of my favorite electro-pop bands if it wasn't for this Youtube video.

When I talk about something sacred has been broken, it's not that my special love for The Misfits has now been co-opted by others that may not have known them for as long (although part of that is true and I will get to that point in a minute). I'm talking about the sacredness of sharing something personal with somebody else. For a long, long time, punk music was my faith. Growing up, I was raised by The Ramones, The Clash, The Misfits, CIV, Operation Ivy and many others. Loving these artists created a special bond with my friends and we all loved to listen to them. And we were in the minority - we were our own band of misfits. I would find out about new music through my friends.

That doesn't happen anymore. At least, not that way. You can still find new music through your friends on Spotify. And while Spotify is great for this and it does connect people with shared tastes, most of the time you're listening to the music by yourself on your phone or computer. It's not a shared experience anymore. I remember hanging out with my friends and hearing for the first time Sheena is a Punk Rocker by the Ramones. And then rocking it out on the portable boombox while we skated around the middle school parking lot. It was something completely new (for me!) that sparked a flame that really hasn't died down.

Part of this has to do with nostalgia - we all look through time with rose-colored glasses and remember only how awesome we felt. And this nostalgia has a lot to do with how I feel a little bit of anger for other people enjoying the same stuff that I enjoyed in a much different way. This "I heard it first" reaction is a powerful force. But it's valid - we feel invested in what and who we spend time with the most. And for someone to come along and have the same fervent passion that you do without investing all that time - well, you can understand why people are upset. It's a tricky balance to acknowledge this feeling while embracing others' love of your love.

The internet has magnetized this feeling to disproportionate results. You're a weirdo hipster for liking this or that band, but then you're just jumping on the bandwagon for liking this or that band. This is increasingly why I've pretty much kept music to myself (except for the occasional outburst at work when I start to sing along to some of my favorite songs during closing time). I find myself continually being tugged in separate directions - I love to share music and experience it with others and just get down and groove! Then I get made fun of for liking a certain song and quickly retreat into solitary mode.

I feel vastly alone in this new musical landscape. I've enjoyed countless bands that I've discovered all on my own (thanks to sites like AdTunes), but I've really never shared them with anyone because I haven't really embraced Spotify nor do I listen to music when I hang out with other people that much. And I just don't feel like justifying my tastes to others. The internet has been a great tool in discovering new music, but it's also been a great hindrance in how we consume that music.

For better or worse, the internet has completely changed this part of my life. I'm not saying we need to abandon the internet or change our habits. After all, this is just one man's opinion on things. And this man is feeling a lot older and less relevant each passing year, which has a lot to do with this rant. But I hope that with every year, I still am embracing new music and keeping that flame burning.


Most Anticpated: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

30. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (R) - Runtime: 101 minutes
Starring: Steve Carrell, Kiera Knightley
Director: Lorene Scafaria

This was another movie where I didn't know what to expect! I honestly thought the movie would be a lot funnier than it ended up being. Instead, the movie meanders along without really going anywhere and you start to ask yourself if anything is actually going to happen. And then when something finally does happen, the movie ends. It's a very disappointing movie that will leave you asking "That's it?"

So it's the end of the world, literally for everyone. And Dodge's wife decides to leave him with only two weeks left for humanity. Dodge is a quiet man who doesn't really like to do much. His life is boring. But then one of his neighbors comes busting into his life and they're on a mission to find his first love and to get her back to her family. It sounds like it would be a fun, if not quirky, road trip movie that would provide some laughs along with a little bit of drama. Instead, it's pretty much all drama with a few jokes sprinkled in and it just drags.

I think that's the biggest problem with this movie - the pacing is excruciatingly slow and while there are some wonderful comedic moments (Penny's boyfriend using her as a human shield comes to mind), the movie falls flat. None of the decisions these two friends make makes any sense. It takes forever for the movie to get to where it wants to be and then it just ends. I'm not spoiling anything here because nothing really happens in this movie. This is supposed to be the end of the world, but the movie doesn't feel like it.

I feel like Steve Carrell's character is a mix between his Dan in Real Life (sad widow) and the 40 Year-Old Virgin character (shy awkward guy). It just isn't that funny and I really didn't feel sorry for the dude nor did I care what was going to happen to him. And then they fug up Knightley to make her seem like a quirkey, adorkable hipster girl - but she has no depth either. They have this big revelation at the end of the movie for Dodge's past, but I just groaned out loud when they got to that point. Who cares!

All in all, this is one lousy movie. I thought it was going to be way more funny and just plain fun! Seriously, how can the last two weeks of civilization be this dull! Maybe this is how the writer felt she would be like in the end times - and good for her - but it most certainly doesn't make a very interesting story.

Rating: Not Worth Paying For!

Most Anticipated: Cloud Atlas

43. Cloud Atlas (R) - Runtime: 172 minutes
Starring: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant
Director: Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski, Tom Tykwer

I didn't know what to expect from this one. On one hand, you have the guys who were behind the Matrix trilogy, on the other hand, you have the guys who were behind the Matrix trilogy. Yeah, I didn't initially want to put this on my list, but when an eighth movie dropped from 2012 to 2013, Cloud Atlas stood out as something unique and possibly brilliant. I dare say this movie is as pretentious as you can get (well, maybe not Tree of Life pretentious, but close enough) - but damn it sure was a fun pretentious movie and one of my favorite movies this year.

There's six separate stories interwoven throughout the movie and they're all loosely connected to each other, whether by characters or loose plot threads. The story is hard to quantify and explain in a simple paragraph - but suffice to say that there's a lot of fate of humanity-esque plots for the future storylines, but also the movie mixes in some comedy and very moving and dramatic character-driven stories as well. It all blends together and is exceptionally edited that no matter where the movie takes you, you're never in for a dull moment.

I had a lot of fun with this movie - there's a sense of urgency you start to feel about halfway through and you really start to wonder how things are going to shake out for each timeline's story. Even though it seems overwhelming, it's nice how the movie weaves in and out of each story. It helps add to the "everything is connected" narrative driving most of the plot. If you love epic action stories, this has a couple. If you love a sad romance story, this movie has a couple as well. Even a comedic plot line is thrown in for good measure. So this movie has something for everyone and I dare say it's just so well put together.

The performances are great as well! It's amazing how versatile all the actors are in this movie - Tom Hanks goes to places I've never seen him go before. Hugh Grant and Hugo Weaving are magnificent as well. They all play different characters in each of the six timelines and when the final credits roll, it was interesting to see who they all played! I didn't realize it was a certain actor until they showed those credits! It was fun to watch some of these iconic actors slip into roles that made them nearly indistinguishable from there normal looks. In fact, part of the movie can be read as an allegory for gender roles and the different masks we put on for certain social situations. It sounds a little bit bullshit, but if you delve deep enough, the movie has a lot to say about our social culture.

And besides all the great characters and actors and the deep, meaningful story, the movie just looks amazing! I loved how each timeline had it's own distinct feel to it. The future didn't feel to cold or sterile, nor did the past look to stale. Each timeline was beautifully shot and put together. Even the costume design I was impressed and normally I don't care about that stuff at all!

This was an epic undertaking for the Wachowskis and they deserve all the accolades thrown at them. This is a great movie that doesn't wear out its welcomes, even after two and a half hours. I think this movie has a little bit of everything for most people to enjoy. It's a deeply moving story about how our lives ripple out to affect the future and the consequences of our actions, good or bad. There's a lot to read into the story and how they're all connected, but each timeline's story has it's own layers also. I loved every minute of this movie!

Rating: See It!


Most Anticipated: That's My Boy

48. That's My Boy (R) - Runtime: 116 minutes
Starring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg
Director: Sean Anders

This was a complete misread on my part, folks. I really thought I could enjoy another Adam Sandler movie, but he's just not funny anymore. I thought with Andy Samberg as the other leading role and Sean Anders, the director who's been flawless in my opinion, with Hot Tub Time Machine and She's Out of My League, that it would salvage this movie. But no, Sandler is a train wreck now and he's not even trying anymore. But the problem with Sandler is that no matter what, he's going to make these awful movies and he'll make money off of them. That's My Boy is probably the worst movie I've seen all year and you're best to avoid this one at all costs.

The gist of the movie is that Sandler plays Donny - a drunken asshole who in middle school, knocked up his teacher. Absurdly enough, he gains full custody of the child because the teacher is sent to jail. It's a really dumb premise (but all of Sandler's movies are - even Billy Madison was childish), but the way it's delivered is extremely annoying. Almost all of the jokes fall flat and none of the characters are even remotely funny.

The big problem with this movie is the main character, Donny. He's annoying and not charming at all. With older Sandler titles, you at least found parts of Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore to be likeable. Here, Donny's rude, crude and just plain awful. At no point do you understand why his son would want him back in his life. Plus, the other minor characters are almost too weird to function in this movie. It's as if the writers decided that having characters who are so oddball and quirky were funny enough. The only really funny character was Milo Ventimiglia's character who played this weird brother who's in the army. And that's mainly due to his performance more than the material.

And Donny's voice! Unnnnhhhh his voice! If you remember Sandler at all back from his days when he made comedy albums, he had this character called the Buffoon. It was probably his worst character he made (wait, no, Jill from Jack and Jill tops that!). He puts on this awful voice (much like Donny's) and talks about his butthole the whole time. It's not funny and apparently Sandler thought it was time to dig into the well to create his character for this movie.

There may have been some funny moments or jokes in the movie, but I couldn't tell you what they were, because I forgot them amidst all the awfulness. It's like eating a roast beef sandwich with all this crap stuffed into it - mustard, lettuce, tomatoes - you can't even taste the roast beef because the rest of the crappy ingredients overwhelm you. There may have been some funny jokes, but they got lost amidst all the really, really bad ones.

Adam Sandler himself hasn't made a great movie in a long, long time. I thought Funny People was great, but that's more of a Judd Apatow movie than Sandler. You'd have to go back all the way to 2004 to find a decent Adam Sandler comedy (50 First Dates). I think this was the death knell for movie - I'm not even going to bother watching any more of his movies. Yes, this movie was the final nail in the coffin for me!

Rating: Avoid Like the Plague!

Most Anticipated: Argo

41. Argo (R) - Runtime: 120 minutes
Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman
Director: Ben Affleck

Mr. Affleck is 3 for 3 in my book. Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and now Argo are all really, really good movies. This was a movie I knew, when I instantly heard the story and who was attached to it, that this was going to be good. Affleck is good at creating some great drama and tension and Argo is filled with some nail-biting scenes. I don't know where I'd rank this movie, but it's a great movie and possibly one of the top 10 movies this year.

If you don't know by now, during the Iran hostage crisis, there were a handful of Americans trapped inside the Canadian ambassador's home. It took a crazy and bold plan to get them out alive and the movie tells the story of how Tony Mendez took it upon himself to get them out. This required faking that these six Americans were actually Canadians and they were on location to shoot a science fiction film, titled Argo. The movie starts up casually enough - you see the beginnings of the riots in Iran it slowly builds to a crescendo when the U.S. embassy gets invaded. It's truly horrific and the movie does a great job of filling you with absolute terror for all the individuals whose lives would forever be changed.

Six people manage to safely get away and were continually rejected until the Canadian ambassador opened up his house to keep them safe. But they couldn't stay there forever and Tony Mendez is brought in to extract those six Americans. He convinces the CIA to create a fake movie for the extraction and this is where the movie breaks up all the drama with some well-timed comedy. Mendez hooks up with John Chambers (Goodman), a makeup and effects guru to get the science fiction movie off the ground. There's a great performance as well from Alan Arkin, who plays a big-time producer who fronts the money for the fake movie. The scenes in Hollywood are great - there's some great jokes and Goodman and Arkin are fantastic.

The great thing about this movie is that it all moves quickly. You're never left wondering where this movie is going and it does a fantastic job of making you sit on the edge of your seat even though you may already know the ending. The final thirty minutes are so well paced and tense that my heart was racing just a little bit. That's a good movie and it deserves all the accolades it's going to get this awards season.

A must-see movie this year, Argo is a smart, intense story that excels at delivering a good mix of drama and comedy while being very informative.

Rating: See It!


Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (PG-13) - Runtime: 102 minutes
Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller
Director: Steven Chbosky

I'm going to say it right now: this movie is an instant classic. I don't doubt that 10, 20 years from now this movie will be considered among the pantheon of high school comedies/dramas. That's how good this movie is - Steven Chbosky adapted his novel for the screen and directed it superbly. It's amazing what this first-time director has done. It's one of the most honest and brutally poignant movies of the year - a must see for everyone.

The story follows Charlie, an introverted freshman who befriends a couple of senior "outsiders." There's a lot going on in this movie - you find out immediately that Charlie's best friend committed suicide last year and he still struggles with his Aunt's death, whom he was very close to. But in swoops the energetic Patrick and  his stepsister, Sam. They welcome him in and Charlie soon learns to cope with his mental illness and deal with his past. Now this sounds really dark (and yes, the movie does touch on a lot of issues), but I would say I laughed a lot during this movie. Patrick is the overly-flamboyant gay kid trying to navigate the treacherous waters of high school without getting beat up all day. And Sam has her own sordid past that's she's trying to overcome.

There's so many wonderful things about this movie - I don't want to spoil any of it because it's just fun to see how things unfold throughout the school year for the trio. The first party Charlie attends is laugh out loud funny and I was immediately impressed by how Logan Lerman acted. I've only seen him in one other movie, the abysmal Percy Jackson, so I wasn't expecting much from him, but he blew me away at playing the awkward wallflower. And Emma Watson - she's magnificent. This girl can act and not once did I think "Oh, it's Hermione with her hair cut off!" She's that good, as well as Ezra Miller, who plays Patrick. It's a great cast and you even get Paul Rudd playing the wise and adorable English teacher. Seriously, this is the second time I've seen him play a teacher in an indie comedy and he's perfect!

Like I said earlier, there's some dark issues in this movie and they all come bubbling up near the end of the movie. I can honestly say I knew something major was going to happen, but I didn't expect the outcome at all. It was a brutal revelation and it makes you want to re-watch it again just so you can understand all that's happened. Not to say there's a brilliant twist at the end, just that the movie doesn't reveal everything in the beginning about Charlie's past.

I loved every minute of this movie and it's certainly in my top 5 (maybe top 3?) for movies this year!

Rating: See It!

Review: Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect (PG-13) - Runtime: 112 minutes
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson
Director: Jason Moore

Well, this movie came out of nowhere. Maggie had decided to watch this one while I was working on a Friday night. She came out enthusiastically raving about how funny it was and told me I would really enjoy it. And she was right - this movie is really funny - probably one of the funniest movies this year! This was all a part of a movie marathon we decided to do - watch three movies in a row. It was fantastic and Pitch Perfect was a great way to start the day!

The story follows Beca, a annoying hipster girl who doesn't want to be in college because she's too hipsterish (she wants to be a DJ and remix things! How kewl!). But then she gets forced by a naked chick (the always adorably naked Brittany Snow) to join the A Capella group and hijinks and hilarious awkwardness ensues. I love college/high school comedies - they're like comfort food and this one is no different. You may just write this off as a Glee-inspired schlock, but it's surprisingly smart and it hits all the right notes and beats (pun most definitely intended!). At first Beca was annoying, but you find yourself hoping that she'll change her awful ways by the end of the movie.

And this is where the movie shines - there's a lot a great characters in this movie. I was surprised at how much I remembered all the girls in the group now that I'm recalling the movie from two weeks ago. Despite what all the television ads were saying about Rebel Wilson's Fat Amy, I didn't find her to be that funny. Sure, she had some great lines and jokes, but she didn't steal every scene she was in. On the other side of the coin - the all male A Capella group has some really funny douchebags, especially the lead singer - Bumper.

On top of all the great characters, the musical numbers were really good. I pretty much hate Glee and they've forever ruined a lot of songs for me (Journey's Don't Stop Believin' makes me want to vomit every time I hear it now), but I enjoyed how much the movie didn't take itself too seriously during those scenes. They were really well done and just fun to watch how the music would unfold.

This was a solid comedy and I'd say it's up there with 21 Jump Street this year as the funniest movie I've seen. Even if you don't understand the appeal of Glee, Pitch Perfect is a great comedy that doesn't rely too heavily on the music to entertain. Instead - it's a coming of age/romantic comedy that is full of smart dialogue and entertaining characters..

Rating: See It!