Tag Archives: Anna Kendrick

Review: Pitch Perfect

You don’t have to be perfect to be a ton of fun.

It’s Beca’s (Anna Kendrick) first year at Barden University. She really wants to be out in Los Angeles pursuing her dream of becoming a music producer, but since her father’s a professor at Barden and that gets her a free ride, the degree comes first. In the meantime, she gets by by being antisocial, making new tracks on her computer and working at the school radio station. When Chloe (Brittany Snow) catches her singing in the shower, she corners her – literally – and insists Beca join the school’s all-girl a cappella group, The Bellas.

The Bellas are good, but they’ll never beat their campus rivals, The Treblemakers, singing Ace of Base songs and other tired tunes. Trouble is, the Bellas’ leader, Aubrey (Anna Camp), is all about tradition and, to her, tradition calls for scarves, updos and, well, repetition.

Yes, we’ve seen it all before, time and time again, in fact! But there’s something about “Pitch Perfect” that makes it stand out from the lot; it’s an absolute blast. Kay Cannon’s adaptation of the Mickey Rapkin book is absolutely ridden with college clichés and some painfully tacky dialogue, not to mention a totally predictable relationship and singing competition, but it’s also got more than enough charm to wipe the large majority of the problems away.

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Interview: ParaNorman Director Sam Fell And Writer-Director Chris Butler

It ain’t easy making a stop-motion animated feature. “ParaNorman” clocks in at 96 minutes. The best weeks of production for the “ParaNorman” team resulted in two minutes of footage. You only need to do some really simple math to figure out how big of an undertaking it is to make a stop-motion animation film and you only need to see the final product to know that in the case of “ParaNorman,” the work was well worth it.

On top of having to deal with bullies and typical pre-teen troubles, Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee) also talks to the dead and the whole town knows it. Cool, right? Well, maybe if they actually believed he really was talking to the dead and not just out of his mind. When Norman’s Uncle Prenderghast (John Goodman) passes away, Norman’s the only one left who can talk to the dead and, therefore, is the only one capable of keeping the witch’s curse at bay.

In honor of the film’s August 17th release, director Sam Fell and writer-director Chris Butler sat down to run through the whole process from the pieces of Butler’s own childhood that influenced the story to the attention to detail that goes into creating even the tiniest prop, the use of 3D printers and more. Check it all out for yourself in the video interview below and be sure to catch “ParaNorman” in theaters this weekend.

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Review: ParaNorman

As a sucker for animated movies and horror films, hopes were high for “ParaNorman.” While the experience was primarily satisfying, those with a pension for horror suspecting this might bear a creep factor similar to “Coraline” beware; “ParaNorman” does boast downright incredible visuals, an engaging plot, charming characters and more, but it’s also quite juvenile.

Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee) isn’t the most popular kid at school. It isn’t because he’s a nerd, isn’t a jock or even because he’s in a lame school club; Norman’s an outcast because he talks to the dead. While many folks pass away and make a B-line to the other side, those with unfinished business, like Norman’s grandmother (Elaine Stritch), hang around.

When Norman starts to have even stranger otherworldly visions, he comes to learn that it’s because the anniversary of the witch’s death is on the horizon. His uncle Prenderghast (John Goodman) tells him that if someone doesn’t go to her grave and read from a particular book, the curse will come true. With the help of his sister Courtney (Anna Kendrick), buddy Neil (Tucker Albrizzi), Neil’s big brother Mitch (Casey Affleck), and Norman’s schoolyard nemesis Alvin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Norman sets out to send a group of zombies back to their graves and put an end to this 300 year old curse for good.

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SDCC 2012: Perri And Melissa’s San Diego Comic Con Plans For Shockya.com!

We’re in the midst of yet another summer movie season and you know what that means; San Diego Comic Con is here to raise big screen anticipation even further, teasing fans with all the incredible action, stories and stars we’ve got to look forward to.

This time last year I was scrambling to put together a solo schedule for an event I’d never experience before, but this time around, not only am I heading to San Diego as a Comic Con veteran, but I won’t be going alone. Shockya.com will feature SDCC 2012 from both myself and Melissa Molina. Not only am I thrilled to have such a talented teammate, but we’re both very excited to bring you more coverage than ever!

What do you have to look forward to between the two of us? Here’s a brief breakdown of our plans …

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How To Dress Up as a Twilight Character

It ain’t easy dressing up as a movie character for Halloween. They’re either too tough to sell without being painfully obvious or not obvious enough. However with the franchise’s incredible following and Breaking Dawn – Part 1 right around the corner, not only are the Twilight characters rather simple to pull off, but then you can spice them up with the details to appease the hardcore fans. Like the series itself, going Twilight this Halloween could be an instant crowd-pleaser.

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Review: 50/50

When word of this “cancer comedy” hit, the hot question was, “Can cancer be funny?” Not only is the answer to that a solid yes, but director Jonathan Levine and writer Will Reiser make a dismal subject humorous in the most honorable way possible. You may look and sound ridiculous when 50/50 makes you laugh and cry at the same time, but the embarrassment is well worth it.

Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is your average 27-year-old. He enjoys hanging out with his best buddy, Kyle (Seth Rogen), is working hard to build a career in the radio industry and is attempting to take his relationship with Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard) another step forward. Everything Adam’s worked for up until this point is thrown entirely off-kilter when he gets some shocking news; Adam has cancer.

From that point on, everything changes. Kyle opts to use his friend’s situation to his advantage, seeking sympathy from girls, Rachael struggles with whether or not she’s capable of committing herself to the situation and Adam’s mother, Diane (Anjelica Huston), swoops in whether her son likes it or not. The there’s the required therapy sessions. The hospital assigns Adam to Katherine (Anna Kendrick), a 24-year-old pursuing a doctorate and in need of training patients. Not only is his whole existence turned upside down, but Adam must also come to terms with the fact that his chance of survival is merely 50/50.

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Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

On the weekend that every cinematic action hero hits the big screen in just one film, The Expendables, how can moviegoers be expected to accept Michael Cera as just as much of a hero? Thanks to the ingenious filmmaking techniques of Edgar Wright, some may find that Cera is more of a leading man than any of those muscled up stars. Cera isn’t given CGI biceps, but the film adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s comic book series, Scott Pilgrim, is packed with the most fantastic kind of digital effects, ones that actually enhance the film. However, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World isn’t a flick that relies on a sole asset; it’s a success and innovative achievement on every front.

Scott Pilgrim is the perfect role for Cera. He’s a musician, he’s geeky, has lady issues and frequently mumbles amusing nonsense. To his friends’ and sister’s dismay, Scott’s dating “a 17-year-old Chinese schoolgirl” named Knives Chau (Ellen Wong). Scott’s into her, but she’s clearly on the juvenile side. When he invites her to check out his band, Sex Bob-Omb, she becomes their very first groupie. His bandmates, Kim Pine and Stephen Stills (Alison Pill and Mark Webber), and their friend and wannabe Sex Bob-Omb, Young Neil (Johnny Simmons), aren’t thrilled but tolerate Scott’s baggage. Then there’s Scott’s gay roommate Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin) and snarky sister Stacey (Anna Kendrick) who both insist Scott grow up and ditch Knives.

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