Tag Archives: John Michael Higgins

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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Review: Bad Teacher

Think you had some bad teachers in school? Well, Cameron Diaz’s character in Bad Teacher is above and beyond. This is a movie though, so above and beyond can work, right? Of course, but it can also backfire big time and, oddly enough, Bad Teacher manages to do both with its incredibly preposterous titular character. (Keep those minds out of the gutter, please.)

Elizabeth Halsey (Diaz) is on the verge of living the high life. She’s just about to marry a super rich guy and wrap up a job she despises, working as a seventh grade teacher at John Adams High Middle School. Too bad after the “JAMS” team gives her a heartfelt goodbye and a gift certificate to Boston Market, her potential mother-in-law decides she’s had enough of Elizabeth’s money-hungry ways and convinces her son to call off the wedding. Now, Elizabeth has no choice but to return to John Adams, all her bitterness in tow.

On day one, Elizabeth has already completely given up, resorting to screening films rather than teaching her class. However, when she meets the new sub, Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake), she gets the motivation to actually do something while at work, win his heart so she can live happily ever after courtesy of the Delacorte family watch fortune. Unfortunately, Scott’s got eyes for Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch), the painfully peppy perfect teacher desperate to expose Elizabeth’s poor conduct.

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Defending Bad Movies: Fired Up

There are so many raunchy, sex-driven teen comedies out there, most of which are pure garbage. Miss March? Ridiculous. The whole straight-to-DVD American Pieseries? Junk. I Love You Beth Cooper? I shudder at the title alone. But Fired Up? What was so terrible about that one? In fact, I think it’s quite good. The film is downright hilarious, it has some heart and is entertaining through and through.

It stars Nicholas D’Agosto and Eric Christian Olsen as Shawn and Nick, two jocks so obsessed with the ladies, they opt to ditch football camp for cheerleading camp. They convince their high school squad, The Tigers, they’re committed solely for athletic purposes, but they’ve got another plan in mind; hook up with as many ladies as possible before ditching and attending an epic football party. Problem is, not only does Nick develop a little crush on the head cheerleader, Carly (Sarah Roemer), but both guys find themselves getting into the whole cheer thing.

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