In Pitch Perfect, nobody’s more than The Fat One, The Sexy One, The Dumb One, The Alternative One, and The Gay One. Basically, Pitch Perfect took The Breakfast Club, Bridesmaids, Glee, and Bring It On and squashed them into a messy blob that leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.
Tangled isn’t too cool for school, it’s just really cool, and once the film stops apologizing for being a fairy tale and gets down to the task of just being a fairy tale it reveals itself to be one of the best (non-Pixar) Disney animated films in over a decade. Smart entertainment, sidesplittingly funny and never condescending to the little children making up the target demographic. Tangled is classic Disney.
Step Up 3D is a good movie. Not an instant classic, but a genuine celebration of music, dance, filmmaking, and yes, even 3D, and their power to entertain. Step Up 3D will leave audiences smiling from ear to ear, and probably bobbing their heads in residual rhythm to the movie’s pounding soundtrack. The best part is that you don’t have to feel guilty about it this time.
For the next few years, Hollywood musicals, climaxing in 42nd Street (1933), would be “backstage” pictures. Songs would be delivered in scenes depicting stage rehearsals, with aspiring singers and hard-bitten producers battling against the odds to “put on a show.” It was fun while it lasted – and big profits for the film studios. But after a few years, audiences grew tired of predictable scenarios of theatrical angst and happy “all singing, all dancing finales.”
Marshall apparently strove for the early 60s New Wave Cinema feel, which relied heavily on shaky camerawork and frenetic editing—except during musical numbers, which are proscribed so heavily as to be cloying. As the filmmakers strove to pay homage to 1960s Italian cinema, they lost the meaning behind the art, leaving a messy result.