Blu-ray Review Comedy

'Pitch Perfect 2' Blu-ray Review: Sing-along sequel will strike a chord with fans

September 22, 2015Ben Mk





FEATURE: 
It's been three years since Pitch Perfect won the hearts and ears of audiences. Now Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and the rest of the Barden Bellas are back with Pitch Perfect 2, which reunites audiences with the Bellas at the peak of their popularity, as they perform for a sold-out crowd that includes none other than Barack and Michelle Obama. Their fortunes soon take a massive nosedive, however, when Fat Amy (Wilson) suffers a scandalous mid-routine wardrobe malfunction, leading Barden University to unceremoniously strip them of their national champions title.


In what follows, director Elizabeth Banks (who also reprises her role as a colorful a cappella commentator opposite John Michael Higgins) and returning screenwriter Kay Cannon take a few pages from the first film, as the Bellas find themselves at a new low point in their competitive career, struggle to rediscover their musical identity, and prepare to redeem themselves at the a cappella World Championships in Copenhagen.

The result may not be a must-see for your average moviegoer; however, if you count yourself among the fan base for the first film, you'll certainly get a fair bit of mileage out of this franchise entry. Otherwise, the offbeat and oftentimes non-PC humor can be dodgy, and there isn't much offered in the way of genuine creativity. But at least the film compensates by taking subtle jabs at itself for its own lack of originality, which goes a long way in helping to ease the sense of déjà vu viewers might experience while watching it. All in all, Pitch Perfect 2 may not live up to its title; but as far as sequels go, it mostly hits the right notes.

AUDIO & VISUALS: 
Though the movie itself may not be perfect, you definitely can't say the same for Pitch Perfect 2's audiovisual presentation. On the contrary, this hi-def image is about as good as it gets, delivering stunning clarity, pitch perfect (ahem) contrast levels and vibrant colors, from the neon pink stage lighting of the Bellas' opening number to the bright green grass of the Barden University campus grounds. Likewise, the film's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is a winner as well, making short work of the dialogue-centric comedy soundstage and, of course, allowing the numerous vocal performances — including songs from modern artists like Icona Pop and Mika and even '90s acts like Sisqo and Kriss Kross — to shine.


EXTRAS: 
Universal's two-disc Blu-ray combo pack includes a DVD and an iTunes/UltraViolet digital copy, along with the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Bonus Song Performed By The Treblemakers (3:27) - A clip of the Treblemakers performing Bruno Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven."
  • Extended Musical Performances (5:05) - Extended performances from the "Bellas," "Das Sound Machine" and "Bellas: Finale Clap-Along."
  • Das Sound Machine Finale Breakdown (8:24) - A deconstruction of Das Sound Machine's World Championships performance, presenting the same scene with "All Vocals," "Background Vocals Only," "Beat Box Vocals Only" and "Lead Vocals Only."
  • Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes (12:14) - Nine deleted scenes ("Jesse Drops Off Becca At Work - Extended," "Treble Party - Alternate," "Bumper Arrives At Treble Party," "Treble Party - Extended," "Car Show: 'Farter'," "Intro to Mansion - Extended," "Beat Box - Extended," "Setting Up Tents - Deleted" and "Amy and Bumper Make-Up - Alternate").
  • Gag Reel (3:08) - Hijinks and outtakes from the set.
  • Line-Aca-Rama (3:36) - Improvisations and alternate lines from the cast.
  • Green Bay Rap (0:52) - The Green Bay Packers rap with the actor Flula Borg.
  • Elizabeth Banks' Directorial Debut (5:20) - A short piece in which the cast and crew talk about what it was like working with director/producer Elizabeth Banks.
  • The Bellas Are Back (6:13) - Elizabeth Banks, choreographer Aakomon "AJ" Jones and the cast share their feelings about the return of the Bellas, the rehearsal process, the new additions to the cast, and filming at the Bella House.
  • Aca-Camp (5:04) - A behind-the-scenes look at the filming of scenes set at former Bella Aubrey's a cappella boot camp, The Lodge at Fallen Leaves.
  • The Making Of The Riff-Off (6:02) - A behind-the-scenes look at the riff-off that takes place in David Cross' basement.
  • The World Championships of A Cappella (9:30) - A behind-the-scenes look at the filming of the World Championships in Denmark, which was actually filmed in Highland Park, Baton Rouge.
  • Snoop Is In the House (2:53) - A brief piece about Snoop Dogg's appearance in the movie.
  • Residual Heat Internship (2:26) - A look at what happens during Beca's internship at Residual Heat, a recording studio run by Key and Peele's Keegan-Michael Key.
  • An Aca-Love Story: Bumper and Fat Amy (5:26) - Adam Devine and Rebel Wilson discuss their characters' relationship, their improv, and their hilarious make-out scene.
  • Legacy: Hailee Steinfeld (6:04) - Hailee Steinfeld and the cast talk about her character, Emily, and her dynamic with the other actors.
  • Feature Commentary with Director/Producer Elizabeth Banks and Producers Paul Brooks and Max Handelman - The trio tell stories from the set and open up about everything from the cast and the performances, to the new characters and deleted story threads, to the improv and the choreography.


Pitch Perfect 2 is available from Universal Studios Home Entertainment as of September 22nd, 2015. The Blu-ray features English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish and French DTS 5.1, and English 2.0 Descriptive Audio tracks. Subtitles are presented in English SDH, Spanish and French. The total runtime is 1 Hr. 55 Mins.






* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my original review of the theatrical release, published on May 15th, 2015.


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