Pitch Perfect 2

We saw Pitch Perfect 2 and sadly it suffered from sequelitis.

That’s when the sequel to a movie just isn’t as good as the original and probably wouldn’t have been made if it didn’t already have an established fanbase.

It’s still a decent movie and if you enjoyed the first movie you’ll most likely enjoy the second, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who hasn’t seen the first Pitch Perfect.

So what was weaker in this movie than the first? Gosh… Where to start?

The two announcer characters got a lot more racy and offensive. They were already a little bad in the first movie, but it was cringeworthy in the second.

I listened to a few interviews of the production staff as well and apparently most of the announcer scenes were adlibbed. I don’t know if that makes the racy parts better or worse, but they’re there.

The romantic plot between Beca and Jesse is essentially absent in the second movie. Their relationship is stable and off-camera. Their romantic sub-plot is replaced with Fat Amy and Benji’s two love interests. While those sub-plots are interesting they don’t really compare to the entertainment provided by Jesse cracking open Beca’s shell in the first movie.

The other thing that’s absent is Beca’s dad. I really liked his role in the first movie.

It makes some sense to phase out parental figures as the characters get older. And the whole sub-plot of Beca getting over her parents’ divorce is absent in Pitch Perfect 2 means that her dad doesn’t have much to do. I still missed his presence though. He’s somewhat replaced by the mother of a new freshman member of the Bellas, but the new relationship isn’t nearly as interesting as the old.

The villains in the second movie, Das Sound Machine, aren’t nearly as likeable as the Treblemakers.

Now why would you want to like your villains? Well I just wrote about that in a previous post. Go read that one and come back if you need an answer to this question.

Das Sound Machine are portrayed as just evil which makes them a little boring.

The movie also portrays them as hyper competent. While that’s definitely true, their performances are still a little boring. Their first performance is Uprising by Muse, one of my favorite songs. They do a great job, probably as good as they could do, but the song just sounds awful in acapella. I could barely understand the lyrics over the background music imitations.

The musical performances do really suffer compared to the original movie.

There are good reasons for this. The Bellas as a whole suffer some sort of identity crisis that comes out in their performances not being as good, but that also means that the first half of the movie has unsatisfying performances by the Bellas.

The first movie had this as well, but it covered it with humor. Aubrey throwing up pulls you into the hilarity of the movie right away. Aubrey’s tongue lashing after the poor performance at the fraternity party is great character development for her.

How does the Bellas excess use of props enhance the other plots in the movie?

It doesn’t.

I felt the songs picked for numbers were in general worse than the original as well. I didn’t know as many this time around and that hampered my enjoyment.

And there’s just a few other things that the second movie just missed. Lily’s little whispers aren’t as terrifying as the first movie. Beca’s odd sexual attraction to Das Sound Machine’s leader isn’t explored further by having Jesse find out. The inclusion of the new freshman in the Bellas felt like an excuse to have an original song in the moive so they could sell something with fewer royalties attached. If the international competition is for college groups, why are people out of college allowed to compete?

Just tons of small stuff like that.

Like I said, its not a good movie for people who haven’t seen the original. For those who enjoyed the original, there’s still plenty of stuff like it in the new movie. The songs are still catchy and Fat Amy is still hilarious.

-GoCorral

Advertisements

GVG Meta Shifts

The meta has been shifting in Hearthstone which is predictable after the release of a new set. GVG is shaking things up just like Blizzard wanted.

So what are some of the biggest new decks? Well, Mech Mage is one of them.

The expansion came with plenty of new minions to flood the board early such as Clockwork Gnome, Mechwarper, Micro Machine, and Snowchugger for Mages.

Chugga-Chugga-Chugga!
Chugga-Chugga-Chugga!

For the mid game there’s Piloted Shredder, Madder Bomber, Bomb Lobber, and Goblin Blastmage. Each of them brings a decent body of their own along with an ability that will usually trade with an opponent’s minion while still leaving your minion alive, either through a damaging battlecry or the Shredder‘s deathrattle.

What are you doing with that stapler and an Arcane Missiles card? Stay back!
What are you doing with that stapler and an Arcane Missiles card? Stay back!

Add in the normal strong spells of a Mage and the deck is quite solid. What makes it devastating is the new Spare Parts cards. They’re cheap and the deck has Clockwork Gnome, Tinkertown Technician, and Mechanical Yeti to create them.

Flip-flop! Now my deck's on top!
Flip-flop! Now my deck’s on top!

The cheapness is wonderful. They can activate Mana Wyrm to pump it up. They can activate Gadgetzan to draw cards. They can activate Antonidas to create three Fireballs on the turn you drop him. They also work with the new legendary, Gazlowe, to create tons of mechs for you to play.

Mage also got a new toy with the epic spell, Echo of Medivh. The spell is used in the old Freeze Mage Giant deck which focused on freezing out their opponent and drawing cards until they could play giants and Duplicate them. Well now you can duplicate them another way!

I don't really know who or what Medivh is.
I don’t really know who or what Medivh is.

Say you’re at 10 life. You feel safe because you’ve got two Molten Giants that you gave taunt to on the board and you have an Ice Block secret. Now throw in Echo of Medivh and suddenly you have two spares of one of the most powerful minions in the game! Day9 has a video where he fills his board with 6 Molten Giants in one turn using this trick.

The deathrattle aggro decks that Warlock, Priest, and Hunter run all got some improvements with Clockwork Gnome and the Piloted cards. Mechwarper and Micro Machine also help out with mech aggro decks.

Ramp Druid got some new tools. Grove Tender helps them ramp up faster while also providing a body. Tree of Life allows a full reset of life when you’re facing an aggro deck.

Handlock got Mal’Ganis, so now your opponents can’t even rush you down if you drop that. Fortunately, some cards were added to counter Handlock and any other oppressive control matchup. Goblin Sapper and Clockwork Giant are perfect against decks that like to stock up on lots of cards.

There are tons of other cool cards that have slightly altered existing deck. Shrinkmeister and Voljin for Priest. Muster for Battle, Quartermaster, and Bolvar Fordragon for Paladin. Gahz’rilla for Hunter. A slight Murloc focus for Shaman along with Crackle for burst based decks. Rogue got some awesome new mech cards along with the means to possibly create a viable pirate deck. I haven’t seen one yet, but I’ll bet its coming.

So lots of new cards to try out! I’ve only just now finished spending out all my gold on Arena runs to learn the new cards in that mode. Now I have to see how what I have works in Ranked. I just got a Mal’Ganis for a Demonlock deck in my last Arena run. Maybe I’ll give that a try!

-Mister Ed