I grew up attending the Churches of Christ. One of the things that distinguishes us from the million other churches around is that we sing a cappella - that is to say without musical instruments. While I can’t sing particularly well myself, I think sitting through all those services helped give me a great appreciation of the human voice.
Growing up, I can remember various vocal groups coming to the church to perform for us. They’d usually do a set of Christian songs during the service and then afterwards they’d throw down with some secular pop numbers to keep us entertained while we ate cookies and ice cream.
To this day, I have a soft spot for a cappella renditions of current pop songs and older classics. Which may explain my brief obsession of Glee (which didn’t last long as I couldn’t handle over-the-top melodrama taking place between songs). It also brought me to Pitch Perfect the 2012 comedy starring Anna Kendrick who reluctantly joins an a cappella group at college. It's not a great film by any means but it is a lot of fun, especially the various sing-offs where the cast bust out an eclectic variety of songs from a range of genres to sing a cappella style.
I actually didn’t know about the first Pitch Perfect until the second one came out. It was well advertised and did quite well at the box office and hearing it both had lots of a cappella songs and Anna Kendrick I ran out and watched it. I’m excited to see what they do with the second one and knowing it was directed by Elizabeth Banks, who is always delightful, I’m making it my Pick of the Week.
Also coming out this week that looks interesting:
Moonrise Kingdom (Criterion Collection:) Criterion loves Wes Anderson. All of his films save The Grand Budapest Hotel have seen releases by the home-video company (and I suspect they’ll eventually get to Grand Budapest in the future). Moonrise Kingdom is what I’d call lesser Anderson, but it still has its charms.
Breaker Morant (Citerion Collection:) Based up on a true story of three Australian lieutenants who are court martialed for killing prisoners as a means of distracting society away from war crimes committed by their superior officers during the Second Boer War. They say it's an important film in the history of Australian cinema. I’ve never heard of it, but I trust Criterion.
Mister Johnson (Criterion Collection:) Another film from Criterion that I’ve never heard of. This one deals with English colonialism and how their system of values cannot be imposed upon another nation without seriously undermining its own sense of identity. Sounds heavy, but its got Pierce Brosnan in it so that ought to give it some life.
Wodehouse in Exile: BBC TV-movie about how P.D. Wodehouse (creator of the Jeeves stories) faced treason charges in England forcing him to live out his days in America.
Gumby: Complete 50’s Series: All the claymation a boy could ever want in one little box.
Arrow: Season 3: My wife and I just started watching this superhero show from The CW. Its pretty much what you would expect of a superhero show from The CW - goofy, TV sexy, and kind of fun but completely forgettable. Definitely not must-see TV, but enjoyable enough to put on when you need to chill out for awhile.
The Flash: The Complete First Season: Another superhero from The CW. I’ve not yet watched any of this, but if Arrow continues to be silly fun, then I’ll likely give this a try at some point.