Lightning Round: A Cappella ‘Cups’ Floweth Over in the First ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ Trailer

The Pitch Perfect 2 trailer is here. Some of us are very excited about this, for some reason. Lightning round, go.

Juliet Litman: I was initially concerned that the trailer opens with the “Cups” song that landed Anna Kendrick on the Billboard Hot 100. But the more I think about it — and I’m thinking about it a lot — this is a genius move. With that first minute, as all the Bellas come together to elevate the tune, we’re assured that Pitch Perfect 2 is going to be everything we, the fans, want. It’s going to be just like the first one, but bigger and with NFL players. I also noticed a quick shot of Skylar Astin from the Toners’ big number at the end of the first movie. It’s pretty hard to miss that cranberry velour blazer. Does that mean there’s not enough footage from the sequel to get him in the trailer without supplementing from the first one? If it turns out he’s in the sequel less, I think we’ll all live.

I’m also very excited about: (1) Brittany Snow is a beautiful redhead (or is that strawberry blonde?). She should never go back. (2) Alexis Knapp is wearing a dress that I own, and I feel really good about that.

Dan Silver: I came to Pitch Perfect late. It’s was a late night DVR “give” to my wife after I made her suffer through Blue Valentine for a second time. The film’s initial poster completely turned me off to the whole thing. I resented how desperately it was trying to tap into the whole Bridesmaids thing. But I be a ca-damned if I didn’t turn to my wife after the Riff Off and admit that I was in a ca-love with the movie. I feel deeply in love with how the film completely embraced and made every trite underdog story trope not only entertaining, but endearing. And I’m not afraid to admit that I got, and still to this day get, choked up when those Barden Bellas sing some Simple Minds.1

Which brings us to today. In less than three minutes this trailer revealed the only movie I can safely say I will walk away with a smile from next summer. And that is a summer season chock-full of Marvel movies, Terminators, Mad Maxes, and emotional animated characters. And even though this is pretty much as sure a thing as the box office could ask for, it’s nice to know that Elizabeth Banks’s first feature as a director is going to be undoubtedly well received. She’s kind of the best.

Mark Lisanti: I guess I’m in the mix here as the voice of Pitch Perfect reason, though I don’t want to re-litigate its unconscionable sins against one of the greatest movies of all time, Bring It On. (If you enjoyed the first Pitch Perfect and haven’t seen Bring It On, well, I’m sending the cheer-police to your house right now with some eyelid-toothpicks. You’re GOING TO WATCH IT and appreciate not only its artistic majesty, but the, er, debt PP owes to it on just about every level.) I’m willing to be torn to shreds by the a ca-stans in this discussion. Come at me. Hit me with your best shot. (Pitch Perfect reference!)

THAT BEING SAID (there’s always a THAT BEING SAID, otherwise there would be no personal growth in the trailer-review hero’s journey), this is a promising two minutes of footage. Maybe the music is calming. Maybe “Cups” is a great tranquilizer, because I was not — as I fully expected to be — reduced to the frothing rage of the Bring It On righteous. I was experiencing this expertly rendered commercial on its own terms. I am intrigued enough to mentally Fandango up a ticket.

I have made my peace.

I hope the Bellas win the World Championships of Singing Together.

Though they’ll probably come in second, because that’s what happened in Bring It On.2

Sorry, old habits die a ca-hard. Healing takes time.

Holly Anderson:  Real-time reactions WHILE-U-WAIT:

  • BAWWW, they sound like the Peasall Sisters up top (remember their number over one of the early True Grit trailers?)  what a beautiful balance, and then BLAMMO, this trailer hits you with the a ca-feelings pillow fight. Well played.
  • Is PP incorporating some kind of Step Up plotline? Are we going to see Channing Tatum as the Bellas’ Sparky Polastri? Excuse me, AMBASSADOR Channing Tatum? Just thinking out loud here.
  • John Michael Higgins chortling that the whole world hates us needs to be played on every network before every single State of the Union address for the rest of recorded time, just to set the tone.
  • Did I just a ca-step in it by openly hoping this movie has its own Sparky Polastri y/n.


Amos Barshad: Second place HELL YEAH. Bring It On is perfect. Pitch Perfect was also perfect. I have no beef with you, Lisanti.

Meanwhile, I’m so stoked to see director Elizabeth Banks take over and take this thing in the Step Up/Fast and the Furious sequel model of everything being exponentially increasingly batshit. In the first one, the Bellas were squeaking out wins on the college circuit — now they’re taking on the WHOLE GODDAMN WORLD (word to D2: The Mighty Ducks).3 By Pitch Five, I fully expect Anna Kendrick to ascend to a cappella heaven on the backs of the reanimated spirits of Eleanor Roosevelt and Amelia Earhart and all the hallelujahs of the legioned angels.

Silver: Yes! I knew I sensed something familiar, and it was D2. USA vs. The World! They’re just running through those competition movie tropes hard, aren’t they? I wonder what Gordon Bombay’s singing voice is like. Sultry, I bet.

Anderson: I got a definite D2 Team Iceland vibe off that blonde chick who said she doesn’t speak loser. 

Litman: In heaven, Kendrick will meet an angel: Eliza Dushku.


There. Now I’m fully healed.

Rembert Browne: Pitch Perfect is the worst movie I’ve ever seen.

This post has been updated to change an incorrect reference to John Michael Higgins, who was originally misidentified as Fred Willard.

Filed Under: Movies, pitch perfect 2, Lightning Round