So, first of all, how is a discussion of greatest opening scenes happening without Apocalypse Now being mentioned?
Most of my favorite movies have fantastic opening scenes that really, in one way or another, throw you into the story whilst making the viewer care. Movies that have yet to be mentioned from The Producers (1967) to the narrative techniques of The Lord of the Rings and The Princess Bride are amongst my favorites. The subtlety of the opening sequences of A Room With a View set against the romance of "O Mio Babbino Caro." So many of my favorite movies have great opening scenes.
Now, all that said, last night I watched:
Stay with me on this review, because I may be on to a new concept ("EIR"(c)) here...
Some movies try to be stupid and through that find humor and/or quality. 99% of these movies, however, are, in fact, just stupid -- often horrendous. Think most Adam Sandler movies. Then occasionally, a movie tries to find comedy or warmth or something good through stupidity and succeeds. See Kingpin. Of course, I think it takes a certain level of intelligence to make a movie a stupid as Kingpin, and so hilariously, at that. What is true of all these movies, though, is that they are actively trying to be stupid. And you can tell watching them, "Oh. They are trying to be stupid."
There was nothing added to Pitch Perfect to make it more stupid. It doesn't feel like the writer said, "you know how I could really dumb this down?..." Instead, as a concept, as a self-contained, every-piece-in-sync, there is no "deeper", this movie is quite possibly the single stupidest feature length motion picture I have seen in years.
Also, I really liked it. But more on that in a minute.
There is no character development, family relationships are used only as plot devices and are never... I can't even get into that. The music (because, you know, this is about boys vs. girls competitive collegiate a cappella groups) goes from moderate suckitude to full blown 'horrible rendition of Ace of Base' (yes, Ace of Base) catastrophic, perhaps-why-there-is-trouble-in-the-Middle-East suckitude. Dialogue? I swear, I swear, the most intelligent line in the movie, is "I ate my twin in the womb." And, given the above conversation, let me suggest not eating during the opening sequence.
All of that having been said, I enjoyed this movie. IMO, Anna Kendrick can do no wrong (except for being marginally involved in Twilight). And she really, actually shined here. Virtually everyone did, the other standout being Rebel Wilson. While this extraordinarily dumbed-down rip off of Bring it On should have been dreck, the performances were all just straight enough that they weren't winking at the camera, and just loose enough that I understood, that they all understood what sort of movie they were in. For reasons that escape me, I got somewhat emotionally invested in a couple of the characters. And there were a few times I laughed out loud... once pretty hard. It was light, and most of all, "fun".
Which brings me back to EIR. Or, Enjoyment/Intelligence Ratio. This movie has one of the very highest EIRs I've ever come across. It got an 81% on Rotten Tomatoes (78% "Top Critics") and while I cannot fully articulate why a strong majority recommendation makes sense to me for this movie, it actually does. I enjoyed it, a lot. But, wow is it stupid.