|Thank you for your essay/review of Pitch Perfect 3, Anna Marie. There is so much to discuss with a movie, like this, that it's hard to know where to begin. For me I see similarities to the movie, The Music Man because there is so much back-story in the piece, that we can forget the beautiful music needing to be highlighted.
You have recounted the story with such detail, you appear to know the movie front to back by heart.
Since I'm supposed to be teaching a little in my review, I'm going to get down to the "nuts & bolts" of your essay/review, making suggestions for improvement with the intent of encouraging you as a writer.
First of all, there is a phrase in your first paragraph, which I consider to need a change of nuance. You wrote, "and ended on April 2017." I hope it doesn't seem too picky, but I would use the word, "in," since you have referenced an entire month. I reserve "on" for use with a specific date, like "on April 20, 2017" for example.
You follow up with the cast list, which is good to know. However, it would be good to make a grammatical notation of the different actors in your list. (I will focus on the first paragraph of the cast list, but these principles apply to both paragraphs.)
"Anna Kendrick Anna Camp
Rebel Wilson Brittany Snow
Hailee Steinfeld Hana Mae Lee
Esther Dean Chrissie Fit
This can be confusing to the reader since all of the names seem to run together.
I am apparently not as familiar with this movie as you are. Therefore, I had to Google the cast list to learn, that "Anna Kendrick" was not playing the character of "Anna Camp," and "Rebel Wilson" was not playing the character of "Brittany Snow." That second line tipped me off because I did at least know Rebel Wilson plays a character, named "Amy" in this trilogy.
We can fix this in one of two ways. First, we could list the stars in sentences with the names separated by commas. "The film stars are as follows: Anna Kendrick, Anna Camp, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Hailee Steinfeld, Hana Mae Lee, Esther Dean, Chrissie Fit, and Alexis Knapp."
Secondly, we could list the cast in columns similar to yours, including the character names.
"The film stars are as follows:
Anna Kendrick as Beca
Anna Camp as Aubrey
Rebel Wilson as "Fat Amy"
Brittany Snow as Chloe
Hailee Steinfeld as Emily
Hana Mae Lee as Lilly Onakura
Esther Dean as Cynthia Rose
Chrissie Fit as Florencia Fuentes
Alexis Knapp as Stacie Conrad
I just thought of a third option in which you use an equal sign in the place of the word, "as."
It has always been personally enjoyable to me to know the back-story of the actors in any movie I watch. For instance, I am aware, that Rebel Wilson is the daughter of one of the members of the 1980s pop band, Wilson Philips, who were in turn children of some of the members of The Beach Boys band from the 1960s. How could Rebel be anyone, but a singer?
Sentence structure affects the readability of our prose pieces. I am sensitive to this issue because I am naturally complex with my writing, but readers often like more simplicity than is natural for me. I have to work at appropriate levels of simplicity. Too much complexity and I put the reader to sleep. Too much simplicity and I insult the reader as though I am talking to a child. This is a fine and challenging line to walk.
For instance, your first narrative paragraph feels like one long run-on sentence, even though I count six periods. Let's look at this paragraph to see how we can make it clearer, giving room for the reader to breathe.
"Two years after graduating from college, the Bellas are reuniting to do one final performance during an overseas USO Tour. They all hate their jobs. Between the second and third film, Beca and Jessie's relationship ended; Bumper and Amy's relationship didn't last long either, which only made matters worse. After arriving at the reunion, they learned that Emily only invited them there to see the new Bellas, not sing. Later, the disappointed Bellas gathered at a bar to express how much they missed each other. Hoping that her father sees, Aubrey convinces them to join a USO tour."
Here are my suggested changes.
1. "The Bellas have been out of college for two years. They thought it would be good to do one final reunion performance during an overseas USO Tour."
2. "That would be a good respite since they all hate their jobs."
3. I'm thinking this next sentence would be better served to be a separate paragraph. Also, there is an issue with the reader's comprehension in this sentence. Reviews should be understandable to those, who haven't seen the movie. As this can be the case, it is certainly courteous to sprinkle in the phrase, "spoiler alert" when appropriate. "Between the second and third film," assumes the reader knows something about the make-up of the trilogy. I'm a prime example of this issue, since I haven't watched the Pitch Perfect triology, although I know something about it from the trailers. "Beca and Jessie's relationship ended; Bumper and Amy's relationship didn't last long either, which only made matters worse." As a reader, I just have to take your word for it, since I don't know anything about those relationships.
4. I think the next sentence could be still another paragraph. "After arriving at the reunion, they learned that Emily only invited them there to see the new Bellas. Emily hadn't planned to actually sing with them."
5. The next sentence is another new thought. Therefore, another paragraph could be used. "Later, the disappointed Bellas gathered at a bar to express how much they missed each other."
6. Finally, the last sentence in the paragraph is yet another new thought, and it appears to need another word to clarify it. "Hoping that her father sees her, Aubrey convinces them to join a USO tour."
Anna Marie, I hope that my review isn't so detailed as to sound like criticism. I'm a teacher at heart, and I have a number of years in the classroom for my expertise. My intent is to hone your skills. I want to give you tools and greater confidence, that you may always know you have God-given skills as a writer.
Let me finish with a few principles, regarding the appearance and flow of writing a movie review.
1. "If the visual elements of an essay look like documentation by a CPA, then a reader may move on to greener pastures." The bookends of this review are very factual, and might not be attractive to the average reader.
2. "A review of any sort should contain no more than equal parts of recounted actions married to the discussion of the motivations behind the actions, and the lessons learned from the actions." (As a rule, the motivations and the lessons learned should be consistently more than the actions recounted.) Your review is very good about giving the reader a play-by-play of the movie, but there is little discussion to the apparent reasons why you think the characters did what they did.
3. "A review is about excavating nuggets of truth, and life principles from a piece of art. What can we learn from what we read or see?"
Anna Marie, you've gathered a great deal of important information for your readers. Simply teach it to the reader as you would to a classroom full of students. Please, keep writing and stretching yourself as an artist.