Pitch Perfect 3 Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Following their win at the world championship, the now separated Bellas reunite for one last singing competition at an overseas USO tour, but, face a group who uses both instruments and voices.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

90

Details:

Studio and Year: Universal – 2017
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 93 minutes
Genre: Comedy

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC @
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS:X/HD 7.1 Master Audio, Spanish DTS 7.1 HR, French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Hailee Steinfeld, Hana Mae Lee, John Lithgow, John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Banks
Directed by: Trish Sie
Music by: Christopher Lennertz
Written by: Kay Cannon, Mike White
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: March 20, 2018

“Last Call, Pitches”

My Take:

Now graduated from college, realizing it takes more than a cappella to get by, all the Bellas return in the final chapter in the beloved series. After the highs of winning the World Championships, the Bellas find themselves split apart and discovering there are no job prospects for making music with only your mouth. But when they get the chance to reunite for a European USO tour, this group of awesome nerds will come together to make some music, and some questionable decisions, one last time.

When Pitch Perfect debuted in 2012 I wasn’t sure what to expect but after viewing it came away surprised. Here is what I had to say about it:

Pitch Perfect is as conventional a comedy as you will see both thematically and aesthetically. Taking a page out of the popular (or once popular) Glee TV series the plot here is college based and similar revolves around similar archetypes striving to be more than what most see as geeky nerds. On the inside the group struggles with issues both interpersonal and personal but as you might expect pulls together when it counts. I have no problem with conventional formulas as along as the characters are likeable and the narrative adheres to what works. That is exactly what you get here as the characters are well drawn and integrated via a decent script that contains some chuckle worthy moments, witty banter and several entertaining musical set pieces. I was pleasantly surprised to find Pitch Perfect to be a charming, contemporary comedy that made for a 90 plus minutes well spent.

2015’s Pitch Perfect 2 was less inspired, felling like a bland rerun. I didn’t hold out much hope for Pitch Perfect 3, but, attempted to go in with an open mind. Pitch Perfect 3 comes at you with essentially the same feel as it predecessor, which is a storyline built around a series of musical numbers featuring the cast in a competition, of sorts. This sequel, which brings back the cast from pervious the films, lacks the rewarding subplots and thematic balance that made the original film entertaining on several levels. Here the storyline and newly introduced characters is less interesting, adhering more to attempting to ply the audience with slapstick, weak kneed romance, and ineffectual conflict, than well rounded characters, built around a rewarding storyline.

The musical numbers are typically fun to watch and staged nicely. The returning cast members fall right back into their respective roles and do well enough with what they are given to work with. As for the additions to the cast, I did rather enjoy John Lithgow in the role of Amy’s father, who, provided many of the film’s best moments.

Pitch Perfect 3 isn’t a bad film, but as sequels go it just feels like a pointless installment, that, at the end of the day is forgettable.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for crude and sexual content, language and some action.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

UHD Presentation: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

DTS:X Rating: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Level of immersion: 
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Pitch Perfect 3 comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless DTS:X/HD 7.1 Master Audio sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD Pitch Perfect 3 (derived from a 2.8 K source) was rendered from a 2K DI and up-converted to 4K. This is a colorful film and this Ultra HD highlights that element. With a noticeable uptick in detail and a boost to the film’s already oversaturated palate the image has ample pop that gives it a slight visual edge when compared to the 1080p version. Whites appear gradational and punchy and blacks are uncompromised and delineated. HDR is readily on display, especially during the daytime sequences. The finale aboard the yacht in the harbor is the presentation’s highlight, as the nighttime setting made for a perfect backdrop. Resolution is excellent as the image is quite sharp, although the gap between it and the 1080p version isn’t as wide as I’d hoped. At the end of the day Pitch Perfect 3 is a pleasing and ultimately gratifying Ultra HD viewing experience.

In listening to the DTS:X surround mix I found it to be of the moderately active, which considering the source material was quite welcoming. In general, its use of audio objects placed above is limited to atmospherics and occasional panning fills. This is done to good effect when implemented and created an enriching level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. Where the DTS:X presentation excelled was in the use of overhead sounds during the film’s musical set pieces. When called upon its ability to render acoustics, point to point imaging and expanding the breadth of the soundstage never disappointed. While this mix doesn’t make constant use of discretely placed audio objects from above, I found myself completely involved when it mattered. I found this to be an enjoyable audio presentation that absolutely complimented the source material.

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Video:

Audio: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialogue Reproduction: 
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA

Video: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: 
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  • Compression: 

Pitch Perfect 3 comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS:X/HD 7.1 Master Audio sound.

This film utilizes a variety of bright color schemes and emboldened contrast which augments its thematic tone. The results are complimentary as deep, oversaturated reds, and vibrant blues are capably offset by a lavish assortment of pastels that can be striking and a perfect match for the varied showcases and source material. Fleshtones are on the warm side but are tonally balanced and lifelike in depiction. Contrast is stable throughout and blacks are rich which enlivens both bright and dark onscreen elements. Resolution is strong as images have excellent depth and appreciable delineation with clarity that accents the fine detail in physical features and objects within the frame. Sharpness wavers here and there but fidelity appears intact. This is a pristine high definition rendering that looked terrific on my big screen.

The film is predominantly dialog driven, however, its musical set pieces make excellent use of the surround platform. Vocal reproduction both spoken and sang is clear, well intonated and prominently placed within the front soundstage. The front three speakers have an open and detailed delivery with appreciable channel separation and discernible directional correlation that enhances depth. Surround activity comes in the form of ambience and some discretely placed effects that effectively extend the soundstage. The music/performances have appreciable top end air, discerning detail, and smooth highs that are sibilant free and make for a toe tapping and pleasing listening experience. The occasional use of low frequency effects and extended dynamics offer robust bass and enhanced energy that accent the presentation.

Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1: Pitch Perfect 3 Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Pitch Perfect 3 Blu-ray
    • Deleted Scene
    • Gag Reel
    • New Musical Performances
    o Fat Amy & Fergus Casino Duet
    o The Bellas: “See You Smile” Lullaby
    • A Cappella Action – In this piece, we break down the scene starting with Fergus betraying Fat Amy and kidnapping the Bellas, through the performance and wrapping up with Rebel Wilson as she performs the stunt of falling through the ceiling.
    • The Women of Pitch Perfect 3 – With Elizabeth Banks, Trish Sie, and an all-female cast, the Pitch Perfect franchise is breaking down stereotypes and industry norms left and right. In this piece, we learn why that’s so important throughout the development and production of Pitch Perfect 3.
    • The Final Performance – In this heart-warming piece, fans will witness the genuine love and sisterhood between the Bellas both on and off camera as they get a behind-the-scenes look at the emotional wrap of the film and production.
    • Hollywood of the South – Hollywood may be the “Entertainment Capital of the World” but Atlanta is a close second – morphing into a metropolis for film productions and the cast and crews couldn’t be happier. We hear from them about the hospitality, versatility and southern welcome they experienced during their stay.
    • Extended Musical Performances
    o Evermoist: “How a Heart Unbreaks”
    o Young Sparrow / DJ Dragon Nutz: “You Got It”
    o Saddle Up: “Ex’s and Oh’s”
    • Competition Crescendo – In this featurette we break down the riff-off scene, starting in pre-production in the recording studio and moving into production. We’ll also discuss the Bellas’ competition: EverMoist, Saddle Up, DJ Young Sparrow and DJ Dragon Nutz.
    • Don’t Mess with Rebel – Rebel Wilson trained with stunts coordinator, Jennifer Badger, to prefect her many stunts that we see throughout the film. In this featurette, we’ll catch a glimpse of Rebel’s training and discuss the most bad-ass stunt of all – Rebel taking down four grown men in order to save the Bellas.
    • The Headliner: DJ Khaled – We check in with cast and filmmakers to hear their reactions on the music producer/personality being brought on, how he fits into the story and the love he has for the Bellas.
    • The Final Note: John and Gail – Everyone’s favorite Talk-a-pella podcasters are back, combining their resources to produce an exclusive d’aca’mentary following the beloved classic Bellas. We discuss their far-fetched endeavor with the cast and filmmakers to better understand our favorite aca-duo.
    • Just Because He’s a Bad Guy – The cast and filmmakers were overjoyed to learn that legendary actor, John Lithgow was joining the Pitch Perfect family, and he did not disappoint! In this piece, we’ll witness how Rebel and John are two peas in a pod, making their on-screen chemistry as father and daughter truly sincere.
    • “Freedom! ’90 x Cups” Official Music Video
  • Digital HD Copy

Final Thoughts:

Pitch Perfect 3 is the third installment in the Pitch Perfect film series, and is a lackluster effort that, like its predecessor fails to live up to the original. It comes to Blu-ray Disc in this Ultra HD Combo Pack from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring excellent overall audio/video quality, mated with a fan friendly supplemental offering. I suspect that Pitch Perfect 3 will appeal more to diehard, than casual, “Pitch Perfect” fans. In that light, I would suggest a rental prior to purchase.

 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies – 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems