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44 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Happy Wife is a Happy Life
What can I say? This colorful, tuneful, G-rated romp made the children in Saturday morning's screening audience happy; what more do we want? I enjoyed watching a flock of endangered blue macaws do "The Wave" to show their applause during a soccer match and their appreciation for a musical number. Their aerial ballet had echoes of both Esther Williams and Busby...
Published 5 months ago by Jay B. Lane

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34 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'Rio 2' features terrific cast, beautiful colors, but clustered plot
Animated sequels often suffer from the same amount of scrutiny and criticism as the rest of big Hollywood sequels. It can easily become a daunting task to not only create a successful animated film (which is no guarantee these days), but to also make the sequel as entertaining as the original. Recent and extremely lackluster sequels, such as Cars 2, Shrek the Third, and...
Published 5 months ago by FNDNreview


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44 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Happy Wife is a Happy Life, April 9, 2014
This review is from: Rio 2 (Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
What can I say? This colorful, tuneful, G-rated romp made the children in Saturday morning's screening audience happy; what more do we want? I enjoyed watching a flock of endangered blue macaws do "The Wave" to show their applause during a soccer match and their appreciation for a musical number. Their aerial ballet had echoes of both Esther Williams and Busby Berkeley: You know, those dazzling kaleidoscopic effects.

Our hero, Blu, lives with his lovely mate Jewel and their three offspring in Rio de Janeiro. She would like to visit her old jungle haunts and maybe reconnect with her family; on the other hand, he is city born and bred but adores her, so agrees to a little vacation trip ("A happy wife is a happy life"). Their adventure begins.

We follow:
* Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) raised to be a "Companion" for environmentalist Linda, he has now mastered flight but finds he must contend with Jewel's macho father out in the wild. His fanny pack contains a GPS unit ("Recalculating...") and an electric toothbrush.
* Jewel (Anne Hathaway) adores her little family but is concerned for The Flock as deforestation encroaches on their territory.
* Linda (Leslie Mann) is as sweetly earnest as ever, this environmentalist is now very concerned about the deforestation of the Amazon rain forest.
* Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro) is her clumsy ornithologist who goes on treks with her because he is still looking for a (possibly extinct) flock of blue macaws.
* Roberto (Bruno Mars) seems to be a contender for Jewel's affections.
* Big Boss (Miguel Ferrer) runs that evil logging operation with massive bulldozers, earth movers and tree-cutting equipment.
* Nico (Jamie Foxx) provides the vocals for "Crazy Love."
* Aunt Mimi (Rita Moreno) provides a bit of comic relief that the parents will appreciate.
* Nigel (Jemaine Clement) is a down-on-his luck fellow forced to work as a fortune teller's assistant in a street show. He wears a Pagliacci-type costume to cover the bald spot from his male pattern feather loss.
* Gabi (Kristen Chenoweth) is a poisonous dart tree frog who sings everything from showtunes to opera. She is desperately in love with Nigel.

The villain this time would be the logging companies that are stripping the trees from the Amazon jungle. The movie makes it very clear that even though the birds have some natural enemies, their worst long-term problem is loss of habitat.

The most impressive things to me, are the editing and the artwork: The editing is to the beat of a Samba-flavored soundtrack; the artwork includes a bird's-eye view of Rio's favelas (shantytowns) which cling to the mountain sides. BTW, Sergio Mendez is the music producer working with Brazilian director Carlos Saldanha ("Ice Age" and "Rio").
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love the way Jesse Eisenberg develops the vulnerable and impressionable ..., August 2, 2014
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This review is from: Rio 2 (DVD)
At 80-plus, I'm probably the world's oldest and most ardent fan of Blu and Jewel and their stories in "Rio" and "Rio 2." I'm ashamed to confess how many times I've watched and re-watched their adventures unfold. The delightful characters, avian and human, teach us important lessons about conservation while keeping us laughing every step of the way.
I love the way Jesse Eisenberg develops the vulnerable and impressionable Blu as he travels from his cage in Minnesota to the Brazilian jungle. Anne Hathaway, for her part, achieves perfection as she interprets Jewel's self-assured mastery of nature and ultimately reveals a tender spot for Blu. Their lines are funny, clever, and wise.
All the characters are great, the music is awesome, and some of the scenes of Brazil, especially Rio, capture the beauty of this land in "4"-D, better in ways than photography could.
In Rio 2, we find Blu and Jewel now happily married with three children. This sequel is less about personal transformation and more about saving the rainforest. Still, most of the same characters come back to delight us. The lines and the acting are equally excellent and the entertainment value is just as high.
These two films are favorites in my book, definitely recommended for all ages!
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34 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'Rio 2' features terrific cast, beautiful colors, but clustered plot, April 11, 2014
This review is from: Rio 2 (Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
Animated sequels often suffer from the same amount of scrutiny and criticism as the rest of big Hollywood sequels. It can easily become a daunting task to not only create a successful animated film (which is no guarantee these days), but to also make the sequel as entertaining as the original. Recent and extremely lackluster sequels, such as Cars 2, Shrek the Third, and basically any of the Ice Age sequels have all proved that animated sequels desire a great deal more attention than they are typically given. Still, that’s not to say all animated sequels are sub-par, especially when additions like Toy Story 2, Monsters University, and Despicable Me 2 each managed to find success in the shadow of terrific first outings. But, let’s be honest here – Rio was an average animated feature, and it was certainly no Toy Story, meaning the fact that it was given a sequel screams that there’s currently a serious lack of originality from film studios.

Directed by Carlos Saldanha (Rio, Ice Age), Rio 2 once again stars the voice of Jesse Eisenberg as Blu, the accident-prone house bird from Minnesota. In the first film, Blu found the love of his life, Jewel (Anne Hathaway), and now they have a family of their own. They currently live in Rio with Linda (Leslie Mann) and Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro), who have made their way to the Amazon – and happen to stumble upon the possibility of a new flock of Spix Macaws (they are supposedly nearly extinct). Blu and Jewel witness the discovery on the news and the family heads to the Amazon to help with the search.

After arriving in the Amazon, Blu and the family, accompanied by Rafael the Toucan (George Lopez), Pedro the Cardinal (will.i.am), and Nico the Yellow Canary (Jamie Foxx), quickly discovers that Jewel’s father, Eduardo (Andy Garcia), is alive and well. He is the leader of a massive tribe of Spix Macaws, which includes one of Jewels’ childhood friends, Roberto (Bruno Mars) – both of whom find Blu’s domesticated habits to be problematic. And, at the same time, Nigel (Jermaine Clement), the vengeful Cockatoo, and his cohorts, which includes a poisonous frog, Gabi (Kristin Chenoweth), follow Blu to the Amazon with the intent to put an end to him.

For an animated sequel, there is a whole lot going on over the course of the film – yet the strangest thing about all of it is the fact that little of the plot-based elements ever fully establishes the sequel with a clear-cut purpose. One minute this story is about whether or not more Spix Macaws exist, then there’s an abrupt and needless love triangle, followed by the close-minded father dictating all the infallible survival rules of the rain forest. Plus, you have the villain from the previous film, Nigel, seeking revenge, not to mention humans knocking down trees and attempting to kill the Amazon’s inhabitants. On top of all of that, there’s supporting cast members conducting talent show interviews, a flock of rival birds creating a turf war, and Linda and Tulio wondering about with a video recorder documenting the couple’s ridiculous adventure. I don’t know about you, but do you think there are enough plotlines stuffed into a roughly 90-minute movie?

Regardless of the plot issues, the cast is by far the bright spot of the film. Jesse Eisenberg is a tremendous actor that channels Blu’s scatter-brained, awkward demeanor perfectly. Eisenberg simply amplifies every role that he’s involved in, and at no point will viewers be disappointed by his acting or voice work (a notion that should be imbedded into the minds of anyone that believes he won’t make an excellent Lex Luthor in the Man of Steel sequel). He also has wonderful chemistry with the absurdly talented Anne Hathaway, who portrays animated bride. Her role appears to be slightly reduced from the first film, which is no surprise with the massive amount of characters incorporated into this sequel. Never the less, Hathaway has a marvelous voice (and if you haven’t fully heard it, you should check out Les Misérables), but it would have been nice had she been given more of a substantial singing role.

Speaking of singing, Kristin Chenoweth steals the show as a love-struck, poisonous frog. She is given not only a charming character, but the major singing role, too. Again, if you haven’t heard her voice in the past, you should make an attempt to purchase one of her outstanding studio albums. Over the course of the film, her character pines for the villainous Nigel, thus creating several of the film’s most humorous moments. The downsize to Chenoweth’s role is that the rest of the supporting cast suffers, especially Tracy Morgan as the slobbering dog, Luiz – who is only in the film’s opening moments. Oddly enough, Morgan’s witty distinctiveness was one of the bright spots of Rio, so his reduced (cameo) role comes as an unfortunate disappointment.

Naturally, a movie titled Rio should probably at least take place in Rio, yet that’s not the case here. The sentiment of the location is fully intact, but like Madagascar, the plot takes the characters to a new, grander location. Naturally, this new direction broadens the landscape of the film’s universe, all while establishing new characters and so on and so forth. Still, if Rio 2 is ultimately a success (and it’s hard to imagine it wouldn’t be), Rio 3 will likely need to create a reason for the characters to migrate back to Rio. Otherwise, Rio 3 could simply change its name to The Jungle Book (never mind, that’s already taken).

Overall, Rio 2 is another beautifully colorful animated feature. Still, it’s not an exceptional sequel, nor is it disappointing, either. The majority of the characters from the first film are back for more fun, albeit with reduced roles. Clearly, the plot of Rio is jumbled, but it’s hard to imagine the kids voicing any kind of complaint. Adults will be entertained, too, but you’ll notice a few oddities in the movie, including the art of “war” being the equivalent of a soccer match, and the blatant message that humans are a danger to the survival of the Amazon. The issue of protecting the rainforests (referred to as “tree hugging” in the movie) serves a vitally important role in the climax of the movie. Regardless of the thematic messages and the fact that the film’s plot is too clustered and overly ambitious, Rio 2 will is still recommended as a safe choice for a family outing.

GRADE: C
FNDNreview.com
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rio 2, July 20, 2014
This review is from: Rio 2 (3D Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
It isn't often that a sequel can live up to the original, but Rio 2 manages to pull it off. In this movie, Blue and Jewel take a family trip to the Amazon where they are reunited with Jewel's father who they believed was killed in a forest fire. They also discover they aren't the last of their species as they had feared. There is a whole flock living deep in the Amazon, but the threat of deforestation makes their extinction a real possibility. Blue is anxious to get home, especially since Jewel's father gives him a hard time about being a pet, but Jewel is drawn to the wild that was originally her home. The two of them have to decide what's best their family--stay in the wild or return to their owners and the safety of their home in Rio.

Rio 2 is an adorable movie with tons of great songs and fun characters. My kids enjoyed the rivalry with the red macaws and the soccer game that ensued. It was also fun to see Nigel return along with his love-struck frog sidekick. There was plenty of action and lots of bright colors. My family enjoyed this movie just as much as the original and my kids were thrilled that there favorite birds were back in flight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 3D does not work. Terrible encoding looks sandy., September 3, 2014
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This review is from: Rio 2 (3D Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
This review is not about the film, but the 3D blu ray it self. It doesn't work. Amazon sent us a replacement and still it's stuck on a "you don't have a 3d tv" screen. Yes we do. Both our 3D blu ray player and 3D LED tv are top of the line new samsungs. The authoring is flawed. I'm a motion artist/DVD encoder by trade...this is a buggy, terrible enocde.

It's not even progressive, they enocded the frames interlaced with a dither that makes All fast motion (ie: the whole friggin movie) look covered in sand.

3D that doesn't work and a sand covered HD blu ray...just ew. Disney's Planes 3d blu ray (produced on 1/10th the budget) looks absolutely amazing...im not being whiney.
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20 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it!!!, May 7, 2014
This review is from: Rio 2 (Amazon Instant Video)
Love Rio..but Rio 2 even better!

I want to see it again... for the young and the young at heart!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not nearly as fun as the first film, August 4, 2014
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This review is from: Rio 2 (Amazon Instant Video)
I enjoyed the first Rio. It was cute and quirky. This one, however, seems to have replaced everything fun about its predecessor with cliché plot devices and an overall lack of character. That said, it's not mind-numbingly dull like many other children's programs, so it has that going for it, I suppose.
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3.0 out of 5 stars From Blue to Blah, September 10, 2014
This review is from: Rio 2 (DVD)
I knew it...I knew it. Every time a good animation story is made the following sequel is bad. It happened with Despicable Me 2 and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. I hope it does not happen to the animation called, "Up." I love animation, and as far as Rio 2 goes...it is done well. What is missing is an interesting storyline. The birds are comfortable at Blu's owner's home in Brazil...acting like they own the place and the bird parents decide to take a trip to the jungle to allow the "kids" to experience more nature. While they are there they go looking for more of their own kind....more blue birds. Well, that's about it. Brazilian-like songs take up the rest of the movie. Song, after song, after song. I think there should be a limit to how many "bad" songs we have to endure in a cartoon. In Rio 2, the birds are smarter than their owners. In Rio 1 the animators and director gave the birds and other animals human characteristics, but basically kept them animals. In Rio 2, the birds develop genius-like abilities, and are way smarter than humans. In fact they give the birds the responsibility of saving an entire species. If humans cannot save endangered species...how are birds able to save an entire endangered species? The ending is the worst part of the movie...just think "Avatar," and you will get the message. Remember the movie, "Avatar?" The ending is a blatant rip-off of James Cameron's movie, "Avatar." Anyhow, young kids will like the "silly," action scenes in the movie, but since there is not enough story to fill 101 minutes...anyone over 7 years of age...might get bored.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the only times ever PT2 is more enjoyable than the 1st in franchise!, August 15, 2014
This review is from: Rio 2 (DVD)
Maybe it was the storyline, maybe it was seeing familiar friends from the franchise (or maybe I'm being brainwashed by viewing this multiple times a day with the kiddos?) but I loved this movie :-) Even more than the first Rio.

I like the environmental elements here, the family dynamic issues and growing pains, and especially how the characters are developing and evolving. I dig how Linda seems to have found herself in this movie- I feel like she is a (subtle though) positive influence for my 8yo daughter. Linda tells Tulio what's what all the time and is proactive in initiating solutions and sometimes even taking a more "dominant" role over Tulio.

Of course the Linda aspect is a small one in the overall themes in this movie. However it was a highlight for me. I found this movie overall very refreshing (especially in the face of the very inane themes I find myself inundated with lately, and all the marketing by popular charectors, ugh!!)

There was a scene at the end that got me a little choked up too, which is rare for me. My favorite element was how they carried Nigel the cockatoo into this story and especially his musical number in this one.

Fun for the whole family. If you liked Rio you should love 2. Even if you haven't seen Rio this one is well worth checking out!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Rio 2, August 12, 2014
This review is from: Rio 2 (Amazon Instant Video)
In Rio 2, Blu and the gang are back and in the jungles of Brazil in an effort to help save it from illegal loggers.

The first Rio movie was one that surprised me at the time when I first watched it as I enjoyed it more than I thought and in addition after having watched Frozen in the past few months, this sequel has a lot to live up to. Although Rio 2 fails to be as good as the original as most sequels tend to do, it is still an entertaining watch for both the adults and kids. The animation and voice cast are both well done. The story here is the weak point with it being a bit convoluted and muddled, which is a weak point for us adults but probably less so of an issue for the kids.

The movie is cute and watchable but unfortunately fails to live up to the original Rio with a story that could have been done a bit better.
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Rio 2
Rio 2 by Carlos Saldanha
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