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It's a jungle out there for Blu, Jewel and their three kids after they're hurtled from Rio de Janeiro to the wilds of the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit in, he goes beak-to-beak with the vengeful Nigel, and meets his father-in-law.
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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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.Read more ›
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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.Read more ›
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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 1 the animators and director gave the birds and other animals human characteristics, but basically kept them true to their nature. In Rio 2, the birds develop genius-like abilities, and are way smarter than the humans. In fact they are so intelligent they have the ability to save an entire endangered species. Don't humans have difficulty doing that? The ending is the worst part of the movie. Remember the animation 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.