Saturday 19 Apr

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Children's · Rio


Utterly forgettable

Phil Bacharach April 20th, 2011

From the conveyer belt of Fox Animation, “Rio” comes equipped with a predictable story, perfunctory characters and presentable visuals.

There are songs, double entendres and the seemingly requisite 3-D effects to ensure ticket prices eat up a small fortune. It is utterly forgettable.

Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”) is the voice of Blu, a macaw who is poached shortly after birth in the jungle and winds up in small-town Minnesota. As the pet of timid bookstore owner Linda (Leslie Mann, “Funny People”), Blu grows up to be so über-domesticated, he never even learns how to fly.

That cozy routine is rattled when an ornithologist arrives to tell Linda that her feathery companion might just be the last of its species. Consequently, Blu must return to Rio de Janeiro to mate with a beautiful female macaw, Jewel (Anne Hathaway, “Love and Other Drugs”).

Blu grudgingly obliges, only to be swept up in tortured adventures involving smugglers, thieving monkeys, street-smart birds, a paternal toucan, an oafish bulldog and a Carnival parade. Despite a surfeit of voice talent that includes Jamie Foxx and Tracy Morgan, only “Flight of the Conchords” star Jemaine Clement registers an impression as a villainous cockatoo.

Director Carlos Saldanha (the “Ice Age” franchise), a native of Rio, fills the screen with bursts of color that pay fitting tribute to his hometown. He doesn’t put nearly as much effort into the picture’s thinly drawn (figuratively speaking) characters. The result is a lot of frantic and breathless action that feels dull.

With Pixar and (to a lesser extent) DreamWorks setting a high bar for family-friendly animation, it’s bewildering that Fox still hasn’t figured out that telling a good story is what matters most.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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