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I believe I can fly ...
kosmasp22 December 2011
Or not. But what does matter is that the movie is fun. And it's not only fun for a younger audience, but also for adults to watch. Some (especially in Great Britain) were fed up with the movie even before they watched it, because the two stars of the movie were starring in an ad for a cell phone company (Orange). Of course that kind of treatment would be unfair to the movie.

If you are not biased and can handle a bit of romance and the overcoming odds story, then you will enjoy this. As Jesse Eisenberg is spot on as a "bird out of the air" so to speak. Even people who don't enjoy George Lopez as a comedian, might like him here. I thought his performance was spot on. Not a perfect movie overall, but the cast (as mentioned) and the mostly very well written jokes, work their magic!
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My favourite movie of the year so far
TheLittleSongbird8 April 2011
That in mind, there is more of 2011 I have yet to see, hence the so far bit, but I absolutely loved this movie after seeing it when it came out today. From the trailers and advertising it looked like a bright, breezy and entertaining animation, and in my mind it was much more than that. And I genuinely mean it when I say it is my favourite of the year so far, even surpassing the outstanding(if somewhat misunderstood) Rango.

What I loved most about Rio was its energy. Rio for me has more energy than any of the Ice Age(from the same team) movies, and its energy is truly infectious at that. Two reasons especially make it so. One is the writing, I wasn't expecting the writing to be this sharp, funny and witty, looking at some of the previous work the writer has penned, while the jokes are plentiful and come by thick and fast. The other is the soundtrack. It has a huge amount of authentic Brazilian flavour and just ripples with zest. I loved the samba and bossa nova rhythms that pulsate throughout, and further fun is to be had in the Busby Berkeley-style beginning and the truly spectacular Carnaeval finale.

The story isn't perhaps original, nor did it need to be, but it is fast-paced, with many entertaining scenes and is very rarely predictable. There is also the obligatory life lessons here which are seamlessly blended without feeling shoe-horned in or preachy. I loved the characters too. Blu is very endearing, and voiced brilliantly by The Social Network's Jesse Eisenberg. Jewel is a lovely love interest, and her chemistry with Blu is ceaselessly entertaining and cute. Anne Hathaway previously voiced Haru on the English dub of The Cat Returns. She did a fine job on that, but in Rio she is even better, more understated and less shrill. I equally loved the villainous cockatoo Nigel(who avoids being a caricature and the like and voiced phenomonally by Jermaine Clement) and the constantly drooling bull-dog.

Other than the above components, what also made Rio was its animation, which is simply stupendous. I haven't seen an animated movie in a long while(and I am a huge fan of animation) where the colours in particular are so rich and warm. The characters are also beautifully modelled especially the titular character Blu, and this includes the secondary characters as well, and the sceneries and backgrounds are breathtaking with such a refreshing richness and warmth. In conclusion, a wonderful animated film and my favourite of the year so far. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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Bird Love and Nerd Love
freemantle_uk8 April 2011
The Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro is serving as the setting for two films being released this April: one being a full on action film, Fast and Furious 5, the other being a family animated adventure. Rio is that film and shows that the Fox subsidiary Blue Sky Studios is growing from strength to strength.

Blu the Spix's Macaw's (Jesse Eisenberg) early life is tragic, having fledging from his nest too early and been kidnapped by poachers. Luckily he was adopted by a loving owner, Linda (Leslie Mann) as a little girl. 15 years later Linda owns a bookstore in the snowy landscape of Minnesota and Blu becoming a very nerdy bird. A Brazilian ornithologist, Túlio (Rodrigo Santoro) finds Linda and tells her that Blu is the last male of his species and takes them to Rio de Janeiro so the bird could breed. But Blu does not hit it off with Jewel (Anne Hathaway) and matters get worst when poachers take the birds and chain them together. When their escape Blu and Jewel they try and reunite with Linda whilst avoiding being captured by the poachers and their insane cockatoo Nigel (Jemaine Clement).

Rio is a pure formula picture and there are many elements have been in other films, such as Blu being taken from the wild as a chick, the animosity between Blu and Jewel and we all know where it is going to lead, the story of Nigel having a tragic past and being rejected, etc, etc…. But formula does not have to be bad and when done right it can easily lead to an enjoyable film for all the family. Director Carlos Saldanda certainly made a fast paced adventure with a great amount of velvet colour. There is a more old-fashion feel to it, like Disney films and its copycats in the 90s. Pop-culture references are toned down and there are a few musical numbers which is rare in CGI animated features. The animation itself has a similar look to Pixar's particular the human characters, though Túlio looks very similar to the main character in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. The animation of the parrots climbing is particularly well done and true to live to anyone who has ever own one.

Much of the humour of the film is kid friendly slapstick as is expected from this type of film and it is done very well. There is enough for parents and adults audiences to keep them entertaining. My personal favourites were the double act Kipo (Robin Thicke) and Marcel (Carlos Ponce) who were the dumb henchmen for the poacher and outsmarted by a cockatoo. They have some of the best lines in the film. But the two characters Pedro the Red-crested Cardinal ( and Nico the yellow canary (Jamie Fox) were annoying and pretty stereotypical.

Eisenberg gives a typical nerdy performance as his character is book-smart, but not adventurous at all, preferring to be safe with his owner. Compared to Hathaway she is a feisty, strong female character who wants to explore and distrusts humans. Both learn from each other, for Blu that there is a wider world and for Jewel that not all humans are bad. Clement was funny as he parodies British actors playing psychopathic villains in action films. Though I do question why ornithologists did not question why they had an injured cockatoo considering the species is native to Australia and New Guinea (but this is a minor issue). As well as the bird love in the film there is also some nerd love.

A respectable 7.5/10.
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Good animation,good characters,good humour,good movie.
lesleyharris3026 April 2011
Rio is a great movie,the animations great,the characters are great,the humours great,the cast is great,the musics great,the movie in general is a well deserved hit.

After a bird is adopted several years ago,he has never left his owners site,hes afraid to go outside and the bird (Blu) can not even fly,but he isn't bothered about it on e bit.

A male bird doctor comes asking for Blu and the owner to come to his hometown,Rio so he can breed the birds almost extinct species with a female bird.But while at Rio,the two birds get kidnapped and the adventure begins.
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Location, location, location. It's Rio!
lnery4 April 2011
"Oh, how wish I was back in my cage, with my mirror, and my little bell"

Jesse Eisenberg should be forever grateful that the Oscar-nominated "The Social Network" was released before Rio. That's because his voice as Blu, the macaw, is so distinctive and perfect, that in my mind he will always be Blu. And if Rio had been released months ago, audiences worldwide would think that Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder, missed his cage, mirror and little bell.

Now, for the movie itself…

Location, location, location. Because what's Rio, the movie, without (pulsating, colorful, exuberant, romantic) Rio, the city? The story is delightful, though predictable. The characters are cardboard, even if 3D and feathery. But "predictable" and "cardboard" are the worst adjectives I could possibly link to Rio. The Rio deal, is that I laughed all the way through it, like everybody else in the theater.

Blu, the last male of his kind, is the happiest macaw, out there in a snowy town with Linda, his nerdy owner. Jewel, the last female of her kind, lives in Brazil, and is the saddest macaw, imprisoned in a cage and fighting for her freedom. She's a free-spirited soul, with the world at her feet. Blu has lived a sheltered life, can't fly, and loves every minute of it. What happens when they meet? Anyone above the age of 7 can guess how it ends (age 5 if he's seen the trailer). But there's so much delight from the first minute to the last, that you don't want it to end.

I was one of the lucky few to watch the premiere of Rio in Rio, and at this point I can hardly wait to see it again. A Brazilian, Carlos Saldanha, directed the movie, and it shows. The details of the city are all there, but so is the big picture (you know, everything that really matters, along with wide panoramas of Rio by night, of a crowded beach, of a sunset in the cable cars of Santa Teresa).

Lots of AMAZING aerial views in the action scenes. The main characters are birds, thus flying should be expected. Many of those places showed in the movie can be visited by tourists.

Rio doesn't have the depth of stories such as Toy Story or Up. It is a simpler plot. It is, however, pure fun from start to finish, and visually stunning. Location, location, location. As a native of Rio, I could recognize most places, and was stunned with how realistic were the slums, and how the geography of the city, especially the mountains, could be so painstakingly reproduced.

The movie is not a musical, but it comes close to it. There's funk, bossa nova, a few clichés of Brazilian music and even samba sang in English (still conflicted about it!).

There is also the portrayal of animal trafficking, a centuries-old problem in Brazil, and the subplot of a boy who lives on the streets and must resort to petty crime, which adds up to a much-needed social commentary.

By all means, don't miss this movie!
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Rio is one of the best of its kind of this year
tavm27 April 2011
Just watched this computer-animated film in 3-D with my movie theatre-working friend, his nephew, and that nephew's friend. We all enjoyed the infectious atmosphere of the story along with the highly enjoyable music-both classical Bossa Nova and original songs-that takes us from the title city to a small town in Minnesota and then back again. The story of a bird poached from his native land who accidentally ends up with a young girl as she grows up during the 15 years that passes before he's summoned by an animal doctor to mate with a female of his breed because of possible extinction is just the start of what I highly consider one of the best of its kind this year so far. And hearing the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway,, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, and others just adds to the great fun of the whole thing. Nothing more to say except I highly recommend Rio.
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Rio-an epic, lovable, beautiful and visually stunning animation
drakula200510 April 2011
Not many animations like Rio come around these days.When i first saw the trailer and the team behind this very anticipated animation, the Ice Age team, i knew it will be very enjoyable and fun to watch.Seeing a TV spot right now, i remember that it was all those things, but much more as well.The quality of the animation was unique-only two or three movies can still compete with this and those are Tangled, Up and How to Train Your Dragon.But still, there was so much going on in Rio, the birds, the colors, the non-stopping stream of movement, lights, music and songs, around the carnival in Rio or in the opening and closing scenes with the singing and dancing of the birds in the forests around the city.So much was going on and with such quality, that no animation has matched.And those epic proportions of the animation are its strongest qualities.Something one can't see every day.

The character development was very good, beginning with a little background of the macaw bird Blu's life, with his owner Linda in Minnesota.Maybe, the other macaw, Jewel, was a little underdeveloped as a character, but with positive reviews coming, there might be a sequel coming on the way as well.Then, Jewel's background might be better developed.

With an animation of such proportions, some box office power along with a few Oscar noms will surely be along the way and the fact that it takes place in Rio alone, will act as an audience magnet, given that Rio's one of the most popular and non-stopping cities in the world.This magical feeling stays all along the movie.You just can't forget you're in Rio.

Rio is as well another example of an animation, worth the time and money of both young and grown-ups.That's what catches the eye.20-th Century Fox has made a great animation and with the possible box-office power of the movie, a sequel might as well be on the works.

So, a great animation, very epic and visually stunning, Rio will keep everyone mesmerized and captivated long after the end, and personally for me is one of the best, if not the bast animation i've seen.

I definitely hope for a sequel and i'll definitely see it again, at the movies.

10/10 for this stunning, colorful, heartwarming and breathtaking experience, named Rio!

P.S.The one thing i thought was missing, was Bellini's Samba De Janeiro- this song can make the mood of every crowd in the world :)
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Predictable but well done
LBWood25 April 2011
We saw this in 2D, on a digital projection system. While the movie is an hour and 36 minutes, it felt longer to me. I guess it's because there was nothing new about this, it was all pretty predictable. I even dozed off for a few minutes part way through.

Now, on the positive side, the movie's colors are rich and vibrant. The animation quality is simply amazing; some of the wide scenic shots looked almost real. The music is a lot of fun and there are some good laughs, especially in the latter half of the film. My 10-year old son was glued to the screen; even asked us when it was over which was our favorite scene(s). Overall, it's a good film. I'd say take the kids and go have some fun.
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There is something missing in Rio
Gordon-1121 May 2011
This film is about a blue macaw who is brought to Rio de Janeiro for mating. Things go wrong when some bandits steal the birds for the black market.

"Rio" is set in the exotic Brazil, amidst the world famous carnival. However, the film does not capture the same uplifting spirit. The plot is tiring and boring, with little to arouse or maintain viewers' interests. There is only enough excitement for young kids, but little for adults to enjoy. Sure, the visuals are very good, with great colours and smooth animation. The aerial scenes of Rio de Janeiro is breathtaking, but the visuals alone are not enough to make "Rio" a success. There is something missing in "Rio", and I got bored by it.
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The Adventures of a Blue Macaw in My Wonderful City
claudio_carvalho9 July 2011
In Rio de Janeiro, the macaw baby Blu is captured by dealers and smuggled to the United States of America. While driving through Moose Lake, Minnesotta, the truck that is transporting Blu has a minor accident that drops the box where he is trapped on the road. The girl Linda finds the bird and raises him with love.

Fifteen years later, Blu is a domesticated and intelligent bird that does not fly and lives a comfortable life with the bookshop owner Linda. Out of the blue, the clumsy Brazilian ornithologist Tulio visits Linda and explains that Blu is the last male of his species alive and he has a female called Jewel in Rio de Janeiro. He invites Linda to travel with Blu to Rio de Janeiro to mate with Jewel and save their species.

Linda travels with Blu and Tulio to Rio de Janeiro and they leave Blue and Jewel in a large cage in the institute where Tulio works. While they are having dinner, smugglers break in the institute and steal Blue and Jewel to sell them for foreigners. Linda and Tulio look everywhere for Blu that is chained to Jewel and hidden in a slum. Meanwhile, Jewel and Blu escape from their captors and befriend a group of birds that help them to get rid off the chain. It is Carnival and the smugglers and the mean cockatoo Nigel do not intend to give up of Blu and Jewel and are chasing the birds through the crowded streets.

"Rio" is a delightful animation with the adventures of a blue macaw in my Wonderful City. The successful director Carlos Saldanha was born in Rio de Janeiro and he knows the beauties of our city to show to natives, to Brazilians and to foreigners. The CGI is also awesome, with magnificent colored birds and the landscapes are impressively realistic and disclose minor details of our daily life that a real "carioca" will certainly note.

The story is engaging, and the blue macaws Blu, who is smart but can not fly, and Jewel, who is impulsive and does not think before acting, are responsible for some of the funniest moments. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Rio"
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Bursting with infectious energy and verve from music to colour to spectacle, this is one heck of a party you'd be a cuckoo to miss!
moviexclusive5 April 2011
The makers of "Ice Age" have decided to take a vacation from the cold and literally venture into warmer- much warmer- territory. Indeed, after three consecutive outings through sub-zero temperatures, director Carlos Saldanha has set his sights on the tropical city of Rio de Janeiro- also the second largest city of Brazil- where summer temperatures often hit a sizzling 40 °C. And what a wondrous source of inspiration this sojourn has been for the Brazilian-born Saldanha, whose "Rio" bursts forth from the screen with unparalleled colour, imagination and sheer energy.

Saldanha wants you to know that he is in Rio to have a party, so right from the beginning, all manner of feathered creatures of different sizes, colours and species welcome a new dawn in the lush tropical rainforest with a boisterous acrobatic sequence, set to the infectious beat of the legendary Sergio Mendes (who serves as executive music producer here). Among the greenery is the birthplace of our protagonist, Blu (Jesse Eisenberg), an exotic blue macaw who is subsequently taken out of his nest and domesticated by a local bookshop owner Linda (Leslie Mann) in the snowy Minnesota town of Moose Lake.

A visiting ornithologist from Rio, Tulio, offers a quick and convenient excuse for Blu to return to his native land- the last male of his species, he is needed to mate with a feisty female called Jewel (Anne Hathaway) for the continuity of his kind. Jewel, on the other hand, is only intent on escaping her captivity, but things get complicated when she and Blu are abducted from Tulio's lab by smugglers and chained to each other. By sheer luck and some ingenuity, they manage to escape, and spend the rest of the time trying to cut themselves free from each other, while evading capture by the bad guys and their evil cockatoo Nigel (Flight of the Conchords' Jermaine Clement).

Staying true to formula, Blu and Jewel will bicker like the typical mismatched couple at the beginning, only to fall in love with each other by the end. Predictable though the journey may be, veteran screenwriter Don Rhymer makes the journey a pure delight every step of the way with great supporting characters, witty lines and hilarious scenarios. Not often do we find all three in equal measure within a movie, but "Rio" is a perfect example of the laugh-out-loud hilarity that ensues when these three elements come together so beautifully.

A tram ride up the slopes of Rio is turned into a matchmaking opportunity by Blu and Jewel's three travel companions- a Toucan named Rafael (George Lopez) and two wisecracking birds Pedro and Nico ( and Jamie Foxx)- as Rafael dispenses love advice to Blu while Pedro strums across the wires of a tram like a guitar and Nico croons a romantic tune. "Tell her you have beautiful eyes!" Rafael whispers to Blu, to which Blu turns to Jewel and says "Did you know that I have beautiful eyes?"

Rhymer also saves some of the best lines of the movie for Nigel. An uproarious song-and-dance item where he gets to introduce the depth of his villainy to his audience sees him prancing pompously around caged birds cowering in their cages singing lines like "like an abandoned school, I have no principal". And when recruiting a bunch of thieving monkeys as his henchmen to search for Blu and Jewel, Nigel warns them in a dead-serious tone, "no more monkey business".

Of course, these lines are only as good as the voice cast delivering them, and thankfully then, the cast Saldanha has assembled here is outstanding. Eisenberg oozes apprehension and trepidation with every line as the cowardly dork, Hathaway packs gusto as the spunky foil against Eisenberg, and Foxx have perfect comic timing playing off each other's lines, and Clement chews up his great one-liners with menacing glee (you may be keen to know that he also co-wrote the song "Pretty Bird" above). Their chemistry is palpable from start to finish, and their exchanges throughout the film are nothing less than spirited and lively.

But a lot of the energy in "Rio" is visual, courtesy of Saldanha's eye for detail and aptitude for action. The animation of each one of the characters, lead or supporting or even extra, is exceptional, their respective characteristics distinctive and inspired. The colours- unlike the duller, wintry landscapes of "Ice Age"- are dazzling and vibrant. And most of all, the action sequences best appreciated in 3D- a flight over Rio with a panoramic view of Guanbara Bay, a narrow escape over the rooftops of the favelas, and the climactic finale through the crowds at the city's annual Carnivale festival- explode with vigour and verve reminiscent of that in the city's signature samba music, whose Latin rhythms add generously to the film's oomph.

That oomph is simply part of the party that Saldanha invites you to be part of from beginning to end, and "Rio" has every bit of the infectious sounds of the drumbeats, the colours of the sequins, feathers and headdresses, and the energy of the performers in the city's most famous annual party festival. Yes, for those of us who probably can't afford to take that Singapore Airlines flight down to Brazil, this is the closest you'll get to soak in the sights and sounds of that lively city. The best part of it all? It's a party the whole family will enjoy.
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Colors and Flying
TourettesPersonal7 April 2011
The main plot of "Rio", an endangered bird doesn't know how to fly. It sounds a bit predictable and this plot was already used by many movies. But the core of this film is showing the beautiful place of Rio De Janeiro. The filmmaking was great. Colorful visuals, often hilarious, and decent directing.

There is nothing wrong with the voice acting. The main cast, Jesse Eisenber and Anne Hathaway are like the bird versions of them. Jemaine Clement really made his character evil. The rest of the cast,, Jamie Foxx and George Lopez adds more fun to the movie. I just wish Tracy Morgan's character Luiz had more scenes.

The visuals are colorful and very spectacular. It really shows how beautiful Rio De Janeiro is. The flying sequence is indeed breathtaking even if it's in 2D. The problem of the movie is it's not so compelling. The ending seems rushed. We will all know what's gonna happened to this flightless bird. Although the movie has a big heart. The movie is often funny of course.

Overall it's a fun experience. "Rio" is not like Pixar but it's still enjoyable for the whole family. After watching all of those awful recent blockbusters, I think "Rio" is the best movie I've seen this year so far. It could be the studio's best movie yet.
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Two birds of a feather
LazySod1 August 2011
The story starts as a number of birds is caught in the middle of the Brazilian rain forest. One of them is a blue parrot, and as it turns out, a very special one. Years later the wheels of fate have taken him into the loving hands of a woman that treats him very well, maybe a little too well. Fate is again turning on him and his presence is needed in Rio.

And that's where this very colourful animation film really starts rolling. He quickly meets a number of friends and a necessary number of enemies and the rest of the story unfolds at a pleasantly quick pace.

Animation wise this one is nice, but not more than nice. The colour scheme is just great, spot on for the type of film, but action wise it's too much of a kids film - there's too little fun stuff hidden under the surface to keep the adults happy.

Story wise it's a little too rich on clichés and the easy turns and tangles. It's not bad but it's not great. All in all, it works great on the children, and works OK on their parents/guardians.

7 out of 10 feathers in a ruffle
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Adventures of Bird Blu!
spacespidy11 April 2011
It's story of how love compels to break comfort zone and discover our new self. Visually stunning Rio is brilliant stroke of writers to add magic to adventures and love tale of endangered bird "Blu". Story wouldn't have been same with Samba, carnival, beaches, mountain views, Tram buses if it was not Rio.

The whole story revolves around Tamed Blu and wild Jewel. Jesse Eisenber and Anne Hathaway did their best voice acting. Apart from Blu and Jewel there are plenty of characters which build story effectively and added plenty of rib tickling moments.

Even though story is simple and very much predictable with obvious ending, still story survives to tell a tale of love despite differences. Brilliant animation in 3d will take you on Journey of adventure and fun!

A must watch for its animation!
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Rio is bright and colorful but just not funny enough. Still exotic birds and locations keeps us engaging.
saadgkhan5 July 2011
RIO – CATCH IT ( B ) Rio is colorful and delightful but very predictable and not funny enough. The thing we as adults love the most about animated movies these days is that it amuses children along with adults. In case of Rio, it cannot be said, because this was made strictly for children, there is nothing humorous for adults in it besides looking at exotic locations and feathery birds. Rio is visually fantastic and mesmerizing. It won't be wrong to say that the production team has out done their graphics in capturing the true essence of the exotic birds and locations. Blu is voiced by Jesse Eisenberg and I don't know whether it was a good thing or a bad thing. The whole time it was Jesse Eisenberg we were listening too and not for a second he tried to change his voice to make a unique one for Blu. It was suitable but we will never know what someone else would have brought to the table. On the other hand Anne Hathaway was incredible as voice of Jewel. Not for a second it felt like Anne she really amazed me. Will I.M & Jaime Foxx has to be my favorites next, there combo was great along with George Lopez. Leslie Mann was good but Rodrigo Santoro's character was weird and very amateurish nerdy. Besides the first and last dancing song I personally didn't enjoyed other numbers in the movie. Overall, Rio is a fun entertainer for kids and families.
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Watch out for Colours, Music& Samba.
phadvijayanand9 April 2011
Why to watch: Watch out for Colours, Music& Samba.It's all about Rio, Brazil. Its really awesome. Importantly, animated movie with so much of colours & music, (though it-colour part was there in UP) but in Rio it feels like you are there in the Natural Beauty.

-Negative points: 1. Predictable story or rather regular story. 2. Not so humorous.

Screen Play: Movie surely doesn't make you bore, story goes smoothly.

For whom: Family & romantic people !!!

3D Effects: Impressive.Actually, Same as Megamind & other animated movies, but so much of colours makes it more impressive

Ratings: 7.5/10

Personal opinion:Must watch :8/10
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Nothing new, but look at that breathtaking scenery. Wow!
Theothervip8 April 2011
Rating: *** out of 4.

I usually don't like movies like RIO, mainly because they always end up being rehashes of previous movies; unless your talking Pixar, there's very little to no new things in animated movies nowadays other than their exquisite looks. So when I saw a special advanced screening of RIO a few days ago, my expectations were low, enough for me to expect that the film will fail. But hey, what a surprise! It's pretty good actually. So RIO ain't a new masterpiece-it's not at all much different with any Dreamworks or Blue Sky Animation effort that comes out every given year- but it was fun. The kids at the screening had a ball with it, but I can also hear older teenagers and adult audiences chuckling along with them. And I'm up there with them.

The story isn't something you haven't heard before. Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) is a rare Blue Macaw raised in Minnesota by the bookish Linda (voiced by Leslie Mann). But being the last male of his species, Blu is requested to leave his Minnesota homeland and shipped to his real birthplace, in Rio de Janeiro, where a female of the same species is being kept in captivity. Blu doesn't warm up easily to the impetuous Jewel (voiced by Anne Hathaway), and certainly a rare bird such as her being kept in captivity like that doesn't help. It also doesn't help that Jewel wants to escape and Blu, being a total "housebird" and all, can't fly.

But what it lacks in a fresh new idea it more than makes up for in lively execution. This movie is just amazing to look at, boasting one of the most gorgeous looks of any animated movie since some of the Pixar films and the occasionally bizarre but lavish-looking BEE MOVIE. It may even be more beautiful since this is exactly what it wants to be and not much else. Director Carlos Saldanha, who helmed two ICE AGE sequels, and the rest of the crew have done just that. The eye-popping visuals are the moneymaker and one of the few films to come out once and a while that is worth paying extra money to see on 3D. Once again, the 3D ain't something groundbreaking, but it's exactly what comes to mind when thinking of 3D; the visuals are pristine and dynamic, with flying scenes that are just breathtaking to watch. I could almost feel the wind as a glider glides past the Christ the Redeemer statue. Rio itself looks gorgeous, from the "Carnival" parades to the look of it during the nighttime scenes are just beautiful. If nothing else, it's a virtual tour of a beautiful portrait painted by Saldanha and his animators. The voice cast ain't bad either. Eisenberg is hilarious, and granted he'll be doing these kind of work sometime soon. The real standout is Jemaine Clement (from FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS), who lends an irresistible bad guy charm as a cockatoo named Nigel. Hathaway, George Lopez, and Jamie Foxx all fulfill their roles perfectly.

RIO ain't much new, but at least I enjoyed it for what it is. And I wouldn't mind going back to it during its official release and wallow in the dazzling scenery again. Here's a movie meant to be done (and seen) on 3D.
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A funny, hearty movie. The music is especially worthy of notice.
Ryan_MYeah25 April 2011
What is it that drives audiences to a movie? Word of mouth? Arguably, yes. Box office intake? Rarely. Awards Buzz? Sometimes. But advertising is the main thing that drives audiences to a new movie. I must confess that Rio, today's film I'm reviewing, suffers from the same problem as the earlier released Paul, advertising that makes it look like crap. And even though it wasn't as good as Paul, Rio is a solid movie with heart and humor.

It centers on the last male of his kind, a spix's macaw named Blu (Voiced by Jesse Eisenberg), currently in the ownership of a book shop keeper in Minnesota, who's brought by a Brazilian scientist to Rio De Jeneiro on the eve of Carnivale to mate with the fierce Jewel (Voiced by Anne Hathaway), the last female of the species. But they are kidnapped by smugglers who seek to sell them for countless amounts of money, but they escape into the jungle to make it back to their homes, and avoid the clutches of the smugglers' malicious cockatoo, Nigel (Voiced by cast standout, Flight of the Conchords' Jemaine Clement).

As far as plot goes, the movie's not that special. The film has a certain romantic adventure quality to it, blended with the signature humorous touches of Blue Sky Studios, the film's producers. Is it predictable? Yes, and it's a bit kiddy at times, but Rio makes up for that with it's emotional touch, impressive voiceovers, and wit. The film, with it's clever one-liners and droll sight and sound gags, quite often got a good chuckle from myself.

I must also give praise to the crew who designed the film with the utmost technical quality possible. The movie looked and sounded great. The Blue Sky animators delivered a gorgeous multicolored palette, while Randy Thom did well with the film's sound effects and mix. But what ultimately sticks with me the most about Rio is the songs and score.

The music makes great use of percussive beats, guitars and maracas that are are incredibly catchy, something that's apparent right when the movie begins. The film's composer is John Powell, fresh off an Oscar nomination for what I consider to be 2010's best movie score, and one of my new top ten favorite scores, How to Train Your Dragon, and Rio is yet another outstanding job, so don't be surprised if he makes my year end top five score lineup yet again.

I may have some minor problems with it, but Rio's admirable story telling and movie making methods are enough reason for me to recommend it.

I give it *** out of ****
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Minnesotan Macaw Resists the Tropics
BabelAlexandria16 August 2020
Seb's Rating: 7 Stars Sienna's Rating: 7 Stars Paul's Rating: 7 Stars

Watched July 2020.
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Un ironically my favourite kids movie ever.
pgillavila-8435622 June 2022
I have so much nostalgia for this movie, but that's not the only reason I love it now, also because it's great. The world isn't just some cookie-cutter boring world, and the human characters, (while not super prominent) are still fun and exiting and fleshed out. The bird itself (blue, who when I was a kid always thought was named rio) is funny and nice. Do recommend.
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A Nutshell Review: Rio
DICK STEEL5 April 2011
20th Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios hit all the right notes with their Ice Age trilogy, a series that I had unabashedly enjoyed, and for their follow up feature with director Carlos Saldanha, the icy cool pre-historic environment got traded for the land of contemporary Samba warmth. Still dealing with talking animals as characters, there was this sense of constant dread while watching Rio as it really tried too hard to entertain and to sustain that party atmosphere, and the filmmakers seem to have run out of tricks in their formula bag to keep one entertained.

Then it dawned upon me that I have grown up, lost that sense of wonderment a kid would have, and probably have been spoilt by Rango. Rango showed the heights that animated feature films can reach if they do not try to dumb it down for the kids, and is more adult orientated fare that didn't have to rely on cutesy characters created just to make kids want to buy their plush toy versions, or to allow for some of the easily impressionable female crowd to go gaga over. It had spirit and a tremendous story at its core, never really needing to rely on the cheap milking of emotions. Rio had gone overboard when you discover that their designs and crafting of cute characters equals baby, small, round, fat, and to speak funny. I see plush toys rolling off the assembly line already.

You would already know the story inside out if you had paid attention to the trailers for Rio. And having the screenplay written by Do Rhymer didn't exactly spell confidence, given his filmography thus far with the Big Momma series, and a number of sequels like Santa Clause 2 and Agent Cody Banks 2, which spell direct to video business. Perhaps the only bright spark that I had enjoyed from Rhymer was his Surf's Up, but alas Rio wasn't as innovative in narrative, following a set path of a pair of would-be love birds hating each other's guts, having to duke it out while chained to each other and finally emerge as winners to reclaim their freedom and walk, well, fly into the sunset together. Sounds like a typical opposites attract romantic tale to me.

Loaded with plenty of characters who talk too much, one cannot deny that it has star power at its side that will positively impact its appeal factor. There's the newly minted "It" stars like Jesse Eisenberg who plays Blu the blue macaw with the same whiny, nerdy demeanour Eisdenberg is known to play (someone spell stereotype already), while Anne Hathaway tackles Jewel the spirited female blue macaw in extremely bland fashion, probably the least interesting bird character amongst the lot. Chipping in are Leslie Mann as Blu's owner Linda, who goes into a parallel love story of her own as well with bird scientist Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro), Flight of the Conchords' Jermaine Clement as the villainous bully Nigel, and with others such as, Jamie Foxx, Tracy Morgan and George Lopez, who is lending his voice to too many animal characters already for crying out loud.

Animation wise, Rio allowed Blue Sky Studios to dabble in richer and warmer colours across a wider spectrum, and this validates that the studio isn't a one-environment wonder with its bevy of colours filling up the entire screen from the get go, with realistic, vivid textures that compensates not having real animals up there. And the film plays like a musical with just about every Samba tune conceivable packaged into bubblegum pop, never letting go of any chance to chant "RIO" every now and then. Like how many complain about Bollywood movies padding their run time with its musical numbers, Rio is also guilty of the same, making it seem overly longer than its 96 minute runtime.

Maybe it's reflective of my current mood or age has caught up with me, or perhaps I now realize I prefer my stories with a lot more grit than fluff. I had expected more, but Rio stayed well within its comfort zone. Definitely targeted at the younger crowd, and the still young at heart who like their characters develop according to formula, and designed with bright colours to stay cute and cuddly (damn, there I said it)!
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Blinded by the lovely colors; but not brain dead to disregard plot-boilers
sashank_kini-112 April 2011
Rio is set in a carnival-like atmosphere, orchestrated by vivacious, Broadway-themed routines and sizzling, animally-carnal and sizzling dance sequences. Rio also provides an oeuvre of eccentric characters, which like various ingredients of a taste test titillate the eyes. They also manage to get along a few laughter with all their idiosyncrasies; for example, the drooling dog whose slimy slobber inadvertently comes in hand. Also the colors so brightly razzle-dazzle the screen, along with the synchrony of the dances transported me straight to the visually-arresting, larger-than-life Rio de Janeiro parade. But did the movie, the essence, the fabric stay with me ling after the end credits? Sadly not.

Blu, a precocious, protected young Macaw has been living since his babyhood with Linda, a nerdy, caring librarian and has many tricks under his sleeve, none of them involving flying (since he can't). Their fairytale life is punctuated by Tulia, a devoted ornithologist who after a quick deliberation, takes them to Rio De Janeiro to get the last male of the species (Blu, of course) to be mated with Jewel, a fiery but beautiful and independent female whose principles are islands apart from Blu's. Blu is a timorous, coy but adorable bird who enjoys human companionship while Jewel, akin other wild birds, prefers the dangerous yet sweeping jungles. Both embark on quite an epic, unpredictable journey with a multitude of characters to fit the pieces together.

Blu is perhaps the most drawn out adventure in recent years of animation. Unlike Disney, the movie has a no holds barred approach in its story making, somewhat like Casablanca. I didn't like Casablanca much, though. I thought it to be somewhat of a pastiche. Rio is a hodgepodge of collage, impromptu ideas that sometimes hit, and at others miss the mark. I'm currently getting the sixth season of Top Chef in India where a contestant named Robin too experiments the same way. A splash of colors incorporating into one grand picture, yeah, like Sidney Pollack. But Carlos Saldana is not Sydney Pollack; he's a passionate film-maker who makes entertaining movies. And Rio is quite a blast indeed. But a "dream project" as ascribed by him- not.

Rio has some nebulousness and inconsistencies in the actual vision that the director must've had at first. Throughout the film, characters fly in and out but not all succeed. Linda is gratingly voiced by Linda Mann who along with Radrigo Santoro acts cumbersome almost throughout the course of the movie. Lesley gets too synthetic and cliché in her delivery, while the scenes with Tulio are platitudinous. Rio is quirkily voiced by Jesse Eisenberg, who comes off smoothly in most of his scenes, even with those which lack finesse. Although sometimes the tone may come as calculative, analogous to his SN character and I felt not completely in love with Blu, but he surely enlightens the banality with his volubly theatrical tone. Anne supplies baritone and luminosity to her relentlessly brave Jewel, which complements Blu's nature, s some of the film's most fulfilling moments come when Jewel tries to make Blu fly while Blu helps her walk.

The subordinate entities add luster to the veneer, some in imposing colors, while others Grey and barren. The most promising are the bottle-cap donning canary and the chest-thumping Cardinal, done by Jamie Foxx and chirpily. Ironically, the prime song sung by the singers themselves is auto-tuned and vapid. Also, the screenplay forces them to recite cheesy catchphrases (i.e. "its birds versus monkeys!"). Rafael, the toucan and his hissy but affectionate housewife and their 17 brood do provide some laughs, but I hate when Rafael's actor is asked to iterate inane lines "Sorry, Eva. Can't come home for dinner tonight". Such dialogs really lack impact in movies. Nigel, as the tyrannous has-been performer cockatoo is cartoonish and hilarious (the "Cage tyrant" song had wonderful charm). The monkeys are added impish fun. Luiz as the harmless bulldog is perhaps the most engaging character, wittily written.

The irresoluteness of the film really takes it to a pandering extent where gags are just randomly thrown in to arch out a smile in the faces of young unwitty kids. This is where Disney/Pixar scores one over them as they have sure shot money-making plots but with a touch of heart and maturity. Rio has the heart, lacks the ripeness. And I find it hard to criticize the movie as some moments, including the color-maniacal beginning, are magical. The bumpiness could be smoothened a bit just to add the "Wow!" factor so prevalent in Disney movies (e.g. Ratatouille's awe-inspiring ending). In terms of colors and animation, it's a spectacle. But, as a movie, it is a bit trite and incoherent. Sure summer extravaganza!
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What a disappointment...
cguldal25 April 2011
Wow, this was such a disappointment, I felt really bad having convinced my partner to go to see it. The great part that earns the 4 stars is the animation of animals (not humans) Yes, they are cute, well drawn and animated, and all that jazz. But, yes, there is a huge BUT here, the plot, the dialog, the human "love" story... Well, they all fail to inspire any kind of emotion or imagination. On top of badly written, slow dialog, which is not helped much by the necessary comic elements, you have really badly written songs! Something like: "I fly like a bird, oh wait, I AM a bird." Wow, really really? What's interesting, though, is that the "camera" lingers a few seconds after the characters leave the scene on the favela, the human built trash-tin-dumpster living spaces crammed on top of each other, full of homeless, street-smart kids like the one meet in the film... It lingers, as if to almost say something, as if it will finally add something to all this taking place in Rio, and the economic necessity that some people might have in stealing rare animals, but it doesn't. Nor does the film shy of piling up many stereotypes, you know, all Brazilians care about is partying, and they fail at doing their jobs mostly because they just want to party, watch soccer, wear Carnival costumes and dance in the streets, no wait, even at home all the time. Naturally, the police are useless, the professor is useless, the animal smugglers are useless. Right? At times the stereotypes are a bit uncomfortable, because it is not clear why they are there. They are mostly used as stale plot devices, otherwise nothing would be believable, even in the cartoon-suspended-reality kind of believable. The only character worthy of any praise, in terms of vision and execution, is Nigel, the villain bird. The rest? I have already forgotten everything about them! The laughter sometimes was louder than the joke merited, mainly because people and children expected to be laughing. When it is hard to find something good to laugh at, you laugh hard at the lame jokes even harder. Note for parents: Children in the audience seemed to enjoy the film much more than the adults.
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Maybe the kids might like it, but overall a very generic and formulaic CGI animated movie that relies too much on wacky characters
KineticSeoul2 May 2011
This is a pretty bad family flick, however the kids might enjoy it although I seen a lot of them get bored in theater and started to wander off. The characters are over wacky all the time in order to get the audience attention, but I lost interest very quickly. It's like watching something dull, trying to be exciting and entertaining. Even if a whole bunch of characters are constantly wacky and bouncing around all over the place. Now I enjoy watching CGI animated movies, but this one just wasn't engaging at all. In fact I found myself checking my phone a couple of times. The jokes were also very forced and didn't get any laugh or chuckle from anyone, including the kid audiences. Everything about this CGI animated flick seemed overdone in a negative way and so very generic to the point it becomes so very predictable. None of the characters in this was even all that likable or made me actually care for any of them. Plus the direction of it all is so very formulaic.

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An Animated Avian Adventure
Tweekums14 October 2019
As this animated film opens several birds, including a young Spix's macaw are captured in the rain forest outside Rio de Janeiro and taken to America. The young macaw's crate falls off the van in the snow blanketed town of Moose Lake in Minnesota. Here he is found and cared for by Linda, who calls him Blu. Fifteen years pass then Túlio Monteiro, an ornithologist from Rio turns up asking for Linda's help... Spix's macaws are critically endangered and he needs Blu to go to Rio and breed with Jewel, the last known female. The three of them fly there but Jewel and Blu don't initially hit it off... she is certainly unimpressed that he can't fly. This is the least of their problems though; they are stolen, and chained together by thieving bird smugglers and Nigel, their evil sulphur-crested cockatoo. They manage to escape but their adventure is far from over. Meanwhile Linda and Túlio learn of their disappearance and start searching for them; as do the smugglers.

This film is quite different from the stories one gets from Disney/Pixar; it is brasher in style and a little cheeky at times. This isn't a criticism though; it provides plenty of good laughs, child-friendly thrills and a touch of romance... in other words something for everybody. The main characters are good; I liked how Blu and Jewel's relationship gradually develops and Linda and Túlio work together to find the birds without their relationship becoming obviously romantic. I was less amused by Pedro and Nico, to cliché comedy sidekicks who were more irritating than entertaining... of course they may appeal more to younger viewers who are the real target audience. The character designs were impressive and the animation was top notch. I loved the scenes were we fly through the jungle and soar above Rio; they were clearly designed to show case the film's 3D on the big screen but still work on a small TV screen. The voice cast, which includes Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg as Jewel and Blu, does a fine job bringing their characters to life. Overall I'd say that this is well worth a watch if you enjoy animation or are just looking for something that can be enjoyed by all the family.
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