Monday 28 Jul

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0


William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

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
Home · Articles · Movies · Youth · 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.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5