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There are over 30 million Americans who live on the streets of our nation. Can you consider giving something to a shelter near you? Your fellow human beings need socks because they walk everywhere. Food and shelter are great too, if they will take them. So please give.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Reviews by Hubie Goode: Rio


Synopsis: From the makers of the hit ICE AGE series comes RIO, a comedy adventure about taking a walk on the wild side. Blu is a domesticated Macaw who never learned to fly, living a comfortable life with his owner and best friend Linda.

Rated: G 
Running Time: 1 hr. 36 min.
Distributor:20th Century Fox
Directed By: Carlos Saldanha


  • Jesse Eisenberg     Blu
  • Anne Hathaway     Jewel
  •              Pedro
  • Jamie Foxx           Nico
  • Tracy Morgan        Luiz
  • George Lopez       Raphael
  • Jemaine Clement  Nigel
  • Leslie Mann           Linda
  • Jake T. Austin       Fernando
  • Jane Lynch           Alice
  • Wanda Sykes        Chloe
  • Davi Vieira           Armando
  • Carlos Ponce         Marcel
  • Karen Disher         Mother Bird

Blue Sky studio just won’t let us forget Ice Age from almost ten years ago, as this movie, also by the same studio, has a small cartoon ahead of it with the prehistoric squirrel still chasing the acorn. Rio, directed by Carlos Saldanha, who hails from Brazil, has given us a lively and color blasted film that returns the director to his own homeland.  

Much as I loved Rango for its edginess, and downright subversive tone that it shared with the audience, I expected, based upon the trailers for Rio, a better picture from between these two. Not so, unfortunately, fun and imaginative as it is, Rio is forever beholding to dozens and dozens of other movies that have come before it. Though I suppose the idea here is that small fry who have not lived that long or seen that many movies will never know the difference.   

Rio is a blue macaw named Blu, who in a bizarre turn of events, is whisked away from his homeland as a newborn and raised in frigid Minnesota by a loving human named Linda (Leslie Mann), who is a nerdy type that runs a bookstore. Then a Brazilian naturalist turns up and explains that Blu is holding the future of his kind within his person and if they don’t return him to his native turf for some slap and tickle with the lone surviving female Blue Macaw of his species, he’ll be the death of the macaw nation. Things only get more and more “Lion King” from there.

There’s a fat bulldog, who could be a hedge hog, a jiving bird who could be a meercat, evil monkeys that could be hyenas and an evil older bird who could be Scar the lion. But let’s not forget the young male character lost in the wilderness by himself who happens upon the “empowered” female character. Dozens of “fat boy/dumb guy and hot chick” sitcoms couldn’t have done it better. But what do kids care, right?

There is of course lots of great high profile voice work from a multicultural standpoint and that’s a fine thing, as the world is really full of all sorts of people, not just movie executives and those who remind them of themselves. (Jamie Foxx,, George Lopez) but they all do a great job, as does Anne Hathaway (who gets to do her 99 from Get Smart routine) as Blu’s female counterpart, Jewel.

Rio is great for the kiddies, as they will have a great time following the multicolored pallet and the mix of Brazilian and rap style music, which sometimes works and then other times misses the mark completely. But, parents won’t have anything to worry about if grandma takes the little ones to this movie, it doesn’t even go as far as it could have for the tear jerker scenes.

3/5 stars because it’s just beautiful to look at

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