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Rio 2 (Blu-ray Review)

Rio 2All I knew about the first Rio going into this was that it was the film that topped the box office the weekend Scream 4 was released.  It was a huge hit, taking almost half a billion dollars worldwide.  In order to properly review Rio 2, I had to watch Rio before this and wow…I’m surprised there was a bunch of buzz regarding what the film is about.  It’s basically the story of trying to get 2 birds together to umm…well…let’s not have the birds and bees discussion right now.  And there’s also this crazy moment where they use the main character’s wing taking shape for its first flight to symbolize his first erection.  I couldn’t believe what I was watching.  Craziness.  Where would Rio 2 go?  Well, let’s go there and find out.

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Film 

In Rio 2, Blue and Jewel are living in Brazil with their children now.  Their human friends Linda and Tulio are in Brazil when they find a forest that may indeed be inhabited by more of their kind.  They pack up and go check it out for themselves.  When they get there, Jewel is reunited with her father, aunt and old flame.  Jewel and the kids seems happy and excited about this new habitat while Blue isn’t sure about leaving it for Rio.  Meanwhile, Linda and Tulio try to stop the forest from being chopped down by construction workers and Nigel returns and follows Blue and Co. to Brazil in hopes of staking his revenge.

Rio was decent.  Rio 2 pretty much more of a chore to watch.  I give it the 2.5 because I’m an adult and I can tell easily that this is one of those that isn’t made for me, so I’m not the ideal person to give the appropriate review and feelings to the target audience for the film.  This one is primarily aimed at the kids except for a couple lines here and there to make sure I’m still awake and paying attention.  Its a story that’s full of just excessive BS because the main point of the story isn’t really long enough to warrant a feature length telling.  However, there is a lot of songs and scenes of hi jinx for the kids to enjoy for the entire run time.

Rio 2 is basically Meet The Parents with birds.  Only, its a really lame version of Meet The Parents where you can just see how the entire film is going to play out from a mile away.  And to add to that, they get a Godfather series alumnus (Andy Garcia) to play the intimidating father in law that gives a lot of hell to Blue.  We also have Bruno Mars pretty much taking the Owen Wilson role as well.  Instead of a volleyball scene we get the soccer equivalent.  Up and down all around, this is definitely an animated take on the Ben Stiller opus.

The villain from the first Rio, Nigel, returns.  I really don’t see a purpose to his return or why it was necessary.  For most of the runtime it feels like the character is sifting through his own separate movie.  And when he finally gets revealed he’s pretty much disposed of immediately and sent back to square one.  Nothing of it proves its worth and feels like this shouldn’t even have been in the film.  It also includes a super tired and lame take on “I Will Survive” that we really could have been spared had they not had this in the film.

Rio 2 is a good one for the kids, but if you’re an adult you will find yourself struggling to keep interest.  If your child wants to watch it, make sure you have your cell phone handy for something to do.  And prepare yourself as Rio 3 will probably be another step down.  Yes, Rio 2 was an even bigger success worldwide than the first film, so we are all but guaranteed a third film in the franchise.  And I don’t blame, them, these things are making bank.  By the end of its first week, of Rio 3 the franchise will likely cross the billion dollar mark.

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: What can I say?  This is a modern CGI animated film from one of the studios that has a rep for some of the best transfers.  Every thing is sharp, clear and clean.  Detail is incredibly high.  I was most taken with the frog played by Kristen Chenoweth.  It’s got a very slimy texture that looks kinda wet and glossy.  Also, there’s some super impressive work on the beaks of the birds.  Really, every detail possible is accounted for here.

Depth: Great depth there.  Then again, this movie was also prepped for 3D.  The highlight of it being the soccer-like game played and the final battle in which the scale is pretty grand.

Black Levels: Black levels are inky and enhance detail.  Impressively, no crushing seemed to happen at all in the transfer.

Color Reproduction: Rich tropical colors pop all over this.  Blues, reds and green come alive and jump right off your screen.

Flesh Tones: N/A

Noise/Artifacts:  Nada

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Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Bulgarian Dolby Digital 5.1, Croatian Dolby Digital 5.1, Serbian Dolby Digital 5.1, Slovenian Dolby Digital 5.1, Greek Dolby Digital 5.1, Romanian Dolby Digital 5.1, Turkish Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Bulgarian, Croatian, Serbian, Slovenian, Greek, Romanian, Turkish

Dynamics:  The 7.1 is outstanding.  There is a ton of diversity among sounds, effects and scoring.  Its got a very lifelike effect and the experience transfers you right into the forests of Brazil.  While I wasn’t impressed with the movie, I was impressed with this 7.1 track.

Low Frequency Extension: Mainly used during the music numbers.  But it does give the songs a bit more power and “oompf!” factor.

Surround Sound Presentation: This is a phenomenal experience.  Birds are chirping and flying from all areas of the room.  There’s a great deal of fun going right to left.  Musical numbers make full use of all 7 speakers, providing a concert in your screening room.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Clean, crisp and clear.

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Extras 

Rio 2 comes with a DVD copy and Digital Copy of the film.  It also comes with a free download of 2 songs from the film.  There’s a slew of extras here of varying degrees of worth.  Some pointless, some interesting and informative and others probably enhance this for the kids.

Rio Refresher (HD, 3:21) – A recap of what happened in the first film.

Deleted Scene

  • “Practice” (HD, :39)

Boom, Shake, Snap: The Local Sounds Of Brazil (HD, 19:28) – Carlos Saldanha and Sergio Mendes lead this series featurettes introducing a variety of sounds native to Brazil.

Birds And Beats: The Singing Talents Of Rio 2 (HD, 10:19) – A featurette focused on the voice actors for the movie.

Nigel The Shakespearean Cockatoo And Friends (HD, 7:17) – Carlos Saldanha gives a tour of the Blue Sky studio as we take a gander at the series’ villain.

Music, Dance, Sing-A-Long Machine – Different options to interactive watch Rio 2.

You Be The Judge (HD, 1:49) – Fake audition tapes for the characters.

“What Is Love” By Jonelle Monae (HD, 1:37)

Still Gallery (HD)

Theatrical Trailers (HD, 4:51)

“I Will Survive” Multi Language Sequence (HD, 1:58)

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Summary 

While I’m no fan of the film, this is a well done release.  There’s a nice sea of extras, you get the DVD version and a digital copy.  The presentation for the film is perfection too.  So, if you’re picking this up, you’re getting a quality release.  If you liked Rio 1 or are looking for something new for the kids, this is a solid pick up.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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