Rio In 3D
A movie about bird sex or “Rio does it right”

When deciding on a film to review for this issue, I honestly wanted to see something that I would probably hate. For one, I seldom enjoy animated films. I find little kids bothersome. Not to mention, I deeply deplore 3D movies. This film has all of those things, and I actually liked it.

My biggest complaint about this film is the audience. Kids in packs and I don’t mix. When this happens, their primitive instincts kick in, and they become unpredictable.

I enjoy previews as much as any other theater-goer, but I like things quiet. Laughing is acceptable when appropriate. The constant talking through all of the previews was annoying. I was raised in a household where children are neither to be seen nor heard, so I found the kids disrespectful.

I also found how “memorized” these kids are to be rather unnerving. I heard several of them quoting the trailers of films that haven’t even come out yet, which I found rather odd. But I digress.

Once the film started and the kids got quiet, I was able to enjoy this wave of color, music and more than the usual amount of implied sex jokes. The latter being the overreaching premise of the film.

The story focuses on Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg), a domesticated blue Macaw who is the last male of his species. An avian expert tracks him down and convinces his owner into taking him to a bird sanctuary in Rio de Janeiro to “save the species” with a female named Jewel (voiced by Anne Hathaway). Once there, wackiness and adventures ensue. Sure, the film does get deeper, but even the basic plot is entertaining considering its G-rating.

This film features some pretty surprising voice talents that actually worked well with the script such as Jamie Foxx,, Leslie Mann, Jane Lynch, George Lopez and Tracy Morgan, just to name a few. A cast of voices like this is the kind of thing you would expect from a Fox animation (Producers of “Ice Age”).

The break out star in this film though was Jemaine Clement. I know, a lot of you will be asking “Who?” Clement happens to be part of New Zealand’s most famous folk-comedy duo, Flight of the Conchords.

Clement steals the show as the evil yet hilarious has-been Cockatoo, Nigel. He also gets the first solo of this pseudo-musical with “Pretty Bird,” a song similar to “Be Prepared” from “The Lion King.” I’d like to see more mainstream exposure for Mr. Clement although he is a rather odd looking bloke.

The one thing I feel is ruining film these days is 3D, but “Rio” does it right. The biggest problem with 3D film is switching between popping out at the audience to enhancing their depth of field. When this happens it causes our eyes to do unnatural focusing and is the reason so many complain about headaches from 3D films. “Rio” instead treats the screen like a big diarama. Instead of popping out at the audience, the 3D works inwards with layers moving away from the audience into the depth of field. The audience then feels like they’re looking into a big three-dimensional box, closer to reality. Whoever edited this part of the film did their homework.

Based on what I heard from the kids in the audience, they dug it. You adults should have no problem sitting through the flick and enjoying it yourself as well. The movie bridges the age gap by using some humor that adults will appreciate. For a kid’s film, this is one of the best I’ve seen in a long time.

The Mainstream is a student publication of Umpqua Community College.