To 3D Or Not To 3D: Buy The Right Rio 2 Ticket
In Rio 2, Blu is back for a brand new adventure that will throw him, his friends, and his family--Linda too!--deep into the Amazon rainforest. While this frantic macaw frets over predators and insects, his real worries should be a fast approaching logging operation, and of course the return of the villainous Cockatoo Nigel.
Our theatrical review will weigh in on whether or not this new release is worth your time, while this column will focus solely on the film's use of 3D. Considering seven separate categories, To 3D Or Not To 3D evaluates the full scope of the 3D viewing experience. Think of it as a consumer's guide for your movie-going, complete with a viewers poll where you can weigh in on how you plan to see Rio 2.
Note: This reviewer screened a Real D 3D version of the film.
Rio 2 offers animated adventure with colorful and literally high-flying characters. It has elaborate sets that range from Rio de Janeiro in full New Year's celebration mode, to the Amazon rainforest with a wide array of flora and fauna. Yeah, Rio 2 is perfect for 3D.
Planning & Effort Score
The first Rio was in 3D, and made $484 million worldwide, thanks in part to that higher-priced ticket option. So you can bet that Rio 2 was plotted to be in 3D from day one. The action sequences and song numbers show a clear consideration to how 3D could be implemented (we'll get into that below). Basically, director Carlos Saldanha knew great 3D would help make this bird-centered narrative sing, and his efforts are obvious.
Before the Window Score
This is the element of 3D where the movie seems to reach out into the theater. Rio 2 made solid use of the space before the window, hurling confetti into theaters on more than one occasion. It even allows the birds' beaks to break through the screen a bit. That said, fair warning to those with easily scared kids: one creature that jumps out at you in the theater isn't quite as friendly as Blu's flock.
Beyond the Window Score
Beyond the Window refers to the aspect of 3D that appears to stretch deep into the screen. As mentioned above, the settings for Rio 2 are pretty grandiose. The intro Rio scenes show vast seas of people and parrots partying. Later, charming pop-up book-style animation illustrates the birds' migration to the Amazon. There's also a brief boat ride over a waterfall that gets some added oomph from this effect. And finally, the Amazon itself is an endless feast for the eyes. To keep viewers focused, Saldanha occasionally drops the background out of focus, lessening the depth of field. But where this element of 3D really stands out is in the occasional aerial shots, looking down through the tree branches onto the spirited birds below. There it presents a beautiful and breathtaking bird's eye view.
The inherent dimness of 3D glasses can trip a lot of 3D prints up, but the makers of Rio 2 kept their movie plenty bright. You won't miss a thing in 3D, even if you are wearing basically wearing sunglasses indoors.
Glasses Off Score
This is a simple test to see how much 3D you're getting in a given scene: just take your 3D glasses off. The more blur you see, the more 3D is in use, as quality and thought can be perceived by seeing how many layers of depth are on the screen at any given moment. I ran this test a couple of times during my screening of Rio 2, and whether it was in an intimate scene, a musical number, or a crowded action sequence, the film was plenty blurry. So, it gets high marks here.
Audience Health Score
Bad 3D can be bad for you, causing headaches, eyestrain, or even motion sickness. This occurs when the director and 3D artists fail to provide distinct focal point. Even with all the flying scenes and some attempts at white water rafting simulation, Rio 2 wasn't nauseating or headache-inducing at all.
3D SCORES RECAP
P & E
Before The Window
Beyond The Window
Glasses Off Test
Final Verdict: Rio 2 has an undeniably high score. It's a bright and vibrant print that pulls audiences into the rainforest right along with Blu and the gang. So if you--or your family--is looking to amp up the excitement on this jaunty sequel, you can't go wrong with the 3D ticket.
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