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‘Rio 2’ Film Review: Perfectly fine, perfectly forgettable

"Rio 2" is a delightfully bright and breezy bit of computer-generated entertainment. As an acceptable family fare, this sequel maintains that blockbuster flavor that is expected of such an animated flick. It mostly hits the sweet spot when it comes to eye-popping visuals and feisty song-and-dance sequences. However, its predictable narrative plays too safe that it simply crafts nothing more than a fine commercial blend of heart-warming and toe-tapping moments for its target demographic. For this second installment in the "Rio"

‘Hedgehog in the Fog’ Short Film Critique: The Phantasm of Venturing Into the Unknown

A short essay for my Film Theory and Criticism Class The 1975 short animated film “Hedgehog in the Fog” (Yozhik v tumane) by Yuri Norstein offers an amalgam of terror and pleasure using the phantasm of venturing into the unknown. This evocative work of imagination features the journey of a hedgehog one evening to see his bear cub friend. As he travels in the foggy forest, he encounters many scary things that eventually become transformative moments of wonder. This 11-minute Russian

‘Shrek Forever After’ Movie Review: Happily ogre after?

While it occasionally provides good laughs, this fourth "Shrek," like its main ogre, is confused and way beyond its prime. For its long-time followers, "Shrek Forever After" is passable entertainment. It is for those who grew up with the franchise and not the type that could easily add new toddler fans. In any case, the "Shrek" brand still works for the DVD and Blu-ray market with a potentially good spot for top home video sales charts. "Shrek Forever After" begins so mediocre.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Rio’

The "Rio" Blu-ray release features a two-disc set consisting of a Blu-ray disc and DVD, along with some digital download materials. Aptly set in Rio de Janeiro, this 96-minute 3D animation is helmed by Brazilian director Carlos Saldanha, also the man behind "Robots" and the "Ice Age" films. The filmmaker shows love for his hometown with this movie project that showcases the fun and festive culture of the Brazilian city. Filled with dazzling imagery and contagiously fun music, "Rio" tells the

‘Valiant’ Film Review: Messenger pigeons of WWII

This animated picture capitalizes on British carrier pigeons, German falcons, and a World War. It is a tough decision to make a war story into a child-friendly animated offering such as "Valiant." But overall, it seems to provide more appeal to the senior crowd whose sensibilities about war are more palpable than children who love to see more lovable or goofy characters on screen. This family picture's CGI animation looks okay in the foreground, but the backgrounds look pretty bland. Moreover, this

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