Of the many films that were released in 2012 there were three that could be said to be the most anticipated throughout the year up to their release as the year came to a close. Those three films are The Hobbit, Les Miserables and Django Unchained. Each of these motion pictures has either breathed new life into an aging genre or has been innovative in some way that may change how films are made in the near future.
Hundreds, if not millions have been waiting for a number of years for this film to finally make it to the big screen; especially after Peter Jackson returned to the Director’s chair. Jackson not only accomplished the same dramatic scope and majesty with The Hobbit as he did with The Lord of The Rings Trilogy, he also did something truly innovative. He and the rest of the crew on The Hobbit chose to film at a higher frame rate of forty frames per second—the standard is 35 fps—this resulted in a picture that is so clear, the viewer is hard pressed to believe that the characters are anywhere else but in the same room. Truthfully, the “hyper-realism” took some getting used to. Nonetheless, it only served to bring the story to life—literally.
For those familiar with the process of filming a musical, they understand that the standard way is to have the actors lip sync to pre-recorded tracks of themselves singing. This sometimes results in a less than authentic emotional performance from the actors/actresses because they may have made different character choices when they originally sang than when they are filming. Director Tom Hooper—wanting to capture a more authentic musical experience on film—chose to have the actors sing while filming with only the music to sing to. The result is astronomically moving performances by Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Eddie Redmayne and Amanda Seyfried. Every cast member had the ability to respond to the moment as they normally would while filming a speaking part making each character seem much more genuine in their emotionality. This was truly an original way to approach a generations old genre and give it new life.
Any genre that Quentin Tarantino touches is going to be changed from old and dry to new, edgy and purely entertaining. This is something that Tarantino does well and has his entire career. Django takes the western and flips it on its head. What we get is a story with as many twists and turns as the best thrillers, mingled with ingenious dialogue that intrigues instead of bores and Tarantino’s own brand of brutal, fast-paced and bloody action. This one is bound to be as popular as Inglorious Basterds and Pulp Fiction. Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio give effortless performances. Django Unchained is a film worth seeing for any fan of Tarantino’s work.
If you haven’t seen any of these three films yet, stop hesitating. Regardless of which you choose they will leave you breathless, inspired or just plain exhilarated.
Rio is the story of Blu, a Blue Macaw who is swept from his forest home as a young bird, and is returned to his native Rio De Janeiro after being raised in Minnesota for fifteen years. The intent of his arrival is to preserve the species because Blu is one of only two existing Blue Macaws.
All appears to go well until Blu and the other Macaw–named Jewel–are stolen by smugglers. The would be “love birds” escape from their captors. However, the two are chained together. Soon, the duo are not only fighting to survive the relentless efforts of Nigel–a Cockatiel–to enslave them once more, but also to find a way out of their restraints.
Fortunately for the two, they meet Raphael. A Toucan with a big heart and an even bigger family. He leads them to Luiz. A bulldog with a slobbering issue. We will just leave the rest to your imagination. No spoilers in this post!
The film can be seen in both 2D and 3D. While most computer animated films are made to take advantage of the 3D effect ( Despicable Me, Megamind, How To Train Your Dragon). Rio only benefits from added depth, which really works for the panoramic views because it just makes them seem more immense. Either way you cannot go wrong because the movie is that good.
Rio is a fantastic film because it has a great story, fantastic musical numbers that add to the feel and essence of Rio, and the hilarious moments throughout the film. Some of which may not be easily forgotten. You will know when you see them. The voice acting is also superb. Kudos to the cast which includes Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, George Lopez, Jamie Foxx, Will I. Am, Tracy Morgan and Leslie Mann.
Do yourself a favor. Go see Rio. Take someone special. It will be like going to Carnival