"Rio" (2011) Movie Review -- How Many Kisses Do Blu and Jewel Get? 

"Rio" flies into theaters near you, but will this new animated adventure have you flying high? Here's my bird's eye-view:

Here's more info on "Rio" from Yahoo:

Blu is a domesticated Macaw who never learned to fly, and enjoys a comfortable life with his owner and best friend Linda in the small town of Moose Lake, Minnesota. Blu and Linda think heÂ’s the last of his kind, but when they learn about another macaw who lives in Rio de Janeiro, they head to the faraway and exotic land to find Jewel, Blu's female counterpart. Not long after they arrive, Blu and Jewel are kidnapped by a group of bungling animal smugglers. Blu escapes, aided by the street smart Jewel and a group of wisecracking and smooth-talking city birds. Now, with his new friends by his side, Blu will have to find the courage to learn to fly, thwart the kidnappers who are hot on their trail, and return to Linda, the best friend a bird ever had.

Also Known As: Rio 3D
Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy and Animation
Running Time: 1 hr. 36 min.
Release Date: April 15th, 2011 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG for mild off-color humor.
Distributors: 20th Century Fox Distribution

Cast and Credits
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, George Lopez, Tracy Morgan, Jemaine Clement
Directed by: Carlos Saldanha
Produced by: Bruce Anderson (II), Christopher Jenkins

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Emma Roberts Talks About "Scream 4" and Reveals Her Favorite Horror Movie! 

I spoke with Emma Roberts last week regarding her upcoming film "Scream 4." Check out my interview with the young actress as we talked about:

*** Why she joined the new Scream film
*** Working with the original crew and cast
*** Her character, Jill Roberts
*** The Scream influence
*** What's her favorite horror movie?

Here's more "Scream 4" info from Yahoo:

Sidney Prescott, now the author of a self-help book, returns home to Woodsboro on the last stop of her book tour. There she reconnects with Sheriff Dewey and Gale, who are now married, as well as her cousin Jill and her Aunt Kate. Unfortunately Sidney's appearance also brings about the return of Ghostface, putting Sidney, Gale, and Dewey, along with Jill, her friends, and the whole town of Woodsboro in danger.

Genres: Suspense/Horror and Sequel
Running Time: 1 hr. 43 min.
Release Date: April 15th, 2011 (wide)
MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence, language and some teen drinking.
Distributors: Dimension Films
Production Co.: The Weinstein Company
Studios: Dimension Films
Filming Locations: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Produced in: United States

Cast and Credits
Starring: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere
Directed by: Wes Craven
Produced by: Ron Schmidt, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein

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"Born to Be Wild 3D" Earns Critics' Choice Seal of Approval! Check Out My Fun, Informative Interviews with Morgan Freeman and Company 

I love "Born to Be Wild 3D," a thoughtful, insightful, and entertaining documentary from director David Lickley, and writer/producer Drew Fellman.

The film, currently playing at IMAX near you, just received the Critics' Choice Seal of Approval. It's that good!

After watching my fun interviews, please visit IMAX.com/borntobewild to help our endangered friends okay?

First stop, Morgan Freeman. Meeting the actor was a blessing! He is a great actor and an equally great human being. His fantastic narration anchors “Born to Be Wild 3D” and his storytelling voice pulls us right into the narrative.

In this interview, Mr. Freeman calls me the happiest person on earth 

We also talked about:

His interest in working in “Born to Be Wild 3D”
The narrative constructs of the film, and was he instructed in finding the right storytelling rhythm?
Helping the helpless animals

I adore Dr. Birute Galdikas, the fairy godmother who continues to help orphaned orangutans in Borneo. She’s the leading expert on orangutans, and her passion to help is phenomenal!

In this interview, we talked about:

What’s a trimate and how did she become a trimate?
The unbreakable bond between humans and animals
The importance of orangutan.org and what you can do right now to help!

Another one of the film’s fairy godmothers, Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick is the one in charge of taking care of orphaned elephants in Kenya through her David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a haven for Africa’s wilderness and its denizens.

In this interview, we talked about:

Her interest in joining the “Born to Be Wild 3D” project
Elephants are smart creatures!
How she hires the caretakers and she tells us a heartbreaking, tear-inducing story about the unbreakable love between humans and animals
The importance of http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/ and what you can do to help right here right now

The story of “Born to Be Wild 3D” started with the writer/producer Drew Fellman. It was him who started it all. He saw the passion of Dr. Birute Galdikas, who was helping the orphaned orangutans in Borneo. From there, the crew moved to Kenya with Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick, the other fairy godmother who helps orphaned elephants.

In this interview, we talked about:

The genesis of “Born to Be Wild 3D”
The challenges in making the documentary

Here's more info on "Born to Be Wild 3D" from Yahoo:

An inspired story of love, dedication and the remarkable bond between humans and animals. This film documents orphaned orangutans and elephants and the extraordinary people who rescue and raise them - saving endangered species one life at a time. Stunningly captured in IMAX 3D, Born to be Wild 3D is a heartwarming adventure transporting moviegoers into the lush rainforests of Borneo with world-renowned primatologist Dr. Birute Galdikas, and across the rugged Kenyan savannah with celebrated elephant authority Dame Daphne Sheldrick, as they and their team rescue, rehabilitate and return these incredible animals back to the wild.

Genres: Documentary

Running Time: 40 min.

Release Date: April 8th, 2011 (limited)

MPAA Rating: G

Distributors: Warner Bros. Pictures

Cast and Credits

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Birute Galdikas, Daphne Sheldrick

Directed by: David Lickley

Produced by: Drew Fellman

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Russell Brand Beats Russell Brand for Box-Office Supremacy! "Hop" is Still America's No. 1 Movie, "Hanna" Surprises! 

It's a weekend of good and bad for Russell Brand. The comedian's "Hop," where he voices the character E.B., continues to dominate box-office for the second-straight weekend with $21.7 million.

Meanwhile, his new live-action comedy "Arthur" failed to beat "Hop" and debuted at No. 2 with $12.6 million in 3,276 theaters. Younger viewers liked the film, but the older crowd could not help but compare the remake to the far-superior 1981 Dudley Moore original. ("Arthur" Movie Review)

But "Hanna" showed its box-office chops! The Focus Features original tale of a teenage assassin played by Saoirse Ronan trained by her father (Eric Bana) in order to fend off a fierce Cate Blanchett debuted at No. 3 with $12.3 million from 2,535 theaters. I love this film so I'm very happy that viewers are responding positively to the movie as well. (Check out my interviews with Saoirse Ronan right here, with Eric Bana right here, and with director Joe Wright right here)

Another new film enjoying a stronger than expected debut was "Soul Surfer" starring AnnaSophia Robb in the real-life tale of a teenage surfer who lost an arm in a shark attack. "Soul Surfer" entered at No. 4 with $11.1 million from 2,214 theaters.

It was also a weekend of good and bad for Universal. While its "Hop" is enjoying big box-office bonanza, $68.2 million total and counting, its brand new comedy "Your Highness" flopped at No. 6 with $9.5 million. Starring James Franco, Natalie Portman, and Danny McBride, the medieval action laugher failed to meet higher expectations. The film was lifeless and boring, and gasp, wasn't funny!

And Warner Bros., the studio behind the lackluster "Arthur," still had a reason to celebrate. Its new documentary, "Born to Be Wild 3D," made an impressive $860,000 in just 206 Imax theaters. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the film takes a look at two "fairy godmothers," one from Borneo who takes care care of orangutans, and one from Kenya who takes care of elephants. Both ensure the well-being of orphaned animals before they are brought back into the wild, because after all, they were born to be wild. I will post my interviews with Freeman and company very soon!

Here's the estimated Top 10 Box-Office films for weekend of April 8th:

1. "Hop," $21.7 million.
2. "Arthur," $12.6 million.
3. "Hanna," $12.3 million.

4. "Soul Surfer," $11.1 million.
5. "Insidious," $9.7 million.
6. "Your Highness," $9.5 million.
7. "Source Code," $9.1 million.
8. "Limitless," $5.7 million.
9. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules," $4.9 million.
10. "The Lincoln Lawyer," $4.6 million.

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"Arthur" and "Hanna" Movie Reviews! Which One Is My Pick of the Week? 

(For my full interview with Saoirse Ronan click here, with Eric Bana click here, and with director Joe Wright click here)

Here's more on "Arthur" from Yahoo:

GENRES: Comedy, Romance and Remake
IN THEATERS: April 8th, 2011
MPAA: PG-13 for alcohol use throughout, sexual content and some drug references.

Irresponsible charmer Arthur Bach faces his biggest challenge -- choosing between an arranged marriage or an uncertain future with the only woman he has ever loved.

Cast & Crew


Russell Brand ................ Arthur Bach
Helen Mirren ................... Hobson
Jennifer Garner .............. Susan Johnson
Greta Gerwig ................. Naomi
Nick Nolte ..................... Burt Johnson
Luis Guzman .................... Bitterman

DIRECTED BY: Jason Winer

Here's more in on "Hanna"

Raised by her father, an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of Finland, Hanna's upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one; sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe while eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own. As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and unexpected questions about her humanity.

Logline: A 16-year-old raised by her father to be a cold-hearted killing machine must learn how to be a girl.
Genres: Drama and Thriller
Running Time: 1 hr. 51 min.
Release Date: April 8th, 2011 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual material and language.
Distributors: Focus Features

Cast and Credits
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hollander, Olivia Williams
Directed by: Joe Wright
Produced by: Leslie Holleran, Marty Adelstein, Scott Nemes

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