Let's go to Rio: Preview Event
|FEATURES - MOVIES|
With its release now imminent, Shadowlocked provides some fun-filled coverage of the film's main promotional event...
When the call came through from my editor to see Rio, I will admit I sighed a little. I had seen the trailers of the the blue feathered Macaw prating around and it did little for me. However, ever keen to make sure our loyal readers are in on the latest movies, I got out my best cinema trousers and prepared to hit West End London.
Accompanied by a leading expert in field of 3D animations - one of my nearly-thirteen-year-old daughters - we set off early on the fateful Sunday, driving, tubing and trotting our way to the Empire cinema in Leicester Square. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a, erm, 'delightful' set of bouncers who, despite my best efforts, seemed to be in no mood for laughter. Thankfully, our subsequent PR company was at hand, confirming our attendance before swiftly ushering us inside.
It’s Party Time
We were greeted with a carnival atmosphere. There were palm trees, jugglers, face painting and so many distractions that my soon-to-be-teenage daughter tried to drag me past at first, but an over-zealous, wise-cracking juggler accosted us as we went past. So, being the inquisitive man I am, I thought I’d capture the occasion - and his skills - on my iPhone.
"That’s a lot of fruit to be handling," I remarked wittily to the man; his five-a-day in his hands. The party noises made it hard to hear him, but his reply was swift: ‘A coconut is not fruit it’s a nut actually.’; talk about embarrassing, being out-witted by a man making his profession through juggling fruit...and a nut. However, I couldn't help but wonder whether he would have made the comment if, instead of a coconut, he was juggling a tomato. For a moment, I thought about retorting with some sexually-innuendoed comment about juggling nuts, but I decided against it. Instead, I smiled and grabbed Laura’s hand to move deeper into the crowd.
A lot of effort had been made to keep all the heaving mass of children and adults entertained. The foyers were lined with PR-hired photographers capturing the moment, and entertainers had set up side stalls where invited families queued to have their little ones transformed into animals. Either way, it was all there to get people in the mood for the sunny, South American feathered romp they were about to witness.
After experiencing all that the bright coloured decoration and lush potted fake palms had to offer us, Laura and I made our way to screen one. We took our seats behind the Fox guys – I wanted to sit next to them but Laura was insistent that I should neither try to embarrass myself with Hollywood-people (how does she know this?), or force her to sit next to anyone strange – myself excepted.
While we waited, we made our assessment of the freebies and glasses we had collected; with my 'specialist' suggesting that our glasses were cooler than the ordinary 3D glasses. Naturally, I attempted to explain that these glasses were 'better' because of the fact that they were more expensive to produce - and ultimately warranted their own screen - but I was met with the same look I had given the pedantic fruit - and nut - juggler.
Get on with it
So on with the film. After being thoroughly prepped by the elaborate presentations and side shows, we were now ready to be dazzled by the feature itself. After the string of trailers, all of which I felt were unnecessary considering this was meant to be an exclusive screening, the film started. Now, In all my years of cinematic involvement, few films have opened with the 'wow' factor, a start so domineering that its mere presence controlled 100% of my attention; however, Rio did just this. The eye popping CGI was stunning and a musical number - the likes of which Florenz Ziegfeld and Busby Berkeley would be proud off - helped give Rio one of the most impressive openings I have ever witnessed.
During the performance the audience - made up of Fox friends and family, press, test families and general guests - were rampant with frivolous talk and positive murmurs, and all seemed generally impressed with the lavish production and 3D sequences. As for laughter, this was no Dumb and Dumber, but the audience seemed to enjoy it nonetheless. Finally, after an emotional hour and a half the film ended, met with a round of applause from its now subservient audience; and, as Laura and I made our way out, the air felt awash with interest and just that much more indulgent.
After leaving Empire, my rather-demanding counterpart and I decided to go for lunch, eager to discuss what both had thought of this recent screening. So, while it was fresh in our minds I got my iPhone out again and filmed Laura’s reaction. While it felt a bit like pulling teeth, she really liked Rio, and I will admit it...so did I. Yes, we differed in our out-of-ten score; and yes, we would watch it again on DVD, but once was enough for seeing it on the big screen in 3D. However, while we differed on a number of key points, we learnt an awful lot. I learnt that my 13 year old daughter had much to learn on a Geographical level; my daughter learnt that her father will happily embarrass her if it means conversing with the big-wigs; and we both learnt that Rio, whilst primarily targeted towards a younger audience, has something for everyone.
Still not convinced? Then why not check out our escapades in our exclusive video below:
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