Right on par with the first “Rio”, we get more of the birds and other animals and less of the people… and interesting storyline with enough to keep both kids and adults entertained. It is a little long for its target audience, but its cute and fun for the whole family… I give it 7.0 out of 10… a movie about families for families.
Now that they’re a family with an extended family of other birds and animal friends plus their human protectors, Blu and Jewel are living comfortably in the sanctuary as the only known blue spix macaws remaining. The endangered status makes them naturally protective of their kids, but Jewel (Anne Hathaway) seems more concerned than Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) that the kids are growing up too much like humans with modern conveniences and plush accommodations… she wants to get outside in the jungle and get away from technology. Their three little fledglings (Carla, Bia, Tiago) all have unique personalities reflective of their parents, with the oldest of the three acting like a teenager. Everything seems to be okay until they learn they may not actually be the only survivors of their species… and they once again run into the vengeful cockatoo Nigel (Jemaine Clement) and his new associates including Gabi the tree frog (Kristin Chenoweth).
What follows is a story that could be simplified as just a heartwarming family adventure with a message about the dangers of deforestation in the Amazon.
But its more than that, there’s lots of colorful images and memorable characters and many fun songs for the kids plus some laughs and a storyline interesting enough for adults.
The movie is well crafted it looks great and its well conceived with solid writing, the voice cast is great, its a little darker in tone than the first, but its understandably predictable and the musical numbers are fairly forgettable after a few hours.
The latest Great Lakes water levels from the Army Corps of Engineers shows the following increases in Great Lakes water levels over the past month: Lake Superior 2″, Lake Michigan 7″, Lake Huron 7″, Lake Erie 11″ and Lake Ontario 14″. The year-to-year change in water levels of the Great Lakes: Superior +13″, Lake Michigan +13″, Lake Huron +13″, Lake Erie +9″, Lake Ontario +5″.
The mid-week snowstorm brought heavy snow to much of Upper Michigan, with totals of 19″ at Laurium and Allouez, 18″ at S. Range, 17″ at Ontonagon and 15″ at Caspian and Mohawk. Snow depths Thursday in the U.P.: 46″ Herman and Hoist Basin, 40″ Grand Marais and Mohawk, 31″ at Houghton, 28″ at Marquette (airport) and 12″ at S. Ste. Marie. Ashland, Wisconsin reported 15″ of new snow and Rock Creek, Minnesota had 17″.
Once again…everyone else turned in for the night…I’m back at the Krystal, online and drinking a diet something. They pump music (fairly loud) into the Krystal…satellite probably…no commercials..both nights now within a matter of minutes, I hear “Wrecking Ball”. Just one other guy here eating a burger. There was another guy eating a burger here that left about 10 minutes ago. Out of all the tables here at the Krystal…this new guy sat at the same table that the other guy sat at. I’ve seen a couple cars pull up to the drive through. The young people who work here are incredibly nice. Click on the picture to enlarge. Lake Melton is on the east side of Oak Ridge. It’s one of the top places in the U.S. for rowing. Lake Melton is the dammed up Clinch River and there is a stretch here that is perfect for rowing. It runs north and south in a straight line for over a mile. It’s got hills surrounding it blocking the wind, so the water is often calm. There are races throughout the spring and this Easter Weekend is no exception. The shore is lined with tents and school signs…Texas A. & M, Miami, Dartmouth…dozens of them. I’ve seen Grand Valley here. We spent some time watching the scene today…also went to the local supermarket (the Food Lion – they were GIVING free flowers to people today – the ones that were outdated and they gave my mother 6 beautiful red roses – I thought they were in perfect bloom). They have apple juice from West Michigan. My mother cooked noodles and meatballs this evening – I made a nice salad, my wife made the dressing. We had a small piece of cheesecake for dessert. We walked about a mile today (my mother likes to walk). This evening we drove up a hill to view the city. I have not watched any TV down here. It was a beautiful day…sunny, a few cirrus clouds – the flowers and in bloom and the leaves are about 3/4 out on many of the trees here. The dandelions are for the most part done blooming here and there are stems poking up. My mother has weeded them out of her front lawn. It was calm much of the day, but in the distance, I could see wind turbines moving on the hill about 10 miles north of the city. It was in the mid 60s here this afternoon with dew points in the mid-upper 20s, very dry air. The waning (you can see less of it each night) gibbous (about 3/4-full) moon is shining brightly tonight. Tomorrow (Fri.) we may have a picnic at one of the local or state parks.
The overnight European model gives G.R. 0.12″ rain next Monday and 0.10″ next Thurs. Looks like a decent Easter Weekend.
These are the MODIS satellite pictures from Weds. (Lake Superior is from Tuesday – clouds and a snowstorm there on Weds). Pics. from NOAA Coastwatch. First, there is STILL some ice west of Ottawa and Allegan Counties! Note on the Lake Ontario picture the snow on the Tug Plateau east of the lake. There’s still a fair amount of ice on Lake Superior and some ice left on Erie and Huron. This is the most ice on the Great Lakes this early in winter. The NOAA Coastwatch Analysis on 4/15 showed a Great Lakes ice cover of 39%. Lake Michigan is still at 21%. Several new threads from Weds. evening below, read on if you have the time… Also, the eclipse viewed from Canada. From the Storm Prediction Center – Severe Weather Next Week: “THE HIGHEST SEVERE POTENTIAL APPEARS TO BE CENTERED AROUND D8/WED OVER THE GREAT PLAINS.”
11 pm Weds. I’m sitting in the Krystal in Oak Ridge, TN where they have an internet connection – (my mother does not) – ordered the 5 for 5$. My mother and wife went to sleep early, so here I sit. We left Grand Rapids and 22° this morning. Bought gas in Indiana at $3.52…it was breezy and cold while I was pumpin’ the gas…in the 30s. It was 47 by the time we hit Cincinnati and a 25-minute traffic jam for a relatively minor fender bender. The lanes are pretty close together and when you’ve got semis on either side of you, you have to pay attention. Mid 50s when we got to Oak Ridge. We saw snow on the north side of hills all the way to Fort Wayne…first blossoms I saw were on the south side of Dayton. I think it’s the ornamental Bradford Pears that are blooming in urban areas of N. Kentucky down to Lexington – very nice. First hyacinth I saw was in Van Wert, Ohio. We have these beautiful dogwoods and redbuds out in E. Tennessee, along with lots of flowers. It’ll be 60s here tomorrow, maybe 70 on Friday and in the 70s for the weekend. My 94-year old (95 in July) mother insisted on doing Easter dinner – traditional ham. We’ll plead to help and she’ll eventually relent, but she loves having the family over. My sister and her husband insisted on playing golf at least once. They play 12-months of the year…40 deg. in January and they’ll go out once a week. I played once last year and twice the year before that. It wasn’t a pretty sight. Gas is $3.45 in Oak Ridge…lots of stations here, very competitive.
Model data: The evening run of the NAM (Caribou) as the following low/high temps. starting Thurs. AM: 29/62/39/53/28/62.
Posts may be a little more rare since I’m down here and want to concentrate on mom…what she needs done and what she wants to do. I won’t be spending as much time watching weather (except for the spring weather and sunshine down here). My best to all our blog readers and commentors.
Here’s the latest from Ed: “Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 9:00PM: Despite the fact that ethanol prices are back under control, Monday’s price hike had the same flavor as other recent hikes. That means that the price to retailers still has an ethanol premium included, or those red colored stations are pricing gas pretending that ethanol is still a problem and hoping we just live with it. A clue that it may be the latter was the curious behavior in prices along Lake Michigan Drive the past two days. While prices in Grand Rapids were popping to $3.89 everywhere, the Family Fare at Collindale held in the low $3.60′s, and Speedway was forced to follow. Tuesday morning, they still had those prices, as did the Marathon down the road in Standale. GoLo there was at $3.79, though, and at 3PM today as I drove by, Speedway and Marathon decided to try $3.85. They’ll be back to at $3.79 or lower tomorrow, and we see this sort of behavior when there is a lot of room for prices to move, as I think there is right now. I am calculating a price to retailers of about $3.54 right now. The easy prediction recently has been “expect another hike”, although my math models don’t quite say that. In these times, we sit back and watch.” — Ed A.
Bill adds: Gas is $3.45 where I am in Oak Ridge, TN.
Weds. AM – Consumers Energy is down to 412 customers without power statewide with the most in Ogemaw (187) and Newaygo (120). Some customers may have had the electricity shut off because of floodwaters. From a statewide peak of 150,000 customers without power and the strong wind that knocked out another 16,000 Monday AM – that’s quite a quick recovery. Additional crews were brought in from IN and OH.
For those of you who missed it (which is most of you – it was cloudy over much of Lower Michigan, and it was from 3-4 am) here’s the lunar eclipse (from NBC). Here’s a pic. from www.spaceweather.com. The moon passes through the Earth’s shadow, turning a faint reddish color. The moon doesn’t totally disappear as some light (the red light has the longest wavelength) does manage to reach the moon during the eclipse). We have another lunar eclipse coming on Oct. 8. We also have two nice eclipses coming next near on 4/4 and 9/28. In the meantime, where is still the very nearly full “Pink Moon” of April to see. Here’s this week’s Sky at a Glance. Saturn will be close to the moon tonight (Weds. night). They will rise and set together. Mars is relatively bright right now and as near to the Earth as it gets over a six-year period. Look for Mars in the SE sky during the evening. It’s due south shortly after midnight. Venus shines brightly in the early morning. Jupiter is high in the SW sky during the early evening and sets to the west around 2 am. Here’s when you can see the Intl. Space Station.
“Ride Along” (PG-13)
(Kevin Hart, Ice Cube) “The Nut Job” (PG)
(Will Arnett, Liam Neeson) “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (PG)
(Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig) “Philomena” (PG-13)
(Judi Dench, Steve Coogan) “Black Nativity” (PG)
(Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett) “Better Living Through Chemistry” (R)
(Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde ) “Copperhead” (PG-13)
(Billy Campbell, Peter Fonda) “Great Expectations” (PG-13)
(Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes) “The Invisible Woman” (R)
(Felicity Jones, Ralph Fiennes) “Date and Switch” (R)
(Dakota Johnson, Sarah Hyland) “Mobius” (R)
(Jean Dujardin, Tim Roth ) “Mallrats” (R) – first time on Blu-Ray