on 24 January 2011
CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS is a brilliantly hilarious and exciting comedy about a young inventor trying to impress his land and his father. After a series of 'tries', he manages to make it rain food. But soon his girlfriend Sam Sparks discovers that the food is growing larger! Soon the world is in danger of ending!
It's suck a brilliant film!
Just 1 problem:
Some parts can make you feel ever so slightly sick!
"Have you ever felt like you were a little bit different?"
It took nearly three years to bring 2009's "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs" to the big screen - and after watching 86 minutes of its digitally realized anarchic genius - I can safely say it was money well spent. Not only is Columbia/Sony Animation Pictures baby a visually sumptuous watch - it's properly funny for its entire duration, genuinely touching when it needs to be and endlessly inventive in both character and dialogue. It also boasts something rarer than a conscience in the UKIP party - a moral centre that's not stylized schlock - but a story that's loaded with pressing observations about avarice in our increasingly chubby consumerist society. All this and it's effortless cool too. The audience was both smiling and applauding when the credits rolled in our cinema.
Flint Lockwood (voiced to perfection by Bill Hader) is a nerdy school kid - always inflicting his scatological inventions on his parents, his classmates and the good townsfolk of Swallow Falls - a tiny island situated on the map beneath the 'A' on Atlantic. Swallow Falls is the Sardine Capitol of the World - a town that lives on and off the shiny oily silver mites - and Flint's Dad (of Tim's Sardine Bait & Tackle Shop) is proud of it. Flint's father is hard working for sure but since Mom died 10 years back has become safe and unadventurous and prone to mumbling fish metaphors that don't make any sense (a stunning turn by James Caan).
Dad also lives in terror of his son creating yet another 'disaster' like his tin of Spray-On Shoes (to solve the epidemic of untied shoelaces) or his genetically mutated RatBirds (rats with wings that steal kids lunches), his Hair Un-Balder Potion (that produces a woolly mammoth of a man's skull instead of an even rug) or his Monkey Thought Translator Machine. But these are the least of the town's problems - because soon the world discovers that 'Sardines Are Super Gross' - and all life in Swallow Falls goes grey and into terminal decline...
Now grown up - Flint is in his homemade computer hub situated in the Water Tower above a Porta-Dump cubicle in the garden. With his official lab coat on (given to him by his Mom) and with his trusty pet monkey Steve by his side (spouting monosyllabic words through the thought translator) - Flint's working furiously on his ultimate invention - a device that will win back the town and make him beloved of everybody. It's a 'Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator' - a device that will turn water into any food you want. "Calibrating flavour patterns, radiation matrix secure, uploading cool machine voice..." Flint enthuses as he slaps the keyboard again - his huge bug eyes bulging with madcap inventiveness as he gazes at his dietary lunar-lander.
Meanwhile - the fame-hungry Mayor of Swallow Falls (a fabulously sly voiceover by Bruce Campbell of The Evil Dead and Bubba Ho-Tep fame) tries to reignite interest in the town by opening a boring theme park called SARDINE LAND with Baby Brent as it's star attraction (a child who used to be on every Sardine tin but is now a dumb boor with a huge midriff). The scheming Mayor gingerly tells the gathered populace "without consulting anyone, I've spent the entire town's budget on this thing..." But again an over-enthusiastic Flint ruins everything. Needing 17,000 Mega gigajoules to get his machine to work - he plugs into the island's power grid and wrecks the whole stage show. To make matters worse - a cute and super-perky WNN Weather Channel Intern called Sam Sparks (great vocal work from Anna Faris) has come to town with Manny her pint-sized cameraman to report on the island's re-launch. But along with a humiliated Dad Tim - she watches the mayhem of yet another Flint 'disaster' - Swallow Falls loses its 'F' (along with everything else) and Flint's rocket-propelled food maker disappears upwards into the sky. A mortified Flint hides down by the Docks with his pet monkey Steve...
But then something magical happens - up in the atmosphere - the chugging device is sucking in clouds and starts to spit out slices of cheese and cucumber and then a bap - and the next thing you know it's raining fully-formed cheeseburgers on Swallow Falls. Now realizing that BIGGER IS BETTER - the Major wants Flint to run the machine three-times-a-day for 30 days until the cruise ships arrive and Swallow Falls conquers national TV as a culinary pig-out destination.
In the meantime Flint's new machine becomes food-request central for the locals - Eggs, Toast, Orange Juice, Bacon, Ice Cream, Fudge, Jelly Beans. Cue jokes about "...poultry in motion..." and "...you may have seen a meteor shower, but you never seen a story meatier than this!" And the gastronomic overload is kept in check by a 'DangeOMeter' in Flint's lab that will tell him if things are getting out of mutating hand. But of course they do. Greed begins to take over - and soon a spaghetti twister is sucking up the buildings and children and a 'Vegas All You Can Eat' food storm brought on by the hideously bloated Mayor threatens to engulf every major city in the world unless Flint can stop the gluttonous madness...
The voices of Mr. T as Earl the Town policeman and Andy Samberg as Baby Brent add hugely to the great fun set pieces - but it's Hollywood veteran James Caan with his furrowed eyebrows and croaky mumble who actually steals the show. His speech to his son Flint at the end of the film is both funny and emotional - a wonderfully written double whammy for a cartoon.
And the visuals are of course fabulous. Not only does the food look good enough to eat - there's over 50 different kinds portrayed with mouth-watering detail - a Nacho Cheese Hot Spring, A Marshmallow Warehouse, an Anti-Gas Tablet Shop, Mouth Funnels to catch the food as it falls from the sky. The massive pancake, butter knob and syrup that dollops on an entire house - is stunning to look at. A cherry lands on top of a leftovers food mountain and the damn holding it all back finally bursts...
The 'making of' featurettes show you how the scenes are built up and the painstaking details applied - how to make an olive crush a building - what does a banana look like when its rolling down a street - how a burger in a bap falls apart when it hits the ground - how do you capture the texture and colour of Flint and Sam romancing in a giant Jell-O Castle...
Audio is DTS-HD Master Audio: English 5.1 with an English Audio Descriptive Track - while Subtitles are in English For The Hard Of Hearing and Hindi.
Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and adapted by Rob Greenberg from the Judi and Ron Barrett children's book of the same name - "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs" was put onto BLU RAY in early 2010 as a 'Combi Pack' with the DVD (and in a snazzy card slipcase). A 'Cloudy 2' sequel appeared in cinemas September 2013 and the BLU RAY for that came out in February of this year.
"The world needs your originality Flint..." his mother tells him. I agree.
on 30 January 2010
The animation is fantastic and it looks great in this blu ray edition. It is worth seeing the movie just because of this. As one of the other reviewers mentioned it is a great movie for grown up'ish people too. The colours are great and they have a psychedelic feel to them. The story is very straightforward without too many surprises, but with a bunch of funny moments. I don't know if this movie is great for kids, but if I had kids I would definitely give it a try.
on 23 February 2010
This was a lovely movie about the dreams we hold as children and the hope that we may one day achieve them. The comedy is light hearted, the visuals are mouth-wateringly stunning (especially the Jelly Mall) and the story itself, holds your attention. I believe the movie was aimed at all ages, as there was something for everyone. I can truely say that I was looking forward to this DVD arriving and it did not disappoint, I would whole-heartedly recommend this to anyone.
on 18 August 2010
I had seen some pretty good professional reviews of "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs", and since I am generally a fan of animation (who doesn't love "Finding Nemo" and "Ratatouille"?!) I was very pleased when I received this film as a gift.
For those who don't know (I didn't!) this film is based on a popular children's book from the late 70s, and is about (in a nutshell) a young scientist who is desperate to invent something that will improve everyone's life and will make his somewhat old-fashioned father proud. His invention? A machine that can turn rain into food, which although seems great at first look, inevitably causes huge problems.
First of all, this film has an absolutely brilliant voice cast including Bill Hader, Anna Faris and James Caan, and all of these actors have been cast perfectly. It also has a fantastic supporting cast of characters, my favourites being Steve the monkey, voiced by Neil Patrick Harris and Officer Earl Devereaux, voiced by none other than Mr T. The little asides from these characters had me in stitches throughout the film, and the animation is bright, imaginative and beautiful.
Whilst I've read some reviews by people complaining about "plot holes" and the like, the fact is, this is animation and is a film about raining food(!) so I think it is wise to suspend relief with this film and simply enjoy. It is hugely funny, is packed full of endearing and hilarious characters, and ends beautifully. I can see myself watching this one over and over again!
on 7 July 2010
All the other reviews here seem to just talk about the film....BUT WHAT ABOUT THE 3D?
I can tell you that I have just finished watching this in glorious 3D and it is the business.
Leaving the story behind I can say that the 3D experience is every bit as good as the cinema, if not better as I can sit at home with a beer and watch this one with the family.
I have tested this using the Samsung syncmaster 2233 3d lcd and the Acer H5360 projector, using the new and updated version of Cyberlink Powerdvd 10 installed on a Windows 7 pc with the nVidia 3D transmitter and glasses.
The Samsung has the same ghosting issues that all 3D LCD seems to have but the Acer H5360 projector was fantastic, no ghosting just amazing pop out imagery !
I have also tested this film in 3D with an Optoma HD67 with drivers acquired from the nVidia forums and it too is flawless in 3D playback.
If you have the kit for 3D gaming on the PC then all you need is the Powerdvd 10 software and today's latest update from their website and you are good for Bluray 3D. Also the Powerdvd software will convert ALL of your 2D media into 3D on the fly.
Hope this is a bit more informative than 'my Gran loved this film etc etc etc'.
on 27 January 2010
We got this last night and were thrilled to finally see it on blu-ray.
The story is about a guy who is a nerd, and an inventor of things which tend to go awry. He spends a lot of time alone in his lab and invents a machine which can turn water into food. Without spoiling the story, which is full of laughs, wacky, and full of zany, food-filled moments, it is a film that every family should see. As far as stories go, it is more aimed at children, as opposed to Up, its competitor for 2009, but will have the adults laughing as well. It lacks the sad element that UP has as well, but does have an undertone of the difficulty of father/son relationships as well as glaring references to gluttony, among other things which children may not catch on to.
The characters are excellent, funny, believable and well developed for a cartoon. The idea is from the book with the same title from the seventies, which makes for good reading to your children as well. As far as children's movies go, this film is one you will not want to miss! A big thumbs up!
DTS HD MA 5.1 English/descriptive English (not sure what this is oO)
The sound in this film is very, very good. I can't give it reference quality ratings because it just is not as good as UP, or other DTS HD MA tracks I have heard (i.e. Prince Caspian, Ice Age 3, etc...) nonetheless, it will not disappoint the audiophile. Those with less than excellent systems may not notice the difference however. It makes good use of the surround channels, really submersing you in the moment, however it lacks some LFE as there are a few scenes which really could have been enhanced with a more thunderous bass track (i.e. the fishbowl, the damn breaking, etc.). Sure, you can turn up the bass, but the inherent track lacks the super umpff that most DTS HD MA tracks have. This was a bit disappointing for me, as this is the only DTS HD MA track I have heard to date which slightly disappointed in the bass department. Most of them bring the neighbors a ringing. That being said, it was a joy to listen to, just not reference level.
English and English for the hearing impaired
The video quality is just excellent. Again, compared to Pixar, the animation is not as fine, but that is not the fault of the blu-ray which delivers near-reference quality picture. Again, I can't give it reference quality, because there is one scene where you could see that the film was made in 3D (where the mayor is first introduced, you see a blue/red tinge to the film, as the overlapping was not quite eliminated in the blu-ray).EDIT-I have uploaded a photo with an example of what I mean, look under "customer images" on the main product page. Also, some of the scenes are not as razor sharp as I personally would have liked, but it will not stop you from buying this blu-ray.
To sum it up, the film is an excellent story, the blu-ray is excellent, but not the best, and that is why I give it four stars. Still a very strong recommendation to buy.
on 14 February 2011
This film is brilliant, my children 4 and 2 always pick this one to watch.
Myself and my husband have sat down to watch it and its pretty good for an animation film.
storyline flows well and the characters are brilliant, my 2 little ones adore Steve the monkey.
on 1 September 2013
I enjoyed this film, and my children (8 and 6) liked it too. I find it useful when a film appeals to both a boy and a girl, especially since my little girl has a preference for pink/fairy/Barbie stories. This film had quite a good female lead, so wasn't just written off despite not starring Barbie...
on 17 February 2010
I must be honest and tell you that I chose the movie for the title alone. And all of us (ages 8, 10, 15, 17, 19, 50's) thought it was spectacular! Full of wit, charm, fabulous imagination and vivid filmmaking effects. Great! The added bonus of one for home and one for the car is clever, too. (Good marketing, guys!!) The blu-ray version is so good that Dad enjoyed the experience, too. We all recommend this movie!