Inventor Flint Lockwood creates a machine that makes clouds rain food, enabling the down-and-out citizens of Chewandswallow to feed themselves. But when the falling food reaches gargantuan proportions, Flint must scramble to avert disaster. Can he regain control of the machine and put an end to the wild weather before the town is destroyed?
Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller prove they know their onions in this flavory film based on the 1978 children's book of the same name by Judi and Ron Barrett. In it we learn that the town of Chewandswallow was originally known as the island of Swallow Falls (placed on the map just beneath the letter "A" in the "Atlantic Ocean"). Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live) voices Flint Lockwood, the town's brilliant, but accident-prone inventor, who strives to invent something that will not only make him famous, but also earn him his father's pride and respect above all things. In an underground lair that will hail to fans of Dexter's Laboratory, he invents a machine dubbed the "Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator" or the FLDSMDFR, for short, to spare his hometown from a neverending supply of sardines. After a serious mishap that destroys Sardine Land, the town's newest attraction, Flint meets Sam Sparks (Anna Faris), an intern reporter bent on suppressing her intellect for the sake of her career. However, the pair soon discover that Flint's contraption is no failure when food begins to fall from the sky in a hail of hamburgers. Flint goes from unheeded nerd to local celebrity and his relationship with Sam begins to ripen, but when it becomes apparent that something awry is cooking (in the shape of giant hotdogs) it's up to Flint to get himself out of the soup and put a stop to a spaghetti storm of moutwatering proportions.
Despite being a far-flung adaptation of the children's book, the hilarious antics and parodies of other disaster films make the film worthy of a five-star appraisal. The assault on the world's biggest landmarks by a contingent of donuts and other sweets pay homage to The Day After Tomorrow, while a search-and-seek by the Food Replicator is remiscent of War of the Worlds. Secondary charaters such as Manny (Benjamin Bratt), the mult-certified cameraman and Earl (Mr. T), the town policeman with a superman complex, add fulfillment to a cast of comedy's biggest clowns, including Andy Samberg (Saturday Night Live) and Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother). Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is a film that family's will enjoy, even if it's not their cup of tea.
In short: Meat falls from the sky. Completely hilarious and 100% awesome through and through. Take your kids to see this, now. Or just go alone on your lunch break....
In a world (ours) where the kidsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ section of the video store is dominated by movies boasting farting animals, instantly dated pop-culture references and jive-talking stunt-cast celebrities, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a huge relief to report that thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a legitimately great CG-animated family movie out that isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even produced by the bar-raisers at Pixar! I was surprised, to be honest, to find myself laughing out loud through most of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, while at the same time feeling impatient for it to end so I could call my sister and insist that I take her kids to see it immediately. No rapping penguins, no dependency on toilet humour, and no Robin Williams. The film treats its young audience as the sophisticates they actually are, rather than playing down and dumb, and at the same time permits an entrÃƒÂ©e to the best kind of rainbow-coloured imaginative, anarchic fantasy land, one where it snows ice-cream and a giant pancake with two pats of butter and a flood of maple syrup can destroy an elementary school.
Written and directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (the guys behind the underrated, short-lived Clone High 2D animated series), CWaCoM is a loose adaptation of the kidsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ story of the same name. Having not read the book (I read grown-up books for I am a grown up. I see childrensÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ movies because that is my prerogative, thank you very much), I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really comment on the adaptation (apparently they changed a bunch of stuff), but as a film on its own, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fantastic. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s genuinely hilarious, absolutely ridiculous, really, really smart and bursting with energy.
Despite a bit of a lag in the middle and the tedious doling-out of some slightly over-wrought life-lessons, this movie has one of the best-written scripts for an animated family comedy that IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve come across. The humour is as high-brow as it is screw-ball, and never betrays the tone of the story or its lovably crafted characters. And as out-there as the story is, the film is smart and self-aware enough to poke fun at itself (and other more serious sci-fi/disaster films tropes) whenever possible, but never as an exclusive wink to the grown-upsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ rather, the film assumes that everybody, young and old, has seen enough cheesy sci-fi/disaster movies and can recognize the clichÃƒÂ©s . For example, while showing footage of food destroying the Eiffel tower and the Great Wall of China, a news anchor comments on how the food storm seems to be attacking famous monuments first before heading off to more boring parts of the world. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a joke that any adult thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s seen a Dean Devlin film would surely get, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not that out there to assume that kids would understand why thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s funny as wellÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.
The character design is fairly averageÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ nothing you havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seen before. You can tell Lord and Miller did their best to bring their signature angular, hand-drawn style to the CG realm, but obviously they had to cut corners (literally) in order to make their usual expressive, borderline-cubist character designs come to life. Any sharp facial features are rounded and smoothed over, and any would-be interesting character profile is made less so in order to allow the necessary camera movements of CG animation to demonstrate just how fleshed out this CG environment really is. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s too bad they couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have pushed the design a bit further to come up with something as stylistically unique as their past work, but still, nobody in the film had any nostrils which was nice to see. (EditorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Note: What the hell, Rajo) And thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nothing bad I can say about the animation. While IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen more impressive stuff done by Pixar, watching the giant food rain down in 3D was an absolute blast, and as usual, the Real-D technology did not disappoint.
It was the kind of movie you walk out of and think, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Wow, I just saw a great movie!Ã¢â‚¬Â The voice actors weren't annoying (Mr. T did not ONCE say "I pity the fool"), the story was funny and charming and I just can't get over how awesome it was to see a giant jello-mould bouncy castle... I haven't had Jello in ages! I can't wait to see it again. Really. 8.2/10
(Dictated by Filip, 7 years old.)
Cloudy with a chance of meatballs is a very good movie. It is about this crazy scientist named Flint Lockwood who invented ratbirds, carplanes, hair unbalder, spray-on shoes, and finally his new invention, the FLDSMDFR. It makes it rain food. But will it make trouble? That's what his dad thinks. It was very good at the beginning. The little town was called Swallow Falls. Until the FLDSMDFR was invented. It is now called ChewandSwallow. And Tim (the dad) was right. It made lots of trouble! The Mount Rushmore faces got thrown with pies. The Eiffel Tower turned into a sandwich with a toothpick with an olive on top. All they could do was use his wacko inventions to stop the machine. When they stopped the machine, this may be a little crude for children under 6.