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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A visual delight, with real heart

9/10
Author: Neil Welch from United Kingdom
23 September 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really enjoyed this movie. It is based on a well-loved book, I am told, but as I've never heard of it, I'm just going on the movie.

The story is simple but daft. Flint Lockwood lives on a small island which has fallen on hard times since the decimation of the sardine fishing industry. Flint is a brilliant but not very successful amateur scientist whose inventions cause trouble and embarrass Flint's father no end (Dad, who talks exclusively in fishing metaphors, simply wants Flint to join him in the family fishing tackle shop). Novice TV reporter Sam Sparks is sent to report on the opening of Sardine World, and her arrival coincides with an accident in which Flint destroys Sardine World but finally achieves success with an invention which turns water into food. Then things get complicated...

The story develops nicely and steadily, with no dead patches. Both Flint and Sam are likable and vulnerable, and the romance between them is believable and pleasing. There are lots of gags, both verbal and visual, including some which payoff much later in the movie from quite small seeds planted earlier. The 3D is excellent, with some sequences quite stunning. And the film bursts with visual imagination - I can't remember a movie which displayed this much imagination for a long time.

But most of all, the heart of this movie (to me, at any rate), is the dysfunctional relationship between Flint and his Dad, and the heartwarming resolution of this is one of the most satisfying parts of the movie's conclusion.

There is a lot in this film for both adults and children, and I recommend it.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A Bowlful Of 3D Fun!

8/10
Author: Mike Lovell from United Kingdom
22 September 2009

Computer-generated animation flicks are six to the penny these days - some good, some bad, and some downright ugly - but I'm pleased to say that Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs really does hit the spot.

So - Sony unveil their all-singing, all-dancing, 'powerful enough to rival the mighty Pixar' animation kit - but the question is... is it?

On this evidence, the answer is... perhaps. Bear in mind there are TWO versions of this film - namely 2D and 3D. I, perhaps like yourself, had read and watched frankly average reviews based on the 2D version, as many theatres will not be showing the 3D version - and to be perfectly honest, this DOES matter.

As a standalone 2D film, not much stands out from the crowd here - the animation is good, perhaps as good as Pixar in parts, but that isn't enough to warrant whooping and cheering from the aisles. The story itself is a little thin, the voice overs do enough to make it work - but again, nothing to write home about. BUT...

...Don those 3D glasses, take a seat (preferably one of those expensive leather ones at the back) and prepare to be truly DAZZLED. What looks ordinary and laboured at times in 2D transforms into something straight out of a bag of multi-coloured candy, kaleidoscopic and fresh. I don't think I've ever seen so much depth and colour on the big screen ever. At times the film is truly jaw-dropping - talk about shock and awe.

OK, So what's the deal? Sony showcase their new kit, but neglect the plot and acting talent in order to show off it's real jewel in the crown, namely the 3D capacity? You got it.

It's been attempted on many occasions, and has rarely worked - Pixar themselves enjoyed a little fame with the 10 minute Shrek short - albeit in anaglyph format - but apart from a few moments, it looked as if they were trying too hard. Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs has taken the 3D guideline book, ripped it up and thrown it out of the building - looking silly in a pair of geeky 3D specs will never be the same again.

And it seems Pixar, THE genuine animation article for what seems like time out of mind now, have decided to run with the ball too. A genuine 'anything you can do' battle seems inevitable with the re-release of Toy Story in 3D imminent. Can they pull it off? Only time will tell.

Back to Sony. While the animation hardware looks more than capable of giving Pixar a run for it's money in years to come - it's not quite there yet. But forget all that, if you have kids, you are a kid or you're a kid in an adult's body that secretly wished 3D would finally get the chance to grow up - your dreams, all of them, have been fulfilled.

Fantastic, spellbinding stuff - look for a theatre that is showing the 3D version, and get there today!

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A very filling movie!

10/10
Author: CrazyJustin1785 from United States
21 September 2009

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs is the story of Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) an inventor who has yet to invent a successful invention. All this changes when his invention that goes haywire at a big event in the island town of Chew and Swallow causes it to rain any kind of food that a person could think of. This also brings weather girl Sam Sparks (Anna Farris) to Chew and Swallow to cover the raining food. We also are treated to great voice performances from the following people: James Caan as the father and voice reason to Flint, Mr. T as the town's only policeman and Bruce Campbell in an hilarious role as the town's mayor. As the food begins to fall the story becomes a tiny bit predictable but the writing is brilliant with lots of bits that tie up nicely by the end of the film and the ending I related to somewhat and nearly had a tear in my eye because of it.

Animation wise Cloudy is amazing and I really think it'll help in giving it a shot to "Upset" "Up!" this year at the academy awards. I've read in a couple other reviews that the 3D version of Cloudy is even more amazing animation wise so if you have a theater with 3D projection defiantly check out Cloudy in 3D.

All in all I have to say I enjoyed Cloudy a lot and while I didn't give it a full 10 out of 10 or 4 out of 4 stars on IMDb.Com and FlimCrave.com I still think that it has a really good chance to upset Pixar's run of Academy Awards for best animated film based mainly on two simple facts: Great story with lots of brilliantly written bits and amazing animation that I look forward to watching on Blu-Ray when it's released. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs a very filling movie appetite wise.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Whether you've read it or not, go see it! And then buy the book.

9/10
Author: CaniculaBlack from United States
20 September 2009

When I was little, my mother used to read to me before bed. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs was one of our favorites. So when we heard it was being made into a movie, we absolutely had to go. I will admit to being hesitant - it was such a short book, and more pictures than words. I found myself without the slightest idea what to expect. We walked into the theatre in a state of moderate trepidation.

We couldn't have been more wrong. This was one of the best movies I've seen in a while. It had elements from the book that stimulated our memories, and plenty of new and exciting moments to keep us guessing. I can't say for sure, as both of us had read the book many times, but I believe this would be a fun movie whether you've read it or not. Probably 85~90% of the content was fabricated for the movie. I say this in the nicest way possible. I really enjoyed that they were able to flesh out such a short, basic story into something so full and satisfying, while managing to keep true to the spirit of the original work. Brilliant.

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5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

An indigestible appetizer for X-mas dinner (tv)

1/10
Author: leplatypus from PariS
28 December 2011

I saw it with my nephews waiting for Santa Claus: They appreciate it the time they watched it, laughing a bit while I snoozed deeply. This is the archetype of the hollow creativity of actual animation.

In the XX century, Disney was alone but he knew how to make dream. Now, there are a lot of studios but they stock stinker after stinker.

Sure, the animation is bright, colored, full of details but the characters are rather ugly: the heroes are realistic and cute while the others are caricatures: short legs, explosive belly, enormous eyebrows. Worst, the story is dumb: it's about a food storm! Where do they find their ideas? Maybe it's better than a poop tempest but falling steaks, swimming in cream is finally disgusting. It's nearly Ferriri's Big Feast for kids but there wasn't a lot of funny moments. I forget the philosophic message that is to be yourself! What a revolution!

In conclusion, to be a responsible parent, order something else!

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5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Big Food and Big Fun in Animated Adaptation of Beloved Book

10/10
Author: Dorian Tenore-Bartilucci (dtb) from Whitehall, PA
19 September 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS (CWACOM), based on the beloved 1978 children's book by Judi and Ron Barrett, is almost Pixar-level good! My family and I saw this animated treat in 2D rather than 3D because we wanted to take advantage of a local theater's morning matinée. However, we didn't miss the 3D effects in this vivid, playful, rollicking adaptation; we were having too much fun! Written and directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, CWACOM deftly combines the warmth of a Pixar film with the zany sight gags of a Looney Tunes cartoon. The movie also expands entertainingly on the book's premise about the little town of Chewandswallow (in the film, the town is part of an economically-depressed island, Swallow Falls), where food drops from the sky like rain, with surreally madcap results. The film gives the townspeople more personality, including an endearingly awkward protagonist, young scientist wannabe Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader). When Flint hits on a way to convert water into all manner of foodstuffs, saving his town from poverty and an all-sardine diet, he finally becomes a town hero after years of having his inventions laughed at. To our hero's frustration, his laconic but well-meaning dad isn't quite on board with his son's success yet, fearing he hasn't thought through the possible consequences. (This being an animated film, of course Flint's mom is the only person who believes in him, and of course she dies young.) Flint teams up with aspiring weather-gal Sam Sparks (Anna Faris), who's as ambitious and eager for acceptance as Flint is; merciless childhood teasing led Sam to hide her smarts behind her pretty face and perky personality. The film makes some good points about the pros and cons of craving other people's approval and over-sized food portions. Happily, Lord and Miller put all of this across with a light touch, a refreshing lack of sap and snark, and a super-size helping of hilarity and wit. We were pleasantly surprised to see that the majority of the laugh-out-loud funny gags aren't so ridiculously topical that they'll feel dated by the time the DVD comes out. :-) There are tips of the hat to classic science fiction movies, but those scenes will still be fun even if you've never seen the films in question. The gags aren't just funny, they're plentiful. In fact, our family would love to see CWACOM again to look for all the uproarious background sight gags we missed the first time around! Even Flint's posters of his scientist heroes are funny and clever, drawn to look like rock star pin-ups. There's a side-splitting payoff to every little running gag -- sometimes literally, like with the walking TV Flint invented. As chaos reigns late in the film, a looter carries off a TV -- and Flint's walking TV carries off the guy! (THE TWONKY, anyone? :-)) Spaghetti tornadoes with meatball meteors, feral Gummi bears on the attack, schools closed on account of falling giant pancakes -- what's not to like? The voice cast is terrific, too; in addition to Hader and Faris, we loved James Caan's imitation of James Gandolfini as Flint's dad; Bruce Campbell as the self-serving mayor; Andy Samberg as former sardine factory icon Baby Brent; Mr. T. as gung-ho cop and loving dad Earl; and my favorite, Benjamin Bratt, who's deadpan funny (yes, both Bratt's voice and his animated character's face are deadpan, smarty :-)) as an unassuming bystander who turns out to be a doctor, saving Earl's young son from his food coma: "I came from Guatemala for a better life. Good thing, huh?" As a side note, one plot element that particularly hit home for our family was Sam's peanut allergy; during a climactic action scene, she's scratched by knife-like shards of peanut brittle, resulting in a race against time to get her back to their ride so she can use her Epi-Pen before anaphylactic shock sets in. Our daughter could relate because of her own peanut/tree nut/sesame allergies. Of course, she carries her Epi-Pen everywhere (good girl)!

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6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

On Par With Pixar

10/10
Author: plasticanimalz from United States
20 September 2009

I feel I need to make a comment, simply to dispute FordPrefect-42's completely inaccurate portrayal of this film. I can't imagine what pedestal of animation quality he holds to other films and what films those are if he considers CWACOM only "simple" animation? I saw the film with about 20 animators, all from major studios, in their 20's and 30's and everyone absolutely loved the film and raved about it. I've worked in animation for 12 years and I'm happy to see that someone else is finally making films equally as good as any Pixar movies. The film was engrossing from beginning to end. The script was excellent, the voice acting was fantastic, the animation was great, and it was highly inventive and creative. It was clever, all the characters were highly likable, and I laughed out loud at least 3 times, which, I almost never do. I absolutely love this movie and rank it up there with my Pixar faves, along with Iron Giant. You can tell that a lot of love and care went into this film as opposed to the typical studio, churn out, beat something to death and market the crap out of something. And very few studios do that anymore, other than Pixar and some smaller indie productions. It's all about the big money machine rather than letting artists and creatives do what they do best, which is sad and a shame. There is a reason why Pixar and TV animation studios like Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon deliver over and over again. And that is because they trust the artists and animation professionals to do their job that they're trained to do and don't try to tamper with the creative process by throwing executives with zero creative or animation experience into the mix. Their is no better way to kill a film or show than let a team of creative execs. with no writing experience write the outline for the project. Cough...Disney. Get a clue people. Having a studio exec. with a law degree tell an animator with $150,000 animation education what he should be doing is a recipe for a heartless pile of crud. Hopefully, with success like Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, execs will finally realize that animators other than Pixar actually know what they're doing and release their choke hold that has been killing the life out of any good animation for the past 15 years.

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7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A Soufflé of a Film

8/10
Author: RichardSRussell-1 from United States
21 September 2009

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (PG, 1:30) — SF, 2nd string, original, OSIT romantics

As Edmund Gwenn, best known for his role as Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street, lay on his deathbed, a sorrowing visitor sympathized that dying must be hard. "No," replied Gwenn, "dying is easy; comedy is hard!"

So too with trying to get any respect for comedy in movies. Take Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, for instance. It's a constant delight, chock-full of visual and verbal humor, but because it's (a) animated, (b) skiffy, and (c) not intended to be a (here lower voice an octave) "serious work", nobody will take it seriously. Too dang bad! A soufflé may be light, fluffy, and not very filling, but it too is tasty and requires careful attention to keep it from being ruined.

The plot premise (based on the book by Judi and Ron Barrett) is slight: wacky tinkerer invents machine that makes food from water vapor. That would be Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader), and the food-making machine with the unpronounceable acronym is just the latest in a long line of gadgets, gimmicks, and goo he's been dreaming up since he was a little kid with a wall full of Tesla posters and a supportive mom.

The movie starts with the question "Have you ever felt that you were a little different?", ostensibly referring to Flint but inescapably hooking all the guy geeks in the audience. Not long afterward, the gal geeks get their role model in the form of Sam Sparks (Anna Faris, world's best sport from the various Scary Movies), intern for the Weather News Network who's been hiding her brains beneath a bimbette facade. In a conventional movie, the mousy little office assistant would take off her glasses, let down her hair, be transformed into, say, Maureen O'Hara, and win the heart of the guy. Here it's done in reverse, as Sam puts on big googly glasses, does her hair up in a ponytail, and lets her intellect shine thru, thereby winning the hearts of Flint and all the nerds like me.

The island community of Swallow Falls (hidden behind the "A" in Atlantic) has fallen on hard times, as demand for its primary product, sardines, has fallen off with global realization that sardines are, well, gross. The town, led by ambitious and semi-scrupulous Mayor Shelbourne (Bruce Campbell), is trying to reinvent itself as a destination for sardine tourism and has enlisted its poster boy, Baby Brent, the Gerber's icon of sardines, to help cut the ribbon on Sardine Land — except that Brent (Andy Samberg) is now a hulking, narcissistic playboy. Nonetheless, things are going OK until Flint takes advantage of the occasion to plug his foodmaker into the town's bazillion-gigajoule power station and ends up rocketing thru the festivities, trailing calamity and disapproval in his wake, until the machine shoots off into the stratosphere, leaving Flint nervously facing a galaxy of lowered eyebrows.

His gruff dad, Tim (James Caan), suggests that maybe the inventor thing isn't working out all that well and that Flint should settle in as the junior partner in the family sardine bait and tackle business. And our lad seems resigned to that fate ... until food starts falling from the sky and he becomes (temporarily) the town hero. But the food keeps falling. And it's getting bigger. Oh-oh.

OK, some quick stuff. There are ratbirds. Steve the monkey speaks English but thinks only monkey thots, particularly about Gummi Bears. Flint has the world's best-developed treehouse. It contains the master control for the foodmaker, including a seldom-consulted Dangeometer. Sam has a serious peanut allergy. Manny the Guatemalan surgeon/pilot/engineer is humble and taciturn but the most competent immigrant in world history. Unwarranted optimism abounds, as embodied in the phrase "This probably won't explode." Mr. T gets a paycheck. And I haven't even touched on the solution to the world's greatest problem: untied shoelaces.

It's in Imax and 3-D. Are they worth the extra price? For something as much fun as this, why stint? (I'm sure Mayor Shelbourne would agree.) Comedy may be hard, but when it really works, enjoying it is easy.

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10 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Silly for Adults but also Funny and Entertaining

7/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
19 December 2009

In the small island of Swallow Falls, the outcast boy Flint Lockwood is a clumsy inventor encouraged by his mother. When the island is not capable of exporting the production of sardine, the fish becomes the basis of the alimentation of the locals that have to consume it all the times. Years later, Flint's mother dies and his skeptical father Tim Lockwood, who is an old fisherman that has a store that sells sardine, gives a partnership in his store and invites Flint to work with him. But Flint has just invented a food processor that converts water into food and decides to test the piece of equipment. However, he accidentally launches it to the space and begins to rain hamburgers and other food in the island. A television sends the trainee of the weather department Sam Sparks to cover the phenomenon and Flint becomes famous. However, the greedy and glutton Mayor Shelbourne overworks the machine and the food becomes a menace to the human race.

"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" is an animation silly for adults but also funny and entertaining. The satire with the world of destructive fast food loses the opportunity to give a message to children about the wrong type of food and prefers a naive and foolish story with a beautiful visual. But children will certainly love this movie. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Tá Chovendo Hamburguer" ("It Is Raining Hamburguer")

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12 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Possibly the funniest movie ever...

10/10
Author: dangertoy from United States
18 September 2009

I am not saying this is the "Best Comedy Ever" so don't start that thread. But I laughed for 1:20:00 NON-STOP. If you like to laugh until you hurt then go. I am laughing right now and I left the theater 1 hour ago. This movie is not for people with no sense of humor. If you don't laugh in this movie, well, I feel sorry for you. I did not want to say too much but I have to write 10 lines. this movie was funny. this was a funny movie. this movie did not change my life, but it was funny. Movie, funny it was. They are forcing me to write more. There is no real substance to my review because there is no real substance to this movie- BUT IT WAS HILARIOUS!!! I have 4 kids and they laughed out loud the entire movie. Go to this movie when you are in a good mood so you can fully enjoy it but it may not matter, this movie is too funny.

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