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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is Delicious Great Fun

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs = 4 and 1/2 out of 5
Joe Towne: These taste significantly better than sardines.
A highly entertaining animated feature. Despite having a marketing campaign that really undersold me on the film, this movie turned out to be hilarious, as well as very good looking, working well as a 3D animated feature.  Having watched this film several times now, I can easily say that this is one of the funniest films, in general, that has come out in recent years.  It is consistently entertaining, and I would easily recommend it to anyone.

Based on a children's book of the same title, the story is about a man who has always wanted to invent something that would change the world. This man is Flint Lockwood, voiced by Bill Hader, and after a series of unsuccessful inventions, he develops a machine that will take in water and turn it into food.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Flint lives on a small island in the Atlantic Ocean, where sardines uses to be the only export, until it was revealed that sardines don't taste very good. Now the town is sort of in a state of shambles, with the mayor, voiced by Bruce Campbell, hoping to find a way to get his town back on the map.



During the launch of a new sardine theme park, Flint secretly powers his machine at a power plant, only to have it rocket into the sky, destroying much of the town in the process. People are very mad at Flint, including his father, voiced by James Caan, until it is discovered that his machine works, and food begins raining from the sky. Flint, along with some help from a new weather reporter, voiced by Anna Faris, develops a way to request what food is developed in the sky and things seem to work in the towns favor; that is until the overload of power starts to make the food larger and larger.
News Anchor: The food seems to be falling in a rather peculiar fashion, taking out the most important landmarks around the world first.
While based on the childrens' book, the film was scripted and directed by the creators of a cult favorite MTV series, Clone High, which had a very witty and sharp sense of humor that is very evident in this film as well. The tone of this film is very self aware, adhering to the basic story beats of the young, misunderstood hero, but creating hilarity due to how it treats the predictability of its own plot as well as throwing in tons of great one liners, sight gags, running jokes, obscure humor, and physical comedy.
Flint Lockwood: Come on, Steve. We've got a diem to carpe!
Instead of trying to find a bunch of A-list actors to shove into roles, the film makes good use of comedians and character actors that fit. Bill Hader, of SNL fame, is solid in his first real lead role. Bruce Campbell and James Caan are well cast. Then you have a list of others that includes Neil Patrick Harris, Andy Samberg, Will Forte, and most importantly Mr. T of all people. Some how, Mr. T was completely hilarious and amazing throughout this film.


The animation is very good. Sony doesn't attempt to match the quality of Pixar, opting for a Dreamworks styled animated film, but that's not a knock against it. Instead, this film embraces its broader character and background designs, filling the screen with vibrant colors and a lot of dynamic action sequences. The film's later scenes actually stand up really well as a disaster film...with giant food. Probably one of the better 3D film's I've watched.  There is a sense of scale that comes from seeing giant food destroy a town, which works very well in this film's favor.
Flint Lockwood: I wanted to run away, but you can't run away from your own feet.
Overall, I was incredibly surprised at how entertaining this film was. It's very funny, full of imagination, and looks great.  This is a comedy that could easily appeal to anyone looking to laugh.  For every "childish" joke there is an "adult" joke that follows it up.  Repeated viewings only serve to get all of the crazy in-jokes and random moments that this film provides.  Completely enjoyable, through and through.
"Baby" Brent: The pizza's chasing us!

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