Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs
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Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs

Blu-ray

DVD

There is a trend for animation to become as realistic as possible. In some video games and movies you might have stare intently for several minutes to determine whether you are watching actual human beings or the graphic output of highly sophisticated computer hardware and master class programming. While this is a good thing in general it has to be remembered that the primary goal here should remain the entertainment of the audience. Thankfully several design firms have kept this in the forefront of their mission statement providing us with loveable monsters, houses flying under thousands of balloons and food raining down on the people below. The film ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’ the realism is neatly balanced with childlike wonder and fanciful whimsy. The movie is truly one that can be appreciated by family members of all ages. In the theaters the film was present in a 3D format requiring the standard cellophane glasses. For the home theater market Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has decided on three variations to choose from. They are specific to the hosting hardware so choose wisely. Naturally there is the standard DVD which will play on just about any device, next you have regular Blu-ray high definition. This leaves the final edition the new 3D blue-ray which requires a Blu-ray player that supports this new spin on the format. The disc comes with the following warning" "PLEASE NOTE: This title is a Blu-ray 3D disc, which is only compatible with 3D Blu-ray players". I have heard that some Blu-ray players that are capable of downloading new firmware updates can be updated to support discs with this formatting but check with the manufacturer of you Blu-ray player before making you purchase. In any case if you are in the mood for something delightfully entertaining flick the entire family can watch together get the edition appropriate for you.

The story used here is loosely based on the popular children’s book by the husband and wife team of Judi and Ron Barrett. Splitting both the scripting and directorial aspects of the production were Phil Lord and Chris Miller. They have worked together on the more maturely geared ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and the teen sex farce ‘Extreme Movie’. An animated movie is a fairly radical career course change but they appear to have handled the change exceptionally well. There are several shots that obviously were intended to highlight the special three dimensional effects, you’ll know when they pop up, or out as the case may be. One the positive side the producers realized that at this point the majority of the viewers were going down the familiar 3D road so the concentrated on what was really important; a fun story. On the island of Swallow Falls lives an aspiring inventor, Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader).his work is not generally respected or even accept with the one notable exception of his doting mother, Fran (voiced by Lauren Graham). One of his first inventions, spray on shoes, and garnered ridicule in his elementary school setting a pattern that would be repeated frequently as Flint grows up. Flint’s father, Tim (voiced by James Caan) is much more pragmatic insisting Flit join him in his shop selling fishing tackle and sardines. Flint does manage to socialize fairly well eventually getting a pet monkey, Steve (voiced by Neil Patrick Harris). Flint tries to invent a device to translate the simian’s thoughts so he could communicate with him.

After many failed or misfiring inventions Flint manages to turn water into kid friendly food. The media takes notice and soon Flint is in the middle of a literal rain of cheeseburgers. The town’s mayor (Bruce Campbell) wants to cash in on the phenomenon but things get out of hand. Flint becomes attracted to a fledgling television reporter, Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) who is in town with her cameraman, Manny (Benjamin Bratt). In typical fashion thing quickly get out of control with the mayor and other townsfolk becoming morbidly obese and food storms getting to the level of destroying the town. It is up to Flint and Sam to save the day. Along the way the encounter deadly peanut brittle rocks and spaghetti tornados as the food mutates to self awareness intent on protecting the misfiring machine responsible for all of this. I have a very good friend that I have literally entrusted with my life with who dislikes this film on purely rational reasons. If water was transformed into food the rats and other vermin would displace the human population as the aquifer is destroyed. Now she was fine with an infinite number of doors flying by a creature that is nothing but a giant eyeball but seems to draw the line here, go figure.

The animation is excellent and close to the edge of modern technology. You can see the rounded edges of the people and items reminding you that it was 3D but what is important here is the way the animators remained true to the fact that this is bringing a children’s book to life. The story moves along extremely the main difficulty adults will have here is bringing any grown up expectations or criteria to the plate. Just kick back with a big tub of popcorn or the junk food of your choice and have some fun with your family.

Posted 07/07/2010

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