May 29, 2010

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs Review

image from Amazon

Flint Lockwood is a crazy young scientist trying to come up with the perfect invention to save his small no-name town from obscurity and financial collapse. Flint hits a gold mine when he invents a machine that transforms water into whatever food item you program it for, and the success is particularly exasperated when the device is launched into the clouds, making it rain the food programmed. Things go great for a while with Flint become a town hero, but as the town is a on the brink of really profiting from the discovery, things go horribly awry with the machine.

A negative point I noticed right off the bat was how similar Flint's pet monkey Steve reminded me of Doug from the movie Up. Both films feature animals that speak in simplistic messages, making the idea of an animal-to-human translator great satire, but Up does it way better. That's probably my only complaint. The first two-thirds of Cloudy are pretty above average and I thought I could see the appeal of the film. Then the third and final part of Cloudy came up and blew the first two thirds out of the water, solidifying why this movie was so well acclaimed. I would sit through this whole movie again just to watch the last third of the film where every character becomes incredibly meaningful and well defined.

My Highlights:
What made the last third of the movie so spectacular, beside great allusions to great movies and great stunt choreography for an animated film, was how everyone (barring one exception) turned into a well-rounded action hero. Bullying police officer with a passionate love for his son, Earl Devereaux (Mr. T.) single-handedly saves his family from a tidal wave of food. Infamous teen-celeb Brent McHale (Andy Samberg) becomes a man-chicken hybrid and fends off a hoard of chickens to save the main characters. But my all time favorite scene from this movie, one that will definitely be carried with me for years to come is the scene involving Flint's dad, who's generally stoic and too suborn to try to engage his son's life, reveals why he's always been so distant:

Overall Rating:
The animation was great, the choreography spectacular, the casting was all-star and the voice-acting wasn't too shabby. The only thing that could have made this film better was if the first two thirds of the film had the extra "umph", but still managed to tell a great story, be very cute and quirky, and get a few chuckles on its own merit. The ending to the movie was the cherry on the ice cream however and earned this movie a solid 4 1/2 *'s out of 5, or 9 *'s out of 10.

When You Should See It:
I didn't see this movie with kids of my own, or kids in general. This wasn't a babysitting experience or anything, and I still had a fantastic experience watching this movie. Put it at the top of your queue; yes, even above all your blow-em-up, shooter actions and blood-curdling horrors. And if you've got kids, then great, you'll both love it together!

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