Saturday, September 19, 2009

"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" scores in the Reviews

"Cloudy" is out now! Go see it! And it is raking up the positive reviews! Observe...


I’m forecasting big things for this tasty morsel, which converts junk food into nourishing cinema, as it subtly serves up relevant and timely messages about financially strapped cities and glutinous Americans growing fat on genetically altered sustenance.

Pretty heady stuff for a movie inspired by a 1978 children’s book penned and illustrated by Judi and Ron Barrett. But first-time filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, a couple of staff writers from TV’s “How I Met Your Mother,” have taken the Barrett’s beloved little tale well beyond the page by indulging their imaginations in creating a silly-serious story sure to whet the appetites of kids and adults alike...

Have you ever seen the damage a spaghetti tornado can do? How about a "food-alanche?” ...

That includes his father, a bait shop proprietor with limited sight (his bushy brows fully cover his peepers) and an even more limited vocabulary that rarely ventures beyond spouting fishing metaphors.

He’s voiced with curmudgeonly gusto by James Caan, who, like the rest of the cast brings depth and complexity to what easy could have been a stock role...

Their [Flint and Sam] sweet and smoldering romance is a delight to behold, as are the plethora of beautifully drawn 3-D scenes, like the aftermath of an ice cream snowstorm and a highly inventive set piece in which Flint surprises Sam with a life-size castle molded out of Jell-O...

There are also a couple of clever running gags involving the town’s self-serving mayor (voiced with perfect pompousness by Bruce Campbell from the hilarious “Evil Dead” series) and his diaper-wearing adult son, Brent (Andy Samberg), who hangs on desperately to his one accomplishment in life: serving as the face of the town’s “eat sardines” ad campaign when he was a baby...

Equally intriguing is the satirical slant Lord and Miller place on the food industry’s push toward defying Mother Nature by artificially enhancing their products. And as we all know, it's not nice to fool with Mother Nature...

Excerpts from:


"Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" is a breezy, witty, fun little 3-D animated fantasy about a young scientist who invents a machine that can convert water into food and has it rain from the sky over his town...

"Cloudy" was directed by screenwriters Chris Miller and Phil Lord, who keep the many action sequences crisp and exciting, and put plenty of zingers into the dialogue.

The main cast is rounded out by Mr. T as a local cop, Earl, who's seen way too many 1970s blaxploitation kung-fu movies and goes bouncing around town with zealous pride in his job.

Kids will love the fantastic creations that Flint conjures up, especially the jiggly castle made of Jell-O.

My only misgiving about "Cloudy" is that while it talks the talk about intelligence being a good quality, its plot argues the opposite: that intelligence only gets you into trouble, causes damage, endangers lives and makes women want to look like cliched bookworms.

Even though Flint's intelligence eventually solves the problems, that doesn't make up for the destruction and emotional stress it caused in the first place.

To me, that's not very smart.

Excerpts from:

[EDitor: I disagree. There should always be consequences to actions, even when the intentions are good. They're teaching kids some bits of real life, and I'm in favor of it.]


... The lackluster marketing campaign led me to think this was yet another CG-animated kid's movie with a sappy story and potty humor that only children could enjoy. I hadn't read the book as a kid -- so far the only person I've met who has read it is Andy Samberg -- so I went in with zero expectations and was overwhelmed by this thoroughly enjoyable movie. Boasting smart, subversive humor and some of the most impressive 3-D yet seen in an animated feature, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is a surprisingly clever and highly entertaining comedy. The writing and direction of Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (best known for exec producing the sitcom How I Met Your Mother) is sharp and engaging, chock full of references to everything from first-person shooter games to Steven Spielberg movies and The Twilight Zone.

There's malevolent glee to be had in an ice cream snowball fight where no child is safe, or a monkey's life-or-death battle with a giant Gummy Bear. There's plenty of verbal wit as well as visual gags, with the voice cast succeeding in making their characters alive and fun. Hader and Faris are the standouts as two nerds who strive to be taken seriously, but Samberg and Bruce Campbell (as the gluttonous, scheming mayor) have plenty of memorable moments. The voice cast also includes Mr. T, Bobb'e J. Thompson, Benjamin Bratt, Al Roker, Lauren Graham, and Will Forte.

The filmmakers aren't afraid to push the edge with either the humor or the animation. The movie features a number of splashy, colorful set-pieces, including an avalanche of food that threatens to destroy Swallow Falls and the heroes' climactic battle set against a backdrop of deadly peanut brittle stalactites. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is silly enough for kids to enjoy, while adults will appreciate the movie's charmingly oddball characters, sly wit and anarchistic streak. After suffering through a largely bland crop of summer movies, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs was exactly the kind of out-of-left field surprise gem you hoped that autumn would bring. Just be sure to catch it in 3-D.

Excerpt from:

'Meatballs' is food for thought

... Writer-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, whose television credits include CBS' "How I Met Your Mother," pack each scene with jokes big and small, and the voice cast shines: Mr. T stars as an overzealous cop (complete with blue short shorts), Neil Patrick Harris gives voice to a frenetic monkey, and Andy Samberg plays a former sardine poster boy who has become an overgrown Gerber baby.

The smartest addition to the book, though, is weathergirl Sam Sparks (Anna Faris), a perky blonde who plays dumb. Thanks to Flint, she discovers that intelligence can be attractive. That makes two valuable lessons, more than the USRDA in most kids' films.



Overall, these are some great reviews! Let's hope the box office reflects the same love as these reviews!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

go Cloudy!

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