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Old 01-10-10, 10:56 PM   #1
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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - Blu-ray Review


Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Starring: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Bruce Campbell, Mr. T, Benjamin Bratt, Andy Samberg
Director: Phil Lord and Chris Miller
Studio: Sony Pictures
Runtime: 90 minutes
Rating: PG
Blu-ray Release Date: January 5, 2010

Movie

Certain people were born to do specific things, Flint Lockwood (Hader), was born to invent. Not all Flint’s inventions turned out the way he wanted them to, but there is no doubt that he is an inventor. Flint grew up in a tiny little place in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean called Swallow Falls. Swallow falls was known to the rest of the world for one thing, sardines. As the world began to come to a realization that sardines are gross Swallow Falls falls off the radar and business in Swallow Falls goes into a lull. Flint is determined not be stuck in the uninteresting sardine business, like his father, Tim (Caan). The only way he can do that is by creating something that would make his career as an inventor valid, and so he vigorously tries.

All Flint would do growing up is make contraptions and devices, but disaster usually followed suit. This never stopped Flint from inventing, though his father would much rather have Flint join up in the family business, Tim’s sardine bait and tackle shop. Flint’s latest idea is to make a machine that turns water molecules into food. Sure of himself this time, Flint attempts to test the contraption out by making cheeseburgers at home with no luck, due to insufficient power and lack of support from his technophobic father. Discouraged and out of ideas, Flint agrees to work in his father’s shop.

One day, Mayor Shelbourne (Campbell) is set to unveil a new attraction to the town that will put Swallow Falls on the map again. Sent to broadcast this big event to the rest of the world is a new intern to the news station is Sam Sparks (Faris). During the ceremony, while the whole town is gathered, Flint decides to give his contraption one last shot with more power provided by the town energy source. As he begins to do so, the contraption gets rocketed all over town with Flint strapped to it. Crashing and causing much destruction at the Mayor’s unveiling, Flint loses hold of the contraption and straight into the air it heads.

With the whole town furious because Flint ruined the big event, Flint slips away to be alone. As he sulks he starts noticing something non-discrete fall from the sky. As he examines further more and more bits and pieces fall from the sky and he comes to realize that they are food ingredients. When Flint looks to the sky he stares in amazement as he sees a colorful cloud growing. Out from the clouds fall full cheeseburgers just like he originally intended. Overjoyed that Flint’s contraption actually works the townsfolk also begin to realize the possibilities.

The types of food that can be made are endless and the entire town begins to request specific meals. Flint is finally content that he made something that benefited others and obliges to fulfills everyone’s requests. As Flint makes more food the contraption slowly gets closer to overload, which means the food begins to mutate and the portions become larger and larger. Realizing what’s happening, Flint must stop the machine, but the greedy mayor of Swallow Falls won’t let him. Can Flint stop the machine before it is too late?

‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’ is a funny movie. It surprised me actually, I went to see this in theaters because it was another 3D film and I thought it would look neat in 3D. What I was expecting was a kids movie with humor catered to the younger crowd, but still be something enjoyable enough for adults. I did not expect to laugh as much during this movie as I did while watching it the first time. The jokes and humor at times were blatant, but at other times they were subtle enough that I know that little children would not get them. Even with a second viewing the jokes and humor hold up and I still found myself laughing out loud.

Rating

‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’ is rated PG for brief mild language. Truthfully, I really did not notice anything questionable and actually watched it with my two and a half year old daughter without issue.

Video

Visually, ‘Cloudy’ is perfect. As you would expect this transfer is a direct to digital transfer and like all other CGI films before it, there is not a single blemish to be seen. Even though this film takes a cartoony, caricaturist look the detail and sharpness were still impressive. I remember when I saw this movie in theaters I was awed by the vast amount of colors displayed throughout the film. The color rendition is just as I remember it from several months ago and was equally impressive watching it again. All colors imaginable are vividly displayed throughout the film. Impeccable contrast and deep, rich black levels only further enhance the color spectrum even further, giving the viewers a visual treat to feast upon. The image almost looks three-dimensional and nearly resembled my 3D experience in the theaters at times.

Audio

‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’ comes to blu-ray with a solid 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Dynamically, this one doesn’t compete with some other animated titles from recent years, but it does hold it’s own in several aspects. Surround activity is continuously active throughout the film, but from my observation most of it was in support of the music. Of course, there were instances of individual sound cues to support what was going on screen, but it wasn’t as engaging as recent titles I’ve viewed have been. Low frequency support was solid and present throughout the film and on a couple of occasions the frequencies extended into the subsonic regions. More importantly, the dialog throughout the film remains crystal clear to ensure the audience can pick up on the humor present throughout the movie. Overall, the audio presentation is satisfactory, but does not really excel.

Extras

Description of the Extras are as follows:

-‘A Recipe for Success: The Making of ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’’ – A director’s look into what it took to make the movie.
-“Raining Sunshine” Music Video
-‘Behind the Scenes of Miranda Cosgrove’s “Raining Sunshine” Music Video” – Further look into the making of the music video.
-‘Key Ingredients: The Voices of ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’’ – Some behind-the-scenes looks at some of the actors reading out their lines.
-Two Extended Scenes – not much really worth writing home about.
-‘Progression Reels with Introductions by Visual FX Supervisor Rob Bredow’ – a look at the process of making a computer animated movie.
‘Early Development Scenes’ – Clips of storyboards of the film.
-Feature-length audio commentary with Bill Hader, and directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.

There also is a regular DVD version of the movie included as well as a PSP digital copy code of the movie.

Overall

‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’ was actually one of the more memorable movies that I saw in 2009. What stuck out in my mind was the surprising humor throughout the film that had my wife and me laughing out loud on numerous occasions. The story itself is nothing spectacular and rather formulaic for the most part, but that did not hinder my enjoyment of the film. The audio in this movie is nothing to be excited about, but it will suffice. The video, though, is stunning and will surely impress those videophiles out there. Audio and video aside, ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs’ is a fun movie for the whole family to enjoy.


Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx

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Old 01-14-10, 10:32 PM   #2
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Re: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - Blu-ray Review


Wow that great.


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Old 07-15-11, 06:25 PM   #3
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Re: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - Blu-ray Review


Watched this with my son last night. Most touching part was when the father couldn't find the words to tell his son how much he loved him.


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