104 of 122 people found the following review helpful
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Phil Lord and Chris Miller, 2009)
There are some movies where you come out of the theater talking about the camerawork and the acting, discussing plot points, picking things apart, arguing whether it was really the seventy-eighth best movie you've ever seen. And there are some movies where you exit the theater and say "Dude. That was AWESOME." Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is very much of the latter variety; no matter how silly and/or stupid the final half-hour may be (as the few critics who didn't like it have pointed out), it's still a blast.
Flint Lockwood (voice of Bill Hader, recently of Tropic Thunder) is a bumbling inventor who comes up with things that are kind of useful ("The Hair-Unbalder!" is the movie's first big laugh), but generally stupid. He lives on a small island just off the coast, the entire economy of which is derived from the sardine industry. It collapses, we learn, when the rest of the world realizes that sardines taste horrible. Inspired, Flint turns his attention to devising a machine that can turn water into food (in order to give the islanders some respite from eating three meals a day of sardines). Meanwhile, his father (voice of James Caan) wants him to go into the family business (bait and tackle, naturally), the local cop (voice of, yes, Mr. T) has an eye and a half on Flint thanks to previous experiments, and the Mayor (voice of Bruce Campbell) has staked the island's meager savings on the construction of an amusement park, which he hopes will begin a tourism industry. A station from the mainland has sent an enthusiastic weather girl (voice of Anna Faris, recently of The House Bunny) to cover the story. Flint's machine looks promising, but needs more power than he can get at home, so he decides to take it down to the power station on the day of the unveiling. Mishaps occur, the machine ends up shooting into the atmosphere, and just as inventor and weather girl meet, cheeseburgers begin raining from the sky. Oh, yes, there will be tourism.
My favorite thing about Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is that the obvious social-consciousness implications (without which, of course, one cannot make a kids' movie these days) aren't shoved into your face (unlike such recent movies as Cars and Wall-E). Yes, they're there, but they're played with the same humor as everything else. More to the point, Lord and Miller, adapting Judi and Ron Barrett's classic childrens' book, trust their audience, young as it is. They figure the kiddies will pick up on the "overeating is bad, mmkay?" subtext, and just give it to us in sight gags (none of which feel mean-spirited). Even the "uncommunicative father" stereotype, which normally grates on me so hard, didn't really bug me here, maybe because Flint's father is usually seen and not heard; they take the stereotype and make him into an almost silent-film character for most of the film's length, conveying emotion with facial expressions (which is pretty darned hard when... oh, you'll see) and body language. They obviously put a lot of thought into this, and a lot of right thought at that. Add in the voice talent (which I've barely touched on; you can add Benjamin Bratt, Lauren Graham, Al Roker, Neil Patrick Harris, and a couple of others you'll recognize in cameos) and some really appealing animation and you've got yourself a bang-up kids' movie. I haven't seen too many of this year's offerings in that vein, so I don't know how it stacks up against, well, Up, but I liked this one very, very much. ****
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2010
This movie is outstanding and should be in everyone's collection. It is a fun thrilling, touching ride. Make sure you've eaten before seeing though :) My family and I have watched this several times already and only owned it a week.
The BAD - SONY. Can't believe with all this technology you have resorted to ONLY including YOUR proprietary digital copy for PSP ONLY!! Even the other companies provide PC AND MAC versions of their digital copies (Win media / quicktime), 2 rivals. There's a reason you lack in your product offering and its because you ALWAYS do this. You separate yourself so far from everyone else to win the FORMAT war, that most of the time you LOSE.
Include your PSP format, I get that, but give us something else to use for our kids for travel! I suggest you release a free digital copy in another format for those who can show proof of purchase. I will be writing your company. This product would be 5 stars no doubt if they would have provided the standard digital formats EVERYONE else does, but plus their PSP format.
I want to recommend this movie, but I am so mad to give Sony any more money because of things like this with them....
134 of 165 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2010
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
First, I loved the movie. My complaint is not with the film but with the so called digital copy that is indicated as included on the cover. The "Digital Copy" included with this blu-ray can only be used on a Sony PSP when installed via a Sony PS3. I often preorder these family movies because I want to have the digital copy for my son to watch on my laptop or iPod. Had I known that this digital copy would not work like every other digital copy I've purchased; I would not have paid retail. I will certainly be thinking twice before purchasing another Sony blu-ray with a "Digital Copy."
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
In 2009, the animated film "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" was released in theaters. Adapted from the popular book from 1978 by Judi Barrett and illustrations by Ron Barrett, CWACoM took three years to develop and feature animation by Sony Pictures Animation.
The film adaptation and direction is by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (both are executive producers of the popular CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" and also the MTV animated series "Clone High"). Music is by Mark Mothersbaugh ("Fanboys", "Mama's Boy", "Lords of Dogtown") and the film is produced by Pam Marsden (producer of "Dinosaur" and "Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas").
"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" received positive reviews from critics and debuted at #1 in the box office, raking in $180+ million worldwide. Now the film gets its first Blu-ray release and includes the Blu-ray, the DVD and a digital copy (a code is provided to download a digital copy from the PlayStation Network) for those who own a Sony PSP or Playstation 3 System.
AUDIO & VIDEO:
"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" is featured in 1080p High Definition and I know that Pixar and DreamWorks animation gets a lot of attention for their animated work but Sony Pictures Animation has done a remarkable job with this film.
The picture quality on HD is absolutely vibrant and colorful. Water and liquid effects look absolutely terrific and realistic while the detail of the town Swallow Falls during its normal appearance of a seaside town to a town filled with food and sporting different scenery.
In fact, things look absolutely amazing during the second half as we see solid animation being utilized throughout the film. From the outdoor mayhem to the overall details of the various foods (especially when larger) causing destruction around the town area, it looks absolutely great. Awesome picture quality for this Blu-ray release.
As for the accompanying DVD, the DVD is featured in 16×9 Full Screen (1:78:1) and also anamorphic widescreen (2:35:1).
As for audio, the Blu-ray is featured in English and French 5.1 DTS-HD MA and Spanish 5.1. Dialogue is clear and understandable through the front and center channel, music definitely sets the mood as it plays from the front channels but good use of special effects such as the clouds rumbling, the sound of thunder, flying vehicles flying through the clouds through the surround channels. Good use of LFE for nice low rumbles coming from the subwoofer.
Fans of the film will enjoy the immersive soundtrack from this film as there is very good use of the various channels throughout the film, especially during the film's latter half.
The accompanying DVD is presented in English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital.
Subtitles are featured in English, English SDH, French and Spanish.
"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" features special features in High Definition and Standard Definition. Audio is in English stereo and subtitles are in Spanish:
# Directors' Commentary with Bill Hader - In this audio commentary, you can listen to Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Bill Hader talking about the film. A fun commentary with humor and also good insight by the director's about how their personal enjoyment of things in their childhood ended up in the film and more.
# Interactive "Splat" Button - While watching the film, you can throw food at the screen using Flint's Food Throwing Machine.
# A Recipe for Success: The Making of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - (10:50) Interviews with the voice talent and crew about the film. Discussions about the original book, the music, visual effects and more.
# Key Ingredients: The Voices of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - (12:39) Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller talk about working with the talents and the talents talk about their experiences providing the voices for the characters. Interviews with Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Mr. T, James Caan, Andy Samberg, Al Roker and Bruce Campbell.
# Flint's Food Fight Game - Enhanced for Blu-ray- In this game, you can use your remote to help Flint stop the food storm cooked up by the F.L.D.S.M.D.F.R.
# Extended Scenes - (2:36) Featuring "Elevator Joke" and "Twister-Early Cut with Awesome Food Fight" extended scenes.
# Early Development Scenes - (5:47) Featuring Flint's Letter to Super Scientist Vance LeFleur and Early Storyboard Version of Twister. Featuring the voice acting but these scenes are in sketch format.
# Progression Reels with Introductions by Visual Effects Supervisor Rob Bredow - (8:09) Visual Effects Supervisor Rob Bredow showcases the color script and explains what the reference paintings are and how the color is compared and how the final cut matched the original production design. Also, discussion of a new software used for lighting and using global illumination.
# Interactive "Raining Sunshine" Sing-A-Long - (3:45) For those who want to sing along with Miranda Cosgrove, a sing-a-long karaoke track is included. Using your angle button, you can switch the icon from cheesburger, ice cream, a meatball and more.
# "Raining Sunshine" Music Video by iCarly's Miranda Cosgrove - (3:45) The music video.
# Behind the Scenes of Miranda Cosgrove's "Raining Sunshine" Music Video - (2:17) Interviews with Miranda Cosgrove in regards to the making of the music video.
# Make It Rain Food - (:32) A trailer for fighting hunger (using clips from the film).
# DVD-Rom Link To Exclusive Online Fun
"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" is an enjoyable family film. The children will love it and even the adults. The film is well-written and Sony Pictures Animation really went all out in making sure this film looks visually appealing. Artistically, the animation and artistic backgrounds are just spectacular.
As mentioned before, there is so much positive press for Pixar films and also DreamWorks animated films but Sony really pulled off an awesome 3D animated film with "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs". Definitely a unique presentation in terms of characters but it's just the overall look of the film with its vibrant colors and look that gives a fresh feel for this film.
And on HD, the film looks and sounds incredible. There are a good number of interactive special features and with the Blu-ray coming with the DVD and a digital copy of the film, that's another plus as well.
It's important to note that "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" is not just visual and audio eye candy, the film features a solid performance by the voice talent and most of all, a solid screenplay that remains faithful to the popular book. A lot of humor (safe for children) and for the most part, a fantastic family film that both children and adults will enjoy.
This is possibly the best animated film not made by Disney/Pixar and if anything, Sony Pictures Animation did a wonderful job and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what film they will be animating next because what they did for "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" looks magnificent.
Overall, this is a solid Blu-ray release that is just worth having in your collection and a release that is great for the entire family. Highly recommended!
NOTE: It was announced by Sony during CES that in conjunction with the release of their 3D hardware, they will be releasing "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" in 3D Blu-ray later in 2010.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2010
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
***This is a review for the 3D Disc that plays with shutter-active glasses.***
I was so happy when I got my first retail 3D movie in the mail today.
This movie played perfectly with my Samsung LN46C750 LCD TV, and Samsung BD-C6900 blu-ray player and the Samsung 3D Starter Kit SSG-P2100T which has the battery operated glasses, and the Onkyo HT-S3300 3D system.
I did not notice any "ghosting" as mentioned in other reviews in the Monster vs. Aline's movie which I have and did see a little.
I am so happy there was a new movie to watch with my TV setup, I wish the Big TV guys would stop matching the new movies with purchase of a new TV system, like Panasonic has done with Coraline & Ice Age 3.
I did not see this movie in theaters when it was out the for whoever disagrees about the new 3D technology must not own one. I was lucky to be able to upgrade because of a home robbery. This is a great new technology that I can now enjoy at home, as close as possible the the 3D movies in theaters today! I will be buying every new 3D movie that comes out or is on pre-order as soon as I can find out about it.
The only "down side" I can think of about this movie, is that the menu of the Blu-ray did not have the special 3D viewing or just normal 2D view with nothing special.
SPECIAL FEATURES included on this disc are:
* BD Live
* Open Season 3D Sneak Peek
* Monster House 3D Sneak Peek
* A Recipe for Success: Making of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
* Key Ingredients: The Voices of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
* 2 Extended Scenes
* 2 Early Development Scenes
* 5 Progression Reels with Introductions by Visual Effects Supervisor Rob Bredow
* "Raining Sunshine" Music Video
* Behind the Scenes of Miranda Cosgrove's "Raining Sunshine" Music Video
It looks like it does not have the Sing-A-Long nor the Flint's Food Fight Game nor the Interactive "Splat" Button (Throw Food at the Screen While You Watch the Movie!) as are on the 2D Blu-ray Disc.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" is sunny with a clear opportunity for fun and entertainment. I saw it in 3D at an Imax theater, and the special effects were stunning in this animated film. A boy named Flint wants one thing out of life--it would be peaches and cream to be a famous scientist and inventor. When he's given a lab coat, he really goes bananas and invents some weird things. Later, grown up, how he acquired such an expensive and elaborate lab in his backyard is never explained. His widowed father (voice of James Caan) couldn't be nicer and more supportive. The dad's eyebrows are so thick and bushy we seldom see his eyes.
They live on an island in the Atlantic (not far from the letter A in Atlantic on a map) where the chief occupation used to be catching and canning sardines. The sardines were canned under the "Baby Brent" brand, and Baby is now a big overgrown oaf who wears diapers for promos. When sardines go out of style, off the radar for people's tastes, the gluttonous and avaricious mayor wants to make the island into a tourist attraction as Sardineland with Baby as part of the promo campaign.
Flint invents a machine that can seed the clouds and make all kinds of food rain down on the town. It starts with what looks like Big Macs. They are delicious and eagerly consumed by the residents, but they don't always come down neatly and splatter around like garbage. The kind of food varies as all sorts of goodies including rich desserts flop down. The amount of food and the size of the food proliferate so that a giant food dump held back by a dam has to be built.
A TV weather girl, Sam Sparks, comes to the town to record the cascading food, and she and Flint fall for each other like two peas in a pod. The mayor, as he gets fatter, promotes the food drops as a tourist attraction, and cruise ships loaded with hungry sightseers crowd the island. Soon, though, the food flood becomes a problem. The town is in a stew when huge helpings of oversized spaghetti and meatballs descend from on high. Flint and Sam have to go up in the clouds to stop Flint's machine from producing the food glut.
Indirectly the film could be an attack on overeating and bad eating habits. Also, it says, be careful what you wish for, because your wish may be granted. It's a very funny, exciting movie. Be on the look-out for a sequel. All ages will enjoy the food mayhem and have a feast with this one.
89 of 119 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2010
Very good movie, liked it in the theater. I wanted to post this right away, though. Buyer Beware, digital copy works only on PS3 to download to PSP. I'm very disappointed. This is in fine print on the back of the case. Deceptive on Sony's part. Really reduces value of Blu ray in my book.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2011
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
My ratings are based mainly on the QUALITY OF THE 3D, not the video content.
There are about 45 out of screen effects that extend about 10% of the way, from the screen to the viewer and another 12 around 25%. The in-screen 3D is consistently good. This would make a good addition to any 3D collection.
*** Funny with an enjoyable story line - Nice graphics add to the 3D ***
MY 3D RATING = VERY GOOD (poor, fair, good, very good, excellent)
Note: As far as the percentages go, everyone's eyes are different. What I see at 25% you may see at 15% or 35%. To fully realize how far something is out of the screen for you, pause on an effect and direct a partner with an extended finger to the tip of what you are seeing. You may be surprised.
Click on `See all my reviews' for the lowdown on other 3Ds
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2009
Considering the price of tickets going to the movies is becoming quite a reflexive act. But on the other hand when you have nieces you need to overlook those little tiny monetary details. So lately I have been watching a lot of those so called films for kids, and I have to say that they are much more interesting than many considered "serious" film.
Take this one, the story maybe sounds absurd, childish and too fantastic but this film has been made to be enjoyed by everybody , no matter the age.
Flint Loockwood lives in the tiny island of Swallow Falls and his biggest dream is to be the greatest scientist in the world making inventions which will help people. But his inventions are never fully understood by the villagers and he is considered a good for for nothing among the villagers. Unfortunately crisis also has reached Swallow Falls and with its once important sardine industry in decline the mayor has decided to rise the town with some publicity and the always reliable thematic park. One day our hero makes the definite machine, one which can convert water into food . And so it starts a story which has everything: unethical poilticians, father-son relationships, catastrophes, romance and Manny ,by far my favourite.
It is funny all the time, although it loses a little rythm at the last quarter.
I have not read the book in which the film is based so I cannot compare, but if it is half the fun I will be satisfied.One of those films you watch enjoying like a child and the kind you do not mind to spend 6 on it.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2010
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
Cloudy with a chance of meatballs in Blue-ray 3D is the first 3D Blue-ray alvailable outside of a 'bundled with hardware' set. I have the 'Aliens VS Monsters' that came with my saumsung 3D glasses, so I have something to compare it to.
The 3D effect is better on the 'Cloudy with a chance of meatballs' disk than the 'Aliens VS Monsters' disk. Better left and right eye seperation, no noticable '3D is lost for a moment' points (the 'Aliens VS Monsters' disk has about 3 of these - they are minor, but there).
I first saw this movie in 3D at the theater, then watched it about 6 times on 2D on Blue-ray, and my wife begrudging watched it again with me because it was in 3D (she asked how many times was I going to buy this movie?). The 3D at home for this movie was a superior experience then the 3D at the theater. Honest - and I am using a LED-LCD 3D tv (those with Plasama 3D tv's will be even more impressed).
Here is the thing - if you have a house full of kids that would just break the 'over a hundred bucks each' 3D glasses, do the 2D blue-ray or only watch this 3D blue-ray in 2D mode when they are awake. If you are a kid at heart (like me) the 3D is fun. It will not make a bad movie good, but it can make a great movie (which 'Cloudy with a chance of meatballs' really is) even more fun.
I think I will just go watch it again - writing this review got me in the mind set. Few things are as visually amazing as the chese burgers falling from the sky and breaking up in slow motion.