I first heard about film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs while reading an article about upcoming 3D movies. Having liked the book, I was intrigued by the films description. So on September 18, 2009, I saw the film. I enjoyed every minute of the 3D film. I will say that I was incredible surprised with the voice cast. So it was to no surprise that I accepted the chance to review this title.
The film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs loosely follows the Book. Yet, some how the film is a story on its own. All the while using parodies of other disaster films. Flint Lockwood has dreamed of being an inventor ever since he was little. After his mom gives him an inventor’s coat and some encouragement, he makes a promise to himself, that he will create something to help his town of Swallow Falls. A few years later that promise will not only put the town back on its feet, but it will also make Flint a hero.
The film features three Saturday Night live cast members Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, and Will Forte. The film also includes Anna Faris (Scary Movie), Mr. T, Neil Patrick Harris (Batman the brave and the bold, Mayhem of the Music Mister), and James Caan as Flint’s monotone father, who uses fishing metaphors. The film is clever and original, despite being based of the book by the same name. I say original, because the film uses original characters and an original enhanced story with scenes from the book.
There’s no doubt that in this day and age there is really no room to get it wrong. What am I talking about? 3D animation, of course, I say this because we have plenty of good studios making fantastic animated films. So, where does this movie stand? Right there at the top with many of the recent animated cartoons. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is fun, is entertaining, and most of all satisfying. Without any real effort or any type of hidden message the film achieves what many others have failed. It will easily be one of these year’s best animated films.
What can I say, the film is simply eye candy with a 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encode framed at 2.35:1. Seeing that the film was made for 3D, the film features a great sense of depth. The colors are amazing; some scenes may come out a bit dull, but I feel that it was the intention of the director. There is some banding in a few scenes, but it’s not too drastic. Sony did a fantastic job on this release.
Audiophiles will have there mouth full, or at least open in “ahhh”. Your home theater will work up a sweat. The 5.1 DTS HD-MA lossless track is top of the line. From the panning of flints invention, to the echo inside the jello mold, to the Power of Mark Mothersbaugh’s score. Yes, this soundtrack does it all! Every fine detail is cleanly reproduced. All ambience sound effects provide a more in depth feeling for the viewer. The is a very active film and so the audio delivers a perfect performance.
A Recipe for Success: The Making Of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
In this Making of the directors prove that making a movie is like making a hamburger. A fun and interesting look at how the film was created, from color, to the people that fill every frame, and to then the food and what it took to create it. Fun and informative, definitely recommended.
“Raining Sunshine” Music Video by iCarly’s Miranda Cosgrove
The music video to the end credit theme, to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
Interactive “Raining Sunshine” Sing-A-Long
This was cool; you get your choice of a meatball, an ice-cream cone, hamburger, and gelatin. Pick one and then follow your choice as you sing-A-Long to “Raining Sunshine”. Just make sure you warm up your vocals.
Behind the Scenes of Miranda Cosgrove’s “Raining Sunshine” Music Video
The name says it all, Join Miranda Cosgrove as she talks about the music and the story to the music video!
Key Ingredients: The Voices of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
This is my favorite of the bunch of extras for cloudy! These extras features the main cast of voice actors, talking about their characters, and the directors talk about why the voice actors were picked. A must watch!
There are two extended scenes; together they run about 2mins 36sec. You also have the option of watching them separately.
An early look at what the Elevator could have looked like if it had made the film. The only thing that was kept from the early look is Steve licking the mic. Now the joke, could have been an inside joke between the two directors. But what ever it was, I think the directors made a good choice in cutting it out.
Twister – Early cut with awesome food fight
This scene is great, why they cut it out is beyond me. The scene is an extended part of the spaghetti twister scene, and it features a fight scene between the mayor and Flint, as well as Officer Earl tries to rescue his son.
Progression Reels with Introductions by Visual FX Supervisor Rob Bredow
There are five of these, and the will take about 8mins 9sec of your time. You have the option of watching them separately. The Progression reels are, From Conceptual Paintings To Final Renderings – The Evolution Of Color, Roofless Restaurant Lighting Technology, Environmental Clouds Surrounding the Giant Meatball, Making a Spaghetti Twister, Food Avalanche Elements. All are very interesting and neat to see.
Early Development Scenes
There are two scenes both clock in about 5mins 47sec. You have the option of watching them separately.
Flints Letter to Super Scientist Vance Lefleur
This is a different take on the opening of the film. It’s quite apparent, as why it was not it the final film. Still, it is clever and somewhat funny. I think what makes this stand out is that it had the opening theme to Marks Mothersbaughs brilliant score.
Early Storyboard Version of Twister
This is yet another earlier twister scene. The scene features Flint realizing that he has to turn off the machine. It also has Officer Earl trying to find his son and trying to save him. Again the score can be heard.
Directors’ commentary with Bill Hader
Join the director Phil Lord and Christopher Miller with the voice of Flint Lockwood’s voice actor Bill Hater, as they talk about the film and more. This commentary is fun and enjoyable.
Interactive “Splat” Button [Throw food at the Screen While You Watch the Movie!]
This feature is another favorite of mine. This feature allows you to throw food at the screen, just with out the mess. Most notable favorites to use are meatball, cream pie, and egg. Have fun!
Flint’s Food Fight Game-Enhanced for Blu-ray
Help Flint in an epic battle against his food-making contraption. The game is set up and based off of one of my favorite games. Space Invaders! Fun and easy to use, however, little kids may find this a bit challenging.
A PSP Digital Copy – Transfer via your PlayStation 3 only
The Blu-ray disc of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs comes with a Digital Copy of the film, which you can transfer to you PSP or PSP GO and/or watch on your PS3.
There are a total of nine trailers all in glorious 1080p.
Make it rain food
A commercial for Feeding America that is short, sweet, and to the point.
A nice addition, to top off the extras.
Includes Both Full Screen and Theatrical Widescreen Versions
The DVD houses the family friendly widescreen (Full screen) and the Theatrical Widescreen (as seen in theaters) versions of the film. Like some Full Screen films, the film will start out in widescreen and then take up the screen, only to, at the end go back to the widescreen. This is the case for film, however at the end it will shrink back to a 2.35:1 ratio from the Family Friendly 1.78:1. The Theatrical Widescreen is 2.35:1 ratio.
Yes this is a stellar release! From the glorious picture to the audio that will satisfy even the most sound hunger audiophiles. The extras are top notch and will fill extras and behind the scenes buffs to the brink of happiness. With this powerful and strong animated release, I couldn’t help but feel that there was something missing, with all the food, I think it would be wise to have the Blu-ray and DVD case, or the upcoming 3D Blu-ray case smell like Meatballs. Dig in and enjoy! Highly recommended.