Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) has always dreamed of being an inventor, as a child he was laughed at for making wacky inventions, now that he is all grown up Flint aspires to make his dream come true. Living in Swallow Falls, a now tourist-dry island, Flint is working tirelessly to be the hero and invent something the town has never seen before. But when his experiments go wrong and he single handily destroys the new Sardine Land, Flint is forced to stop inventing. At the same time Sam Sparks (Anna Faris), the TV network recruit sent to cover the Sardine Land news, is fired from job, disillusioned by the outcome she meets Flint only to find out they have a lot in common. Meanwhile, a strange colorful cloud began raining the small island with cheeseburgers and what was place with no tourist was now about to change. Flint became the hero, but how long will this last?
It didn’t take too long for the first few titles to be announced for 3D, I honestly didn’t think any would make it to store shelves before late 2010. Needless to say I was completely wrong. Sony’s commitment to the format is and will probably continue to be applauded. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs have become the first title to be available without having to spend huge amounts of money on a 3D TV-3D Blu-ray player combo. Yes, it is available to purchase off the shelve. This is the new novelty, the game change, and the new thing that many were waiting for. Sure, not everyone likes 3D or even believes that it will make any impact on sales. However, I got to say as a faithful tech lover I can’t tell you enough how great Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs looks in 3D.
First, you must know now that you need a compatible 3D TV and a 3D Blu-ray player in order to playback the 3D version inside the disc. This disc does include both the 3D and 2D version of the film. Moving on, I had a great time watching this film as is not just another gimmick as the film boasts a great depth throughout the film. There are several scenes that stand out, but the presentation as a whole is excellent. As always, there is no such thing as a “big enough TV” and CWACM does give you that feeling that perhaps my Panasonic plasma were not big enough, but to each its own. Some may find the new 50” inch 3D TVs to be just the right size and some will find them too small. Whatever the case is, this new 3D content looks fantastic. Although, is a shame no 3D menu is included.
One thing you must keep in mind is that in order to view the content you also need the 3D glasses. Currently, you cannot use the shutter glasses from different manufacturer (Samsung glasses on Panasonic TVs and vice versa) and at $150 Dollars each is quite expensive. Anyway, if you have been to a theater recently to watch a film in 3D you might find the glasses to be lightweight and bulky, but these shutter glasses are heavier and bulky. Regardless of this fact, it was never a problem for me and I never really felt the need to remove them to rest my eyes. This is a necessary accessory in order to go through the 3D experience at home. I realize this nuisance, but until technology completely gets rid of it nothing we can do about it.
For those of you worried this 3D version is not worth spending the extra dollars you must consider a few things. This 3D version does not include a DVD version or a PSP portable copy of the film like the previous regular Blu-ray released a few months back, but if you are only looking for the entertainment of the 3D then this is for you.
On a final note, I managed to have the chance to test this new 3D Blu-ray on a stand-alone player. The player used was the Sony BDP-S350 and there was no issues playing the 2D version of the movie. Also, I played the film in 2D using the PS3 without any hiccups.
Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 3D arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG4-AVC encode framed at 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Although the specifications label this film being framed at 2.35:1, my player on my computer system is detecting 2.29:1, which could be because of the conversion of the film to 3D. Moving on, the film looks fantastic although it appears to be less vibrant than the regular release it still remains looking fantastic. There is an incredible depth to the movie in 3D that you could not have felt it in the regular edition. The level of detail is impressive; if you have seen the previous release this 3D version may very well be up to par it just simply looks fantastic.
Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 3D arrives on Blu-ray with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless track. This is the same track that was included in the previous release along with French and Portuguese lossless tracks. The main track was perfect then and well is perfect now. From the panning of flints invention, to the echo inside the jell-o 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. This is a very active film and so the audio delivers a perfect performance.
This 3D version came with a light set of supplements than the previous release, but check below to see what is included. Shame the splat button is not included in this release.
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.
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.
Early Development Scenes
There are two scenes both clock in about 5mins 47sec. You have the option of watching them separately.
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.
“Raining Sunshine” Music Video by iCarly’s Miranda Cosgrove
The music video to the end credit theme, to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
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!
Two new titles are on their way from Sony and you get a sneak peek. The previews for Open Season and Monster House are included.
Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs was very entertaining when I saw it in 3D in theaters and well the same can be said about this new 3D Blu-ray title. The novelty of this new technology is exciting as well showing some promise for the future. Sony has outdone themselves again by showing everyone else how to do the first 3D title the right way. The video transfer is excellent, the 3D looks amazing, and the audio is well nothing short of perfect. If you have everything to play 3D content this is highly recommended!!
The screen captures were taken from the 2D version of the film and are only a small representation of what the Blu-ray looks like and are not representative of Blu-ray’s true quality.