Flint Lockwood thinks he's a genius. But none of the things he invented are things that make sense or are useful. However, he has the support of his mother but when she dies, he's left alone with his father who thinks he should give it up. When the community that he lives in is in an economic crisis because their primary source of income, a sardine cannery, was shut down, Flint decides to try his latest invention, a machine that can turn water into food. But something goes wrong and the machine ends up in the atmosphere. Later it starts raining food. The shifty mayor tries to use this as a way to help their community, but when Flint senses something wrong with the machine, the mayor convinces him to ignore it. However, as Flint predicts, chaos ensues.
Directed by: Phil Lord
, Christopher Miller
. Starring: Bill Hader
, Anna Faris
, James Caan
, Andy Samberg
, Bruce Campbell
, Mr. T
, Bobb'e J. Thompson
, Benjamin Bratt
, Neil Patrick Harris
, Al Roker
, Lauren Graham
, Will Forte
, Max Neuwirth
. Music by: Mark Mothersbaugh
In short: Meat falls from the sky. Completely hilarious and 100% awesome through and through. Take your kids to see this, now. Or just go alone on your lunch break....
In a world (ours) where the kids' section of the video store is dominated by movies boasting farting animals, instantly dated pop-culture references and jive-talking stunt-cast celebrities, it's a huge relief to report that there's a legitimately great CG-animated family movie out that isn't even produced by the bar-raisers at Pixar! I was surprised, to be honest, to find myself laughing out loud through most of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, while at the same time feeling impatient for it to end so I could call my sister and insist that I take her kids to see it immediately. No rapping penguins, no dependency on toilet humour, and no Robin Williams. The film treats its young audience as the sophisticates they actually are, rather than playing down and dumb, and at the same time permits an entrée to the best kind of rainbow-coloured imaginative, anarchic fantasy land, one where it snows ice-cream and a giant pancake with two pats of butter and a flood of maple syrup can destroy an elementary school.
Written and directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (the guys behind the underrated, short-lived Clone High 2D animated series), CWaCoM is a loose adaptation of the kids' story of the same name. Having not read the book (I read grown-up books for I am a grown up. I see children's' movies because that is my prerogative, thank you very much), I can't really comment on the adaptation (apparently they changed a bunch of stuff), but as a film on its own, it's fantastic. It's genuinely hilarious, absolutely ridiculous, really, really smart and bursting with energy.
Despite a bit of a lag in the middle and the tedious doling-out of some slightly over-wrought life-lessons, this movie has one of the best-written scripts for an animated family comedy that I've come across. The humour is as high-brow as it is screw-ball, and never betrays the tone of the story or its lovably crafted characters. And as out-there as the story is, the film is smart and self-aware enough to poke fun at itself (and other more serious sci-fidisaster films tropes) whenever possible, but never as an exclusive wink to the grown-ups... rather, the film assumes that everybody, young and old, has seen enough cheesy sci-fidisaster movies and can recognize the clichés. For example, while showing footage of food destroying the Eiffel tower and the Great Wall of China, a news anchor comments on how the food storm seems to be attacking famous monuments first before heading off to more boring parts of the world. It's a joke that any adult that's seen a Dean Devlin film would surely get, but it's not that out there to assume that kids would understand why that's funny as well....
The character design is fairly average... nothing you haven't seen before. You can tell Lord and Miller did their best to bring their signature angular, hand-drawn style to the CG realm, but obviously they had to cut corners (literally) in order to make their usual expressive, borderline-cubist character designs come to life. Any sharp facial features are rounded and smoothed over, and any would-be interesting character profile is made less so in order to allow the necessary camera movements of CG animation to demonstrate just how fleshed out this CG environment really is. It's too bad they couldn't have pushed the design a bit further to come up with something as stylistically unique as their past work, but still, nobody in the film had any nostrils which was nice to see. (Editor's Note: What the hell, Rajo) And there's nothing bad I can say about the animation. While I've seen more impressive stuff done by Pixar, watching the giant food rain down in 3D was an absolute blast, and as usual, the Real-D technology did not disappoint.
It was the kind of movie you walk out of and think, "Wow, I just saw a great movie!" The voice actors weren't annoying (Mr. T did not ONCE say "I pity the fool"), the story was funny and charming and I just can't get over how awesome it was to see a giant jello-mould bouncy castle... I haven't had Jello in ages! I can't wait to see it again.
Review by thesubstream from the Internet Movie Database.