By George Rose
September 23, 2009
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (2009)
Oh wait, there is! What a pleasant surprise last weekend at the box office was. After my last article, where I ranted that September is void of quality films, I went to go see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs in IMAX 3-D. Holy crap! Maybe I loved it because the movie is based off of one of my very favorite children's books (I was a fat kid, so a book about food was right up my alley). Maybe I loved it because it's an extremely colorful and vibrant animated movie that was a perfect choice for the 3-D treatment. Or maybe I loved it because my friend and I snuck a sixpack of beers into the movie. What?! Don't act like you never snuck in anything before! Having worked in a theater in my teenage years, I'll have you know that movie theater security doesn't differentiate between sneaking in beer or cheap snacks. It's all wrong!
Anyway, the movie is a major extension of the book, which itself is about a town that sees a storm of food fall over their town. In the movie, the storm is caused by a scientist named Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) and followed by an intern-turned-weatherwoman named Sam Sparks (Anna Farris, one of the funniest female comedians working today). After Flint's machine to turn water into food is accidentally sent flying into the sky, small portions of delicious food begin to rain down onto his small island town. His fame and Sam's status as a weatherwoman begin to rise, until the machine breaks down and starts producing meatball meteors. The transition is glorious to watch, as an animated movie full of fun foods is exactly what big screens were made for. There's no chance of seeing such a spectacle in real life, or being able to fully appreciate it on a 20" TV screen at home, which solidifies it as one of the must-see movies in your local Cineplex.
If the plot isn't enough to whet your appetite, maybe the comedy surrounding it is. Mr. T as the town security officer is erratic and hilarious, as is the mayor (voice by personal favorite Bruce Campbell). Seeing as how the sky is raining burgers and ice cream, it's no wonder the mayor went from a man with a Napoleon complex to someone that rivals Jabba the Hut in size. Since I'm still a fat kid at heart, I would gladly stand beneath the clouds with my mouth open, waiting for the next tasty treat to rain into my stomach. But Mr. T, Bruce Campbell and food aren't enough to convince everyone of a fun time at the movies. If they aren't your cup of tea, maybe the Who's Who list of celebrity voice talent is: James Caan, Andy Samberg, Benjamin Bratt, Neil Patrick Harris and Lauren Graham are along for the ride as well. The only one left to join it is you, the viewers in America who have yet to buy a ticket to see this movie. Don't make the same mistake I did and assume there's nothing to see in theaters. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is fun for people of all ages. Kids will love it. Those who read the book will love it. And anyone who has ever experienced hunger is likely to enjoy it as well.