By February 5, 2010

Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs [Combi Pack] – Review

‘Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs’, or ‘Cloudy’ for short, is an animated film from Sony based on a much loved children’s book.

You may think that a Blu-ray film review is a little unusual for us, and you’d be right. This is the first time we’ve done such a thing but I thought it might make a refreshing change for a Friday afternoon feature here on the site and something that, if popular, we’d like to do more often! So it’s important that you let us have your feedback. You can think of this as our ‘Something for the weekend’ segment.

Matt

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It features the voice talents of Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Andy Samberg, Bruce Campbell, Mr T and more.

The movie tells the story of young Flint Lockwood, who’s only wish is to become a great inventor. After the death of his supportive mother Flint is left alone with his emotionally distant father and focuses his energies into his inventions, which don’t quite work out as he’d intended them to.

Flint lives in Swallow Falls, a tiny island hidden under the A in Atlantic. Swallow Falls primary export is sardines, and after the world realises that sardines are "super gross" the town’s cannery closes, leaving the whole town in economic ruin with only the left over sardines to eat.

Flint tries to create a machine that can turn water into food, but he doesn’t have enough power to make it work.

Meanwhile the local mayor has been planning his own rejuvenation program and has built "Sardine Land" and invited a TV reporter to cover the grand opening. The TV station didn’t want to send a ‘proper’ reporter and so intern Sam Sparks is shipped out to cover the event, her first time on screen.

Flint uses the distraction of the unveiling as a chance to sneak over to the local electricity pylon and connect his machine.

Things do not go quite to plan as the machine is turned into a small rocket, destroys Sardine Land and flies off into the skies above.

Needless to say, Flint is even less popular than normal.

As he hides from the town, Sam Sparks is also looking to hide from her own on-screen failure and the two end up meeting. As they first bond, and then argue, it starts to rain cheeseburgers. Flint’s machine works!

The movie goes on to tell the story of town with Flint as the new local hero who can make it rain whatever food people want, his growing friendship with Sam Sparks and his relationship with his father.

 

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Specifications

Video 1080P High Definition
Sound DTS HD and Dolby digital
Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Number of discs 2 (1 Blu-ray, 1 DVD)
Run Time Approx 90 minutes
BBFC Rating U
Irish Film classification G

 

http://www.sonywonder.com/cloudy/

 

Extras
These extras are only on the Blu-ray in this particular pack.

  • Directors commentary
  • ‘Making of’ documentary
  • Interviews with the main voice actors
  • Music video *
  • Interactive sing-a-long music video *
  • Behind the scenes of the music video *
  • Progression reels on the Visual FX
  • Extended scenes
  • Early development scenes

(* Standard Definition)

 

Blu-ray exclusives

  • Interactive Splat Mode – that lets you throw food at the screen while you watch the movie
  • Flint’s Food Game  – BD Live downloadable game if your player supports it

 

Conclusion
As long as you are willing to go along with the pure silliness of the story then you’ll enjoy this film. There is plenty of humour and bizarreness packed in here and you’ll find yourself laughing out loud, I certainly did.

The writing, animation and voice acting all work very well – and as a nice change from some other animated movies they’ve not tried to stretch the concept into a longer run time. The result is that you enjoy the movie for the madcap bizarre adventure that it is. It doesn’t have any great moral story that it’s trying to tell you or even any grand message, it’s just aiming to entertain you – a job it does admirably.

The picture quality is very good, with clean bright colours with plenty of contrast allowing the world to feel ‘real’ whilst still being fantasy. Sound quality is also very good.

The extras feel a little bit tacked on and didn’t really add that much for me – but they are very much expected on discs now, so here they are.

The advantage of having a 2 discs pack like this is that the Blu-ray can be used on shiny new HD-TV in the family room, whilst the kids can run the DVD in their own room.

I’d not seen this movie before, nor read the source material, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. What you get is a good fun movie, though not quite up to the very best Pixar movies (but then not much is), but very fun all the same.

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