Friday, September 18, 2009

"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" (2009) - Movie Review

You generally do not get much expectation for a movie with a title “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”, you just don’t. Being in the dark of a children’s book existence which the film goes to origins (yes indeed), this film has lot to offer (no pun intended). What would be if it rains burgers, pan cakes, a steak and the place is filled with smashing food with maximum velocity? Disgusting, ugly and unnecessary? Wrong, wrong and wrong. Surprising fun is what the film provides with some smart homage to the disaster films and Bill Hader with Anna Faris lending some much needed cool voices.

In the small dots in the atlas exists Swallow falls. In there grows up the nerdy kid Flint Lockwood coming up with inventions not only weird but its purpose of invention does not look people would want. A laceless shoe by the spray of a can. What a cool idea but one kid yells, “How are you going to get it off?” and as a deer caught in the headlights is Flint. As he hits the age ladder, he has successfully invented a monkey translator, a walking TV and Ratbirds. Why would Flint wants to give wings to rats explains everything about Flint. He is a goofy kid and he does the biggest invention of all, turning water into food. Food in the sense cooked junk food. From hotdogs to steak and from celery to ice creams, this freakish machine gets shoot in the clouds where it floats and begins to rain these items of appetite quenchers.

One after another, the film overtakes itself in over the top scenarios. Flint Lockwood as this young man has a command center in his yard. He still lives with a dad Tim (voice of James Caan) hiding his bright eyes behind a thick eyebrow watching his son indulge in these inventions of chaos than solving a cause. Flint as the animated hero is trouble maker, curious and always a destined failure. The story does not wait for his invention to kick off in the middle of the film and right away as the weather girl Sam (voice of Anna Faris) arrives for a Sardine land opening by the Mayor (voice of Bruce Campbell), the machine is shot in the cloud accidentally and gets the burger rain coming.

What to expect out of a film like this? Nothing but humungous chunks of dreadful junk food falling from the sky straight to the hands and faces of the townspeople. A tough cop (voice of Mr. T) who has always been nothing but strict and mean to Flint requests a birthday present for his young kid, the greedy Mayor getting obese by the minute of consuming these free falling foods and Steve the monkey (voice of Neil Patrick Harris) with his master’s translator equipment are the bunch topping the character lists required to fulfill this formulaic film.

Soon the machine gets out of hand and the flow chart routine follows of the central nerd character teaming up to shut down this food ball. There is ofcourse staple supply of Wayans brothers taking up the spoof films in to unknown doom which they did for the disaster films in their definite fiasco that I wisely skipped called (duh!) “Disaster Movie”. Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller does a proper justice to that category of spoof/homage. Generally there needs to be an affection for those cheesy depictions of disaster pattern occurring over the globe in those films. Here in the nowhere land of Swallow falls the storm begins and specifically chooses the landmark destinations on the world to drop its giant menus.

For what it is, this animated feature gets the kids and adults in its strings. It sways amongst its finding of spaghetti tornado and meatballs flying around the town but it gets the crew right along for the final ride into the giant food enemies on the sky. One cannot wonder when every one is ready to lend a hand and there are unknown heroes springing up from places hidden (With the voice of Benjamin Bratt as Manny as the news camera operator is a pilot, particle physicist and a doctor).

Mainly the operation of Flint is hilarious. As he steps into the shoes of inventor, he narrates his action with cut shots and I went back to the childhood days where we played the war games saying explaining ourselves the cinematic effect of an invisible camera looming somewhere in our living rooms. “Cloudy with the Chance of Meatballs” is one hell of a stupid name for a film but it sure does justice to that in giving a food ride to cherish, gross out and laugh at.

1 comment:

wints said...

From the inception Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (2009) movie was tight me rendering food flood and funny characters. I really like that crazy scientist character whose name is Flint Lockwood. Especially I like his childhood creations. When I remind those things oh, I can’t stop my laugh.