Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
the voices of: Bill Hader, Neil Patrick Harris, Anna Faris, James Caan, Andy Samberg

Rated: PG Brief mild language
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: September 18, 2009 Released by: Columbia TriStar

One of the best family choices of the early fall season is the dreamy, strangely delicious Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs. Like Monsters vs. Aliens there is something colorful and imaginative on view throughout as it really makes good on its adored children's novel as it is a must-see in a deft 3D, as savory as a freshly warmed dish of macaroni and cheese.

The spry film from Phil Lord and Chris Miller (also the scribes) has a sharp, astute vocal cast ranging from Bill Hader and Anna Faris to Will Forte and Al Roker.

Hader's nebbish Flint has designed an apparatus which makes food from water and after being thrust into the atmosphere everyone's happy when cheeseburgers begin to fall from the sky.

His fame allows him to program his neat invention to let other coveted food staples like spaghetti and meatballs and ice cream to hit terra firma.

Flint's uni-browed dad (James Caan) thinks he's a bit deranged while the mayor (Bruce Campbell) has his own aspirations on Flint's success. Maybe, Faris's appealing weathergirl, Sam, is the only one into his fantastic brilliance.

A perfunctory visual, comedic flow resonates, but it also has an "Outer Limits"/"Twilight Zone" thing going for it. It understands the idea of celebrity and the disconnect of human communication.

Perhaps Julia Child would find this to be an engaging loony lark, a kind of flight (or descent) of fantasy, if you have it. In some ways, it surpasses the mighty aforementioned Monsters vs. Aliens in utilizing its gags with a game cast respectful of an audience in tune with the disaster genre.

Lord and Miller have crafted a raucous send-up using unhinged awkwardness to demolishing effect from the Jell-O palace to ginormous culinary treats. Even with Mt. Leftovers in the latergoing, international chaos hangs in the balance.

Hader and Faris bring a sweetness to their relationship, and Flint's connection with his dad has an affect wrinkle to it. This punning cute culinary-inspired cinema even has amusing parts for Benjamin Bratt as a Guatemalan cameraman and Mr. T as a supercop. While there isn't a great chance that Cloudy will be a meatball at the boxoffice, it seems more likely that older folks and parents will get more of a rise than the entranced younger fry accompanying them.

  Frank Chris Jim Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs        B+               B   B+ 

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