Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (U)



Family (2009)
89mins US

Starring: Anna Faris, Tracy Morgan, James Caan, Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, Mr T, Bruce Campbell
Director: Phil Lord, Chris Miller
Writer(s): Phil Lord, Chris Miller
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

In an effort to solve world hunger, inventor Flint Lockwood creates a machine, which can transform water into different foodstuffs. Before he can test his contraption properly, it launches into the atmosphere and giant pancakes, pasta, steaks and meatballs rain down on the tiny fishing port which Flint calls home. Inexperienced weathergirl Sam Sparks is asked to cover this meteorological phenomenon and she immediately catches Flint's eye.

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LondonNet Film Review
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs

Based on the beloved 1978 children's book by Judi and Ron Barrett, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs is a comical fantasy about one man's pursuit of his dreams...

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Copyright 2009 Sony Pictures Animation Inc.  Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's computer-animated film is also a colourful morality tale about the gluttony of the west where bigger is apparently always better, especially when it comes to food portions. The directors establish the playful tone from the opening frames, announcing that we are about to watch, "A film by... a lot of people". Teams of animators have worked wonders here, including a jaw-dropping finale involving a flood of discarded food that threatens to drown an entire town.

Ever since he was a little boy, Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) has been inventing gadgets and gizmos to improve the lives of his technophobe father Tim (James Caan) and doting mother Fran (Lauren Graham) in the town of Swallow Falls, which is famous for its sardines. When she passes away, father and son grow apart and Flint is left to his own devices in the lab with Steve The Monkey (Neil Patrick Harris). In an effort to solve world hunger, Flint creates a machine which can transform water into different foodstuffs. Before he can test his contraption properly and iron out all of the bugs, it launches into the atmosphere - and giant pancakes, pasta and steaks rain down on the tiny fishing port, which Flint calls home. Inexperienced weathergirl Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) is asked to cover this meteorological phenomenon, and she immediately catches Flint's eye. Mayor Shelbourne (Bruce Campbell) and the other residents put in orders for food they want to rain down from the sky, and Flint's contraption gradually overheats, stranding the plucky inventor, Sam, town cop Earl Devereaux (Mr T) and his young son Cal (Tracy Morgan) in the path of a giant spaghetti twister.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Copyright 2009 Sony Pictures Animation Inc.  Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs is a treat for audiences of all ages, with slapstick and a miasma of bold colours to dazzle youngsters and some broad humour for teenagers and parents. "Even Steve is throwing chocolate snowballs!" coos Sam as she witnesses Swallow Falls transformed into an ice-cream wonderland for Cal's birthday. "Oh..." she adds with disgust, twigging they aren't chocolate snowballs after all. The vocal performances are bursting with life, rather like the animation, including a riotous turn from Andy Samberg as town bully Brent, who has harangued Flint since childhood. The film screens in traditional 2D in the majority of cinemas, but family audiences should certainly seek out the 3D version. Donning the hi-tech spectacles, you're bombarded with food of all shapes and sizes as it rains down on Swallow Falls. Thankfully, the technology isn't overused (you won't be ducking for cover every five minutes), providing a perfect garnish to this tasty treat.

- Sam Cannon


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