Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Young Flint Lockwood (Max Neuwirth) is a budding inventor whose creations just miss the mark. His mother’s faith in him keeps Flint trying and, older now, he is on the verge of perfecting a machine that turns water into food. But, once again, things go wrong and his latest invention may change the weather and life in Flint’s (Bill Hader) home town of Swallow Falls forever in “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.”

Laura's Review: B+

Covered on maps by the ‘A’ of ‘Atlantic Ocean,’ Swallow Falls was once an island prosperous because of its sardine industry, but when the world discovered that sardines are super gross, the island became an afterthought. Young inventor Flint Lockwood (voice of Bill Hader, “Superbad,” “Pineapple Express”) has exasperated his loving, widowed, bait ‘n tackle shop owning dad (voice of James Caan) with his series of creations, but his latest, a machine that rains down delicacies to the sardine-sated masses, makes him a hero. Until, that is, the machine is overprogrammed to the point of taking over global weather in “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.” This Sony Columbia release, credited to ‘a whole bunch of people,’ is an out-of-left-field charmer on multiple counts. Terrific use of 3D, beautiful size perspective, a stunning rendering of the ocean and witty character design make it an eyeful, while the script delights with puns, sight gags and pop culture nudge-winks. This one truly is fun for the whole family. The vocal cast, which features Anna Faris, Mr. T., Benjamin Bratt, Andy Samberg, Bruce Campbell, Al Roker and Neil Patrick Harris as the monkey, Steve!, is a delight. All that raining food begins to get a little bit gross, which, I presume, is the point, and the climax, which features threatening roasted chickens and a great homage to “Terror at 20,000 Feet,” is a tad overblown, but the film wraps with great affection for its characters and should leave you with a smile and a yen for a meatball sub.

Robin's Review: C