CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS (Sony,.
CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS (Sony, 2009), D: Phil Lord, Chris Miller, w/ Bill Hader, Anna Faris. Rating: NNNNN DVD package: NNN Rating: NNNNN
Readers with good memories might recall that I gave this four Ns on theatrical release. I’m bumping that to five. First, I laughed more the second time around that’s rare for me. Second, it’s a better movie in 2-D. Without the distraction of 3-D glasses and gimmickry, it’s easier to respond to the sprightly editing, performances, colours and compositions.
Luckless inventor Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) devises a machine that makes food from clouds, which it then rains on Flint’s small town. But the food mutates, and Flint, weather girl Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) and their friends have to battle pizza slices and man-eating roast chickens to save the world.
Savage food is a deeply unsettling image that only gets stranger with the operation of Flint’s machine, which presents an image of food as shit. Nobody remarks on this in either the movie or the comic and informative commentary shared by directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Luis Buñuel, whose The Phantom Of Liberty is the only other movie I know that even approaches this vision, would be proud.
This sinister core is wrapped in a cheery flow of visual and verbal gags and some brilliant set pieces. Even the minor characters are well developed. Keep an eye on moustache-obsessed Steve the monkey and the runaway TV set.
EXTRAS Miller, Lord and Hader commentary. Widescreen. English, French, Spanish audio and subtitles. English, Spanish commentary subtitles.