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  Publicity Stills of
(Courtesy of Columbia TriStar)

Genre: CG Animation
Director: Chris Miller, Phil Lord
Cast: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Bruce Campbell, Andy Samberg, Mr. T, Benjamin Bratt, Bobb'E J. Thompson, Neil Patrick Harris
RunTime: 1 hr 30 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Rating: G
Official Website: http://www.cloudywithachanceofmeatballs.com/

Opening Day: 1 October 2009


Inspired by Ron and Judi Barrett's beloved children's book of the same name, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs follows inventor Flint Lockwood (voice of Bill Hader) and a brainy weathergirl (voice of Anna Faris) as they attempt to discover why the rain in their small town has stopped, and food is falling in its place. Meanwhile, lifelong bully Brent (voice of Andy Samberg) relishes in tormenting Flint like he did when they were kids, and Mayor Shelbourne (voice of Bruce Campbell) schemes to use Flint's latest invention -- a device designed to improve everyone's lives -- for his own personal gain.

Movie Review:

To all the educators who had been responsible in making me who I am today (yes, I’m speaking to you too, the frumpy teacher who confiscated my prank caterpillar in kindergarten), I just want to tell you how you guys have not exploited the power of visuals in your attempt to make me a better person. I have just watched the latest movie from Sony Pictures Animation, and I walked out of the cinema learning more than I ever did in my 10-odd years of education.

Of course, undermining our teachers’ hard work and efforts in moulding the future of our nation would be a terrible thing for any Singaporean to do, but I would really like to advocate all well meaning educators and parents to bring their students and children to take this learning journey.

After wowing the world with Open Season (2006) and Surf’s Up (2007), the studio adapts Ron and Judi Barrett's book in their latest feature into a wild and crazy ride where technology brings imagination to life. Inspired by the children’s book, the film (pardon the pun here) cooks up a picture of a town bestowed with a phenomenon where food falls from the sky like rain. Flint Lockwood is a young inventor who dreams of improving everyone's life with his cranky inventions. His brilliance becomes loathed when things go terribly wrong and excess amounts of food overload cities and towns.

It is only with animation that viewers will get an idea of how audacious the idea behind this tale is – how would a live action movie achieve that and not have cynical audiences going “sigh”? And riding on the recent popularity of 3D movies (cue those shouts and screams of “Wow! The object is flying towards me!”), this Phil Lord and Chris Miller directed feature goes along for the ride and what a spot on – the colourful and snazzy visuals are very apt for this fad, and viewers can be guaranteed a fantastically fun journey. Imagine: cheeseburgers, hotdog buns, jellies, pizzas, spaghetti and in a stroke of genius, Gummi Bear candies – if we lived in a more technologically advanced world, we may just get to smell these delicious food in the cinema while watching the movie.

But this is not why this movie works. In 90 minutes, viewers will learn about what it means to stay true to yourself (that seems like an obligatory theme in movies nowadays), what it means to pursue your dreams, another theme which is somewhat tiresome), and most importantly, what it means to realise when things are in excess. The last message works on many levels in discussing important life issues, but in the context of this movie, it literally throws itself at viewers, making them think about what it will be like if delicious food becomes a nightmare that is out of control.

Credit also goes to the witty lines written by the directors themselves. Listen out for the play of words throughout the movie. Sure, they may not be your usual slapstick comedy, but you can only imagine the satisfaction you get by identifying those word puns and chuckling to yourself over the ingenuity of the people behind the screenplay. The cast providing the voices for the main characters are not overshadowed by their star power. Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Andy Samberg – these are not names you’d expect to see headlining a big budgeted Hollywood movie. Which is might as well, because a movie like this one wouldn’t t be depending on A list voices to make it shine.

To all the educators who had been responsible in making me who I am today (yes, I’m also speaking to you, the shrill voiced teacher who repeatedly made me sweep the floor in primary school), I just want to tell you how you guys should watch this, and believe in the power of media and visuals.

Movie Rating:

(An entertaining and purposeful animated feature worth craving for)

Review by John Li


. Surf's Up (2007)

. Monster House (2006)

. Open Season (2006)

. Open Season 2 DVD (2008)


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