May 31, 2017

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Review #940: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Bill Hader (Flint Lockwood), Anna Faris (Sam Sparks), James Caan (Tim Lockwood), Neil Patrick Harris (Steve the Monkey), Bruce Campbell (Mayor Shelbourne), Andy Samberg (Brent McHale), Mr. T (Officer Earl Devereaux), Bobb'e J. Thompson (Calvin "Cal" Devereaux), Benjamin Bratt (Manny), and Al Roker (Patrick Patrickson) Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (#540 - The Lego Movie and #568 - 21 Jump Street.)

The last time that I had reviewed an animated movie was back in December (with Beauty and the Beast - #891), so it is welcome to review a film that is from a different animation studio - Sony Pictures Animation. This is based off the children's book of the same name, which I remember reading quite fondly when I was a child; obviously the movie takes liberties with the source material (with the food falling from the sky being from a machine being one example), but can it manage to pull off delicious entertainment (pardon the pun)? To put it lightly, it works just fine. Hader and Faris shine just fine as leads, having a fair amount of chemistry while also being fairly interesting in their own ways; Hader's character treads on familiar grounds, but he manages to give the character enough likability and charm, especially when on screen with Faris' character, who is equally engaging to watch. The father-son dynamic between Hader and Caan goes around the same lines that you'd expect from these kind of movies, though at least it isn't broadly annoying. Campbell does a fine job at showing the gluttony of the de facto antagonist of the movie (unless you count an abundance of food as an adversary); the supporting cast is pretty likable, with Harris, Samberg and Mr. T being capable highlights. The highlight of the film is the animation, which is bright and colorful but it fits for the movie; seeing burgers come out of the sky while the sky becomes a shade of purple is quite nice to look at (alongside other shots of fun foods, like ice cream). It isn't a movie without much emotional punch, but there is enough entertainment and moments of charm and food (so much food) within its 90 minute run-time to make a capable movie. Is it something to the caliber up something like Up (#288, released months before this film)? Not quite, but not everything needs to be that kind of gem; sometimes the best thing to watch (or eat) is a nice tasty digestible burger (or movie). Bottom line, this is a capable little film worth at least checking out.

Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.

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