DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Phil Lord, Chris Miller
Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Andy Samberg
Writing Credits:
Phil Lord, Chris Miller

A local scientist is often regarded as a failure until he invents a machine that can make food fall from the sky. But little does he know, that things are about to take a turn for the worst.

Box Office:
$100 million.
Opening Weekend
$30,304,648 on 3119 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 90 min.
Price: $26.99
Release Date: 6/22/2010

• Both 2D and 3D Versions
• Audio Commentary With Writers/Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and Actor Bill Heder
• “A Recipe for Success” Featurette
• Music Video
• Behind the Scenes of the Music Video
• “Key Ingredients” Featurette
• Extended Scenes
• Early Development Scenes
• Progression Reels
• 3D Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs [Blu-Ray 3D] (2009)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 21, 2017)

Adapted from a popular children’s book, 2009’s animated Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs offers a fanciful action-comedy. Ever since his youth, Flint Lockwood (voiced by Max Neuwirth as a child, Bill Heder as an adult) dreamed of becoming an inventor. Flint comes up with a multitude of devices, but virtually all of them suffer from fatal flaws. Take Flint’s spray-on shoes, for example; they work great, but you can never remove them.

Flint finally gets a chance to shine when he tries to reinvigorate his hometown of Swallow Falls. The economy was based on the sale of sardines, but eventually, the world wised up to the fact that those tiny fishes are pretty gnarly. This sends the town into a depression and also means the locals are stuck eating all those unsold sardines.

To brighten up their lives, Flint invents a device that turns water into food, and it initially becomes a great success. In fact, the gadget puts Swallow Falls on the map, as folks flock from all around to witness the amazing transformation.

Alas, things take a wrong turn when Flint overworks his invention. It goes haywire and threatens to destroy the town with food gone wild. Along with weathergirl/prospective love interest Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) and others, Flint attempts to fix his device and save the day.

To call Cloudy a busy movie would be an understatement. The jokes fly at us fast and furious, and the movie almost never takes a breath. We find a constant stream of gags that make this a nearly relentless experience. Airplane!, Cloudy hits the bulls-eye much more often than it misses.

That’s what makes the relentless pace tolerable. If Cloudy misfired with any regularity, its aggressiveness would become tiring and annoying. However, since so much of it delights, the hyperactive nature of the storytelling doesn’t grate.

A lot of that stems from the movie’s smartness. While clearly aimed at kids, Cloudy packs in many, many jokes meant for adults. The urchins can enjoy the basic humor of all the food-related segments, but the grown-ups can dig the sly references and clever details.

The latter abound. For instance, shots of Sam’s weather network feature good gags in the text crawl at the bottom of the screen. How can you not like a movie that throws away jokes like “tsunami warning in Wichita confuses many”?

I also appreciate the subtlety with which the movie handles its callbacks. We get many bits that refer to earlier elements, but Cloudy doesn’t telegraph these or beat us over the head with excessive explanation. The filmmakers assume we’ll remember the earlier references and don’t feel the need to remind us of what we saw. That’s unusual – and much appreciated.

Unlike most modern animated flicks, Cloudy avoids the all-star route. Granted, it includes known actors, but it doesn’t count on big names to attract an audience.

While I don’t object to the presence of mega-stars in animated movies, I like the fact that this one doesn’t feel the need to sell itself with major names. Granted, it’s possible the producers wanted “A”-list actors but couldn’t afford them, but it still works for the best.

At no point does Cloudy turn into a deep movie; while it has its emotional themes, it focuses on wild antics most of all. And that’s absolutely fine with me.

A few lessons are learned and plenty of laughs come along for the ride. Up is the most complete animated movie of 2009, but Cloudy is the most fun.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A-/ Bonus B

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Though consistently very attractive, the transfer wasn’t quite as perfect as I’d anticipate.

Sharpness was usually excellent, as most of the movie exhibited fine clarity and delineation. However, some wide shots looked a smidgen soft. These examples were far from being problematic, but I expected virtually flawless definition, and that didn’t occur; while I found a lot of stunning shots, these weren’t constant.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and edge enhancement was absent. Source defects also failed to materialize in this clean presentation.

Colors looked great. With its wide variety of foods, the movie boasted a broad palette, and the hues consistently came across as vivid and dynamic. Blacks were dark and dense, while shadows seemed clear and full. I wish the transfer had been a little more precise, but it was consistently quite good.

I also felt very pleased with the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Cloudy. An action-comedy that didn’t skimp on the “action” side of things, all of the food-related shenanigans ensured that the mix offered plenty of involving material. The chaos filled out the spectrum in an active, involving manner that created a lot of exciting audio.

All five channels featured plenty of unique elements, and they fit together in a fine manner. Even quieter scenes used the soundscape in a satisfying manner. Music featured nice stereo imaging, and we found plenty of localized dialogue.

Audio quality also was very good. Speech seemed crisp and distinctive, as I noticed no flaws like edginess.

Music seemed warm and full, while effects added a real bang to the proceedings. Those elements showed good clarity and accuracy, and they offered tight, deep bass as well. The track seemed vibrant and dynamic as it accentuated the movie in a satisfying manner.

This disc includes both the film’s 2D and 3D versions. The picture comments above looked at the 2D edition – how did the 3D presentation compare?

In terms of picture quality, the stereo edition matched up well with its 2D counterpart. As usual, the 3D looked a smidgen darker, but not in a problematic manner. Overall, both looked very similar.

With all sorts of wild food-based action on display, Cloudy came with plenty of room for pop-out material, and the image took advantage of those chances – to a moderate degree, at least. I admit the 3D elements didn’t dazzle as I expected, but they still added a lot of fun and involvement to the proceedings. The 3D version offers the best way to watch the movie.

When we shift to the set’s extras, we start with an audio commentary from writers/directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and actor Bill Heder. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at cast and performances, story/character issues, sound, visual and production design, score, adapting the original book, animation and effects.

The three participants mesh well in this enjoyable track. Yes, we find too much praise along the way, but we learn a fair amount about the production as well. The guys keep things light and lively as they make this a good discussion.

Two featurettes follow. A Recipe for Success: The Making of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs goes for 10 minutes, 51 seconds and offers notes from Heder, Miller, Lord, producer Pam Marsden, visual effects supervisor Rob Bredow, effects animation lead David Davies, art director Mike Kuainsky, production designer Justin Thompson, digital effects supervisor Daniel Kramer, co-producer Chris Juen, and actor Anna Faris.

“Recipe” looks at the source book and its adaptation, character and visual design, cast and performances, animation and the virtual set, and the work of the directors.

At no point does “Recipe” become especially deep. However, it throws out nice notes, particularly in terms of the technical processes. We get many nice shots of the animation components, and those help make this a useful piece.

We hear more about the actors in the 12-minute, 39-second Key Ingredients: The Cast of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. It includes remarks from Heder, Faris, Lord, Miller, and actors Andy Samberg, Mr. T, James Caan, Bruce Campbell, and Al Roker. The show looks at cast, characters and performances.

Don’t expect much insight here. I like the glimpses of the recording studio, but otherwise the show doesn’t do much for me.

If you’re interested in singer Miranda Cosgrove – and honestly, isn’t everyone? – you’ll be happy with the next two components. We find a music video for Cosgrove’s “Raining Sunshine”.

The song’s a fluffy pop confection; I can’t say I like it, but I’ve heard worse. The video’s fairly forgettable, though. It just combines bouncy shots of Cosgrove with movie clips, so it never becomes inventive.

The disc also includes a Behind the Scenes of the music video. That clip lasts two minutes, 17 seconds, as it takes us to the shoot. Cosgrove throws in a few basic thoughts but we don’t learn anything here. It’s mostly an excuse to show more of the popular young performer.

Two Extended Scenes last a total of two minutes, 36 seconds. These include “Elevator Joke” (0:36) and “Twister – Early Cut with Awesome Food Fight” (2:00). Both are enjoyable, but I prefer “Elevator”; it’s quite funny, while “Twister” doesn’t really make the scene more effective.

In the same vein, we find two Early Development Scenes. We see “Flint’s Letter to Super Scientist Vance LeFleur” (3:03) and “Early Storyboard Version of Twister” (2:44). These show the sequences in storyreel form, so neither includes even basic animation.

“Letter” acts as an alternate introduction to Flint and his inventions. It works okay, but the final film does it better. “Twister” offers what its title indicates: it depicts a different version of that sequence. Again, it’s enjoyable to see but not better than what we get in the completed flick.

Next we find five Progression Reels with introductions by visual FX supervisor Rob Bredow. These show the various stages of lighting, colors and other visual elements across eight minutes, nine seconds. We get a good look at these components as Bredow provides details. This is a quick but informative take on the subject matter.

Exclusive to this version, we get 3D Sneak Peeks for both Open Season and Monster House. These simply show brief scenes from those movies – albeit in 3D, of course.

Based on its trailers, I expected a lowest common denominator kiddie flick from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. To my delight, the film actually offers a smart, clever experience with many laughs along the way. The Blu-ray provides very good picture and audio along with a decent roster of extras. Chalk up Cloudy as one of 2009’s most pleasant surprises, and the 3D version becomes the most fun way to watch it.

To rate this film, visit the 2D review of CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main