Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs turned out to be a surprise success this summer.
Flint Lockwood is an inventor who is yet to invent something of any worth, but he keeps trying, driven by the memory of his deceased mother to impress his distant father. When he creates a machine that can transform water into food and accidentally shoots it into the atmosphere, he is raised to celebrity status for revitalizing his struggling town. He even finds the confidence to go after the girl who's caught his eye, Sam Sparks, an intelligent weather girl from New York who plays the ditz in order to hide her nerdy-ness.
While it's sure to please kids with its endless stream of sight gags and slapstick, adults may have their patience tested. It's not just that it's silly, but it's silly in the predictable way. We know exactly where the film is going at all times, and the action sequences – while energetic and often funny – eventually become repetitive as well. It very often seems to be grasping at straws.
The movie does have its strong suits. Thank God directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller didn't fall into the trap to using A-list stars just for the sake of it. Their cast is a well chosen bunch, Mr. T being a particularly delightful addition. I also have to hand it to sound editors Jason George and Geoffrey Rubay. Their sound effects work on this film is among the best of the year.
Many are pegging this for an Animated Feature nod since the field opened up to five, but it's on the bubble. It is possible for something less American like Ponyo or Mary & Max to slip in instead, but I'll keep it in my predicted five for now.
** out of ****
Those are all the reviews I needed to catch up on for now. Tomorrow I will update predictions, the dust having settled on a busy precursor week.