Wednesday, 25 November 2009
FILM REVIEW: CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS
Like it or not, it seems 3D is back in our cinemas to stay. I don't like it, mostly because I find wearing those glasses for at least 90 minutes annoying. There is also a suspicion that a filmmaker may be deploying the 3D effect as a gimmick to distract from the film's lack of story or character.
Animation has been at the forefront of re-embracing this technology with Monsters vs. Aliens, Ice Age 3, Coraline, Up and A Christmas Carol all employing the format in 2009. Coraline used its 3D judiciously and I enjoyed Ice Age 3 a lot; Up I chose to see in 2D because most US reviews I read suggested that the 3D element added nothing to it. I 'm sure I would have loved it either way.
Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs is also screening in the 3D format in selected cinemas and yes, I had to sit through it with the glasses on. The 3D is used to good effect in the film without, thankfully, being the film.
Meatballs is essentially the story of a young man trying to win his father's approval. Like in most fairy tales and animated films, mum is no longer alive, but when she was she encouraged son Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) to pursue his love of inventing. When Flint, now an adult and borderline crazy scientist, constructs a device to create food from water, which is accidentally launched into space and proceeds to rain food down on the town of Swallow Falls, he becomes the local hero with all bar dad impressed.
Of course, the device soon gets out of control, as does the town's mayor (Bruce Campbell) who wants to use it to make the town a tourist mecca. Throw in a love interest (Anna Faris, voicing the intern who dumbs herself down to get ahead in life as a weather girl!) and Steve, a talking monkey of sorts, to help Flint try and stop his creation and win his father's love.
Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs is fun enough, and the 3D certainly comes into its own when giant vegetables and other foodstuffs begin raining down. I also enjoyed Steve and his stream (or rather trickle) of consciousness. There will be lesser kid's fare this holiday season so Cloudy makes for an enjoyable filler, at least until Where The Wild Things Are (Dec. 3) and Fantastic Mr. Fox (Jan. 1) arrive none-too-soon.