Saturday, February 8, 2014

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
Inventor Flint Lockwood thought he had saved the world when he destroyed his most infamous invention -- a machine that turned water into food, resulting in cheeseburger rain and spaghetti tornadoes. But Flint soon learns that his invention survived and it is now combining food and animals to create "foodimals!" Flint and his friends embark on an adventurously mouth-watering mission to battle hungry tacodiles, shrimpanzees, hippotatomuses, cheesepiders and other foodimals to save the world – again! 

Film (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is the story of Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader). He wanted to be a great inventor all his life just like his idol, Chester V (Will Forte). Chester taught Flint that his ideas can change the world. As Chester says, there’s no such thing as small science...only small scientists. As a young inventor, many of his creations (like spray on shoes) turned out to be failures. Finally, Flint created something that seemed to have promise – a machine that could turn water into food. The machine, named the Flint Lockwood Ditonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator (known as the FLDSMDFR) created food weather. Unfortunately that weather turned disastrous and the machine started creating dangerous livening food, so it had to be destroyed.

Just as Flint and his friends have drawn up a plan to create their own lab named Sparkswood, Chester flies into the town (holographically). Chester says he and his thinquintos will clean up the town as soon as the residents evacuate. Making Flint’s dreams come true, Chester offers him an invitation to Live Corp where thinquinots are made. Flint’s dreams of wearing the orange vest of a thinquinot don’t exactly pan out at Live Corp. Chester offers Flint the opportunity to return to his hometown to turn off the FLDSMDFR. Flint and his friends Steve (Neil Patrick Harris), Brent (Andy Samberg) and Sam (Anna Faris) head home to discover that the machine has created a living food ecosystem including Cheese Spiders, Berry the living strawberry, flamangoes (flamingo mangoes), shrimpanzees (shrimp chimpanzees), and Tacodiles (taco crocodilles). Flint wants to redeem himself in the eyes of his mentor but the situation with the foodimals and the FLDSMDFR is not what it seems.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is based on the childrens book by Judi Barrett. I did not grow up reading the book and have no sense of nostalgia associated with the book or the first film. I’ve read other reviewers say that the original film is far superior to the sequel but in my case, I highly prefer this sequel as it is a seriously cute film. Berry, the strawberry is obviously designed to be the most adorable foodimal imaginable. (We were lucky enough to receive a plus Berry and a lunchbox to accompany this Blu- ray and my 1st grader was utterly thrilled). Even the human characters are very likable, as all the voice actors really help create dynamic roles for their CGI animated characters. This is one of the “kid films” adults can truly enjoy. The plot-line is obvious but who cares because even if you can guess where it’s headed, it is still really entertaining.
Video (5 out of 5 stars)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is a super colorful on Blu- ray. It’s bright, it’s bold and it’s yet another case of an immaculate Blu- ray release from Sony. With all the colorful elements in this film it’s the kind of film that should be running on a loop at the electronics store to show the range of the various HDTVs.
Audio (5 out of 5 stars)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 sounds as good as it looks on Blu- ray. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound contains a perfectly balanced soundtrack. With an impressive level of audible detail. A buzzing mosquito made me squirm, knowing it was on television because it sounded as if it were flying near my head. The Cheese Spider roars like it belongs in Jurassic Park.

Extras (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The special features do not disappoint with numerous featurettes that are as fun to watch as the film is. Additionally, those with a smart phone or tablet can download the Foodimal Funimal app which can be synchronized with your Blu-ray for more entertainment. The Blu- ray contains the following extras:
  • Audio Commentary – The Directors discuss the plot, characters and cast in this commentary worth listening to.
  • Mini-Movies – Five mini-movies titled Steve’s First Bath, Super Manny, Attack of the 50 Foot Gummi Bear and Earl Scouts.
  • Deleted Scenes – Four deleted scenes roughly three minutes total.
  • Production Design: Back in the Kitchen – An approximately 7 minute look at the details included in tackling the sequel.
  • Cloudy CafĂ©: Who’s on the Menu? – The Directors and actors talk about the various characters of the film.
  • Anatomy of a Foodimal – A look at the food/animal creations in the film with input from cast and crew.
  • Awesome End Credits – The film’s unique ending is discussed by the Directors, and end credit designers.
  • Building the Foodimals – The Senior Animation Supervisor takes viewers through the process of creating the foodimal characters.
  • Music Video – Cody Simpson’s video for “La Da Dee”.
  • The Making of the “La Da Dee” Video
  • Delicious Production Design – The production designer discusses the visual style of the film.
  • The Mysterious Sasquash – A three minute look at the character and it’s story.
  • Previews

Summary (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is sweet, fun and entertaining throughout. It should be one of the few family friendly movies the parents enjoy as much as the children. The Blu- ray looks and sounds amazing and this is a film worth adding to your Blu- ray collection. Children of all ages will find something to like and this will be my go-to gift for the numerous birthday parties we attend where I don’t really know the birthday child. My only complaint is that the berry momentarily reminded me of Cartman from "South Park" but I quickly grew to love the squishy little character. My son was very happy to see extras like a plush toy and lunch box included as a bonus to our review copy but like all lunchboxes nowadays there is no thermos. Having just enjoyed Despicable Me 2 I've learned to avoid writing off a family friendly franchise when the first outing doesn't thrill me.  
Order your copy today!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...