Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cloudy With A Chance Of...Awesome?

It is not often that I am wrong.

Well, there was the time that I thought my Physics teacher was a Russian spy and the time I tackled that dude I thought was Christian Bale (it wasn't), and the time I thought I could build a time machine using only a bicycle, a washing machine and a good deal of duct tape, and the time I was so sure that I could breach the space-time continuum with a smoothie blaster...

*Amended Statement*

It is not often that I am wrong *about movies*

It is, in fact, the rarest of rare occasions that I am EVER in a position to go "oh...well that was actually amazing/horrible" without being so sure ahead of time it would be one or the other. I can count on one hand the times a movie has proved me wrong and four out of five of those fingers has been when a movie I thought looked good turned out to be a pile of crap. But then there's the one, the movie that I was SO sure would be utter garbage and actually turned out to be...good. I mean, you can't blame when a movie poster screams of awful this much:

Hey! Remember that book you loved as a small child about a town where it only rained food? Now it's a movie about a socially-awkward inventor who has daddy issues! And there's a talking monkey!

So you can understand why I was skeptical. I LOVED the Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs book when I was a munchkin and when I heard they were making a movie, I got nervous, and when I saw the trailer and that they had mangled the story beyond compare, I got ticked off. So yeah, I was biased against it. But the whole storyline, the dorky, misunderstood inventor, the island fishing town full of sardines, the friggin monkey! This had all the makings of crap. And yet...

Everyone kept telling me to watch it and saying it was awesome. Keep in mind, these are the same people that sang praises of the Princess and The I Have Already Grown Bored. So I was still skeptical. Last night, after I finished my readings for class I wanted to decompress and it was on Netflix and I figured "why not? At the very least I can make fun of it on the internet" the problem?

It's actually really good

I know!! What makes this movie good? Well, it's actually funny for starters, and the rest is a series of "buts" (stay with me on this)

The story is now about an awkward inventor named Flint who just wants to be accepted by his dad. They live on a sad little fishing island where there are only sardines, lots and lots of sardines. In order to become beloved by his town and also stave off sardine-induced blandness, Flint creates a machine that converts water to food and accidentally sends it into orbit, causing food to rain down onto the town. Eventually this catches the attention of the media, who send over a perky weather intern to check it out. This girl, Sam, of course ends up falling for Flint and of course the machine starts to go nuts and so on and so forth.

BUT, the main characters are voiced by Bill Hader and Anna Faris and they are incredibly funny.

There's your typical power-hungry mayor character who is an ass-butt BUT, he's voiced by Bruce Campbell, and therefore amazing.

I should know. We hang out.

There is in fact a talking monkey, BUT, he's voiced by Neil Patrick Harris and, well just watch the clip:

Yes, that monkey did just reference Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom by removing that giant gummi bear's still-beating heart. And that is WONDERFUL.

James Caan plays Flint's dad, who does not appreciate his gifts, blah blah blah BUT, he has a scene where all he has to do is raise his eyebrow (singular, its a monobrow of doom) and it's funny as hell. For reals.

Also there is a police officer. He is voiced by Mr. T. There is no "but", that's fucking awesome. His hair is in a nega-T, with normal hair and a bald stripe in the middle where his mohawk would be. He has chest hairs that sense danger:

So yeah, it's really funny. There's a lot sight gags to catch too. Early on we see Flint inventing a mobile television that goes crazy and runs off, popping up periodically during the movie, most notably, it breaks into a TV store and loots a human. They also make a a lot of cliched jokes but then make it better by lampshading them a second later, like when you see food landing on the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, Mount Rushmore, etc, and the news anchor says: "The food storm is following a peculiar pattern and hitting all the world's major landmarks first"

And sometimes it's just kind of epic:

I know I showed you a lot of the movie, but that's honestly not even half of the funny/weird/amazing crap in this movie. The characters are hilarious, the story is exciting and you're too busy laughing to worry about plot holes and other such whatnot. I may not be wrong often, but in this case I'm glad I was. Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, while it pretty much just takes the title and basic concept from the book, is clever, funny, sweet and the CGI animation is incredible. You can get lost watching it look all pretty and stuff. A surprising four catapults out of five. So if, like me, you didn't bother watching it because it looked dumb, chalk it up to lousy advertising and it give it a watch, it'll be a pleasant surprise.

And now I'm hungry. Dammit. This is Sugary Cynic, avoiding food-related puns at all costs. 'Night!

Flint Lockwood: "Come on, Steve. We've got a diem to carpe!"


  1. You bastard, rubbing up on my husband Bruce Cambell.

    I long for the day Neil Patrick Monkey is sold in the mall, and spaghetti tornadoes roam the prairie.

  2. Simon: We can only hope that someday soon such a day will come. And you're just jealous that he thinks I'm cooler :p

  3. I don't know Simon..but Bruce would be a fool to think anyone is cooler than you...except me, of course...and Ron Reed mebbe...but you come in a SOLID 3rd! *muahz*

  4. I rented it out today with my brother and sister after reading this post.

    At the video store:

    Me: We should get this one. I've read that it's actually pretty good.

    Brother: It looks shit.

    Me: I read it on the internet...

    Brother: Nerd.

    Everyone really enjoyed it. Win.

  5. Great, now I'm picturing Ron and Bruce together. Awesome.

  6. Also, Manda, that's awesome and made me feel all special-like. Score one for the internet!!


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