Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)

To say that it is a film for children would be stating the obvious, but surprisingly the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) was something that I walked away from with a smile on my face. The movie that was produced for kids to enjoy turned out to be a funny movie for the adult crowd as well.

There is an ongoing discussion in several film circles whether the use of 3D projection technology is a mere business gimmick to sell more box office tickets. In my opinion, it is a business tactic, and it has been working successfully. It worked well fifty to sixty years ago, and it works beautifully today. The movie business accountants are smiling abundantly, if it is possible to imagine an accountant even smiling at all. Not very long ago, I remember seeing the trailer for this film and thought it would be interesting to watch, even if it is another 3D gimmick film to rake in the money for the movie studios.

The trailer poignantly displayed the humor within the film and that is what has drawn me in to see the film. Although I was sitting by myself without the benefit of hiding behind the excuse of having a child with me, I discovered myself to be enjoying the story, laughing at several of the jokes, and being impressed by the cool 3D animation effects. It must be said that 3D technology sure has evolved quite a bit since the glamor of its infancy years during the 1950s!

Therefore, it is to be said that the film production department over at Sony Pictures has jumped aboard the train that has been filled with 3D animation goodies and 3D projection effects. They did not want to be left out of the profit race at the box office. The result of the company’s efforts is an animated film about two young people who are a hybrid of the nerd and geek kind.

Flint Lockwood is the typical curious child who would take apart and put back together any mechanical device so that he could figure out how it works. Then after figuring out the mechanics of an invention, he would proceed to create a grandiose invention so extraordinary that it would almost be pointless to use in one’s everyday life. For example, Flint’s ultimate creation is a machine that converts water into soluble food for consumption. In essence, it sounds like something NASA has created for astronauts to use as a means to create food rations on a short supply while floating around in space. When the pair joins in a friendship there is a mystical change in the weather that only the combined geeky talents of the two of them are able to handle.

Flint’s alter (geek) ego is Sam Sparks, who interns for Weather News Channel at the time when the pair first meet. When she was growing up as a child Samantha was a weather nerd. She loved to calculate weather formations, and even requested the “Doppler Radar 3000” (or whatever it was named in the movie) as a birthday present from her parents.

Her super geek power of weather prediction is quite convenient for Flint when his super food producer robot goes on the blitz and starts converting rain clouds into a mass production line of food that pours down in super sized portions. Sam must use her skills to interpret the old school Doppler radar machine to predict when the next wave front of bad weather is going to hit the small community.

The film is a family friendly story that comes with the morale that it acceptable to be yourself even if you are a invention creating nerd or a weather predicting geek. If you just so happen to be one of those types of intellectuals who have a strong passion for engineering or meteorological and atmospheric conditions then there may be a great chance that you could save the world from meteor sized hamburgers and hot dogs!

I must admit that I found the film exciting and enjoyable, in spite of the gimmick use of 3D projection technology, and thought it very entertaining to watch how even the cartoon films seem to have a little fun with the “end of the world” disaster films.