On The Couch #9: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

I wish that 3D TV sets were on the market and that I owned one. Watching Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, it was obvious that this movie was made to be shown in 3D. There were plenty of scenes where I sat there thinking this would look a lot cooler in 3D, and I’m sure it did for people who saw it in the theater. I wonder if Avatar will have the same effect when it gets released on DVD. Will it be obvious that something is missing because it’s not in 3D?

This would look so much cooler in 3D.

I have to say I loved Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. The story revolves around almost-mad scientist Flint Lockwood, voiced by SNL’s Bill Hader, who wants to invent something that will put him up there with the big-name brains of the ages. There’s a great scene showing his childhood bedroom that is not decorated with bands or athlete posters, but instead posters of scientists; my favorite being Tesla Rocks. Flint also has enough daddy issues to get him trapped on the island in Lost. No matter what he does, his dad thinks he would be a better bait & tackle salesman than a scientist.

Flint Lockwood, in his last ditch attempt to become a great scientist, invents a machine that turns water into food. Through some high-paced hijinx, the machine ends up stuck in a cloud, causing it to rain whatever food Flint thinks of programming it to produce. The townspeople rejoice.

So sanitary.

It’s odd that the townspeople rejoice about this, considering how big the organic food movement has grown over the past few years. But as is explained early on in the movie, the locals eat nothing but sardines, so it makes sense that they’ll take anything over another sardine.

Eat organic or fall victim to the pasta-nado in the foodpocalype!

Anna Farris voices Sam Sparks, a TV reporter who makes it big by reporting about his town’s food storms. She’s also Flint’s love interest. They do a good job with her character, initially setting her up as a just another pretty face telling the weather, but deepen her by having it be that she was hiding her smarts because being smart wasn’t viewed as something cool growing up. I like the growth her character goes through over the course of the movie. She’s also the cause of my favorite line: “Yikes! What is that, a scrunchie? I haven’t seen one of those since 1995!”

What do you wear when a bacon front is moving in?

In a weird character modeling decision, Andy Samberg voices “Baby” Brent, but Flint Lockwood looks an awful lot like Andy Samberg. This led me to think he starred as the main character when I saw his name on the poster, and led to some confusion when Flint Lockwood had Bill Hader’s voice.

Mr. T voices the town’s head cop. Actually he might be the only cop; I didn’t see any others. Springfield has a bigger police force than Swallow Falls. I cannot express how excited I was when I heard Mr. T’s voice come out of the cop’s mouth. I was a huge Mr. T. fan growing up: I had his A-Team action figure, my first two initials are B.A., I thought wearing lots of gold chains was cool, and I pitied fools, oh how I pitied fools. I’m not kidding about the gold chain bit, as anyone who has seen my 8th grade yearbook photo can attest. That wasn’t a case of watching too many mafia movies; it was all Mr. T’s fault.
Mr. T: pitying fools & writing summons

Looking back at 2009, it was a very strong year for animated movies. I would put Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs up there with Up and Coraline as the best animated movies from last year not named The Fantastic Mr. Fox. You should check out Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, but I pity the fool who doesn’t watch it in 3D.