Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs

WSR Score4
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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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Brief mild language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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A, B & C
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Phil Lord & Christopher Miller
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1, DTS 5.1
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Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs is based upon the bestselling children's book written by Judi Barett and illustrated by Ron Barrett. When Flint Lockwood's (Hader) latest contraption accidentally destroys the town square and rockets up into the clouds, he thinks his inventing career is over. Then, something amazing happens, as delicious cheeseburgers start raining from the sky. His machine actually works! But when people greedily ask for more and more food, the machine starts to run amok, unleashing spaghetti tornadoes and giant meatballs that threaten the world. Now it's up to Flint, with the help of weather girl Sam Sparks (Faris), and Steve (Harris), his talking monkey assistant, to find some way to shut down the machine before the world is covered in super-sized meatballs. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Writers/Directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord and Actor Bill Hader, A Recipe For Success: The Making Of featurette (HD 10:51), Key Ingredients: The Voice Talents (HD 12:39), two extended scenes (HD 02:36), two early development scenes (HD 05:47), five progression reels with introductions by Visual FX Supervisor Rob Bredow (HD 08:09), Miranda Cosgrove's "Raining Sunshine" sing-a-long and music video, Flint's food fight game, Make It Rain Food PSA (HD 0:32), "Splat Mode!" Bonus View, a PSP Digital Copy of the film transferable exclusively via the PlayStation®3, previews, and BD-Live functionality.

The 1080p AVC picture is terrific, with an intense vivid color palette. Colors pop off the screen, with fully saturated hues that are rich and warm in character. Even the animated facial tones are naturally hued. Contrast is excellent, with deep and solid blacks and shadow delineation that reveals excellent depth. The picture was originally shot in digital 3D and intended for 3-D theatrical exhibition, and it was released widely in D-Cinema 3D. As such, the imagery is very dimensional and is always sharp and perfectly clear. Object details are finely resolved with a mesmerizing complexity. This is a fantastic picture that is impressive throughout, displaying true reference quality. It will be even more impressive when re-released in state-of-the-art 3D. At some point, hopefully, in the very near future, this film will be released in either the spatial compression format (such as SENSIO) or the uncompressed 2D + Metadata format, which are now in standards development (see Issue 138, January/February 2009 for an article on 3-D technology and follow the standards announcements and products in future issues). These have the potential to deliver 3-D quality to the home that rivals RealD and IMAX® in theatres. Nonetheless, this 2-D presentation is reference quality and is a spectacular visual experience that is sure to impress. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is nicely produced, with an aggressive holosonic® soundfield presence. A lively orchestral music score is the major sound element that projects a wide and deep soundstage that extends throughout the soundfield, for an engaging sonic experience. Atmospheric and sound effects are active as well, with extensive panning and directional placement. Such effects truly enhance the visual excitement. Dialogue, of course, is ADR produced and sounds forward, with limited spatial integration, but the sound is always intelligible, even when all the sound elements are engaged. At times the dialogue is panned across the soundstage for effect. Deep and solid bass is delivered through the music and effects and is especially energized in the .1 LFE channel, and at times extends to below 25 Hz. This is a wonderful soundtrack that delivers a lot of SPL energy and aggressive surround envelopment. The sound is always engaging and is sure to please. (Gary Reber)