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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 in 3D (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

January 22, 2014 by  



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“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 in 3D” may not be as captivating as its predecessor but it’s definitely one of the better 3D animated films available on Blu-ray.  Sony Pictures Animation really did a magnificent job on visuals and creating this wonderful world of foodimals, but visuals can only go so far.  A very fun, gorgeous and delightful animated film for the entire family, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 in 3D” is recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2013 Sony Pictures Animation Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Cloud with a Chance of Meatballs2 in 3D

DURATION: 95 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:40:1) MVC Encoded 3D, English and French 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish 5.1, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish

RATED: PG (For Mild Rude Humor)

COMPANY: Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RELEASE DATE: January 28, 2013

Directed by Cody Cameron and Kris PEarn

Screenplay by John Francis Daley, Jonathan M. Goldstein, Erica Rivinoja

Characters by Judi Barrett, Ron Barrett

Story by Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Erica Rivinoja

Producer: Kirk Bodyfelt

Co-Producer: Chris Juen

Executive Producer: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Music by Mark Mothersbaugh

Edited by Robert Fisher Jr., Stan Webb

Casting by Mary Hidalgo

Production Design by Justin Thompson

Art Direction by David Blech

Featuring the voices of:

Bill Hader as Flint Lockwood

Anna Faris as Sam Sparks

James Caan as Tim Lockwood

Will Forte as Chester V

Andy Samberg as Brent McHale

Benjamin Pratt as Manny

Terry Crews as Earl Devereaux

Benjamin Bratt as Manny

Neil Patrick Harris as Steve

Kristen Schaal as Barb

Inventor Flint Lockwood thought he saved the world when he destroyed his most infamous invention – a machine that turned water into food causing cheeseburger rain and spaghetti tornadoes. But Flint soon learns that his invention survived and 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!

In 2009, the animated film “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” was released in theaters. Adapted from the popular book from 1978 by Judi Barrett and illustrations by Ron Barrett, CWACoM took three years to develop and feature animation by Sony Pictures Animation.

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” received positive reviews from critics and debuted at #1 in the box office, raking in over $243+ million worldwide ensuring a sequel for the near future.

With a new sequel comes a new direction in which producers wanted to go a different direction and to direct the sequel “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” is Cody Cameron (director of “Open Season 3” and story artist for all “Shrek” films) and Kris Pearn (story artist for “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”, “Open Season 2” and “Surf’s Up”).

While the majority of the primary characters of the first film returns (the main difference is that Terry Crews replaces Mr. T for the voice role of  Earl Devereaux) and brings in Will Forte as the voice for Chester V and Kristen Schaal as the voice of Barb.

And now “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” will be released on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD.

For those not familiar with “Cloudy of a Chance of Meatballs”, the film introduced us to an awkward boy named Flint Lockwood (voice by Bill Hader) who enjoyed science and wanted to help kids with his new invention, to create spray-on shoes which seemed like a good idea until it was revealed that he couldn’t take them off.

With inspiration from his mother, Flint would go on to grow up and become a scientist. Flash forward many years later, Flint is a grown up adult and has his own science lab above his parent’s home.  His mother is deceased and his father Tim (voice by James Caan) works at the only town’s sardine and tackle shop.

Flint lives in a town called Swallow Falls, a town that has not been doing well since the world have deemed sardines as gross and sardines is what the town is known for exporting. So, the citizens of Swallow Falls have been eating sardines primarily since no one but them are buying it and the town has been restless since.

Flint has tried to create several experiments which have not gone as well as he hoped. Such as the rat birds (creating an actual species of rats with bird wings), a thought translation machine which he has used on his pet monkey Steve (voice by Neil Patrick Harris) in order for them to communicate. But it’s his new experiment that he hopes to change things for the people at Swallow Falls.

Flint has come up with an idea to find a way to convert water molecules and change them to popular foods. He tries at first to turn the molecules to a cheeseburger but he fails due to the machine needing more power.

While Flint works on his project, a woman named Sam Sparks (voice by Anna Faris) gets her chance to become a “temporary” meteorologist and has her first break on television on the day of the mayor’s unveiling.

But Flint’s machine goes haywire and cheeseburgers start to fall from the sky. As Flint enjoys his success and everyone requesting for certain types of food to come from the sky, what Flint doesn’t know is the ramifications of overusing the machine and that is the food becoming larger and larger that it can cause destruction and mayhem. Now, Flint and his friends must destroy the machine immediately.

The film ended with Flint, with the help of some friends, destroying his food making invention and happily ever after.

With the sequel, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 in 3D”, the film takes place not long after Flint and friends save Swallow Falls.

But due to the damage to the area, the super-inventor Chester V, the CEO of Live Corp. wants to clean up Swallow Falls and whisks the people of Swallow Falls to San Franjose, California.  But Flint is unaware that his invention (the FLDSMDFR) that he thought was destroyed, is still operational.

While everyone begins their new lives in San Franjose, Flint gets a job to work at Live Corp. and it’s a dream come true for Flint because his idol is Chester V.

With the help of Chester V’s assistant, a talking orangutan with human intelligence named Barb (voiced by Kristen Schaal), he is introduced  to Live Corp.

Fast forward six months later and Flint is expecting to be promoted  at Live Corp. for his inventions but instead, someone else wins and as for Flint, who planned a “Party-in-a-Box”, it explodes during the winning person’s moment.

Meanwhile, Chester V learns that the search parties for Live Corp. at Swallow Falls have been attacked by monstrous foodimals, especially a huge cheeseburger and now they are trying to swim and possibly attack other cities.

Needing someone gullible and naive, but also someone that idols him, Chester V hires Flint to go to Swallow Falls in a secret mission to install a BS USB in the FLDSMDFR and destroy his invention and stop the giant cheeseburger and foodimals from learning how to swim and attacking the world.

When Flint tells his girlfriend Sam (voiced by Anna Farris) about it, she is adamant on going.  While Flint, doesn’t want his father to worry, so he doesn’t tell his father what is going on.

And what was supposed to be a secret mission involving Flint and his monkey Steve (voiced by Neil Patrick Harris) and now Sam, the mission now begins to involve their other Swallow Falls friends such as police officer Earl Devereaux (voiced by Terry Crews), cameraman Manny (voiced by Benjamin Bratt) and his friend “Chicken” Brent (portrayed by Andy Samberg).

Eventually, they need to find a way to get to Swallow Falls and waiting for them is his father who finds out about their plans and together, they all return to Swallow Falls which has changed drastically.  Now, foodimals rule the land.  And one foodimal that they meet is a live strawberry which Sam names “Berry”, but when Berry eats the BS USB that was given to Flint, Berry takes off and the group tries to catch him.

But as they travel through Swallow Falls and see giant and small foodimals, they are nearly attacked by a giant cheeseburger, spot cheesewebs and see their old homes where they once lived.

When Chester V. goes to check on Flint, his cameras show that Flint has divulged his secret mission to others and now Chester V. wants to separate Flint from his friends, so he, Barb and a few of his employees in power suits travel to Swallow Falls and join with Flint.

But the longer they stay in Swallow Falls, Sam and friends start to see the foodimals as kind beings.  Beings like humans that are parents and have children and when Chester V encourages Flint to destroy the FLDSMDFR and kill these foodimals which may endanger humankind, Sam and friends disagree.

But who will Flint listen to.  His friends or his idol, Chester V?

VIDEO:

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 in 3D” is featured in 1080p High Definition, 2:40:1 MVC Encoded 3D.

First, let’s discuss the 3D.  From the words of my 10-year-old when he watched this film in 3D, “This is the best 3D I have seen ever”.  As for me, I have to also agree that when it comes to an animated film on 3D, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 in 3D” is one of the best one to own.

Far too many animated films tend to go for more depth which is not surprising but starts to become banal, but there are some very interesting use of 3D.  For example, the “party-in-a-box” scene involving Flint towards the beginning and towards the end of the film, shows really good use of 3D.

But what Sony Pictures Animation was able to create with this world of foodimals is breathtaking and the depth utilized in 3D is amazing.  It’s very hard to describe, but for those familiar with “Jurassic Park” and the amount of dinosaurs shown, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 in 3D” really goes into this world and its animals, big and small, with amazing depth.

But this is definitely one of the best use of 3D in an animated film and for those who own a 3D-enabled television and have been wanting more films that utilize the technology, this is a film that does just that!

As for picture quality for the 3D and regular Blu-ray, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” is one of the more gorgeous animated films I have seen in quite some time.  Forget about the first film for now, the world that was created in Shadow Falls with its immense use of vibrant colors and foodimals with detail is quite amazing.

I didn’t notice any banding issues, no artifacts, if anything, this film is an amazing film that screams of beauty thanks to the creative minds at Sony Pictures Animation, taking the task of creating something unique and different.

Picture quality and 3D is deserving of five stars!

AUDIO:

As for audio, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 in 3D” is presented in English and French 5.1 DTS-HD MA and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital.  While I do wish that Sony went the 7.1/2 route for their animated films, the lossless soundtrack is very good.  Dialogue and music are crystal clear, there is good use of LFE for some scenes and also good use of surround channels.  Good use of environment ambiance but for the most part, I was hoping more use of the surround and rear surround channels but overall, the lossless soundtrack is great but short of magnificent!

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 in 3D” comes with the following special features:

  • Filmmaker Commentary  – Audio commentary by directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn.
  • Mini-Movies – (22:03) Featuring four mini-movies: Steve’s First Bath, Super Manny, Attack of the 50-Foot Gummi Bear and Earl Scouts.
  • Deleted Scenes – (2:20) Featuring four deleted scenes.
  • Production Design: Back in the Kitchen – (6:50) A behind-the-scenes look at the making of “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”.
  • Cloudy Cafe: Who’s on the Menu? – (6:53) Bringing back the voice talent from the first film, interviews with the voice talent especially those new to the film.
  • Anatomy of the Foodimal – (6:04) Producers Pam Marsden and Kirk Bodyfelt, directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn talk about the foodimals and how they brought them to life.
  • Awesome End Credits – (6:09) How the awesome end credits were made and how puppetry was utilized.
  • La Da Dee Music Video – (3:25) Cody Simpson’s music video for “La Da Dee”.
  • Making of the La Da Dee Music Video – (:59) The making of “La Da Dee”.
  • Building the Foodimals – (3:50) Pete Nash (Senior Animation Director) discusses the approach of creating the foodimals and their movements.
  • Delicious Production Design – (5:11) Justin Thompson (Production Designer) discusses the creation of San Franjose and the concept art in bringing the look and feel of locations to the film.
  • The Mysterious Sasquash  – (3:08) Pete Travers (VFX Supervisor) talks about creation and background of the recurring easter egg character Sasquash.

EXTRAS:

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 in 3D” comes with a Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and a UltraViolet code for a digital copy of the film.  Also, a lenticular slipcover is included.

 

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There is no doubt that Sony Pictures Animation really took things up a notch visually for “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2”.

Not only is it one of the better 3D animated films that has been creative but the visual style and the impressive world that the group had created is amazing.

But we are in a day and age, may it be video games or films, where one has come to expect amazing visuals but also want a very good storyline and this is where “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” misses the mark a little.

The original film was fantastic because behind the chaotic action, there was a deeper storyline about Flint, the scientist who was always mocked as a child and is a scientist that wants to prove himself that he can make an invention that works.  There were a supporting cast and we rooted for them as Flint and friends took on the unknown.  But why we rooted for Flint is because he was the true underdog that we wanted to see, come and save the day.

For the sequel, I felt there was too much focus on visuals (which is not a bad thing) but its storyline is somewhat hampered by the great world that was created for the film.  It’s tough because there were so much created for this film that the film spent so much trying to introduce the foodimals and why they should be given a chance at life.

We are introduced to a cute strawberry, a menacing cheeseburger, pickles that are addicted to sardines, cute marshmallows and so much more.

The sequel is about Flint, but the emotional connection that viewers had with the first film, is not so much with the second film.  The second film tries to establish Flint’s relationship with his girlfriend Sam and his father but other than that, the film lacks the emotion that captivated us with the first film.

Which is hard for me to say, considering that I loved the visuals of the film.  But visuals can only go so far in a film, there has to be a story that makes you love the film, makes you want to see it again and again.

As for the 3D Blu-ray release of “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 in 3D”, it’s one of the best animated films on 3D and I recommend those who want to utilize their 3D enabled TV to purchase this film.  It’s also one of the most gorgeous animated films to own on Blu-ray.  This is a gorgeous film!

The lossless soundtrack could have been better, but for the most part, it’s a great soundtrack, just not magnificent and wish there was better use of the surround channels.

As for the special features, there a good number of special features included.  And you get a Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and the UltraViolet version of the film with “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 in 3D”.

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 in 3D” may not be as captivating as its predecessor but it’s definitely one of the better 3D animated films available on Blu-ray.  Sony Pictures Animation really did a magnificent job on visuals and creating this wonderful world of foodimals (which I would not be surprised if this world is explored in a spin-off film or series for children).

But in an animated film, no matter how gorgeous a film may be, visuals can only go so far.  The film looks great but the storyline involving the characters, just doesn’t captivate you like the original film.

A very fun, gorgeous and delightful animated film for the entire family, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 in 3D” is recommended!






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