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 411mania » Movies » DVD/Other Reviews

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Review
Posted by Jeffrey Harris on 03.11.2014

The Movie

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was a pleasantly surprising and well done sleeper hit that almost came out of nowhere in 2009. The movie did quite well, so itís no surprise that a sequel was eventually made, and thus we have Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. Most of the main cast is back for this film, as the story picks up toward the end of the first film when a well known super-scientist Chester V (Will Forte) promises to restore the hometown of our plucky protagonist Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader). Flintís food weather machine went amuck and made the island rather inhospitable, so he relocates the entire populous to San Franjose, California and offers Flint a job to work for Chester Vís company, Live Corp. Despite wanting to go into business with his friends and girlfriend Sam (Anna Faris), they encourage to take the opportunity to work for Chester V.

Some months pass, and Flintís father Tim (James Caan) is growing skeptical about Chester Vís plan, while Flint has been unable to excel in his job at Live Corp. Chester V is in fact quite nefarious and has some sort of plans for the island, and he tricks Flint into going on a mission to the island to stop his food machine. The machine has unwittingly evolved and is now breeding all manner of food animal hybrids or foodimals. Flint ends up telling Samís, everyone including Chicken Brent (Andy Samberg), Samís cameraman Manny (Benjamin Bratt), Flintís pet monkey Steve (Neil Patrick Harris), Officer Earl Devereaux (now voiced by Terry Crews, replacing Mr. T from the first film), and Tim resolve to go with Tim on his mission to help. On returning to Swallow Falls, it has evolved into a veritable food jungle and all the foodimals have are flourishing. But despite Chester Vís fears, Sam finds something is suspicious because some of the foodimals such as the mischevious strawberry she names Barry (co-director Cody Cameron) are actually quite friendly and docile. And the ones that do attack humans only appear to be doing so out of self defense or to protect their young. Flint, unaware of Chester Vís true intentions, is unwittingly manipulated by Chester V and pushes his friends away as a result. Since this is a family film, it doesnít take a genius to figure out what will eventually happen in the end.

Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn take over directing duties from the first film, which was directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The duo does a fine job in opening up and evolving the story from the first Cloudy with its fun cast of characters and also itís unique design and art style. The show stealers of this story are without a doubt the creative and impressive foodimals, which are incredibly cute and imaginative. The foodimals scenes and action sequences are impressively put together and amazingly animated. The world of Cloudy has an incredibly colorful flair and fun dynamic.

The new characters such as Chester V and his helper orangutan Barb (Kristen Schaal) are great. Barb has actually a human mind, so sheís actually quite intelligent but Schaalís great, unique voice is perfect for the role as she starts a rivalry with Sam. Tim Lockwood also starts a very amusing relationship with a tribe of evolved Dill Pickles, whom he teaches how to fish. The story is quite predictable for the most part, and there arenít many surprises. But overall, Cloudy is more appealing for itís amazing, creative visuals and hilarious characters and witty dialogue. This is a great film that parents and kids can watch and enjoy together.

The Rating: 8.5 out of 10.0

The Video

The Blu-ray version for the film is presented in 1080p HD and 2.40:1 widescreen format. The video quality is crisp and pristine. The colors are bright and vibrant. The unique visual style of the screen really pops well on Blu-ray.

The Rating: 10.0 out of 10.0

The Audio

The audio mix for the special is presented in a DTS-HD 5.1 surround sound track. A French language track in 5.1 DTS HDS is also available. There is also a 5.1 Spanish Dolby Digital track. Optional subtitle tracks in English, French, and Spanish are also available. Audio quality on the film is exceptional. No real complaints here.

The Rating: 10.0 out of 10.0

The Extras And Packaging

The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack is packaged in a standard Blu-ray clamshell case. Thereís also an insert to download a digital copy of the film on Ultraviolet. The clip case also a fun little scratch and sniff feature for the picture of Barry the Strawberry on the cover. The Blu-ray version features the following extras:
  • Filmmaker Commentary
  • Anatomy of a Foodimal
  • Production Design: Back in the Kitchen
  • Awesome End Credits
  • Cloudy Café: Whoís on the Menu?
  • Building the Foodimals
  • The Mysterious Sasquash
  • Delicious Production Design
  • Cody Simpson ďLa DaDeeĒ Music Video & Making-of
  • 4 Deleted Scenes
  • 4 Mini-Movies
  • Previews

Based on the formatting and layout of the behind the scenes featurettes for this release, itís more oriented for viewing by the families and kids more so than the film and animation enthusiasts, which is fine for this type of release really. First up is a fun feature Filmmaker Commentary by directors Cameron and Pearn. Itís a fine, easygoing, chill commentary. Itís informative, and it sounds like Cameron and Pearn had a good time making this film.

There are also several Mini-Movies, each about 5-6 minutes based on the film and directed by David Feiss. My personal favorite was ďAttack of the 50-Foot Gummi BearĒ which Steve and his Flintís mischevious new pet, Gummi Bear, grow to mammoth size and have an all out Kaiju-style brawl. This short is actually done with hand-drawn 2D animation and looks great.

There are also several short little Deleted Scenes. These are nice, and humorous little add-ons. The animation was actually done, but they arenít completely finished because they are still lacking with sound FX and also some post-production elements. The scenes are all pretty short and arenít significant cuts to the film. But the short montage where Flint tries to leave his home in secret for his trip was really funny.

There are several other production featurettes, each about 5-6 minutes in length that go more in depth on the making of the film. I think the group really couldíve used a play all feature to help make the viewing a bit easier and to round things out a bit more, but itís not crucial really. The featurettes are quick and short, so they donít go into a ton of depth, but they are still pretty informative. Awesome End Credits provides a fun look at into the making of the filmís end credit sequence that includes live Foodimal puppets designed by lead puppeteer Robin Walsh. Cloudy Café: Whoís on the Menu features some cast interviews from the returning actors as well as the new cast members. Also, some Sony Previews round out the extras for this release.

The Rating: 8.5 out of 10.0

The 411Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is a fun progression for the franchise with some great, new characters plus our old favorites. I love the unique design and art-style for the characters and world of this story, and the foodimals add a lot of wild and fun imagination to the story. The Blu-ray release has some fun extras such as the short mini-movies, and this is a great release for the kids and families to enjoy together.
411 Elite Award
Final Score:  9.2   [  Amazing ]  legend


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