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"CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS"
(2009) (voices of Bill Hader, Anna Faris) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Mild Heavy Moderate None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy Moderate Moderate Mild None
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild None Heavy Heavy Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Children's: A reckless inventor creates a machine that can cause it to rain food, but he is soon overwhelmed when the device spins out of control.
PLOT:
Flint Lockwood (voice of BILL HADER) has dreamt of being a scientist and an inventor ever since he was a little boy. Despite being made fun of in school and often causing electrical shortages in his neighborhood, the encouragement of his mother, Fran (voice of LAUREN GRAHAM), and his father, Tim (voice of JAMES CAAN) had convinced him to keep his dream alive over the years.

The Lockwoods live on the North Atlantic island of Swallow Falls, whose primary export is sardines. Over the years, though, the world's distaste of sardines grows and the island falls into a prolonged depression. During that time, Flint's mother passes away and a greedy, corrupt mayor (voice of BRUCE CAMPBELL) comes to power, eager to turn the island into an amusement park destination.

Mayor Shelbourne strikes gold for real, though, when Flint's wackiest invention - a satellite-like machine that causes it to rain down food - catches the world's imagination thanks to the TV news reports of Sam Sparks (voice of ANNA FARIS). Pretty soon, cruise ships and tourists are flocking to the island to experience burgers, steaks, hot dogs and other culinary delights land on their plates from the heavens. The local populace, which includes good cop Earl (voice of MR. T) and former sardine ad mascot Brent (voice of ANDY SAMBERG), have mixed feelings about this. But most embrace the changes and the fact that their island is once again on the map.

Of course, Shelbourne starts to demand more of the machine. Flint -- in his desire to be liked as a person, loved by Sam, and respected as a scientist - pushes the device to its limits, resulting in patterns of "food weather" that threaten Swallow Falls and the entire world. It's up to Flint, Sam, Flint's pet monkey Steve (voice of NEIL PATRICK HARRIS) and the rest of the town to band together and avert disaster.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Kids will definitely want to see it. The film does have a certain madcap intensity to it that may cause some anxious moments for the youngest and most impressionable viewers.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For brief mild language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • BILL HADER voices a crackpot scientist who invents a machine that can cause it to rain food from the sky. He is desperate for acceptance after being put down most of his life. He also faces pressure from his widower father to give up on his dreams and work in the family store.
  • ANNA FARIS voices TV weather reporter who often hides her intelligence in order to make it in the broadcast news business as a bubbly blonde, glorified cue-card reader.
  • BRUCE CAMPBELL voices the conniving, thoroughly corrupt mayor of Swallow Falls, who wants to turn the island into a tourist attraction and use it as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. When Flint's weather machine rains down food, he turns into a glutton and soon becomes the most obese person on the island.
  • JAMES CAAN voices Flint's father, a widower who can only relate to his son by talking to him in confusing fisherman's analogies. For most of the film, he has little faith that Flint's inventions will ever amount to anything and tries often to get him to come work for him in his bait and tackle shop.
  • MR T voices the town cop, who loves to burst into action and manhandle people whenever they step out of line. He is also shown to be a dedicated father who will go out of his way to make his son happy.
  • ANDY SAMBERG voices the former Baby Herman-like mascot of the now-defunct sardine company that the island was built around. Grown-up, he still fashions himself a star, often showing up at town events in a diaper and striking the same advertising poses that made him famous as a baby.
  • NEIL PATRICK HARRIS voices Flint's monkey friend, who was a part of his early experiments and is now his companion and assistant. Flint has hooked a device up to him that supposedly vocalizes his thoughts, a la Doug from "Up." But it's really just simplistic words, showing the monkey's general lack of intelligence.
  • LAUREN GRAHAM voices Flint's sweetly supportive mother. She is only in the film early on when Flint is in grade school. When the story flashes forward to Flint as a young man, it is learned that she passed away a decade earlier.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this animated children's action movie that has been rated PG. There is no profanity in the film, but there are many uses of the word "nerd," along with "weirdo" and "freak" as characters who are smart and interested in science, math and meteorology are mocked during their childhood years.

    Violence consists of people being manhandled and tackled by a large local cop. The main action, though, consists of large quantities of food falling from the sky and causing much mayhem. People are hit with all sorts of edible objects, causing them to yell out. But there is no blood and no one perishes. But there is a substantial amount of destruction and numerous instances where large numbers of people have to flee everything from an avalanche of food to a tornado consisting of spaghetti, meatballs and sauce.

    Bad attitudes are present, especially from the town mayor, as is some potentially imitative behavior and various thematic elements. There's a little bit of crude humor.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, this is a VERY busy, always in-motion animated film that is showing in 3-D and IMAX. Note that there are numerous theaters that are not equipped to show it in either format.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Several customers at a roofless, fine-dining restaurant are shown drinking what looks like red wine as steaks fall from up above.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Flint's pet monkey throws his own poop.
  • Multiple uses of sardines are shown, including sardine sandwiches, sardine baby formula, sardine ice cream, and so forth that are meant to elicit a lot of "Yucks!" from the audience.
  • Earl's son is heard vomiting over his dad's shoulder after eating too much junk food.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The kids in Flint's class make fun of him for his smarts and for his failed experiments.
  • Flint lies to his father to get him to leave the shop so he can go back to working on his invention.
  • Flint later lies to his father again, telling him he is sure he can duplicate the first time his food experiment works even though he has no idea how it worked.
  • Mayor Shelbourne has an active disdain for his town, calling it a "hellhole" and its people "sardine-sucking knuckle scrapers." He relishes spending their tax dollars without their consent and actively dreams of getting worldwide recognition for turning the island into a theme park.
  • Brent intentionally knocks over a tower of canned food that Flint had just stacked in his father's store.
  • Mayor Shelbourne snatches a burger from a woman just as she is about to take a bite. He then walks away eating it.
  • Mayor Shelbourne coerces Flint to ratchet up his machine so it delivers more and bigger food so that the island becomes even more of a tourist draw, telling him he will gain fame and many friends if he does his bidding.
  • Mayor Shelbourne brags that his town will have a junk-food Kid's Zone that will be unsupervised.
  • Grade-school kids mock Sam during a flashback sequence because she wore eyeglasses.
  • Nervous about asking her out on a date, Flint phones Sam and hangs up on her when she answers.
  • Flint insults Sam when she tries to warn him that his invention is about to cause major damage to the town. He ignores her pleas and pays the price.
  • Flint puts down his father's store.
  • When Sam appears on camera with glasses and her hair combed back, the anchorman back at the studio insults her looks and demands that the camera cut away from her until she looks more attractive.
  • Mayor Shelbourne escapes the island as it under siege by falling giant food, leaving behind many people. As he makes his escape, he yells back to the trapped residents: "See ya, suckers!"
  • Flint lies to Sam about having a peanut allergy.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Jump Scenes might be unsettling and/or suspenseful for younger viewers, but probably few others. Additionally, when viewed in 3-D where available, the following may be exacerbated by that visual depth.
  • Flint's rocket-like invention flies out of control, causing much mayhem and wrecking part of the town. Several people are knocked over. Flint hangs on for dear life until he smacks face-first into a road sign. And a giant fish bowl is eventually sent rolling out of control causing people to flee in a panic.
  • Earl's son briefly goes into a "food coma" when he eats too much junk food, causing Earl and his wife to go into a panic. A doctor quickly brings him out of it.
  • Flint's invention causes a massive spaghetti tornado that wreaks a substantial amount of damage on the town.
  • A giant dam designed to contain all of the excess food created by Flint's invention breaks, resulting in what is described in the film as a "foodalanche" that crushes everything in its path. Earl and his family narrowly miss being crushed in the process.
  • Several of the world's landmarks are damaged or destroyed by giant falling food, including Mount Rushmore and the Eiffel Tower.
  • A massive ear of corn lands on the Great Wall of China and threatens to roll over and crush some tourists.
  • Slices of pizza become sentient and chase after Flint and his friends, who are trying to get to Flint's airborne weather invention via a flying car Flint invented.
  • Flint, Sam and Brent have to cross a river of hot frying oil as they attempt to neutralize Flint's invention.
  • A group of soldier-like baked chickens become sentient and surround Flint, Sam and Brent in a threatening manner. Brent is swallowed whole by one of them, but eventually fights his way out and becomes a sort of half-man/half-chicken creature.
  • As a man-bird hybrid, Brent karate-flights the other chickens and gives Flint and Sam a chance to neutralize Flint's invention. At one point, the chickens get Brent down on the ground and are shown mob-stomping him.
  • Sam gets scratched by some peanut brittle, which she is allergic to, which causes her face and other body parts to swell up.
  • Flint is feared dead following a massive explosion in the upper atmosphere.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Hellhole," "Nerd," "Weirdo," "Freak," "Four eyes," "The town fool," "That's a really weird dude," "You look like a nerd," "That guy is a nerd," "Those sardine-sucking, knuckle-scrapers," "I'm just a piece of junk," "When he gets out of that car, I'm gonna slap him in the face," "Jeez," and "See ya, suckers!"
  • Flint runs an absurd amount of electrical wire around his family home to make his various inventions run.
  • Flint accidentally puts an electrical plug into his pet monkey's mouth.
  • Flint lies to his father to get him to leave the shop so he can go back to working on his invention.
  • At one point, Brent is seen literally running with scissors after having had them tucked in the back of his pants.
  • Flint lies to his dad again when he is asked by the older man if he can duplicate his first successful food replication experiment.
  • Flint runs down the middle of a street instead of using the sidewalk.
  • Sam is shown driving erratically on the streets of Manhattan, at one point letting go of her steering wheel to make a point to her cameraman.
  • Sam throws a microphone at one point.
  • During a flashback sequence, Sam recalls her classmates making up a song that mocks her for wearing glasses.
  • Sam hides her intelligence throughout the film, masquerading as a "dumb blonde" because she thinks that's what the world would rather see her as.
  • After making it snow ice cream, Flint enjoys his first snowball fight and intentionally aims for and hits multiple people hard in the face.
  • Earl and his son go sledding off the roof of their house.
  • Nervous about asking her out on a date, Flint phones Sam and hangs up on her when she answers.
  • Numerous characters talk with their mouths full at different points of the film.
  • Mayor Shelbourne swallows a large hot dog in one bite.
  • Flint lies to Sam about having a peanut allergy.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A bird (that Flint has genetically crossed with a rat) swoops down in one fast motion and carries off a kid early in the film.
  • Flint demonstrates a hair-growing potion he invented on his bald father. When he pours the liquid on the top of the man's head, he immediately sprouts wolfman-like hair all over his face.
  • There are multiple scenes of food falling suddenly from overhead and going splat both on and around people. In 3-D, this might cause quite a few "jumps."
  • A massive pancake lands atop the town's school, followed two large patties of butter and then a steady stream of syrup.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A considerable amount of intense, zany, madcap music plays throughout the film.
  • MUSIC (Inappropriate)
  • Flint plays a video off of a YouTube-like Web site that features a kitten dancing to Public Enemy's "Fight the Power" rap song. There are no profane lyrics heard in the film, but curious children who go looking for it on their own will discover some VERY profane lyrics. A snippet of the video plays a second time later in the film.
  • PROFANITY
  • None (the term "hellhole" is used, but not as an expletive).
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Brent strips down to just a diaper twice in the film.
  • A shirtless man is briefly shown bathing in a vat of melted cheese (the kind you order with nachos).
  • A Jell-O mold statue in the form of the Venus de Milo (a topless woman with no arms) is briefly shown.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Flint's mom dies off-screen during the time the film flashes forward from his childhood to when he is a young man.
  • Flint's father loses faith in his son when it appears none of his inventions seem to work. He briefly persuades Flint to work in his bait-and-tackle shop.
  • Flint lies to his father to get him to leave the shop so he can go back to working on his invention.
  • After Flint's weather machine starts to go awry, his father tries to convince him to shut it down. Flint, though, reacts angrily and accuses his father of not believing in him the way his mom used to.
  • Earl's son briefly goes into a "food coma" when he eats too much junk food, causing Earl and his wife to go into a frantic search for a doctor.
  • Flint puts down his father's store.
  • Flint's father often has a hard time putting his feelings towards his son and his late wife into words, often resorting to awkward fishing analogies.
  • Flint's father fears his son dead near the end of the film.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Not making fun of other children at school just because they are smart or interested in things like science and math and not sports and fashion.
  • Gluttony and the effects of overeating.
  • The importance of staying true to one's self and following one's bliss, despite naysayers.
  • The importance of a parent telling their child "I love you" often and vice versa.
  • Sam hides her intelligence throughout the film, masquerading as a "dumb blonde" because she thinks that's what the world would rather see her as.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Most of the following is played for zany comedy and/or adventure rather than as realistic or graphic material.
  • A banana comically hits the Columbia Pictures lady prior to the opening credits.
  • A bird comically slams into the camera lens, creating a funny 3-D effect.
  • Earl tackles Flint, twisting one of his arms behind his back.
  • Earl tackles a random jaywalker, twisting one of his arms behind his back.
  • Earl manhandles Flint, trying to prevent him from using his latest invention.
  • Earl slaps Flint hard across the face.
  • Flint's pet monkey rips off half of Tim's mustache.
  • Flint's rocket-like invention flies out of control with him in tow, wrecking part of the town. Several people are knocked over, Flint eventually smacks face-first into a Stop sign, and a giant fish bowl is sent rolling out of control.
  • Sam accidentally kicks Flint in his eyes, causing him to scream.
  • Flint's invention creates a massive spaghetti tornado that wreaks a substantial amount of damage on the town. Cars, stores, homes, and buildings are all pummeled.
  • A giant dam designed to contain all of the excess food created by Flint's invention breaks, resulting in what is described in the film as a "foodalanche" that crushes everything in its path.
  • Several of the world's landmarks are damaged or destroyed by giant falling food, including Mount Rushmore and the Eiffel Tower.
  • A massive ear of corn lands on the Great Wall of China and threatens to roll over and crush some tourists.
  • A group of kids are catapulted a great distance (seemingly unharmed) for comic effect.
  • Flint enjoys his first snowball fight, going overboard and hitting multiple people hard in the face.
  • Mayor Shelbourne thoughtlessly picks up Flint's monkey and throws him off-camera.
  • As a man-bird hybrid, Brent karate-fights the other chickens and gives Flint and Sam a chance to neutralize Flint's invention. At one point, the chickens get Brent down and are shown mob-stomping him.
  • Gummy bears come alive and start attacking Flint's flying car. Steve, who has a seemingly constant gummy-bear craving, climbs out on the wing and does battle with them. In one move, he comically rips out one of the bears' gummy hearts.



  • Reviewed September 12, 2009 / Posted September 18, 2009

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