Mr. Movie

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Sunny Fun

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Rated PG for some mature themes. It opens Friday, September 18 at Regal's Columbia Mall 8 and at the Fairchild Cinemas 12.

Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars

5 stars/4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen4 stars / 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie. 3 stars / 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video. 2 stars / 1 star: Don't bother.0 stars: Speaks for itself

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

The title alone tickles the taste buds. Flint Lockwood is the geekiest of geeks, an inventor of a machine that makes food out of water. A slight snafu sends his machine into orbit above his Georgia island town of Swallow Falls. Pretty soon it's raining food and temporary meteorologist Sam Sparks is the hit of a weather channel.

When it rains hamburgers and other appetizers Sam feeds us pun-lover delights like: “We all love a meteor shower but you've never seen a meatier shower than this.”

More mouthwatering puns, sight gags and jokes follow as Flint programs different meals and different desserts for different days. He has a meter on the machine controlling the machine that warns him when enough is enough and an overload is coming. The meter is ignored and disaster strikes.

Then there's the translator that lets what Flint's pet monkey is thinking be known to all and bunches of other tasty comic treats.

Like all animated features the vocal talents go largely unappreciated. Mr. T has the most fun doing the voice of an over-amped town cop and you can almost see days-old cooking oil dripping off of every word delivered by Bruce Campbell's plus-sized and steadily growing mayor. Rounding out—pun definitely intended—the cast is Bill Hader and Anna Faris as Flint and Sam, James Caan, Neil Patrick Harris, NBC weatherman Al Roker and Benjamin Bratt.

The best bits are before things go terribly wrong but not much goes wrong with the animated version of Judi and Ron Barrett's popular 1978 children's book. The movie comes in two flavors 2-D and three. Dine on the 3-D if you can. Unlike most three-dimensional productions, the 3-D here enhances the story and the excellent animation but doesn't overwhelm them.

While catering to kids, parents will also find the film's brain-cuisine worth adding to their entertainment menu.