Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 3D Blu-ray delivers stunningly beautiful video and superb audio in this excellent Blu-ray release
Flint Lockwood now works at The Live Corp Company for his idol Chester V. But he's forced to leave his post when he learns that his most infamous machine is still operational and is churning out menacing food-animal hybrids.
For more about Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 3D and the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 3D Blu-ray release, see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 3D Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on January 15, 2014 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
There's no such thing as small science...only small scientists.
Nothing is small in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, a buffet of color and oversized food products that have not merely descended onto
Swallow Falls but overrun it, literally, now that it's all sprouted legs and minds of its own. Sony Animation has now squeezed two feature
films out of Author Judi Barrett's 32-page 1978 children's book, a staple of Elementary school libraries and now filling two spaces on the family home
entertainment shelf. The sequel, as sequels are prone to do, doesn't quite live up to the magic of the original, that film a also spectacle of multicolored food products and filled to the
charm and heart. The sequel features more of the former but less of the latter, telling a story that's a little less
filling but tasty
nonetheless, a quick and easy desert to the first film's gourmet main course. Core audience members -- young kids who fell in love with the original
-- will find just as much to dazzle the eyes and delight the ears here. It's a big adventure with all the old characters and a few new ones in tow, and
even absent that innate charm, most parents will find in the movie enough pleasure to make it worth sitting down as a family to give it a watch, or
The gang's all here.
Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) has just put an end to the FLDSMDFR's madness and saved Swallow Falls and all his friends. And the fun has
only just begun. To Flint's amazement, his childhood science hero, Chester V (voiced by Will Forte, channeling Hector Elizondo) arrives with orders
United Nations to clean up the land. That means evacuating everyone to San FranJose, California, except Flint. Chester invites Flint to come to
work for him at Live Corp, the leading scientific company in the world. Flint's amazed at the opportunity and even more excited to work with
some of the smartest caffeine-driven scientists known to man. When he's passed over for a major workplace prize, he's dejected, but the secretly
Chester V has other plans for him in mind. He recruits Flint to return to Swallow Falls and put an end to the FLDSMDFR, again. It's apparently still
its food into living organisms that Flint will have to destroy if he wants to save the world. With his father Tim (voiced by James Caan), his trusty
sidekick Steve (voiced by Neil Patrick Harris), his girl Sam Sparks (voiced by Anna Faris), the bully-turned-comic-releif Brent (voiced by Andy
Samberg), Cameraman Manny (voiced by Benjamin Bratt), and officer Earl (voiced by Terry Crews, replacing the dynamic Mr. T) accompanying
him, Flint sets out to win the heart of his hero, but
at what personal cost?
While Cloudy 2 definitely delivers plenty of family fun, it fails to capture the wide-eyed, here-comes-the-sparkling-birthday-cake
anticipation, and novelty of the first. This sequel can't quite escape the feeling that it's more a retread than it is an original idea, more last week's
leftovers rather than a freshly cooked meal. There's precious little meat to the plot, and the side stories that work in lessons on friendship, hero
worship, and the good in doing the right thing even under unusual pressures and circumstances are nicely implemented but don't break any new
ground. The plot arc and angles can be seen coming faster than a pizza delivery driver with a minute left before the pie becomes free. Yet there's
enough sugary goodness here that even the most hardened audiences will not reject the entire movie but will nevertheless come to quickly see all
unoriginal elements presented therein.
Yet none of that really matters at the end of the day. Cloudy 2 is infectiously humorous and packs on the jokes -- and jokes that actually
work, for that matter --
as quickly as hot fudge sundaes pack on the pounds (Flint really needs to invent a machine that removes all the bad stuff out of food but leaves
behind). It's colorful almost to a fault, an explosion of bright globs of eye candy -- literally, in some cases -- that can effectively and temporarily,
least, blind the audience to the lack of real substance underneath. It's the sort of movie one watches to truly watch, to see what sort of
visual antics the filmmakers can think of next. The various "foodimals" are cleverly designed and utilized in every scene, the picture a bastion
of Frankenstein-like creativity. Everything form plopping eyeballs onto strawberries and marshmallows to creating a giant spider-like creature out
of a hamburger and french fries gives the movie a wonderfully unique flavor and shows audiences something that, gasp, they've never
before and, frankly, probably never even imagined. That's where the Cloudy movies really work, in creating a wonderfully dynamic and
creative universe where anything goes and everything's game.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 looks about as one might expect on Blu-ray 3D, sporting a stunning general picture quality and a strong
3D support presentation. As for the former first, the picture excels, as it does on the standalone 2D image. If there's a drop-off in color vibrancy, as there sometimes
can be on the 3D side of transfers, it's nearly imperceptible here. Sony's 3D transfer retains the dazzling array of bold, brilliant colors and never fails
to dazzle even through the filter of the 3D glasses. Image clarity remains rock-solid, too, and the 1080p presentation showcases every last millimeter
of digital detail around the food-infested world of Swallow Falls. The 3D elements are nearly as impressive. While there aren't a lot of moments that
explode out of the screen -- the most prominent being a literal explosion of color when a "party box" bursts prematurely or, perhaps better said,
accidentally and at the wrong time for poor Flint -- the transfer does showcase continuous and believable depth of field, whether spacing between
distant objects within larger, open spaces or more intermediate and intimate room between subjects. Titles float off the screen naturally at the
beginning for a quality 3D effect. The 3D image never goes too dark, either. This is a hugely impressive effort, perhaps not a truly dazzling 3D image
but easily one of the better animated presentations out there.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack is right there with the video, beat for beat, in terms of
quality throughout. It does everything very well, filling the stage with a variety of interesting elements and musical notes, all presented with pinpoint
accuracy and clarity. Musical numbers are lively and naturally spaced, spreading evenly across the front and finding just the right amount of surround
support across the back. The low end is never truly dominant but it's nicely supportive and full when necessary. The food- and foodimal-infested world
of Swallow Falls
comes to life with a wide variety of nuanced and front-and-center elements alike. The stage often fills with dynamic sound effects and
environmental supporting pieces to better define the environment and add some spice to the film. Even the heaviest sound effects, such as
stampeding "bananas," power through the listening area with an exciting presence and high sonic accuracy. Dialogue plays evenly from the center and
is the finishing touch on a dominant and dynamic listen.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2's 3D release contains all of the following supplements on the included 2D-only disc. The 3D disc
contains only the commentary and previews in 3D.
Audio Commentary: Directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn guide audiences through the film, covering plot basics, story structure,
3D, characters and voice cast, changes to the script through the production process, colors, and much more. This is a relaxed commentary, one
that's informative and entertaining both. With optional English and Spanish subtitles.
Mini-Movies (HD, DD 2.0): Steve's First Bath (5:02), Super Manny (4:22), Attack of the 50 Foot Gummi Bear
(5:58), and Earl Scouts (6:39).
Deleted Scenes (HD): Barb Picks Up Flint (0:53), Flint Prepares for His Mission (0:29), Tunnel to Flint's Lab
(0:26), and Brent's Toes (0:53).
Production Design: Back in the Kitchen (HD, 6:50): Producer Pam Marsden, Directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn, Art Director Dave
Bleich, and Production Designer Justin K. Thompson, discuss the film's story change from the first, its visuals, the larger scope, the color, building
San FranJose, character design, and story details.
Cloudy Cafe: Who's on the Menu? (HD, 6:53): Directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn, Actor Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Neil Patrick Harris,
Benjamin Bratt, Andy Samberg, Terry Crews, James Caan, Will Forte, and Kristen Schaal take a look at the film's cast of characters.
Anatomy of a Foodimal (HD, 6:04): Actors Anna Faris, Bill Hader, Terry Crews, Kristen Schaal, Andy Samberg, and Will Forte;;
Producer Pam Marsden; Producer Kirk Bodyfelt; Directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn; Art Director Dave Bleich; and Visual Developer Andrew
Medina examine the digital "foodimals" and their real-life created counterparts.
Awesome End Credits (HD, 6:09): End Credits Designers and Supervisors Pete Oswald and Craig Kellman, Directors Cody Cameron and
Kris Pearn, End Credits Lead Puppeteer Robin Walsh, and End Credits Animation Producer/Director Mark Caballero, take a brief but fascinating and
inclusive look at the making of the film's unique end credits.
Music Video (HD, 3:25): La Da Dee by Cody Simpson.
Making of the La Da Dee Music Video (HD, 0:59): A short behind-the-scenes look at the making of the music video.
Building the Foodimals (HD, 3:50): Senior Animation Supervisor Peter Nash vocally guides viewers through the process of constructing
the film's diverse "foodimal" population through clips form the film and shots in various stages of completion.
Delicious Production Design (HD, 5:11): Production Designer Justin Thompson's comments overlay a piece that offers and overview of
the film's visual appearance, styles, and more.
The Mysterious Sasquash (HD, 3:08): VFX Supervisor Peter Travers takes viewers on a tour of the background "easter egg" character's
appearances and backstory.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 won't cause any indigestion, but neither is it a feast for anything but the eyes. The story lacks originality
but certainly not creativity as Flint and company embark on an adventure quite unlike anything moviegoers have ever seen, or even imagined, before.
The jokes come quickly and seem to always hit, but that's abut it. The movie feels terribly superficial, dabbling in themes that are nothing but staples
of the modern animation genre. Still, that's enough to call the movie a success, something the young ones in the audience will eat up while still
palatable for the adults accompanying them. Sony's Blu-ray 3D release of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 features reference video,
strong 3D, excellent
audio, and a nice little assortment of extra content. Recommended.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2: Other Editions
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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has officially announced and detailed the 3D and 2D Blu-ray releases of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. The animated sequel features the voice talents of Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Andy Samberg, Benjamin Bratt, Neil ...
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