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Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Food falls from the sky in this entertaining animated comedy

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Actually, the title of Phil Lord and Chris Miller's animated family comedy isn't exactly correct: There will absolutely be meatballs. And hot dogs, and ice cream, and steaks and all your favorite foods falling from the sky. (And if you see this film in IMAX 3-D, don't forget to duck.) An energetic if offbeat inventor named Flint (voice of Bill Hader) puts his tiny, depressed, former sardine-processing town on the map when he invents a machine that can turn water into any food. As these things are wont to do, the machine gets accidentally catapulted into the clouds, causing it to rain the aforementioned foodstuffs. Oh, it's lots of fun ... until people start getting hurt! The colorful, lively film is an adaptation of Ron and Judi Barrett's popular children's book, and it offers an original premise that's entertaining for kiddies and adults alike. (Few of us truly outgrow our desire for free unlimited snack food.) Embedded, but not overplayed, are some cautionary lessons about overeating, food monocultures, ill-conceived marketing and toying with technology. I hope I never live to see a spaghetti tornado. Starts Fri., Sept. 18.

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