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October 4th, 2013

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2

Starring: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Will Forte, Andy Samberg, Benjamin Bratt, Neil Patrick Harris, Terry Crews, Kristen Schaal, Cody Cameron, and more.

Directed by: Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn Screenplay by: John Francis Daley, Jonathan M Goldstein, and Erica Rivinoja Story by: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, and Erica Rivinoja Characters by: Judi Barrett and Ron Barett Original Music by: Mark Mothersbaugh

Premise: Six months after Flint and his friends stopped the food chaos at Chewandswallow from the FLDSMDFR, Flint is asked to go back to the island by his childhood hero, Chester V. The scientist tells him Flint that the FLDSMDFR wasn't destroyed as Flint thought, but has remained active and is now creating not food, but evil food creatures. Creatures that are learning and will soon leave the island and threaten the rest of the world - unless Flint goes back and stops them. (Rated PG)


1) Voice Acting - Total Thumbs Up: All the beloved characters and most of the original voice actors are back in this sequel to the 2009 film. Bill Hader as the naive yet well meaning Flint carried us through the eager scientist's travails. Anna Faris was perky and still a force to be reckoned with. Neal Patrick Harris is way too much fun as Steve. Benjamin Bratt delivers all of Manny's great one liners with aplomb and to great effect. Will Forte moves from his smaller role in the first film to the main villain of the piece as Chester V - a great choice as he gives Chester just the right touch of believability and guile.

2)  Artwork/Animation - Total Thumbs Up: The artwork and animation department of Sony Pictures Animation did an outstanding job with this film. The mainland, the HQ for LIVE, and the drastically altered island of Chewandswallow were amazing places to behold.

LIVE was slick. All the tech was slick. Even the company helicopter blades had a flare all their own. The actual working environment was an ordered sea of stale cubicles, while the elite worked on their science way above the others. With Flint's 'seat of the pants' science, the two appear almost polar opposites.

The island in turn was like stepping into an alien world. A familiar place changed and turned stranger because of the familiarity. The concept of the foodimals made for amazing visuals. It took common things we've seen all our lives, yet now displayed them in a totally new way to make something fresh and different. I think my favorites were the owls. Though the cheesespiders were a close second. The cucumber people were too cute.

I also loved the primeval yet technological look of the FLDSMDFR's resting area. It had a great emotional feel to it - science and nature joined together.

3) Story - Thumbs Up: Lately, there's been a weird trend to make the protagonist's hero into the bad guy of the story. I've seen it at least three times in animated films this year. It's a little worrying that everyone keeps telling children that all their hero's are bad.

Putting that aside, I enjoyed all the different levels pursued in the story. Some elements from the first film were brought up again, as Flint and his father still have a few issues to get past in understanding one another. (It's been a while since I saw the first film, so a comparison is difficult.)

New elements in the sequel included showing healthy interpersonal relationships versus those that are one sided.  And not just those the second person clings to because they don't truly realize the real state of the relationship, but also those they have with themselves.

The ying and yang of Flint and Sam is also reflected on. Flint might be a genius, but it is Sam who is wise.

Conclusion: "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2" is a fun, visual feast. The kids will have plenty to keep them entertained, dazzled by the awesome imagination of the animators and writers. For the adults, there are a ton of jokes, which mixed visuals with wordplay - a few are even quite nostalgic.

Make sure to sit through most of the credits - the animators had a little fun with different styles there on some of the added bits.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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