Check out these DVD Deals on Amazon! At these prices, you can add all 3 to your collection!
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs for $4.99Judi and Ron Barrett’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a much-loved, whimsical book about a tiny island where food falls from the sky like rain. The book serves as a jumping-off point for Sony’s animated, digital 3-D Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs which is not so much a retelling of the book as an exploration of what makes food rain from the sky on a small island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Flint (Bill Hader), a clever young inventor with a reputation for creations gone awry, has recently completed a machine that he claims will turn water into food. Like his past failed inventions, Flint’s new food-converting machine doesn’t work as planned, and on its initial test run it ends up getting launched into the sky where clouds form and begin to rain cheeseburgers. The falling burgers destroy the Swallow Falls community’s latest attempt to bolster its failing, sardine-dependent economy, but the Mayor’s (Bruce Campbell) initial fury quickly turns to greedy anticipation as he begins to realize that food falling from the sky could serve as an innovative tourist draw. As the entire town is caught up re-defining itself as “Chew and Swallow,” only Flint’s father (James Caan) remains skeptical of his son’s invention. Greed leads to some very strange weather events like spaghetti twisters and extra-giant food which, while providing a huge career opportunity for brainy weather intern Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) who’s masquerading as an air-headed television personality, also threaten to destroy the town and its inhabitants. In the end, only the collaborative efforts of Flint, his father, and Sam can save the town of Chew and Swallow from certain destruction by the out of control invention. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a funny, imaginative film that’s well-animated and immensely entertaining for kids and adults. Rated PG for brief mild language, but appropriate for most ages 5 and older. –Tami Horiuchi
Hook for $4.99Steven Spielberg’s deeply flawed but sporadically fun and moving update of the Peter Pan legend stars Robin Williams as the grown-up Pan, a corporate-takeover type who must embrace his old identity in order to save his kids from Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman). The stars put on a good show, including Hoffman’s read of Hook’s hysterical personality, Julia Roberts mini-turn as a tiny Tinker Bell, and Maggie Smith’s touching performance as the aged Wendy. The visual contrast between the adult Pan’s bustling outside world and the insulated fantasy of Neverland is striking, but Spielberg’s ideas about the Lost Boys–politically correct in their ethnic diversity, energetic on skateboards–are contrived and cheapening. On the plus side, the story’s theme about adults finding their innocence again through their children is very touching (though some people have found it cloying). If you can look beyond the glaring problems, there’s plenty to like here. –Tom Keogh
Dr. Seuss’ The Cat In The Hat for $4.99The Cat in the Hat is a marketing ploy disguised as a wildly designed movie for hyperactive kids, and it could use a dose of Ritalin. It hardly matters, though, because kids will surely enjoy the rampant romp that occurs when the top-hatted feline convinces young Sally (Dakota Fanning) and Conrad (Spencer Breslin) to wreak havoc in the home their mother (Kelly Preston) has neatly prepared for an upcoming party. It’s all in the name of fun, and while Seuss’s classic rhymes are relegated to voice-over narration, director Bo Welch capitalizes on his background as one of Hollywood’s most gifted production designers (with credits including Edward Scissorhands and Men in Black), turning the Seussian town of “Anville” into a playful pastiche of pastels. As played by Mike Myers under layers of fur and latex, Dr. Seuss’s mischievous Cat is mayhem personified, and the movie suffers from his anything-goes approach to getting a laugh. And though Myers delivers a few laughs while channeling voices from his own comedic repertoire (including “Coffee Talk” maven Linda Richman), a little of this Cat goes a long way, and he nearly wears out his welcome. –Jeff Shannon
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