FILM: CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2
VOICE CAST: BILL HADER, ANNA FARIS, JAMES CAAN, KRISTEN SCHAAL, WILL FORTE, ANDY SAMBERG, BENJAMIN BRATT, NEIL PATRICK HARRIS
DIRECTOR: CODY CAMERON, KRIS PEARN
‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2’ picks up where Sony Pictures Animation’s 2009 hit comedy left off. Inventor Flint Lockwood’s (voice of Bill Hader) genius is finally being recognized as he’s invited by his idol Chester V (Will Forte) to join The Live Corp Company, where the best and brightest inventors in the world create technologies for the betterment of mankind.
Chester’s right-hand-gal – and one of his greatest inventions – is Barb (Kristen Schaal), a highly evolved orangutan with a human brain, who is also devious, manipulative and likes to wear lipstick.
It’s always been Flint’s dream to be recognized as a great inventor, but everything changes when he discovers that his most infamous machine (which turns water into food) is still operating and is now creating food-animal hybrids – “foodimals!” With the fate of humanity in his hands, Chester sends Flint and his friends on a dangerously delicious mission – to battle hungry tacodiles, shrimpanzees, hippotatomuses, cheespiders and other food creatures to save the world again.
“I love the world of Cloudy,” says Cody Cameron, who directs the film with Kris Pearn. A veteran of the first three ‘Shrek’ films, as well as ‘Surf’s Up’, ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’, ‘Open Season 2’, ‘Open Season 3’, and the short film ‘The Chubbchubbs Save Xmas’ – the last two as director – Cameron says, “Of all the films I’ve worked on, ‘Cloudy’ is my favorite. So to get the chance to go back and revisit the characters in this new, crazy world that we were developing made this a really exciting project for me.”
“When we started the brainstorming process, we found a very rich mount of stuff – not just a new adventure, but also the characters,” says Pearn, who headed up the story team on the first ‘Cloudy’ film.
“In the first movie, Flint was the emotional equivalent of a 14-year-old. He got his first girlfriend.
Well, now, in the sequel, what’s he got to do to keep her? There are all sorts of ideas where you can take this socially awkward guy and rappel him into a new world.”
FILM: FIRE WITH FIRE
CAST: JOSH DUHAMEL, ROSARIO DAWSON, BRUCE WILLIS, VINCENT D’ONOFRIO
DIRECTOR: DAVID BARRETT
Fire-fighter Jeremy Colton (Josh Duhamel) witnesses a murder committed by a Long Beach gang leader (Vincent D’Onofrio) and goes into a protection program so he can testify against the man who’s been a long-time target of police officer Mike Cella (Bruce Willis). When the life of Jeremy’s girlfriend (Rosario Dawson) is threatened, he enlists the help of a rival gang leader (Curtis Jackson) and takes the law into his own hands.
“‘Fire With Fire’ is one of those films where the action is really earned by the characters,” states director David Barrett. With an extensive background in action choreography, Barrett delights in the action but reveals, “at its core this is also a love story.” Tom O’Connor’s screenplay explores the length to which one might go to protect a loved one. Once Barrett discovered that dynamic, “that’s when I fell in love with this movie,” he admits.
“I loved the idea of the ordinary guy who’s forced to do some pretty extraordinary, vengeful things that are outside of his character,” admits star Josh Duhamel. In his first meeting with Barrett, “we talked a lot about my character’s history, why he became a fire-fighter, and why he feels the duty to do what he has to do.”
“David reminds me a little bit of Michael Bay,” adds Duhamel, who has worked with Bay on ‘The Transformers’ franchise of films. “Bay loves to get behind the camera because he’s got these shots in his head. If he can do it, he will shoot it because he knows how he wants it to feel. I love that, I love a guy who’s not afraid to get in there and get dirty.”