The High Five Podcast Episode 39 – Halloween Post Mortem

After a two week break due to a nasty virus, I’m back with an episode clearing up scare season content! I close out It’s All Connected 2021 with the last five films I watched for that series (look for the final version of the poster soon) and then get into some other films, comics, books and shows that I made my way through for Halloween!

Kids Movie Double Feature: Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) & Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (2009)

Hope everyone had a good Memorial Day Weekend, I sure did. Though we didn’t do a whole lot, the missus and I did check out a few movies, two of which were decidedly kid-based. I liked both of them, but one definitely more than there other. Let’s begin!

Last night we watched Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wes Anderson’s stop motion rendition of Roald Dahl’s book of the same name. I’m a big Dahl fan, though I’ve never read FMF. On the other hand, I’m not a huge Anderson fan, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from the movie. In the end, I liked it but the movie never really grabbed me. I loved the stop motion and thought it look amazing, especially when they did the moments where the characters move into the background but the camera stays where it is. It looks like a side scrolling video game in that respect and I kind of dug it. Aside from that, though, the movie looks like exactly what it is: a stop motion movie directed by Wes Anderson. Not being a huge fan of the man, it’s not a huge draw for me, but it looked good enough.

The plot is where the movie lost me. It’s not a bad one, but I feel like the movie might move a little too quickly and not allow the emotions of the plot to sink in. Or maybe I just wasn’t all that invested. I’m not sure what it is, but I didn’t particularly care about what was going on. I did like the voice work by George Clooney, Merryl Streep and the rest, but all they did was make me think that this was like a solo animal-filled Danny Ocean movie with the caper theme. Ah well, it wasn’t a bad movie and I’m glad I watched it because it looked rad, but I won’t be watching it again. I would imagine that Anderson fans will and did dig it though.

On the other hand, I really liked the CGI Cloudy With A Chance Of Meat Balls, based on the children’s book by Judi and Ron Barrett with characters voiced by Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, Anna Faris, Mr. T (!), Bruce Campbell and a slew of others. I know that I read the book as a kid, but don’t remember it too much. The plot of the movie is that Hader’s character builds a machine that converts water into food. The machine accidentally gets launched into the sky where it starts raining food down on the town. There’s a lot of other stuff going on involving him and his dad and him trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to woo the visiting weather girl played by Faris.

The movie got me early on by starting off with young Hader wanting to be a scientist. I love that sense of inventing for invention sake and experimentation that you can only really get in cartoons and kids movies (it’s the big reason I love Meet The Robinsons). Personally, I get bogged down with actual science (not that I’m an expert by any means) and forget that wonder that comes from the youthful idea that you can invent anything you dream up.

In addition, the plot was fun and fast enough to not really let you get bored and it sucked me in right off the bat. The only problem was that the visual quality of the Netflix Instant went in and out, so the amazing CGI (I’d like to see this in 3D) went from being really crisp to being pixelated.

If you’ve got to watch a movie with some kids, I recommend this one!