Monday, August 17, 2009

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

In 1978 Judi and Ron Barrett sat down and created a wonderful children's book called Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, which is about an fantastical place where the weather comes three times a day, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and it always consists of food. Since I was a young child in the early 1980s I was lucky enough to have this book read to me, and to have read it a bunch of times myself. It was a classic, and since I like food so much and in this book the weather is food, I am going to go ahead and give this book the credit for my love of weather and all things associated with it. Except for like draught and devastation. I am not a big fan of that part.


In 2006 some unimaginative a-holes at Sony decided that they were going to make a movie out of Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs. Since the people in Hollywood are either too busy or too lazy to come up with their own ideas, they have apparently that they are going to just look around the library and steal old books and films for their storylines now. So anyway, Sony decided that they would be best off jading my childhood, so they plucked Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs out of my memory and pretty soon are going to release what will probably be a pretty crappy movie based on it.
You know what the problem is here, Company? I'll tell you what the problem is. The problems is two-fold. First of all, there is a generation of children who will only know the movie version of this great story. There will even be a few who think that the book, upon which they will stumble one day in the public library while trying to figure out there the books with the naked chicks are located, is based on the movie. That is a crying shame. I guess that I am a little upset that the kids of today are being deprived of one more thing that they could be reading because they can be watching it on TV, or in a movie theatre, or on DVD or Blue Ray or whatever medium become popular next. The reason it is so important that the kiddos have old books to read is because there aren't any new books coming out that they can read. Think about it...Dora the Explorer? Please. Yeah she has books out, but she started on TV. They all start on TV and then maybe if there is a dollar to be squeezed out a book might appear. So what are the kids supposed to read? No reason to read Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs.
Problem Two is the age old problem: no movie is ever as good as the book. Unless of course you watched the movie first in which case it was better than the book. Because Hollywood has no imagination of their own anymore, just stolen ideas and special effects, everyone has read the book first. So everyone has an idea in their head as to what the pictures look like; that's all imagination really is anyway - movies that play on a little screen behind your forehead. So you have already seen the movie, or at least what you would expect the movie to look like, and when you see what the director or the producer saw inside THEIR head it just doesn't jive, now does it? So the movie is always worse than the book because it isn't the movie that you made in your little noggin'. So sorry. The reverse is true when you saw the movie first: the book just doesn't conjure up the same images and so the whole story gets sort of skewed and awkward and so you just don't like it.
So I won't like the movie Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs when it comes out. It's almost a metaphysical certitude. If I was playing Powerball, I would pick "I Won't Like the Movie Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs" as my Powerball, which is a bold strategy because it's not even a number, but I would pick it anyway and somehow that ball would pop up and I would win at least a dollar, maybe more depending on what numbers I picked for the other spots. So I suppose then it's a good thing I am not playing Powerball or I would upset the space/time continuum or something.
Needless to say I won't be seeing this movie, unless of course some cute girls wants me to go. Or maybe a little kid, because little kids are fun. But other than that, not so much, because it will ruin a nice little part of my childhood, a part that adulthood hasn't been able to get its grimy little hands on, and who needs that, right? You can go see it though, and if you would like you can tell me all about it. I will listen. And then maybe I will go get the book and read it. Wouldn't that be a nice turn of the screw? I think so.

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