CAPTION: Inventor Flint Lockwood and weather gal pal Sam Sparks talk before houses covered in scoops of ice cream in “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.”

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (Song, Blu-ray or standard DVD, PG, 90 min.). Based on a popular children’s book, this animated film is an appetizing treat for young and old as it tells the story of young inventor Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader), who discovers a machine that can convert water to food. Of course, it was only supposed to make a cheeseburger or two.

Flint lives on an island, Swallow Falls, that is so small that it is hidden behind the capital “A” in Atlantic Ocean on maps. Sardines was its big industry until people realized how disgusting they were. Flint, who previously has invented spray-on shoes and a device to read monkey thoughts (Neil Patrick Harris voices Steve), is trying to come up with an alternate food for the islanders. Mayor Shelburne (Bruce Campbell) has decided to turn the island into a tourist attraction called Sardine Land. When Flint goes for extra power for his converter, it literally takes off like a rocket, destroying Sardine Land before launching itself into the sky, where it suddenly starts producing cheeseburger rain. Flint learns he can still control the converter and soon all kinds of food is falling from the skies. I especially liked the ice cream scoops that provide winter fun, the roofless restaurant that has big steaks drop right on the plates and the giant gelatin igloo, complete with a gelatin piano inside.

Flint befriends weather girl intern Sam Sparks (Anna Faris), sent to the island to do reports. She is brainy like Flint, but hides it because TV weather girls are not supposed to be smart. James Caan voices Flint’s dad, Tim, who runs a tackle shop and wants his son to join the business. Eventually the mayor gets too demanding, and a spaghetti and meatball tornado threatens the town.

The Blu-ray edition includes a making-of feature (10:51), a music video by Miranda Cosgrove and its making of, a sing-along, extended scenes, a look at the voice talent and progression reels. Exclusive to Blu-ray are the ability to throw food at the screen while watching the film (digital, of course), a digital copy of the film and a food fight game. Grade: film 3.25 stars; extras 3 stars

The Final Destination (New Line, Blu-ray or standard DVD, R, 82 min.). The fourth, and weakest, film in the series sticks to the idea that a premonition of a disaster saves a small group, who then die one by one in the same order they would have died. Nick O’Bannon (Bobby Campo) is the young man who has the vision of a disaster at the auto race track about 10 minutes before it happens. However, unlike the previous films, he keeps having visions throughout, which takes most of the suspense out of the equation.

Instead, what we get is 3-D and, I must say, some of it is pretty good. I really jumped when the tool from the back of the racing car came flying at me. Director David R. Ellis goes for both the small – one threat is by being stuck in the bottom of a swimming pool; another situation involves a car wash – and large – he blows up a mall, basically. It is good enough to devote half an evening, but do watch the 3-D version, although the non 3-D also is included.
Extras include behind-the-scenes looks at creating the seven death scenes; storyboards, pre-viz animation and visual effects for both the race car accident and the mall disasters; two alternate endings (one that doesn’t make much sense and one that shortens the film too much); and a disappointing 2-minute peak at the new “Nightmare on Elm Street,” with Jack Earle Haley as Freddie Krueger. The Blu-ray version also comes with a digital copy.

Rating guide: 5 stars = classic; 4 stars = excellent; 3 stars = good; 2 stars = fair; dog = skip it

Additional reviews are available online at and include season two of “The Sarah Jane Adventures” (the “Doctor Who” spinoff) and other releases.