Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Things To Do

Review: 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2' tasty but empty calories

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (PG) (95 min.) — A second helping of sugar rush cinema, wholly dependent upon food puns and pretty colors whizzing by. But it's the only chance for small children to drag parents to the movies until November, so knock yourself out, kiddies.

This time, inventor Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) is living down consequences of the food storm he created in Part 1, when spaghetti tornadoes and doughnut blizzards leveled the town of Chewandswallow. Coming up with a better invention — Flint has lots of ideas — would impress weather reporter Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) and his father (James Caan).

The best place for ideas to germinate is at the think tank operated by Flint's idol, Chester V (Will Forte), a Jobsian mogul with ulterior motives. It seems the machine Flint invented to turn water into food is still operational, and creating "foodimals," food-and-wildlife hybrids like tacodiles, shrimpanzees and talking pickles that are essentially green Minions since Despicable Me made money.

Directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn keep the action frantic and vittles jokes zippy, so there's less time to consider their empty creative calories. The movie operates like the Celebratinator invention, almost getting Flint booted out of Chester V's academy, belching primary color paint and sprinkles everywhere and calling it a party. B -

Steve Persall, Times movie critic

Comments
6 gift ideas for grandparents and grandchildren to spend more time together

6 gift ideas for grandparents and grandchildren to spend more time together

A grandparent can be a tough person to buy a Christmas gift for. Likewise, many grandparents are stumped on what to get the kids besides some cash. Why not make your Christmas gift something you both want more of: more time together making memories. ...
Published: 12/13/17
Four ideas for edible gifts you can find throughout Tampa Bay

Four ideas for edible gifts you can find throughout Tampa Bay

Carlynn Crosby, Times correspondent Florida Pure Sea Salt Harvested from Tampa Bay’s waters, these handcrafted salts come in flavors like maple bacon, Sriracha, lemongrass, habanero or black truffle. They retail for $15 a jar online, at flor...
Published: 12/13/17

Wednesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBoxingWelterweights: Corcoran vs. Horn6:30 a.m.ESPNCollege basketballWomen: McNeese State at Baylor1 p.m.Fox SunVillanova at Temple7 p.m.ESPN2Women: Oregon at Mississippi State7 p.m.SECWestern Kentucky at Wisconsin8 p.m.FS1Longwood at Illinois8 ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
In the early ’80s, this duet kept Steve Winwood still in the game

In the early ’80s, this duet kept Steve Winwood still in the game

Our Stuck in the '80s historian Kevin Wuench returns with this report on Steve Winwood: Pop music has enjoyed all sorts of duets between husband and wife. Some that come to mind are Sonny and Cher, James Taylor and Carly Simon and lest we forget...
Updated: 9 hours ago

‘I want to see you naked’: When alcohol flowed, Mario Batali turned abusive, workers say

The theme of the party was Magic, Martinis and Mario, and there was an awful lot of the latter two. It was at Mario Batali’s buzzy Los Angeles restaurant Osteria Mozza, the week of the Oscars in March 2010. Vanity Fair publisher Edward Menicheschi wa...
Published: 12/12/17
Star Wars: The Last Jedi has everything The Force Awakens was missing

Star Wars: The Last Jedi has everything The Force Awakens was missing

When The Force Awakens landed two years ago, it was everything Star Wars fans wanted yet not entirely what we needed. It was a rousing tribute missing its own vision, introducing new characters and crises hinting at old ones. Star Wars: The Last Jed...
Published: 12/12/17
Mary J. Blige coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

Mary J. Blige coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

An icon of modern R&B is coming to town to warm your winter right up.Mary J. Blige, the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, is coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa on Feb. 21, part of her ongoing Strength of a Woman Tour. Tickets start at $47.25 and go on sale at 10 a...
Published: 12/12/17
Downtown St. Pete’s 24-hour diner 2nd & Second is open

Downtown St. Pete’s 24-hour diner 2nd & Second is open

Downtown St. Petersburg’s only 24/7 restaurant has opened and doesn’t plan to close, ever. The 2nd & Second diner at the corner of Second Street and Second Avenue N will remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week offering a spot f...
Published: 12/12/17
13 new movies you have to see over the holiday season

13 new movies you have to see over the holiday season

Hollywood has enough movies left to get everyone through the holidays plus any New Year’s hangover. Many are aiming for awards glory, a few are just here for the party. The really serious contenders won’t open nationwide until early 2018...
Published: 12/12/17
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 13

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 13

The Little Prince: Based on Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s novella, an aviator who crashed in the Sahara Desert meets a little prince who has left his home on Asteroid B-612, leaving behind its only inhabitant, a single rose. Through Dec. 24. 2 and 7 p.m...
Published: 12/12/17