"Hey metalmouth! Got another date with the trashcan"
Toe Thompson (Bennett) has never managed to find a friend in his small suburban town of Black Falls. Picked on every day by Helvetica Black (Vanier) and her brother Cole (Gearhart), Tobey thought things could get any worst. When he finds a strange, rainbow coloured rock that just happens to grant any wish he might make, Tobey thinks his luck is about to change but the rock brings its own problems and dangers.
Robert Rodriguez loves to mix up this adult oriented fair with movies that are more family friendly but can ‘Shorts’ be the new a ‘Spy Kids’?
After making his name with hits like ‘Desperado’, ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ and ‘The Faculty’, writer/producer/composer/editor/director Robert Rodriguez turned his hand to films that would appeal to his kids and their friends. In 2001, he started the ‘Spy Kids’ trilogy and he started mixing adult and family films. With ‘The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D’ coming next and then returning to adult movies with ‘Sin City’ and ‘Planet Terror’, the family takes precedence again and this time the one-man movie machine brings us ‘Shorts’.
Filmed as a collection of ‘Short’ interweaving stories, ‘Shorts’ is brought together by one thing, the Wishing Rock. Taking place in the suburban town of Black Falls, the house of Mr. Black’s technology firm, the company behind the Black Box, the ultimate gadget that does everything. This means that all of the kids have scientist parents that work for the company and most of them have picked up their traits and none of them really play together. This all changes when the Wishing Rock falls from the sky and each of them get into a ‘short’ adventure that leads to them coming together as friends.
Each short, tells a different story about the wishes the rock grants them and the problems a kids imagination can cause. Everything from giant killer bees, crocodile soldiers, giant beetles, a booger monster and much more all come to life and cause havoc in the small, suburban town. It is clear that the kids are certainly having fun and the younger members of your family will also but this is a movie clearly made for kids and the adults who have to share this with them, have been forgotten.
With Leslie Mann, Jon Cryer, William H. Macy and James Spader making up the adult members of the cast and they have certainly have some fun, especially John Cryer and Leslie Mann when a wish goes wrong and brings them very close together. It is the kids that are the main emphasis of the show however and they are all very good. Jimmy Bennett is making a name for himself, after starting in 2009 hits ‘Orphan’ and playing the very young James T. Kirk in ‘Star Trek’ and as Toe Thompson, this is a role that will push him even further. It is the leading ‘man’s’ support that steals the show however with Jolie Vanier as the school bully Helvetica Black, Jake Short as scientist and nose picker extraordinaire Nose Noseworthy and especially Trevor Gagnon as the hilarious Loogie all having real fun with their roles.
‘Shorts’ is a movie made with kids in mind and they will definitely have fun watching the short adventures. The only problem is that the adults won’t have the same experience, as there is hardly anything to appeal to their sense of humour or even wonderment. “Shorts” is a movie just for short people.
PICTURE & SOUND
The Blu-Ray disc presents the movie in High Definition wide screen 1.85:1 up to 1080p, with Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround sound.
The Magic of Shorts (9.19 mins/HD)
Director Robert Rodriguez and stars William H. Macy, John Cryer, Leslie Mann, Kat Dennings, Jimmy Bennett, Jake Short, Joile Vanier, Deven Gearhart, Trevor Gagnon and Rebel Rodriguez take you through the making of ‘Shorts’. Revealing how the visual effects for the aliens, crocodiles and booger monsters came to life.
Shorts: Show and Tell (5.20 mins/HD)
Devon Gearheart, who plays Cole Black in the movie, interviews the director and all of the young stars of the movie as he takes his video camera around the production.
Ten-Minute Cooking School: Chocolate Chip Volcano Cookies (9.58 mins/HD)
Robert Rodriguez and his daughter Rhiannon show you have to make delicious looking chocolate chip volcano cookies in the latest cooking school.
Ten Minute Film School: Short Shorts (8.50 mins/HD)
Robert Rodriguez reveals how simple sound effects can transform you movies into epics.
The Blu-Ray treatment for ‘Shorts’ is fun. The Ten Minute Cooking and Film Schools are always worth watching and the behind the scenes featurettes are good. It is just a shame that a commentary track wasn’t included. This aside, this is still a good package.
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