Robert Rodriguez may be the only filmmaker ever who’s made R rated films like Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn and Planet Terror as well as launch a career in children films with the Spy Kids Series, Sharkboy and Lavagirl and now most recently, Shorts.
Set in the small Texan town of Black Falls where everyone works for Black Box Unlimited Worldwide Industries Incorporated, which is owned by Mr. Black (James Spader). Things in the town go topsty turvy when the narrator of our story, Toe Thompson discovers a wishing rock.
Well, actually he wasn’t the first to find so he goes back and tells that story. In fact the whole film is told in a series of non-linear shorts all revolving around the wishing rock and the antics it causes. From a giant booger monster to hell raising aliens we see what can happen when wishing gets out of control. Tying all these different stories together is the relationship between Toe and Helvetica Black (who has a most amusing theme song by-the-by). At first they are enemies with Helvetica’s cronies always trash-canning Toe, but soon develops into something… well… less mean.
With a great supporting adult cast including William H. Macy, Leslie Mann, Jon Cryer amongst others and a pretty talented group of kids that lead the charge, this is a surprisingly fun and entertaining kids film.
Being a kids film the end gets a little heavy handed with it’s message, but it’s a fun lighthearted film that both kids and there parents can enjoy, which seems to be a hard thing for Hollywood to do these days. His kids films aren’t half as good as his action and horror films, but Rodriguez seems to have a firm grasp of what kids enjoy and what they’re parents can stomach.
The film is presented in 1.85:1 Anamorphic widescreen and full screen. Sound is in 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound. The film looks and sounds fantastic. It’s a very bright and colorful film and the colors pop right off the screen.
Ten Minute Cooking School: Chocolate Chip Volcano Cookies: (10 min.) Possibly the cutest Ten Minutes Cooking school ever with the assistance of his three-year-old daughter Rhiannon. She is just adorable and the cookies look pretty good too.
Ten Minute Film School: Short Shorts: (10 min.) Rodriguez talks about how to use sound effects to spruce up your home movies then talks about how he shot scenes from the film with his sons to make trailer to sell the film. Pretty entertaining.
Digital Copy Of The Film
It’s not a great film, but it’s a fun film and kids are sure to enjoy it. But the best part is, there parent’s probably won’t hate it. It’s a cute film that works for all ages and has a couple pretty good special features to go along with it.
Warner Bros. presents Shorts. Directed by Robert Rodriguez. Written by Robert Rodriguez and Alvaro Rodriguez. Starring Jimmy Bennett, Kat Dennings, Jolie Vanier, Rebel Rodriguez, Leslie Mann, Jon Cryer, William H. Macy and James Spader. 89 minutes. Rated PG. Released on DVD: November 24, 2009. Available at Amazon.com.
Tags: Desperado, Grindhouse, James Spader, Leslie Mann, Planet Terror, Robert Rodriguez, Sin City, William H. Macy