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Shorts
BLU-RAY disk
Dec 9, 2009 By: J.A. Hamilton
Shorts order download
Director:
Robert Rodriguez

Actors:
James Spader
William H. Macey
Kat Dennings

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A rainbow colored wishing rock drops from the sky and is found by a group of kids who set in motion a catastrophic series of events that could destroy the world as they know it.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I’m a big fan of Robert Rodriguez, and chose to look the other way when SPY KIDS came out (finding it hard to see Sylvester Stallone stoop to that level among other things). I caught the trailer for SHORTS awhile back, and found the film looked painstakingly awful. I was right, but nothing could prepare me for the horror. I tried to keep an open mind, but they really lost me when the kid wished for friends and got four tiny flying saucers in response. I guess good friends really are hard to find.

Don’t think I’m against “kids movies”, on the contrary, they can be a lot of fun. For example, the Adam Sandler flick BEDTIME STORIES was similar in the way of kids wishing for silly things, yet that film was fun (even for me), whereas SHORTS is not. The plot is kiddy-ish enough, revolving around a wishing rock, but this film’s tone will lose children pretty quick and the juvenile atmosphere they’re going for here just won’t appeal to many kids on the same level Disney/Pixar adventures do. The want to be “ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS” cute, but it just doesn’t happen.

I thought children were supposed to have these vivid, crazy imaginations, yet the characters here have no idea what to wish for. The best they come up with is a castle surrounded by a canyon of snakes and crocodiles (yawn). The ridiculous facial expressions and lame jokes (accompanied by the occasional fart noise) were laughable but not in a funny way. Kat Dennings (and her amazing rack) were all that kept me from falling asleep. I was also mortified to see James Spader and William H. Macey reduced to such drivel. I expected the children dialogue to be atrocious, but at least give the adults a bone!

Though the Black Box idea was interesting, SHORTS was nowhere near my idea of entertaining, even if it was supposed to be a kids flick. When I think of kids movies I’m thinking of GOONIES, THE GARBAGE PALE KIDS, NEVERENDING STORY and so many other great titles I grew up watching. Yeah, it must be cool to have a dad who makes movies, and can do this for his and other kids, but come on, if you’re going to make a film like this, the very least you can do is make a good one. These kids were annoying, the effect cheesy, and the story just plain dumb. I don’t see anyone enjoying this much, kids or otherwise.
THE EXTRAS
Behind the Story: The Magic of Shorts: A look at where the ideas for Crocodile Soldiers, giant Black Boxes and Booger monsters came from. Rodriguez really wants us to believe this movie was the shit. I agree with the shit part.

Shorts: Show and Tell: A Shorts themed game where you play the role of detective and try to uncover the secrets of Dr. Noseworthy’s Revolumizing Gun. This might be the one and only thing kids will enjoy about this film.

Ten-Minute Cooking School: Chocolate Chip Volcano Cookies: A tutorial on making cookies by Rodriguez and his kids. Well, I’ll say this, the cookies look delicious.

Ten-Minute Film School: Short Shorts: Rodriguez explains and breaks down the film’s production in ten minutes. I suppose ten minutes isn’t so bad, some films are based on a single idea or sentence.

Previews: There are a handful of trailers, a couple Blu-ray commercials and a Digital Copy of the film.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I have a very open mind when it comes to films, and as such don’t feel this disgusted by movies very often, but I can’t help but see this movie as a cheap pet project Rodriguez should have just made for his own kids instead of unleashing it into the world.

Extra Tidbit: I wish Kat Dennings was here to ease the psychological damage this film has caused me, and I’m pretty sure she’d need to be topless for the “healing” to work.
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