Directed by: Robert Rodriguez Cast: Jimmy Bennett, Trevor Gagnon, Jolie Vanier, Jon Cryer, Leslie Mann, Kat Dennings, James Spader Running Time: 1 hr 15 Rating: PG Due Out: Nov. 24, 2009 Buy Shorts [Blu-ray] on Amazon
PLOT: A wishing rock wreaks havoc in the hi-tech community of Black Falls when it falls in to the hands of the children of the area.
WHO'S IT FOR? Kids who have a tough time sitting still and wish that anything, anything is possible.
Shorts flies fast and that's probably the best part for parents. It will seem like it will go by quickly. As far as making sense, it's just not going to happen. A pause and fast forward button can pop up at any time for Jimmy Bennett as Toe Thompson. He doesn't seem like a bad kid actor, but he's not ready for the narration that goes along with the role.
"Make a wish," it's a dream that all kids want. So they'll be hooked, plus, Rodriguez isn't trying to hide the fact that this one is for the kids. Sure there will be moments, with Spader, Mann and Kat Dennings entertaining the older crowd. And we have to remember, Rodriguez makes these films in his basement, or backyard, or something, so that's worth some brownie points as well.
MOVIE SCORE: 5/10
Ten Minute Film School: Short Shorts - Sound effects, sound effects, sound effects. This eventually becomes a showing of the film Shorts and how Rodriguez took some home movies with his kids and made it into the feature film. And here's one complaint, if you're going to make something called a 10-minute short, let's not have it be 8:50 long, OK? The Magic of Shorts: Boogerman. Sure there is more, but don't all of you really want to know about how the booger monster comes to life? Mann and Cryer show how their conjoined twin costume works. Shorts Show and Tell: This is your traditional featturette, with kids horsing around and acting crazy.
Ten Minute Cooking School: Chocolate Chip Volcano Cookies
EXTRAS SCORE: ?/10
Adults has escapism with action flicks or something like 2012. Yes, critics seems to complain (me included sometimes), but why can't kids have escapism? We spend too much time looking for the lesson, and forget that main point ... is it entertaining? And while Shorts won't sustain multiple viewings from parents, it should grab your children's attention. There's not a ton of extras, but the ones that are there count, especially having Rodriguez teach some basic film techniques for your (not-so) little ones. If everyone listened to his advice, family movies wouldn't make people cringe so much.
FINAL SCORE: 6/10