Shorts

Shorts

Eleven-year-old Toe Thompson is the designated punching bag for the bullies of the suburban community of Black Falls, where his and everyone else's parents work for Black Box Industries, makers of the do-it-all gadget that's sweeping the nation. But during a freak storm, a mysterious Rainbow Rock, which grants wishes to anyone who finds it, falls from the sky. Suddenly, the neighborhood that Toe already thinks is weird is about to get a lot weirder. As the Rainbow Rock ricochets around the town--from kid to kid and parent to parent--wishes-come-true quickly turn the neighborhood upside down in a wild rampage of everything from tiny aliens to giant boogers. Told through a series of shorts that each bring to life the sometimes wonderful, often terrible, and totally out-of-control wishes that become far more than Toe and his neighbors ever imagined.--©Official Site. 2.4 out of 5 based on 15 reviews
Shorts

Omniscore:

Certificate PG
Genre Family / Children
Director Robert Rodriguez
Cast Jake Short, Kat Dennings Jimmy Bennett
Studio Warner Bros.
Release Date August 2009
Running Time 89 minutes
 

Eleven-year-old Toe Thompson is the designated punching bag for the bullies of the suburban community of Black Falls, where his and everyone else's parents work for Black Box Industries, makers of the do-it-all gadget that's sweeping the nation. But during a freak storm, a mysterious Rainbow Rock, which grants wishes to anyone who finds it, falls from the sky. Suddenly, the neighborhood that Toe already thinks is weird is about to get a lot weirder. As the Rainbow Rock ricochets around the town--from kid to kid and parent to parent--wishes-come-true quickly turn the neighborhood upside down in a wild rampage of everything from tiny aliens to giant boogers. Told through a series of shorts that each bring to life the sometimes wonderful, often terrible, and totally out-of-control wishes that become far more than Toe and his neighbors ever imagined.--©Official Site.

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Reviews

Channel 4 Film

Daniel Etherington

Although this is typical Rodriguez in that it's colourful and inventive fun that's also faintly slapdash, it also has something to say about modern life. Gadgets may be great, and certainly digital filmmaker extraordinaire Rodriguez is a fan, but there's a danger these devices are making us compromise our connectedness and human intimacy.

22/08/2009

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Variety

Justin Chang

More zippy, diverting fun from Robert Rodriguez's family filmmaking factory, "Shorts" delivers a shopworn moral lesson for kids and adults (be careful what you wish for!) with a more pointed contempo spin (technology is ruining human communication!).

09/08/2009

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The Independent on Sunday

Nicholas Barber

As ever, Rodriguez is better at coming up with ideas than knowing what to do with them. He crams in the flying saucers at random, whether they serve the narrative or not. For instance, why bring in an all-purpose mega-iPhone, only to leave it as a red herring? It's as if Dahl had mentioned Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory and then had Charlie running around town with his friends instead.

23/08/2009

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The Daily Telegraph

Tim Robey

Perhaps fittingly for a movie with the knockabout, indifferently-shot appeal of Saturday morning kids’ telly, there’s an entire subplot about a bogey.

21/08/2009

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The Scotsman

Alistair Harkness

endearingly scrappy and anarchic adventure movie that serves as a pleasing antidote to the banality of recent kid flicks such as Aliens in teh Attic and G-Force.

21/08/2009

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The Observer

Philip French

...a cute, special-effects comedy for easily pleased children...

23/08/2009

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The Sunday Times

Rebecca Nicholson

Ploughing the mind of a child for the story of a children’s film is no bad idea, but replicating their attention span makes it a little too flighty.

23/08/2009

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Total Film

Richard Matthews

Gaudy, goofy and too busy for its own good. For every idea or sight gag that sticks, there’s 10 that don’t. Best for DVD, when you’ll be in control of the pause button.

11/08/2009

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Time Out

Trevor Johnston

The chaos comes so thick and fast that Rodriguez slices the action into a series of shorts as Toby (Jimmy Bennett) tries to get his head round events. Like so much else, this might have seemed a good idea at the time, but it holds up the flow, and makes a half-baked story even scrappier.

20/08/2009

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The Times

Toby Young

Shorts is so structurally complicated that it almost qualifies as an experimental film and if it fails — as it does — it would be uncharitable to condemn Rodriguez for that. As Samuel Beckett said: “To be an artist is to fail.”

21/08/2009

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

Well, in the Disneyfied dumbed-down marketplace for kids' films, there's something daring and even refreshing in a movie which messes with conventional narrative. If only it wasn't so frantic.

21/08/2009

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

No denying his energy, but it's like the energy of a kid with attention deficit disorder: his stories can't settle on anything for more than a few minutes.

21/08/2009

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The Daily Mail

Chris Tookey

At 89 minutes, even though the story is repetitive and the humour childish, there's no time to get bored. Five to ten year-olds will find it cool. Adults, less so.

21/08/2009

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The New York Times

Jeannette Catsoulis

Concocted by Robert Rodriguez, a kind of filmmaking Black Box (he wrote, directed, edited, produced, photographed, composed some of the music and supervised the visual effects), “Shorts” feels underwritten and overdressed. Though adept at homing in on the things that kids find hilarious — boogers, loogies, not-blinking contests — Mr. Rodriguez (whose bifurcated brain flips easily from “Grindhouse” gore to “Spy Kids” kookiness) leaves his adults in the lurch.

21/08/2009

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The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

the screen is never still and the script never smart or engaging.

19/08/2009

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