Subtitle: Kids movies – we watch ‘em so you don’t have to
One of the things I’m digging lately is that I get to go to movies again. Like actual movies in an actual theater with popcorn, sticky floors, and glorious, glorious air conditioned darkness, which hasn’t lost its thrill on hot summer days. The tradeoff is that, in order to go without shelling out $40 for a sitter, I’ve been seeing a lot of kids’ movies lately. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, I’m finding myself wanting to prematurely age the boyos to the point where we could have gone to see District 9 instead of Shorts. ‘Cept by then they won’t want to go with their pop, as I (hopefully) won’t have boobs.
Anyways – Shorts.
The kids loved it. It had cool effects, likeable characters, kept moving, and had boogers. Giant walking boogers.
- Rodriguez found Jolie Vanier to play the kid female lead. She rocks. She straddles the line of being the bully of the movie and becoming more likeable as the movie goes on without dipping into treacle.
- The effects – not mind-blowing, but they work really well with the movie. I suppose what I mean is that there’s some movies that ARE the effects – the first Transformers springs to mind (haven’t seen the second), or the latest Indiana Jones. Shorts avoids that – the effects are part of the plot rather than the whole movie.
- Boogers. About the only questionable content in the movie, but extremely tastefully executed, and the kids come off not wanting to pick their nose. Which is good, because I’m getting tired of waching bloody pillowcases.
- Leslie Mann. May have to transfer my Felicity Huffman crush.
- Themes – the primary one is a lesson on power and the unthoughtful application thereof, which mostly works, or at least it’s the one the boys walked away with. There’s another one about how technology disconnects us from the people around us. Which is fine, but was completely missed by the kids (who buried their noses in their DSes as soon as we were back in the car). It’s also an odd theme for a guy who’s so thoroughly known for his use of digital filmmaking.
- The company that James Spader’s character runs, Black Box Incorporated, or Black Inc., at times appears to be a riff on Apple. Sometimes it works, other times – I suppose it just feels mean.
- The movie, at least a couple of times, tries to make it clear it’s in Texas. My gripe is that it’s in Texas suburbia, which is indistinguishable from many other suburbias.
- I hate to say it, but the concept – breaking up the story into interrelated “shorts” kind of doesn’t work. It allows the main character, Toe Thompson (Jimmy Bennett), to stay crucial to the movie throughout; however, doing the story out of order doesn’t have the impact that it did for Pulp Fiction. At least it didn’t confuse my 5 year old – he just wanted to know why they didn’t do the story straight through.
- William H. Macy was wasted. Not that he did a bad job, or anything. Just lack of employment. (By contrast, the other adults in the movie were pretty well used).
Overall I enjoyed the movie. But, I will say that if you don’t currently have kids, or your kids are already teens, you’ll never see this movie, and won’t have missed out on much (unless Jolie blows up into the next teen star). If you’ve got kids between infants and 12 years old, it wouldn’t be a terrible DVD choice in a couple of months. Or, if it’s a hot day and you just want cool, dark, and air conditioning, you could do worse by them.
2 Responses to “Shorts”
Write a comment
You need to login to post comments!