The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Warner Bros. - 2009
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 89 minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: VC-1 (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, French,Spanish, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Jimmy Bennett, Kat Dennings, John Cryer, Leslie Mann, William H. Macey, James Spader
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Music by: George Oldziey, Robert Rodriguez, Carl Thiel
Written by: Robert Rodriguez, Ãlvaro RodrÃ*guez
Region Code: Free
Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 24, 2009
"If a giant booger monster couldn't kill you, what's a breath of fresh air gunna do?"
A young boy's discovery of a colorful, wish-granting rock causes chaos in the suburban town of Black Falls when jealous kids and scheming adults alike set out to get their hands on it.
The suburban community of Black Falls is controlled by the Black family. They own The Black Box Corporation which owns the community and has one of the biggest products in the world -the Black Box. The Black Box can do almost anything, it's a baby monitor, a phone, a calculator, a computer, a megaphone- it morphs into just about anything. When the kids of Black Falls find a magical "Wishing Rock", the only thing that can rival the Black Box, everyone wants it and the craziness ensues! Told out of order in "Short" segments, Shorts shows us to be careful what we wish for or you just might encounter Booger monsters, walking Crocodiles and mini Aliens that can help you take care of your bully problem.
Even though there are some actors to appeal to the adults (Jon Cryer, Leslie Mann and William H. Macey) it felt like little kids made Shorts, so I had a hard time finishing it. The movie became more interesting when I learned in the special features that Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Desperado) created and conjured this up with his children under the Rodriguez Family Film name (Spy Kids and The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D). Shorts is a simple story that is delivered out of order, which I believe was to give it a bit more plot to stand on. Fast, loud and completely hyper-active, It's aimed right at 10 year old boy's. Rodriguez did do a good job transcribing what his children's ideas were, and I give him credit for letting down his guard from his usual big-budget mass appeal fare. What I look for in a family film is one a parent can enjoy as well. Unfortunately Shorts threw away that convention and was made for a pre-teen audience, not for you!
Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Shorts comes to Bluray Disc from Warner Bros. featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 17.2 mbps and lossless Dolby True HD 5.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 4 mbps
Shorts video transfer has mood swings. From some nice depth to flatness, it's not videophiles bluray. I was wowed in the beginning. The intro and credits had a 3-D effect and I thought I was in for a nice ride but soon started to see some things jump out: at random times the contrast was a bit too high with bright area wash-outs and the shadow detail was lacking resulting in some black crush. The colors and flesh tones seemed pretty spot on, but I do think it could have used more pop in the color to add to the cartoonish kids vibe. The Dolby True HD soundtrack was Dynamic and engaging with a nice heavy use of the surrounds that fit the hectic activity on screen. I did lose dialog during those times but it was mostly clear and upfront. I felt a little was left to be desired with the LFE and wanted to turn my Subwoofer up. The audio was better than the video but not demo material.
- (HD) The Magic of Shorts :See how the movie was made
- (HD) Show and Tell: On Set with the Film's Young Stars
- (HD) 10 Min Film School: All about the making of Shorts
- (HD) 10 Min Cooking: Chocolate Chip Volcano Cookies
- BD Live Enabled
- Digital Copy
Frenetic and fun, your kids (boys mostly) will love it but I bet you find it obnoxious and silly with sub-par effects and plot. The Bluray's special features were more engaging than the movie and it was interesting to see how Robert Rodriguez uses his children's ideas, to essentially make a movie for them. If your child really wants it I can see the Bluray getting several spins, and you can squeeze some life out of the extras. Shorts is definitely not one of the top family films ever made.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Prismasonic HE1500R Anamorphic Lens
Custom 1.3 Gain 128" 2.37:1 CinemaScope Screen
Pioneer SC07 Receiver
Pioneer BDP-320 Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Triangle Zerius Speakers (7.1)
SVS PC13-Ultra Subwoofer