Mini-Review: Shorts (2010)
As those who know me, and if such a person exists, cyberstalk me, know I created this blog after writing on another site, which shall remain nameless, for a while. The point is, I have material sitting around waiting to be re-used on occasion I will re-post them here. Some of those articles or reviews may have been extemporaneous at the time but are slightly random now, regardless enjoy!
Robert Rodriguez’s latest film Shorts is very good family fare. Rodriguez since the late-’90s has been a director who goes back and forth between action films like the El Mariachi series, which are generally more popular, and family films like Spy Kids, The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl and Shorts.
What is most interesting about this particular title is the way it’s structured. It uses a lot of voice over – which is a risky proposition, but it is well done and Jimmy Bennett narrates the tale with as much energy and zest as if he was onscreen. Rodriguez also employs a narrator who is not the greatest storyteller allowing him to play with structure and tells the story out of chronological order. There is also some fun had with video as the narrator stops, pauses, fast forwards and rewinds footage as needed.
It would make an interesting editing experiment for film schools to piece it together chronologically. This lack of sequence when combined with this particular story does cause some major pace issues in the second half of the movie. It is always enjoyable but just can’t compare to the breakneck speed of the first half. A similar movie in structure is The Sasquatch Gang but the story is low concept as opposed to high so pace suffers less.
Ultimately it is still a creative, inventive and fun film. In episode 0, before the credits, Rodriguez hearkens back to his great student film Bedhead and kept the same verve and pizzazz throughout. Shorts is a film that is always trying something new. You might not always like it, but at least it tries – and I simply have to like any movie with a booger monster in it.