Monday, November 30, 2009

Blu Ray Review: Shorts (2009)

89 minutes
Rated PG (for mild action and rude humor - should have been a G)
Available Tuesday, December 1st on DVD, Blu Ray, On Demand, and ITunes Download

by Scott Mendelson

Shorts is a gloriously old-fashioned kids flick made with a knowing cleverness. The picture is fast-paced, funny, colorful, exciting, and absolutely appropriate for children while entertaining for adults. Shorts is no classic, but it clearly does not want to be. It aims purely to be a breezy and pulpy children's adventure film, no more and no less. Robert Rodriguez again proves himself a jack of all trades, as his family pictures (Shorts, the Spy Kids series) are every bit as imaginative and often more entertaining than his R-rated action pictures (the Mariachi trilogy, Planet Terror, From Dusk Till Dawn). Full Theatrical Review

The Blu Ray:
As is becoming the pattern these days, Shorts is presented in a double-disc collection which contains the Blu-Ray and a standard definition DVD also containing a digital copy. Both the DVD and the Blu-Ray contain Rodriguez's standard '10-Minute Film School' and '10-Minute Cooking School' featurettes (the latter features a recipe for chocolate chip volcano brownies). The Blu Ray contains those two bonus features plus two exclusives, "The Magic of Shorts" (a making-of which concentrates on the technical and fx aspects) and "Shorts Show and Tell" (a making-of which concentrates on the young cast). The combined extra load totals less than forty-minutes, which is unfortunate for fans of this under-seen gem. There is alleged BD-Live capabilities, so there may eventually be some kind of additional content at some point. The film looks and sounds lovely, although I'm not sure why Warner didn't think to include a Spanish 5.1 Dolby TrueHD to compliment the respective English track. Point being, unless you collect Rodriguez's films or have the kind of kids who like to watch the same movie over and over again, this disc is purely a rental.

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