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3.0 2
Director: Robert Rodriguez

Cast: Jimmy Bennett, Jake Short, Kat Dennings


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A young boy living in a cookie-cutter suburb gets hit on the head with a rainbow-colored rock that grants wishes to anyone who holds it in this family-oriented fantasy comedy from Spy Kids director Robert Rodriguez. All the houses in Black Falls look exactly the same, and everyone who lives in this suburban Shangri-la works for


A young boy living in a cookie-cutter suburb gets hit on the head with a rainbow-colored rock that grants wishes to anyone who holds it in this family-oriented fantasy comedy from Spy Kids director Robert Rodriguez. All the houses in Black Falls look exactly the same, and everyone who lives in this suburban Shangri-la works for Black Box Unlimited Worldwide Industries Incorporated. A highly profitable company thanks to their latest invention, Mr. Black's Black Box -- an all-in-one communication device that's revolutionized the technological landscape -- Black Box Unlimited Worldwide Industries Incorporated also employs the parents of 11-year-old Toe Thompson. But Toe isn't entirely sold on the concept of this corporate conglomerate; all he wants is to make some new friends, and that wish comes true after Toe is struck in the head by a mysterious rainbow-colored rock that falls right out of the clear blue sky. A magical stone that puts Mr. Black's Black Box to shame, Toe's rock possesses the power to grant wishes. Now, as the rock begins to change hands, Black Falls is overrun by miniature spaceships, crocodile armies, boogers the size of boulders, and whatever other oddities the imaginative local kids happen to dream up. Who would have thought that the real trouble would start once the grown-ups in town get their hands on the mysterious rock? With the situation quickly spiraling out of control, it's up to Toe and his friends to save the townspeople from themselves by proving to them that the things you wish for may not actually be the best things for you. Jon Cryer, William H. Macy, Leslie Mann, and James Spader co-star.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Robert Rodriguez, director of such awesome highs as Spy Kids, and such icky lows as Shark Boy and Lava Girl, probably has a lot of people wondering which end of the spectrum he's hit with his latest family-friendly effort, 2009's Shorts. Well, the verdict is in. If you are ten years old, then you might be happy with a movie about technologically magical devices that can do anything (PDA? Laptop? Electric razor?), mystical rocks that grant poorly stated wishes in literal terms (I wish you'd just GROW UP! Ruh-roh!), and angry alligators that run around on their hind legs (actually pretty terrifying). If you are a grown-up, then you might be mildly amused with a movie full of booger jokes, trite life lessons, and James Spader's big, fat face. Either way, you won't be miserable, but by the same token, you won't be ecstatic either. Shorts weighs in with a solid C -- nowhere near the torture of Shark Boy, but never even touching the joy of Spy Kids. Told in a series of five segments (the shorts intimated in the title), the story follows a boy named Toby "Toe" Thompson (Jimmy Bennett). His family lives in a corporate community set up for the employees of Black Box Unlimited -- an all-powerful company that manufactures a device that can do or be anything: the Black Box. The company's hard-line boss, Mr. Black (Spader), is bent on dominating the marketplace, and pits two of his executives against each other in coming up with even more limitless capability for the product's next upgrade. The only problem is that the two execs (Jon Cryer and Leslie Mann) just happen to be husband and wife, as well as Toe's parents. Meanwhile, Toe, who is a total weirdo outsider kid, finds a magical rock that grants wishes. This treasure offers him a reprieve from loneliness and bullies, but it also looks to be the answer that Black Box is looking for, which pings it on the radar of Helvetica, Mr. Black's bitchy daughter (Jolie Vanier). Many crazy antics ensue, as Toe and his new misfit friends all scramble to keep the stone in the right hands, and inadvertently fill their world with wild, cartoony obstacles in the meantime. It's all good fun; it's just not the makings of a classic. That's kind of disappointing for the grown-ups who know what creative feats the director is capable of, but for the kids that this movie was made for, it's sound entertainment.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Full Frame, Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Ten minute film school: short shorts; Ten minute cooking school: choclate chip volcano cookies

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jimmy Bennett Toe Thompson
Jake Short Nose Noseworthy
Kat Dennings Stacey Thompson
Trevor Gagnon Loogie
Devon Gearhart Cole Black
Jolie Vanier Helvetica Black
Rebel Rodriguez Lug
Leo Howard Laser
Leslie Mann Mom Thompson
Jon Cryer Dad Thompson
William H. Macy Dr. Noseworthy
James Spader Mr. Black
Angela Lanza Teacher
Alejandro Rose-Garcia John/Boyfriend
Cambell Westmoreland Blinker #1
Zoe Webb Blinker #2
Chris Orf Goofy Host
Tina Rodriguez Female Employee
Jack Hurst Male Employee
Jonathan Breck Security Guard
Racer Rodriguez Bully #1
Rocket Rodriguez Bully #2
Elizabeth Avellan The Baby

Technical Credits
Robert Rodriguez Director,Score Composer,Cinematographer,Editor,Producer,Screenwriter
Elizabeth Avellan Producer
Howard Berger Makeup Special Effects
Edward Borgerding Executive Producer
J.C. Cantu Casting
Stacy Cohen Executive Producer
Caylah Eddleblute Art Director
KNB EFX Makeup Special Effects
Steve "Q" Joyner Production Designer
Mohammed Khalaf Executive Producer
Dan Lin Executive Producer
Hunt Lowry Executive Producer
Ethan Maniquis Editor
Gregory Nicotero Makeup Special Effects
George Oldziey Score Composer
Nina Proctor Costumes/Costume Designer
Carl Thiel Score Composer
Mary Vernieu Casting

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Shorts
1. The Blinkers [1:56]
2. My Neighborhood [2:52]
3. Black Box [3:47]
4. Alien8ed [3:42]
5. Make a Wish [5:24]
6. Keep Up the Good Work [5:21]
7. Combustible Catalyst [4:45]
8. Feet Feat [2:20]
9. The Wishing Rock [5:02]
10. Wrong Stuff [4:11]
11. Super Smart [1:59]
12. Big Bad Booger [4:26]
13. Out of My Nose [5:17]
14. Breath of Fresh Air [3:10]
15. The Miscommunicators! [2:51]
16. Reallyclose [4:33]
17. Listen to Helvetica [4:28]
18. Don't Get That [3:29]
19. The End [3:02]
20. Big-Time Wish Fulfillment [4:34]
21. Rock Riddance [2:49]
22. Sure of Your Wish [2:54]
23. End Credits [5:40]


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Shorts 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago