films on planes: part 1 - Shorts (2009)

I've been on alotta planes recently and these flights were pretty much the only times in the last few weeks I've had a chance to watch any films. So i figured i might as well share some opinions on the cinema i caught 35000 feet up in the air (no pun intended).

Flight: Toronto to Miami
Film: Shorts
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Class: Business
Meal: Omelet
Drink: Bloody Mary

My first plane ride was insanely early in the morning, i think the flight departed a little earlier than 6am, meaning with all the American beefed up security lately i would have to arrive at the airport two days prior or some shit like that.When the TV screens lowered, the ice was starting to melt on my second bloody mary and i was praying for something at least watchable to get me through the 3 hr flight.
I guess someone was listening, and that someone was an asshole because what i got for my in flight "entertainment" was the criminally mundane (even for children standards) Shorts.

This film... wait i take the term "film" back. This shitsmear on celluloid (actually i guess it would be shitsmear on SD cards) is by far one of the most horrid excuses for children entertainment i think i have ever witnessed.
I'm serious, i would take a Dora The Explorer film over this. At least I'd be learnin' some Spanish on the way to Colombia that might actually be useful.

The picture is made up of a collection of shorts that seem to be written by an 11 year old kid with severe attention deficit disorder. The whole thing is just covered in cgi and makes no sense whatsoever. All the stories are about characters (mostly children) who live in the same town called Black Falls.
Everyone in Black Falls live in similar houses and all the adults work for the Black company which is owned by Mr. Black (played by James fucking Spader.... i know). The Black Company makes the popular personal device The Black Box which can do everything. It's a sensationalized gadget that is a satire on Blackberries and iPhones i guess... does it really matter? Do they ever use this symbolism in a productive manner to tell kids that dependency on these gadgets is unhealthy and soul sucking? No, of course not it's just there for kids to go "neat".

Yeah so basically some loser kid finds a rainbow rock that when you hold and wish for something it comes true. So the film is one of those "be careful what you wish for" morality tales only much more shallow. The rock makes its way around to various characters and wreaks havoc on the town. It's like a Dr.Seuss story with the shit level turned up to an 11 year old internet porn addicted, xbox 360 playing, going to be 30 and still a virgin assclown. Really, it's like peering inside the head of today's 11 year old male.... one second there's running alligators, the next there's mini aliens, next there's mech robots, there's violence, and poo humour, and a smoking hot older sister character... yeah and somehow William H. Macy and James Spader are in this monstrosity
There wasn't much else to do on the plane and i really wanted to watch something but it was so bad that 45 minutes in i opted to listening to the horrid airplane radio stations instead. How i made it that far into this film is beyond me. Shorts made me ponder about the state of children's films today. It's as if kids films now are in imagination overload mode. When i was growing up there was Labyrinth, The Neverending Story, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles... these films had a sense of awe to them. Even as a child i could tell that it must have taken a lot of work to make the creatures and locations by hand and there was something comforting about that. I knew it was fake but the fact that it was really there, that human actors were interacting with real puppets gave me a sense of wonderment. As if because we created it and it was existing in real phsyical space that that was enough to make it real.
Now you can just shoot a film with a digital camera in L.A. suburbs, tell kids to scream at the sky for two hours, and afterwards just implant crazy images around them in post. It seems to me that a film like this has as much effect on a child as does the latest video game, they'll interact with it for awhile but are gonna be eager for something shinier and louder quite soon.

This is my plea to Robert Rodriguez,
please stop making these asinine kids pictures and make a good movie again. For the love of christ just make Sin City 2 already before all the principle actors get too old. At least you have Machete coming out later this year, the film based on the fake trailer from the Grindhouse films but even that doesn't get me too excited. If any film based on those trailers are gonna get made it should be Edgar Wright's Don't not Machete.
I can see on your imdb page that a Spy Kids 4 is in the works... really? jesus...
So, I finished my third bloody mary, tuned into the 80's station and stared out the window overlooking the west coast of The United States of America and sang to myself "... take these broken wings and learn to fly again... learn to live so free"

Hopefully the film gods would show me mercy on my next flight.


La Sporgenza said...

Someone recently told me that you could almost hear the audience's brain cells popping during a recent showing of Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.

Sounds like a good candidate for April's inflight entertainment on Air Bogata.

Anonymous said...

Very funny stuff.
I watched this with my 8 year old son and I think he enjoyed the colors.
But this is a masterpiece compared to Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakel

Britarded said...

Robert Rodriguez has a new film on the way...

the coelacanth said...

co-producer credit only. they're using him as the poster boy to get asses in seats, if he even has that ability anymore...