Just yesterday, Hollywood Boulevard in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater was all a glow with colors, small aliens, and giant green boogers (yes you read that right) for the premiere of director Robert Rodriguez’s Shorts. Young and old enjoyed the day and sampled pizza, cupcakes, and smoothies as they mingled with the cast of the movie, including Leslie Mann, Jon Cryer, and star of the film Jimmy Bennett who was cast as Toe Thompson. In this family action-adventure flick, protagonist Thompson is the target for bullies in his neighborhood in Black Falls, that is until the magic Rainbow Rock descends from the sky and grants wishes to anyone who comes across it. Hence, the weirdness that ensues, as the rock travels from person to person-parent and child-granting wishes from boogers to aliens. Sometimes good and other times not so favorable results occur and the neighborhood changes drastically. All told through a series of short tales.
Surprisingly, some of the young stars relayed to me that they were once the targets of bullies in real life. Baby faced Jimmy Bennett divulged that when he was in 3rd grade he was bullied but “chose not to stoop to his level and tried to talk to him.” Similarly, Jolie Vanier aka Helvetica Black experienced “mean girls” herself but through her own diplomacy, turned the situation around. Cute little mop top Leo Howard, or Laser in the film, took matters in his own hands and learned martial arts after he was troubled by other kids. I am sure they didn’t mess with him after that!
Something that all of the youngsters agreed on was the fact that director Robert Rodriguez made the set a really fun place and is really like a kid himself. Dressed in his traditional all black ensemble complete with matching cowboy hat, Rodriguez reveled that his son Rebel, who also has the role of Lug in Shorts, was the inspiration for the story as it was Rebel who dreamed up the concept of Rainbow Rock and the title of the film. Up next for Rodriguez is Machete and one of the stars of that movie, Don Johnson, also showed his support for the premiere and was excited that he was about to leave to start on the new production. Strangely enough, this isn’t the first time the 2 have worked together. In fact, Johnson cast Robert as a commercial director on Nash Bridges. As Don told me this, he started laughing and said “quid pro quo!” And so it is.
Warner Bros. Pictures Shorts will be released nationwide on Friday, August 21st.