I highly recommend this DVD!
Robert Reynolds | Tucson, AZ United States | 12/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In what I truly hope will become an annual series, Magnolia Pictures has released a compilation DVD including three of the five Academy Award nominees for Short Animation (including the winner, The Son and the Moon) and all five of the nominees for Live-Action Short (obviously, this includes the winner, Six Shooter). The two animated shorts not included here are One Man Band, which Pixar has included on the DVD release of Cars, and 9, which, as I understand it, has been optioned for expansion as a feature and which I hope will be included at some future date on DVD, either as an extra to the feature or in some other context. It would probably serve very well as bait to draw audiences to the feature when it is released if the short is available for home viewing on DVD at the time.
There are two extra animated shorts, which were not nominated and were presumably included to flesh out and balance the comilation. They are The Fan and the Flower and Imago and they are two of the highlights of an exceptionally strong lineup. There were only two relatively weak shorts on here, one animated and one live-action and even those two are well worth watching.
The standouts, however, are clearly the two winning shorts, which both clearly stand out in fairly strong fields, though the second best animated short is a bit closer to The Son and the Moon. Since the full title is rather lengthy, I'll just refer to it as Jasper Morello, as the editorial review here gives the full title. Both animated shorts could have been the winner without a drop-off, as they're that good.
Six Shooter is exceptional and nothing else really comes all that close. All the shorts are enjoyable, but Six Shooter is incredible.
If you like good short films, then by all means, buy this DVD. I hope a similar DVD comes out next year."
Here are the titles
J. Paulsonn | Ohio | 10/31/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Here are the titles:
Ausreisser (The Runaway) - Ulrike Grote (German)
Cashback - Sean Ellis
The Last Farm - Runar Runarsson (Icelandic)
Our Time is Up - Rob Pearlstein
Six Shooter - Martin McDonagh - ACAD AWARD WINNER
Badgered - Sharon Colman
The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation - John Canemaker - ACAD AWARD WINNER
The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello - Anthony Lucas
Bonus Short Features
The Fan and the Flower - Bill Plympton
Imago - Cedric Babouche (French)"
Interesting, but not always engaging.
tvtv3 | Sorento, IL United States | 09/29/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This collection of short films contains both live action and animated shorts that were nominated for the 2005 Academy Awards. The films on the disc include the following.
OUR TIME IS UP--Kevin Pollack stars as a work at-home psychiatrist named Dr. Stern. When Dr. Stern is informed he has a terminal illness and only a few weeks to live, he begins giving his patients the one thing they need most in their lives: truth. Jorge Garcia (Hurley from LOST) has a small role as Dr. Stern's gardener.
THE RUNAWAY--a German film about a struggling architect who on the day of an important interview discovers that the young boy who suddenly appears outside of his apartment one morning is his son.
CASH BACK--a young Englishman works the night shift at a grocery store so that he can work on his art unhindered.
THE LAST FARM--an Icelandic picture about an old farmer and his wife who are leaving their isolated farm for a fancy retirement community in the city.
SIX SHOOTER--the winner of the 2005 Oscar for Best Live Action Short. This Irish movie is set largely on a train as a man returns home after the death of his wife. On the trip he sits next to an interesting young man who seems to say just the right thing to upset people, but is charming nonetheless.
BADGERED--an animated short about a badger who tries to get a peaceful rest in his hole in the middle of a hill, but is interrupted by two cawing black birds and later by some very unusual objects.
THE MOON AND THE SOON--the winner of the 20005 Academy Award for Best Animated Short. This dramatic cartoon is an imaginary conversation between the artist and his deceased father. John Turturro performs the voice of the animator.
THE MYSTERIOUS GEOGRAPHIC EXPLORATIONS OF JASPER MORELLO--a silhouetted steam-punk film about an air navigator who gets swept up into a voyage to a mysterious island
The DVD also includes two extra animated shorts.
THE FAN AND THE FLOWER--a parable about love between a ceiling fan and a flower narrated by Paul Giamatti.
IMAGO--the life of a young boy that loves planes and uses his imagination.
I realize that the shorts on this DVD were all nominated for Academy Awards, but overall I was disappointed by the films on the disc. SIX SHOOTER won the Oscar, but it's an incredible depressing and hopeless picture. CASH BACK has some fascinating visuals and cinematography, but there really is no story, characterization, or plot. I did like THE RUNAWAY, OUR TIME IS UP, and THE LAST FARM, though.
The animated pictures are a bit better than the live action selections. THE MOON AND THE SON seemed more to me like a visual diary than a great piece of animation. The story IS rather moving, but I personally didn't get much out of it. BADGERED was the only truly humorous short on the entire DVD and it made me laugh. I really enjoyed the animation of THE MYSTERIOUS GEOGRAPHIC EXPLORATIONS OF JASPER MORELLO, but was disappointed by the rather bleak tone. My favorite piece on the entire DVD was THE FAN AND THE FLOWER. The animation is incredibly simplistic, but the simplicity allows the power of the story to shine through. Also, the film reminded me of a Shel Silverstein story, e.g. THE GIVING TREE. I also enjoyed IMAGO, especially the more sunset-toned color scheme.
If you're a serious film buff or a student of the medium, then this DVD is worth your time to watch. However, if you're not I'd recommend just watching the animated shorts and skipping the rest (unless you're a Lost fan, then you might want to watch OUR TIME IS UP)."