short film review

Reviews and news about short films, short film festivals, reviews, links and guides to short films online,images from short films,directors,writers,cinemaphotographers. Copyright 2005, 2006 by Allan Maurer. All rights reserved.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Robin's (as in Batman and Robin) Big Date at Sundance

The first four Sundance shorts we viewed were dramtic and serious, although not without jokes. Even the most serious of drama should have a sense of humor.

Still, we watched "True North," and "Moma's Boy," and "You turned Your back and held my hand," more or less at random and found them strong stories elegantly told. But we tried "Robin's Big Date," as an exercise in throwing a change-up, to borrow baseball terminology. It suggested a lighter turn with its focus on a lecherous and profane Batman horning in on Robin, the boy wonder's big date.

All, but the humor faded in the face of the pathos. Poor Robin. Pathetic Batman. Only the girl (Callie Thorne), not Robin's date after all, it seems, aquits herself well. The super heroes prove less than super and not very heroic.

I'm sure I'll find some humor in this stellar collection of shorts. But this is not it. I liked it fine for what it actually is, though, a takeoff on our cultural pop icons thrown into the less-than-perfect real world via the reel world.

This has got to be the seediest Batman we've ever seen, but not that much of a stretch from Frank Miller's postmodern take on the character.

Written by William Carlough and directed by James Duffy, the short if Duffy's first as a director (he's a film editor based in NYC). It's certainly an original concept, although I find many of the shorts I see somewhat over-acted, although anyone who's seen the 60s TV series would be hard-pressed to out do that duo. Sam Rockwell's Batman tries to steal Robin's (Justin Long)date. Yuk. That ain't my Batman.

Anyone familiar with Batman and Robin from the comix or the films or even the TV show will likely enjoy this take on the Bat detective and the "Boy Wonder," as Robin used to be billed.


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