WE GOT THE BLOODY ACTION of Planet Terror awhile back, so that means it's time for another of Robert Rodriguez's kids movies. When these things go right—like with the first Spy Kids—they're a lot of fun, with a hyper Rodriguez offering the same nonstop energy and ingenuity that characterizes his best work. One can't ever fault the dude for not having a blast while making his movies—something that always comes across in the finished product, and is always contagious.

Shorts is a brisk, funny, madcap collection of interconnected vignettes, but more accurately, it's the sort of film in which characters have names like "Helvetica Black," tiny UFOs destroy filled classrooms, booger monsters lurch through subdivisions, kids named Loogie get drenched in pterodactyl poop, and James Spader plays Steve Jobs. The story here's ostensibly about a "wishing rock" that makes people's dreams come true, but mostly, it's just an excuse for Rodriguez to let loose with a ton of CG, a slew of talented actors, and a sense of humor that's sometimes clever but usually just goofy. It's all giddily chaotic and fantastically absurd, and while I'm sure you could complain about parts of Shorts if you wanted to, you'd have to be a particularly assholish curmudgeon not to be grinning through this whole thing.