Director Robert Rodriguez’s latest film reminds him of his youth

Some consider filmmaker Robert Rodriguez's Sin City and Grindhouse to be modern film noir classics — over-the-top, graphic and disturbing.

And his low-budget El Mariachi stands as a testament to the indie spirit, launching his career as well as a series of gritty Peckinpah-inspired films such as Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico.

But it's his kids movies — the Spy Kids trilogy, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D and now Shorts — that are a guarantee to fill theaters.

“The ones that do the best are the family films by far,” Rodriguez said. “Kids are the most loyal audience you'll ever get. They'll see things a million times. They find something they like, they'll watch it over and over and over again.”

In Shorts, which opens Friday, the community of Black Falls is under the thumb of black box technology despot Carbon Black, perfectly played by James Spader, until a wishing rock from outer space saves the day.

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