A robot goes on the run from the US Army…
There’s a certain set of films from 1980s – The Goonies is another example – which quickly became “family films”: ones that everyone could sit and watch on video together, without it boring the adults, or letting them worry that the kids were going to be exposed to material they shouldn’t watch (or indeed that the adults felt uncomfortable watching with them). There was a safe feeling about them which remains today.
Short Circuit still holds up to a large extent. Okay, the computers, and some of the jargon around them, don’t so much, although they were pretty cutting edge at the time the movie was made (it was released in 1986). Some of the “comedy” language isn’t perhaps as PC as it would be if the film was made today, but the central thrust of the story, and the way director John Badham gets the audience to invest in Number 5 is as effective as it was then.
The new edition has a nice clean print for the Blu-ray transfer, complete with the commentary track from the 2000 Image Entertainment edition (although not the music only track). This has some interesting anecdotes about the movie and the development of the characters, while the contemporary B-roll footage is fascinating, sometimes for the wrong reasons! The trailer shows just how much work has been done on the main feature to restore the picture.
Verdict: Kids who buy into classic Doctor Who and see past the effects to the story will enjoy this, and it’ll be a nostalgia-fest for their parents. 7/10