User Reviews (20)

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  • dark-universe7 December 2004
    Mark Whiting displays his genius in this beautiful snapshot of the seemingly random yet exquisitely balanced universe. He weaves a masterful tale of several characters whose lives become elaborately interwoven by happenstance and comical fate, and then provides a most pleasing resolution that resets our faith in the cosmos. Though only 16 minutes in length, you come away feeling as satiated as you would from a full-length movie. It is apparent that Mark is as comfortable behind the camera as he is at the animation desk. We even get hints of his animation background in the lovely segue with the firefly. Apple Jack is most worthy of 10 stars out of 10! Excellent!!!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In the mass hysteria of the great Martian invasion radio broadcast of 1938, 2 escaped convicts run full circle back to their own fates, delivered to them by an innocent child. Mark Whiting writes and directs a charming story about how the scales of Universal Justice eventually balance themselves out.

    I enjoyed this short film very much. It made me wishing it were feature-length, as I wanted to see the convicts' lives fleshed out even more, while they stumble and argue toward their inevitable fate.

    Whiting did a very interesting thing in this short film: he subtly painted (literally at times) nuances, such as making the night sky its own looming and intriguing character, and creating the overall visuals to look as if they were not only filmed, but illustrated, as in a surreally beautiful fantasy setting.

    It's really great to discover new talent that you know will distinguish themselves... even if that discovery is retroactive, since I already recognize several actors from my other favorite projects. The two idiot convicts are played by Walton Goggins (who currently portrays Detective Shane Vendrell on the FX TV series THE SHIELD) & Sean Bridgers (Al Swerengen's clueless lackey Johnny Burns in HBO's DEADWOOD). Young twin actors Cole & Dylan Sprouse provide the heart of the film, while Gene Dynarski adds the delightful humorous charm.

    If I continue, then I'll just give the whole film away. See it. It makes for a very enjoyable time.
  • Too often, short films are vanity projects, or expensive exercises in personal therapy, of interest to the perpetrator and to no one else. It is the rare short that is intended to entertain as well as communicate. Apple Jack is such a film, a dark, quirky, slyly humorous tale of karmic justice told in a deft sure fashion. Technically assured, polished, faultlessly rhythmic, simply gorgeous visually. Sharply etched performances. A pure gem. Thank you for the treat.
  • The worst thing about this short is that it wasn't accepted to Sundance! A really great short is so hard to come by. "Apple Jack" should go down in history as - what a short film should be. It has all the elementsÂ… an amazingly tight story, solid performances, and phenomenal visuals. "Apple Jack" is a surrealistic journey that's both fun and challenging. Every second of the film is entertaining. The characters are classic, yet very unique. Mark Whiting is truly an inspiration to me. I had the opportunity to see him in action. I've never worked with anyone so passionate and in tune with what they want, the way Mark does. I'll gladly buy a ticket to whatever his next film may be!
  • This is an effort of a man we should keep our eyes on. As Hitchcock started as an art director, so it is with Mark Whiting. His powers of visualization are truly a mazing. This short, even though filmmaking is the collaborative art, can said to be handmade by the filmmaker. All of the great talent of Whiting was brought to bear on the superlative look of this project. The multi-dimensional characters display the masterly direction of the talent. It left me wanting to see more and I am sure we shall surely see it.
  • I happened on this film while in California this past September. Generally, I'm not a fan of the short film format but on my friends insist we decided to go to a nearby short film festival. An admitted snob about cinema I expected nothing from these independents. And that's exactly what I got until this picture came up. Right away I found myself smiling like an idiot while being drawn into its rugged and dreamlike world. The story was charming, humorous and efficiently told. The artistry magnificent. The acting a homage to Hollywood's past. It was as close to a perfect short as I think I've ever seen. It's been a long time since I've seen anything from the States, feature or not, that made me feel this inspired about cinema. Bravo.
  • APPLE JACK is a gem among the myriad of short-films that usually tour the

    international festival circuit. Hopefully, this surprisingly refreshing original will fare better than its typical counterparts, garnering award-nominations across the board. With an ensemble cast that maximizes a contained story with larger than life implications, Whiting's directorial debut combines impressive writing with marvelous artistry.

    Though major story-points pass quickly, Whiting successfully marries complex

    voice-over with backstory and sepia-toned imagery. Visual effects are flawless, seamlessly woven with well-conceived frames. Piece garners high production

    value from minimal locations. Casting couldn't be better. Overall, a masterpiece that's bound to become a cult classic, achieving critical acclaim on multiple fronts.
  • Prepare your retina for a gorgeous work of art. This twisted tale of 'time and precision' hooks you from the very first frame to it's final flicker. Witness a case study of good old-fashioned story telling, meticulously mixed with subtle but effective cutting edge technology. A motion picture marvel that brilliantly reveals the fate of a couple of knuckleheaded cons, a visually challenged farmer and an impeccably perceptive kid on the eve of the biggest UFO scam, ever!

    Beautifully shot, not unlike the best of Hitchcock, this glimmering 'mini-epic' can be visually enjoyed with the audio turned off. The dazzling deft and dexterity of the camera work is so intoxicating, you'll find yourself instantly pulled into a world of profoundly complex relationships. With a highly personal point of view and an intimate eye that embellishes the tiniest details, groundbreaking director- Mark Whiting ignites the imagination while stimulating our sense of wonder. After Lucas and Spielberg, SOMEONE had to be next.

    Keep an eye on this guy.

  • Thought this film had style and integrity. Also good story telling (to cram all that into 15 odd minutes with a begining ,middle and end structure to the story ).Reminded me of the robert mitchum classic "Night Of The Hunter ".Looking forward to seeing more like this .
  • I got this film from my friend Amber, i really like Sci-Fi films, and this is just one of the best ones ive seen, not only is it Sci-Fi but my favorite actors, Dylan and Cole Sprouse are in it! The movie rules, hands down. Onto the review.

    The movie starts off with two criminals escaping from a prison, it moves onto a young boy named Jack Pyne (D+C Sprouse) who lives with his Father in a small house in a very VERY deserted area, next door is an old man who's listening to the radio. Over the radio there are numerous reports of UFO sightings, well the movie continues on and the little boy finds the two criminals, and man does this kid have aim. I dont wanna spoil any of the movie for you, so im leaving it at this.

    The movie is great the acting is awesome, and i just can't say enough good things about this film., The little mask that Jack Pyne wears is so cool, i love it. The movie is just...above words. There's nothing bad about this film, although i wish the swearing were cut down so i could show it to my little brothers, but its all right, ill just cough or something. This is a short review, but only because i can't say enough good things about this film, just incredible. 10/10. PROBABLY THE BEST FILM OF THE YEAR! Lol
  • I've been a fan of short films my entire life. In fact if you grew up watching cartoons (and who didn't?) we were all fans of shorts before we were fans of features. But most live action short films are mercifully just that- short! Rarely does one inspire the way a great film should. This one not only inspires but leaves your thoughts provoked and your heart satisfied. I recently saw Apple Jack at the LA International Short film festival (which is the worlds largest film festival) and was left with a feeling of awe. When I returned home later in the week I was curious to know who won the festival and wasn't surprised in the least to find Apple Jack had won 'best film'.

    This short is so original, so entertaining and left me with such an unusual sense of wonder that it's almost hard to describe the levels it's operating on. I will say this however: If you get a chance to see it, jump! Short films don't get any better than this.
  • What an incredible short film. It has a "Tim Burton" style that draws you into another world. It's like watching an art masterpiece come to life. The story was incredible with all its twist, turns and surprises.

    I can't wait to see a feature film from this director. He definitely has his own style that is unique and very powerful. This is a definite "MUST SEE" short film
  • Being excitedly described to this small gem of a movie, I recently had the opportunity to actually sit down and watch it over the holiday. Not only was this movie extremely entertaining, the characters all different yet so uniquely bound together, the deep running story, more implied than outright stated; the look of the film itself drops you right into that begone era. From the ratty prison film, to the ramshackle cabins of Jack and his neighbor, no detail was spared in the presentation of this film, and it shines from all of its dingy backwood roots. It is funny, justifying, eerie, and exciting all at once, Kudos and applesauce to the highly laudable Mr. Whiting.
  • This film takes you all the way back to the flavor of 19 year old, Orson Welles and his broadcast War Of The Worlds. The undertones are brilliant in this masterpiece. It has so many amazing points that you enjoy watching it a second, third, even fourth time as the information is packed in this journey. This director has what it takes to direct multi-million dollar films with his eyes closed. Especially coming from an artistic background, this director (PRODUCTION DESIGNER OF "THE IRON GIANT") This director will son be making his way onto the front pages of the Hollywood Reporter. Mark my words, this story is shot brilliantly, caringly, not rushed in any way, consistent with colors and imagery, and carefully maintained with some of the best visual effects in the business. The story is VERY STRONG, the music is VERY STRONG, the directing is VERY STRONG, the photography is BRILLIANT, the dialogue is unique and extremely original. I commend this director and look forward to seeing more of his work in the near future. Thank G-D for originality in this day and age. From a true fan!
  • I've heard about this movie for a very long time before I got to see it. Well, finally, at this years LA Short film festival, I got to see it. (Which It got 1st prize at, I might add) It was well worth the wait, and was no less than my expectations. The backdrops are beautiful and help set the mood of the scene perfectly. The story is also very well thought of. Now i'm waiting for the Feature film, which I believe may or may not be released.
  • People, this is an amazing film. From the beautiful opening tiles through to its unexpected climax this film blew me away. Apple Jack has everything a great film should; GREAT story, acting, drama, comedy, tension, twists, design, effects... jesus it was awesome. i've never seen anything like it! Set in the 1940's(?) the director really convinced me that i was there during that fateful October evening. The contrast of characters was brilliant as were the settings. I've never seen a short film have such astounding attention to detail. Every scene is a gem and every shot is a work of art. My wife and I have seen it at least 10 times and every time we find something we never noticed before. I LOVE that in a film.

    The damn thing feels like a feature - so much story and information packed into such a small amount of time and handled so expertly. I'm sorry to gush but this is the best short film i've ever seen. I didn't want it to end which is probley why I keep watching it!

    Folks, this is what a film should be. a visionary film written and directed by a clearly gifted individual who is obviously passionate and obsessive about filmmaking.

  • I can understand the director wanted to appear very clever with little twists in the tale and camera angles but this only added to the boredom and frustration of this slow film. The film relies on old themes and issues already covered by many films before.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Apple Jack" is a 15-minute film from 2003 and the only effort as writer, director and (voice) actor by Mark Whiting. The film is still semi-known today because it features a couple familiar faces, namely the Sprouse Twins (playing only one character this time) and Walton Goggins. But unfortunately they cannot make this script work. It never know where it is going. Is it fantasy? Sci-fi? Comedy? Drama? Family? The consequence is that it delivers in all these areas a bit, but in none of these to a convincing degree. Lets also not forget how little time Whiting had to make this one work. 15 minutes. I am not sure what he was thinking. This is a bloated movie, which is never interesting, even if Goggins elevates the material for sure. I do not recommend the watch.
  • saw this epic little gem at the deep ellum film festival in dallas last week. there it won the 'best short film' and 'best comedy' awards. i guess the highest praise i can heap on this terrific film is that it was different. in a day where most films you see are off the shelf and cookie cuttered this masterpiece pays little reverence to contemporary film-making. it does what films are supposed to do... absorb you, take you away, entertain... ya know? bless this director for having a vision that doesn't kiss the ass of the Hollywood system. bless him for not following a beaten path. and bless him for taking a chance. we more like him.
  • This is an effort of a man we should keep our eyes on. As Hitchcock started as an art director, so it is with Mark Whiting. His powers of visualization are truly a mazing. This short, even though filmmaking is the collaborative art, can said to be handmade by the filmmaker. All of the great talent Whiting was brought to bear on the superlative look of this project. The multi-dimensional characters display the masterly direction of the talent. It left me wanting to see more and I am sure we shall surely see it.