Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Be Kind Rewind |
Actors: Jack Black, Mos Def, Danny Glover, Mia Farrow, Melonie Diaz
Director: Michel Gondry
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Widescreen/Blu-Ray. PG 13. Starring Jack Black, Mos Def. A small VHS only video store faces foreclosure in a poor community. While watching the store for the owner, a blundering employee's friend accidentally erases all of... more »
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E. A Solinas | MD USA | 04/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"VHS is pretty much dead now, but it has one characteristic that "Be Kind Rewind" revolves around: expose it to magnetism, and it dies.
So you can probably guess what happens in Michel Gondry's fourth movie, and his first foray into all-out comedy. It has some plot holes and a rather bizarre premise, but there's a warm, funny little heart buried in the kooky antics and wild remakes of every movie from "Ghostbusters" to "Lord of the Rings."
Be Kind Rewind is an ancient video store, and supposedly the birthplace of unknown jazz legend Fats Waller. It's also due to be razed for a new block of condos -- so store owner Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover) goes on a scouting trip for a week, leaving his conscientious clerk Mike (Mos Def) in charge.
Unfortunately local weirdo Jerry (Jack Black) tries to destroy a local power plant, because he believes it's controlling his brain. Instead he gets fried, and his body becomes a walking electromagnet -- which they only discover after he's wandered through the store, erasing all the old tapes. Even worse, a regular customer (Mia Farrow) wants "Ghostbusters" by that evening.
So Mike and Jerry hurriedly shoot their OWN version of the movie, with the help of Alma (Melonie Diaz) and soon they find that their "Sweded" movies have a growing fanbase, and they are statewide celebrities. But the demolition deadline is approaching, and Hollywood lawyers are threatening them for copyright infringement -- will the town's new devotion to these quirky "Sweding" moviemakers help them stay?
Michel Gondry's movies are always set in "real life," but with a few drops of the unreal -- memory erasure, waking surrealist dreams, that kind of thing. And even though "Be Kind Rewind" is set in a grimy, shabby New Jersey town, it has the same delightfully unreal quality -- it's a genial buddy comedy where literally anything can happen.
I'll admit, there are some moments that don't entirely work. Note the awkward "this town is a swamp" exchange, and we're expected to allow the plot holes to slide (where did the infringement lawyers go?). And that whole magnetized body fluids thing was just gross.
But despite its flaws, it's somehow a very lovable movie. It's crammed with physical and verbal comedy ("Iloveyou Iloveyou we'relovers kissme!"), ranging from amateur train hijacks to an inept break-in at a DVD rental store. And a merely entertaining movie becomes sidesplitting when our heroes start shooting a ghastly no-budget "Ghostbusters" with fishing rods, tinsel, and bags of goo. This is followed by "Robocop," "2001," "Rush Hour 2," "Driving Miss Daisy" and several others -- all with no budget, borrowed costumes, cardboard sets, and a cast of rank amateurs.
Gondry is obviously having a roaring good time lampooning Hollywood blockbusters. But he also injects some deeper currents into what could have been a one-joke movie -- there's a bittersweet subplot about the possibility of losing the store that has brought a community together. Yeah, it's supposed to tug at the heartstrings, but it really does work -- particularly since the movie rental industry is going belly-up.
One particularly nice touch is that the movie ends -- and is punctuated by -- scenes of a very low-budget, old-looking biopic of Fats Waller. Initially it just seems like another conceit, but it turns out to be very important to the plot.
Black is a delight as the insane Jerry, brimming with manic energy -- in one scene, he encases himself in aluminum foil. Mos Def's Mike is more pleasant and low-key as the responsible boy-next-door type, and Danny Glover is outstanding as the paternal, gravel-voiced Mr. Fletcher. Diaz is also quite solid as a vague love interest/codirector/costar; and keep an eye out for Sigourney Weaver in a small cameo.
Michel Gondry's fourth full-length film is a big-hearted, mildly bittersweet little comedy, with the slightly unreal quality you expect from his films. I want the Sweded "Be Kind Rewind!""
A nice homage to filmmaking.
Puzzle box | Kuwait | 09/22/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I got this film on Blu-ray and decided to review it. Be Kind Rewind was an unusual film directed by Michael Gondry, the French director who made a couple of music videos for artists like Bjork so he has a certain style and visual flair which he also uses in his films, he is very creative and talented and definitely has an eye for a great setup or a memorable scene. The film was about these workers in the local VHS rental store called Be Kind Rewind, one day the local weirdo Jerry played by Jack Black tries to sabotage the small electric company relay station across the way and gets himself magnetised, he manages to wipe all the VHS tapes in the store. This off course causes alot of problems since all the rental tapes are now blank and the store can't operate. The store owner Mr. Flatcher (Danny Glover) went away for a while on a recon mission so it's up to Mike (Mos Def) and Jerry to make a plan so they don't lose their customers. Then Jerry comes up with the ridiculous idea of remaking shorter versions of the flicks with them as the leads, since Mike is desperate to not lose his job or his promise to the store owner he goes along with Jerry's idea. The store is located in a rundown part of the city in Passaic, NJ suggested as the birthplace of "Fats" a legendary jazz musician, the employees also have to save the building and this is where the community joins in and a lot of the locals become extras in the film and it takes off to point the movie lawyers put a stop to proceedings.
During the story the shop itself is under threat of demolition to make way for new apartment blocks. The film had a couple of daft and goofy characters that were engaging and interesting to watch, the film also had a bit of charm while not a laugh riot like some of Jack Black's other films like School of Rock (Widescreen Edition), Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny or Shallow Hal it still is a good film with an original storyline and some great moments the funniest part is probably when they were trying to recreate Driving Mrs. Daisy and no one even remembers that film, I have to admit though the ending was a bit too sappy. The films that both characters were making ended up looking pretty good (O.K. not all of them, some were abit lame) and shows that even average normal people can make something creative with filmmaking techniques and no budgets, I also felt abit nostalgic it reminded me of the time when I use to rent at the video store and it seems like VHS nowadays is the thing of the past and there aren't alot of people who buy or rent VHS anymore not only that but I'm watching this film on Blu-ray which is kind of ironic. The 1080p picture quality on this Blu-ray dvd looks stunning and I found it to be excellent throughout, while being subtle and detailed. The 7.1 DTS HD soundtrack was both subtle and refined and not in your face or loud. It matched the on screen action just as subtly as you would want. Overall the film was great while not the best Jack Black film I've seen it was pretty close and it had a good cast of characters, if you're a big Jack Black fan like myself then you'll definitely enjoy this."
3 1/2 stars. Wildly uneven, inventive, frustrating.
RMurray847 | Albuquerque, NM United States | 02/25/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Here's what I knew when I sat down to watch BE KIND, REWIND. It features Jack Black (not usually known for his subtle work) and Mos Def, who has done some over-the-top but amusing work himself (HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE, 16 BLOCKS). I knew that these two were involved in accidentally erasing all the videos in a rundown old video rental place, and to undo the damage they had done, they set about refilming all the movies.
I expected a loud, slick parody with lots slapstick. What I saw was a film whose tone and pace shifted constantly. It was a surprising film in that it dares to confound expectations at all times. It had some truly funny moments, some quiet moments of surprising depth and some instances where the film almost ground to a halt.
I suppose that knowing it came from Michael Gondry (of ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND and ADAPTATION) should have alerted me that nothing would be conventional about the film. I think I let the presence of Jack Black distract me.
I'm glad I saw the film, and I had a pleasant time doing so. But it's slack pacing and constantly shifting tone did lull me into a drowse from time to time. This film will not do well at the box office, but it's also the sort of film that will develop a small but fevered cult-lite following.
Mos Def works at the store named BE KIND REWIND, run by the kindly Danny Glover. The main thing this incredibly run down store in a run-down section of Passaic, NJ has going for it is the fact that this is the building in which Fats Waller was born many decades ago. Mos and his friend Jack Black have listened to stories about Waller for years, and so they feel a dedication to keeping the store going and they feel an obligation to the poor and downtrodden denizens of their neighborhood. (We simply have to accept that none of these folks is yet clamoring for a DVD player.) So when Jack Black (a conspiracy-theory nut who runs a really shabby mechanics shop and lives in a trailer) becomes magnetized (don't ask) and erases all the videos...it's panic time for these two. Glover is away for a few days, and has left Def in charge. So these two "brain trusts" come up with idea of recreating all the films, one at a time, in the hopes of not being caught for their irresponsibility.
They first take on GHOSTBUSTERS, and the clever manner in which they recreate scenes from this film on a literally zero budget (and take on many of the roles themselves) is pretty darn priceless. The biggest laughs of the movie, by far, come in these re-creations. Later they take on RUSH HOUR 2.
No one in the neighborhood is tricked by these films...but the two auteurs inadvertently create a demand for these 20 minute, no-budget renditions, and they start a little business recreating films on demand. They get several different movies in production at once, so we see DRIVING MISS DAISY, MEN IN BLACK and KING KONG (among others), all being recreated in a junkyard. The methods they come up with to re-create beloved scenes are inspired in their lunacy (and serve as excellent reminders about how so much of filmmaking is the right camera angle!).
The film also tries to become a somber meditation on this neighborhood, and the value of preserving it. The building is set for rehabilitation by the city, and Glover must grapple with his impending loss. The city officials aren't really painted as "bad guys"...and no one is really saying the city doesn't deserve a rehab. It's just more about the way that the old must give in to the new, and how sometimes the old wasn't all it was cracked up to be anyway.
There are more plot twists towards the end, and eventually the film, which is pretty lightweight, is weighed down by a sense of sadness. While I'm okay with sadness permeating a "comedy" (see DARJEELING LIMITED, for example)...the sadness in this case translate into a film that nearly grinds to a halt...everyone just moves slower and looks droopy.
The script is certainly part of the problem. Gondry was clearly shooting for whimsical...but the scenes of re-filming movies are too close to parody for the whimsy to really work. And the two leads are also a problem. Jack Black is trying to reign in his natural tendency to be antic, to ground himself more in reality...yet the script wants him to be a nut. Mos Def, who comes across as more naturalistic, has a mumbling or diction problem that makes him hard to understand at times, and makes him vaguely annoying. Glover is doing his "sad old man" bit again, and Mia Farrow shows up to do her "slightly wacky old lady" thing. Sigourney Weaver shows us to do a tiny cameo, and her star presence is completely wasted.
There are many things to admire and laugh at in BE KIND, REWIND. By the same token, there is much to fault. It's amazing how such a quiet movie could be so WILDLY uneven.
Keep Jerry Out
David A. Smith | Webberville, Mi, USA | 08/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was funny & Heartwarming at the same time. Jack Black & Mos Deff Make a great team in this hilarious movie about a video store own trying to save his shop. i recomend this movie to everyone."