a critiQal film review Be Kind Rewind (2008)

  • DVD
  • Blu-Ray

Plot: When Jerry (Black) unintentionally erases all the tapes in a video store where his best friend Mike (Def) works, he devises a plan to satisfy the store's few loyal customers by re-creating and re-filming every movie they decide to rent.

569 words (Est. Reading Time 2m 50s)

Michel Gondry is known for making bizarre films. His last film, was one of those films where you either appreciated it’s quirky oddities – or you thought the entire film was a waste of time.

So, when Be Kind Rewind hit theaters, I figured I’d better wait for the DVD. Sure, I appreciated – but that doesn’t mean I’m going to like that quirkiness a second time around – especially without Jim Carrey in the lead role.

Finally, however, I managed to snag a copy of the film on DVD and sat down to watch it, expecting something a little weird. The film didn’t disappoint me there…

Jack Black, known for his over-the-top roles (, etc.) has recently started making a real name for himself as an actor by branching out into other genres (his turn in the recent King Kong was a nice change of pace for him), so it seemed a bit odd he’s jumping back into comedy so quickly (this film, plus and all releasing this year).

Still, he does have a knack for creating comical characters who, will so over-the-top as to be ridiculous, manage to outclass anything that other popular comedic idiot, Will Ferrell, has done in years. He doesn’t disappoint in Be Kind Rewind and is a real highlight of the film. Watching him take on classic film roles from Ghostbusters to RoboCop is simply hilarious.

Mos Def has never been that impressive before this (his recent try for the big time, 16 Blocks, was a waste of film), so viewers won’t be expecting much from him going in. He manages to turn in a better role than viewers are used to seeing from him, but it’s still nothing to rave about – and his mumble-speech will have some viewers thanking the rewind button on their remotes.

Even from the trailer, it’s obvious that the plot of Be Kind Rewind is ridiculous. After a freak accident cause Jack Black’s character to become magnetized, he and his video store worker friend Mos Def use a camcorder to “recreate” their own versions of the films – and the video store rentals suddenly go through the roof.

It’s hard for the viewer to wrap their heads around this, as it’s a sure bet that video renters aren’t going to be lining up around the block for a 20 minute video of an obviously low-quality imitation, instead of the movie they were planning on renting.

Plus, it’s rather pathetically obvious this is an independent filmmaker’s way of saying that people really want more independent pictures rather than more sequels (the recent new box office record set by shows how off that is).

Since the notion is so ridiculous, it’s hard for the viewers to get into the rest of the film, despite some rather funny sequences as the duo shoots movie after movie for their clamoring public.

After continuing on this vein for most of the film, the film abruptly takes an unexpected turn, and then ends, going out with a whimper rather than a bang – and leaving a few unanswered questions the audience has to guess at.

Despite some funny sequences, Be Kind Rewind isn’t really worth the time. If someone ends up putting up the movie “reshoots” that are showcased in the film on youtube.com, viewers should take a few minutes and check those out, rather than wading through the whole film for those high points.

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