4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Be Kind Rewind,
This review is from: Be Kind Rewind (2007) (DVD)
When Elroy Fletcher(Danny Glover), owner of Be Kind Rewind video rental store, goes out of town he leaves Mike (Mos Def) in charge with one rule: Keep Jerry (Jack Black) Out! But when Jerry becomes magnetized trying to sabotage the local electric plant he makes his way into the video store and erases all the video tapes in the store. Finding that none of the local video stores carry video tapes having switched to the more popular DVD, and with customers threatening to call Elroy, Mike and Jerry take matters into their own hands and start recording their own versions of popular movies. Claiming that the versions are imported versions of films from Sweden, their "Sweded" films become popular amongst the citizens of Passaic, New Jersey.
French director Michel Gondry is a very unique director, taking a look at his 2004 masterpiece Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and you can see that this isn't your average director. Having amassed a body of work that doesn't just stop at film (he played the drums on Kanye West's Diamonds From Sierra Leone) Michel Gondry has become something of an underground sensation. He created effects that would eventually be used in high profile films such as The Matrix, and was the first to use morphing technics in a video clip. Put him together with rap phenom, as well as Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actor Mos Def and rock star/ comedian Jack Black and what do you get?...
A great and heartfelt movie that's a love letter to film, an ode to the classic DIY spirit, and a reminder of the importance of history and the ability to change it and make it our own. Written by Michel Gondry based on an idea he got from directing Dave Chappelle's Bloc Party, Be Kind Rewind is a movie that mixes heart with comedy in a fashion that never seems schmaltzy and is very original. And the atmosphere of the movie is infectious, as the duo begin inviting others to help in making the "Sweded" videos you feel drawn in as if you're part of the process. This movie has also sparked something of a revolution, look up Sweded on Youtube and you can find other people Sweded versions of movie and movie trailers.
With actors like Danny Glover and Jack Black you expect a mixture of good acting and well played out comedy in this movie, and in casting Mos Def and Jack Black the casting directors definitely made the right choice. Jack Black is of course Jack Black, which doesn't always work in every role he plays, but here he understates slightly, dialing down his tendencies to overact on occasion. Mos Def, as always, proves masterful playing the straight man to Jack Black's crazy, perfectly filling out the bromance. Of course, you can never count out Danny Glover who is the most tortured soul in the movie as a man set in his ways realizing that he has to change with the times if he wants to keep his business, and he greatly excels at making you feel and understand the emotions of the character.
If the movie fails in one thing, it's at the very beginning. The set up for the grand scheme of the plot is not very well thought out, and a little awkwardly executed. While on paper the idea of Jack Black's character becoming magnetized and demagnetizing every movie in a video store looks great on paper (and does make for a few hilariously great slapstick moments), the execution of him becoming magnetized is even a little too quirky for this quirky comedy and throws off the pacing for a few moments near the early parts of the movie. Gondry quickly gets back on track though, but at the same time the movie feels a little cramped with everything he's trying to throw at you. The movie is filled with a lot of great ideas, and at times it can feel a little cramped with everything that's been put in there.
All in all, I would highly recommend the movie, and this is definitely a movie that takes more than one viewing to fully appreciate it. At a time when everything being cranked out of Hollywood is either a remake, adaptation, or a sequel this ode to originality is definitely a breath of fresh air.