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Be Kind Rewind: Just a Silly Good Time

When I first saw the trailer for Be Kind Rewind, it made me feel all happy and giggly. I had relatively high hopes for the movie itself, thinking it would have that bizarre brand of humor I've come to expect from writer/director Michel Gondry and, satisfyingly, I was right. It's not the funniest film ever, and it's not the best use we've seen of Gondry's hyperactive imagination — it's just a goofy, silly good time.

The premise itself is funny: Mike (Mos Def) works for Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover) at Be Kind Rewind, the video store Mr. Fletcher opened in an old building where Fats Waller reportedly used to live. Mike's friend Jerry (Jack Black), who's a little touched in the head, manages to become magnetized and ends up erasing all the videos in Mr. Fletcher's store. Thus, the two guys — with the help of their charmingly sweet friend Alma — start to "swede" some of the most popular movies in the store, recreating key plot points using the crudest (and most hilarious) of props and special effects. Eventually the whole community starts to help out and business picks up. Yet trouble arises when Mr. Fletcher's building is condemned and everyone needs to figure out how to save him from moving to the projects. That's just the plot, though, so to see what I think of the movie overall,

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While the sweded movies are hilarious, what makes the movie's pulse really beat is the actual feeling between these characters. Mike will defend his weirdo friend Jerry to the death, and he's endearingly loyal to his surrogate father, Mr. Fletcher. The characters in the community seem to care about each other and truly want to be a part of this unique movie-making/video rental experience. Parts of the movie are gimmicky, but the people keep it chugging along nicely.

Of all these people in the movie, Jack Black is a particularly welcome addition. I never thought I'd be so relieved to see Black do his same old overwrought, anxiously energetic, physical comedy thing, but in truth, he sometimes saves the scene. At times, Gondry's humor is too strange or just downright not funny, and Black's easy willingness to play the bumbling fool to the hilt is genuinely refreshing. His slapstick combined with Mos Def's earnestness and Gondry's creativity makes for an hour and a half of goofy fun. The energy of the movie loses much of its steam as it crawls toward the end, but the majority of the film is so engaging, I didn't mind. Bottom line: If you're a fan of Gondry's, it's a must-see, and if not, it's good for some chuckles.

To see a preview for Be Kind Rewind, check out movies.ivillage.com.

Photos courtesy of New Line Cinema


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Nitachequita Nitachequita 8 years
I really enjoyed this movie, although it kind of lost its momentum at the end. There was an annoying girl at my screening who disagreed with Mia Farrow's casting. I overheard her saying to her boyfriend "I mean MIA FARROW? They OBVIOUSLY wanted a black woman for the role. But they couldn't get a black woman. So they got Mia Farrow." To which my response is...WHA HUH?
tundrababe tundrababe 8 years
It's a definite rental. I had really high hopes for the movie, and was disappointed. It had its moments, but they were few and far between. The trailer was great though! It had all the best parts in it.
beingtazim beingtazim 8 years
looks entertaining. also looks like a rental.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 8 years
I can't wait to see this!
ovenmitt ovenmitt 8 years
just got back from it and loved it. but i'm not sure everyone will. when it was over i liked it. five minutes into the car i was really glad we saw it. now i love it.
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 8 years
I heard that this movie was hilarous! I def want to see it now. :)
pinkflats pinkflats 8 years
I have been looking forward to this film since i saw the trailer hit the web for the first time. i'm definitely seeing this film this weekend. before the release date moved to feb 22 from jan. 25, i posted a blog here in Sugar plugging it to my friends to see it. THAT'S how much i'm excited for this film. the film just gives off such a great, positive and heartwarming vibe that you rarely get from other films. i don't think the film is trying too hard to be hip or is prententious. it's just going to be lovely, silly film. and plus Mos Def....
kia kia 8 years
I am really excited to see this movie. Mos Def is my numero uno celebrity crush. I respect the hell out of his intelligence and wicked wit. Meow! Besides, I am a Gondry fan. I wish there were more scenes of the two of them together in Chapelle's Block Party.
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