Be Kind Rewind

March 3, 2008
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When I went to see the movie Be Kind Rewind, I was not sure what kind of movie it would be. Writer and director Michael Gondry has a wide range of works, which include the bittersweet drama Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the erratic romantic comedy The Science of Sleep and many music videos, such as the video for the song “Fell in Love with a Girl” by the White Stripes. The only common denominators between his works are eccentric randomness and pleasant visual effects that use methods like stop-motion animation rather than CGI.

As I should have expected, considering the movie stars Jack Black, it ended up being a rather silly movie that brings laughs, but not much else. It takes place in an urban town in New Jersey that is rundown but fixed on traditions and old ways, and the biggest evidence of this is the vintage video store called Be Kind Rewind that becomes the topic of the film. This store is one of the only remaining VHS stores that has not switched over to DVDs. When Jack Black accidentally becomes magnetized by trying to sneak into a power plant, he erases all the videos. Once customers start coming and asking for movies, he and costar Mos Def only have one option to keep the store in business: remake all the videos themselves.

As a result, the film offers many scenes featuring creative imagery devices and clever spoofing dialogue while Mos Def and Jack Black are filming their versions of the videos. They remake such recognizable movies as Ghostbusters, Rush Hour Two, Driving Miss Daisy and 2001: Space Odyssey. Jack Black uses his regular comedic methods to bring laughter.
However, when this concept gets old and the movie begins to work its way back into a legitimate plot with a moral, solid ending and a romantic subplot, it begins to get slow and the audience starts to lose interest. Also, poor acting jobs by most of the cast besides Jack Black, especially by Mos Def, bring the movie even further down. Finally, this movie does not contain any of the heart or substance that Michael Gondry’s previous works all have, which makes this movie just a hollow comedy. In conclusion, although this movie is indisputably funny, it does not have enough juice to keep it going once the laughs stop.





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