Be Kind Rewind

Posted by Abbie on February 27, 2008 under Achive

When I went into this movie, I was not in a good mood. Though I wanted to see the film, I just wasn’t really in a movie mood. But, I thought, what’s better for feeling crappy than a good portion of the hilarious Jack Black? Well, I didn’t get the exact brand of Jack Black-ness I was expecting, but I still left the cinema feeling much better than when I came in.

Be Kind Rewind claims to be about two guys who remake all of the films in a small video store when all of the VHS tapes are erased. While this is not untrue, the more important plot is that of the struggling working class community that comes together as an unexpected result. Jerry (Jack Black) is eccentric, lives in a junkyard, and believes the nearby power plant is controlling his brain. Within the first 15 minutes of the film, he decides to combat the plant by sabotaging it. The plan predictably goes awry, and Jerry’s brain becomes magnetized. While that particular part is just silly and makes no sense, Jerry’s magnetized brain is really just the MacGuffin for the rest of the film. Mos Def plays Mike, who operates the video store, and together with Jerry and the hastily recruited Alma (Melonie Diaz), remakes Ghostbusters for an elderly customer. As the trio is forced to remake more films, they begin to catch on within the community.

Jack Black, as I said, is not funny in the way that I expected him to be; but that’s not to say he’s not funny. His character is eccentric, but also very serious about what he believes. Black plays the character well, and it’s the seriousness about ludicrous ideas that makes him so hilarious in this film. Mos Def, however, is truly triumphant in this film. He portrays the character of Mike flawlessly. He is awkward, he stutters sometimes, and is a bit mush-mouthed, but all of this is believable and endearing. His inarticulation works for him in much the same way it worked for Marlon Brando in his early years.

Be Kind Rewind also offers cameos and bit parts of big Hollywood names. Danny Glover plays Mr. Fletcher, the actual owner of the store who is absent for most of the film. Mia Farrow is the cantankerous Miss Falewicz, for whom the initial ‘sweded’ Ghostbusters was made for, and Sigourney Weaver plays a Hollywood lawyer with screen time of about 3 minutes.

In the end of the film the entire community comes together to celebrate Jerry, Mike and Alma’s creativity and their common heritage despite the fact that their neighbourhood is run-down, poor, and scheduled to be torn down. Be Kind Rewind definitely delivers as a comedy, but it’s also got heart.


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