Be Kind Rewind Reviews
Jack Black is marvelous, as are the rest of the cast, who make the "sweded" movies so much fun to watch! It makes you want to live in this Passaic neighborhood, where there is no hate and viciousness and everybody knows and trusts everybody else. What a wonderful, funny, warm and fuzzy film!
Ironic that this movie is on DVD.
The film begins in a relatively crappy looking part of Jersey, where Lethal Weapon's Roger Murtaugh has finally retired and opened up a VHS rental shop. Murtaugh, being the oldschool motherfucker that he is, refuses to rent DVDs and that leads to his company bleeding cash, and threats of getting shut down so the city can gentrify the building it's all located in, despite its historic past. Murtaugh goes to check out some DVD shops, and figure out how to modernize his shop, leaving his young employee, Mos Def, in charge.
Now, Mos Def, being the chill dude that he is, is buddies with Jack Black; despite Black being a tinfoil hat conspiracy type guy, living in a nearby trailer, in this film. Well, due to his nutty personality, Black tries to sabotage an electric substation nearby that he thinks is controlling his thoughts, in the process magnetizing himself. The next day, when he gets to the video store, his magnetized self erases every single tape inside the shop.
By now, customers have started coming into the shop, with one in particular asking for a copy of Ghostbusters (good choice). Mos Def, thinking fast, decides to film the movie with Black using props they have lying around, and basic special effects. They finish the film just in time, just as another customer comes in requesting Rush Hour 2. The effect is repeated over and over as people begin hearing about the films, and start to refer to them as "Sweded" versions, and the little shop begins to make more money than it ever did before. That is, until the MPAA hears about it.
Charm goes a long way within a film, and this example from director Michel Gondry is absolutely brimming with it. It's the underdog story of the dog under the underdog, and I found myself instantly rooting for the characters, and literally moved by their impassioned attempts to keep their community happy based on their encyclopedic knowledge of film. This is, in a way, a filmmakers ballad to the craft, and it really shines through and gives the viewer a lot of appreciation for the hard work it takes to make a movie.
The film has nothing fantastic in the way of cinematography, just your typical comedy style vibrant color scheme, and regular shots (although there are some great artifacts on the Sweded style films). The music and sound are everything you expect in a film like this, and I can't really remember a stand out song/theme. The film is often classified as a comedy, but it's not one that tries to be funny all the time, opting to add heart, and let the ridiculous situations the two main characters find themselves in to be the source of the laughs.
TL;DR - 8/10
I came into this movie not really expecting much. I actually saw it in theatres because, if I remember correctly, there just wasn't much else to see at the time. When I walked out of the movie theatre, I was elated, and from the impression I got off the half-full cinema, so were most of the other people there. The film won't find itself on any top 100 comedy lists, because it never aimed to be one. It won't find itself on any drama lists either. Hell, because it's kind of a weird movie, you probably won't see it on a list at all. But fuck all that, this movie deserves to be seen by anyone who likes films, and doesn't mind having a couple laughs while watching a movie about making them.