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  Publicity Stills of "Be Kind Rewind"
(Courtesy from Shaw)

Director: Michel Gondry
Cast: Jack Black, Mos Def, Danny Glover, Mia Farrow, Melonie Diaz, Arjay Smith, Paul Dinello, Marcus Carl Franklin, P.J. Byrne, Chandler Parker
RunTime: 1 hr 34 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: PG (Some sexual references)
Official Website: www.bekindmovie.com

Opening Day: 20 March 2008


In Be Kind, Rewind , Jerry (Jack Black) accidentally erases all the movies in his friend's video store. In order to keep the store's one loyal customer, an elderly lady with signs of dementia, the pair re-creates a long line of films using home made props including "The Lion King," "Rush Hour," "Back to the Future" and "Robocop." This sparks off a cult following throughout the city to rent their unconventional remakes.

Movie Review:

What makes a 5-star movie? In the business of giving opinions, and movie-reviewing accordingly, much is subjective. One can only look at the execution in delivering the message of the movie, and rate the movie amongst its genre peers. On this score, Be Kind Rewind makes an early entry in your reviewer's top ten 2008 movies.

The movie wears its heart on its sleeve. The title referred to the common refrain found in VHS tapes, exhorting users to rewind the tape before returning them to the rental store. And we know this story is going to be nostalgic, and it will try to remind you of a time when special effects involved frames and wires, when movie-making was fun and amateurish, and when there was no pressure to make movies about social/environmental issues and the war in Iraq.

Michel Gondry, the director of music videos for Bjork, The Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, The White Stripes and Radiohead; the director of vodka advertisements, Levi's and Gap; the director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the Science of Sleep (whew!) cannot go wrong in my book. In this quirky, energetic and self-conscious project, Gondry is spot-on in his delivery as well.

Much has been said about the ex-Nacho Libre, but Mos Def most definitely carries the show in this one. Mos Def is the big-hearted Mike, and together with Jack Black's paranoid Jerry, the duo re-enacts some of the most clichéd scenes in the movie business, taking the audience on a wild ride through junkyards and libraries alike. Caught up in the frenzy of activities are Melanie Diaz, Danny Glover and Mia Farrow, who all put in affective performances.
No, this movie is not particularly funny. There are laugh-out-loud scenes as good as any Jack Black is going to give, but the joke is on us. In the last 5 minutes of the movie, a strange thing happens. The discordance of earlier madcap adventures by Jerry and Mike are soon forgotten - a form of psychosis gripped critic and companion alike - and soon sniffling is echoed in our little preview theater.

This little movie had managed to tug at the collective nostalgia of the audience, and some of us remembered why we like the movies in the first place. Was it wonderment, or some form of bewilderment at the fantastical scenarios we will never find ourselves in? Or was it the embryonic dark room and the popcorn in hand? Do we lose something when we no longer appreciate the magic of cinema?

Movie Rating:

(Even if you do not like the movie, some critics panned the movie as incoherent and box office takings were disappointing in the US, remember, somewhere, there would be a community of movie-goers who appreciate movies that you don't. To the indie moviemakers out there, don't fret, you are loved.)

Review by Tyler Lim


. Nacho Libre (2006)

. Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (2006)

. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

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