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.
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?
(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