Be Kind Rewind (2008)

be kind rewindIMDb

This is one of those movies that people either passionately love or passionately hate. I fall into the former category, because I love Jack Black and am able to suspend belief on some of the wackier plot points in this movie. Be Kind Rewind is a lot of fun. It also has a genuinely sweet ending, which stands out against all the bittersweet and ironic heavy endings that have been in vogue for awhile.

I will admit that this movie is different than I thought it would be. The trailers made it seem like pure comedy. I rented it expecting nothing but Jack Black and Mos Def creating low budget remakes of their favorite movies. There is a lot of this, but the plot has so much more going on. At its heart Be Kind Rewind is a love letter to the movies and hometown pride. What starts as a way for Black and Def’s characters to stay out of trouble, becomes a phenomenon in their community. Everyone bonds over the shared experience of watching movies, and eventually comes together to create a movie of their own.

This film does has some great comedic moments, most of which involve the cast reshooting, or “sweding,” movies. The best (and longest) montage of this involves the guys filming Ghostbusters in their local library. I’m embarrassed to say that I had not seen this Bill Murray classic the first time I watched Be Kind. While I found these scenes comical, they are even more hysterical having finally watched Ghostbusters. I also enjoyed seeing the character’s ingenuity when taking on films like Rush Hour and Men in Black, and when making their own biopic of jazz musician Fats Waller.

Rating: A-

This is another of the ‘terrible’ film birthday presents my friends got me last week. This is nowhere near the train wreck that Battlefield Earth was, but it is not a great film.

The film stars Jack Black and Mos Def as two video shop workers who are running the store while their manager (Danny Glover) is away. A mishap with Jack Black wipes all of the tapes in the store so they have nothing to rent. In order to keep the store in business, they attempt to recreate films themselves and pass them off as the real thing.

This film has it’s moments, seeing some classic films reinterpreted by Jack Black is pretty funny, but this film is a one trick pony. The first few films they film are quite funny, but then as the film goes on, it gets boring. I liked when they recreated films like Ghostbusters or Rush Hour. I’m really surprised that there wasn’t an uproar from the Asian community the way Black played the Jackie Chan role in Rush Hour.

This film has it’s moments, but it’s really just one joke told over and over throughout the film. The first few times, it’s very funny but it gets old pretty quickly.

Rating: C-

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