Saturday, July 12, 2008

Movies: Be Kind Rewind

Michel Gondry, director of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," tends to play with reality. "Be Kind Rewind," his latest effort, is curious in its relative normality. The movie follows a standard Hollywood plot - struggling business has one last chance to make good, and two determined but bumbling friends try to execute the plan.

The struggling business here is an antiquated VHS rental store, and Jack Black and Mos Def play the two bumbling friends. Danny Glover, Mia Farrow, and Melonie Diaz all turn in supporting performances. As the trailer indicates, what begins as a stopgap measure to fool an old lady soon mushrooms into a guerrilla filmmaking phenomenon. The story is heartwarming, I suppose, and the film eschews the usual happy ending with something that's just as hopeful, but perhaps a bit more plausible.

I liked "Be Kind Rewind," but at the same time I don't feel it's worth seeing more than once. For one thing, the movie remakes/parodies aren't as funny as they should be. Some of the low-budget techniques used to replicate expensive special effects are impressive (particularly the "Men In Black" scene), but aside from the initial "Ghostbusters" and "Rush Hour 2" gags, there just isn't much comedy. I would have preferred more ridiculous "errors" and changes rather than impressive low-budget recreations of the originals.

Rating: 6/10


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