BE KIND REWIND
Homemade Movies for the Masses
Release Date: February 22, 2008
Starring: Jack Black, Mos Def, Danny
Glover, Mia Farrow, and
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 101 minutes
Distributor: New Line Cinema
Director: Michel Gondry
Executive Producer: Toby Emmerich and Guy Stodel
Producer: Georges Bermann and Julie Fong
Writer: Michel Gondry
Address Comments To:Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne
New Line Cinema
116 North Robertson Blvd., Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: (310) 854-5811
Fax: (310) 354-1824
The movie opens in Passaic, New Jersey, in a rundown section of town. Mr. Fletcher, owner of a rundown video store played by Danny Glover, is telling his employee, Mike (played by Mos Def), about jazz legend Fats Waller, who Fletcher claims was born in the same building instead of in Harlem. Jerry, the neighborhood loon (played by Jack Black) who lives on the street in an RV, is also enthralled by Mr. Fletcher’s stories about Fats.
One week, Mr. Fletcher leaves Mike in charge of the store, telling Mike to keep Jerry out. Mr. Fletcher intends to spy on the nearby big chain to get business tips so he can repair his building and save it from the wrecking ball. Mike gets the message confused and lets Jerry into the store. Jerry convinces Mike to help him sabotage the electric company’s nearby station. When the police appear, however, Mike splits. On his own, Jerry manages to get himself shocked by thousands of volts.
The next day, a magnetized Jerry goes into the store and unintentionally erases all of Mr. Fletcher’s videotapes. Unhappily for Mike, Mr. Fletcher sends his friend, the elderly Miss Falewicz, played by Mia Farrow, to check up on Mike. She demands to rent GHOSTBUSTERS, but Mike convinces her to come back later that night for the tape.
In one afternoon, Mike and Jerry make a silly homemade 20-minute version of the movie, thinking that Miss Falewicz has never seen a science fiction movie, so she probably won’t notice that she’s not seeing the real GHOSTBUSTERS. Her teenage nephew and his gang friends think the movie is a hoot, however, and they demand to rent more movies like it.
Soon, the whole neighborhood is enjoying and laughing at Mike and Jerry’s goofy, but hilarious, remakes of major Hollywood movies, classic movies and even avant garde movies. Mr. Fletcher suddenly returns, with goals of making the video store a modern-day outlet for renting DVDs, but he finds that the customers only want more of Mike and Jerry’s movies.
BE KIND REWIND is not a big budget Hollywood comedy like Jack Black’s previous movies, but it does have some hilarious, endearing moments. Sometimes, however, the scenes of Mike and Jerry making their own movies are funnier and flow better than the movie’s other scenes with the characters. Some of the movie’s funniest bits involve the creative way Mike and Jerry do the special homemade costumes, sets and special effects to re-create big movies like MEN IN BLACK, DRIVING MISS DAISY and ROBOCOP. Also, the movie uses the charming, enthusiastic way that the people in the neighborhood respond to their movies to create some heartwarming, whimsical moments.
The movie includes some infrequent negative content, however, including some foul language, two light sexual references and one somewhat vulgar scene about being with women. Also, Mike has a habit of euphemistically saying “What the duck?” sometimes. Another problem is that the characters do some lying. Thus, although this movie is not as raunchy as other PG-13 comedies, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution, especially for pre-teens.
BE KIND REWIND is not a big budget Hollywood comedy like Jack Black’s previous movies, but it does have some hilarious, endearing moments. The movie includes some infrequent negative content, however, including some foul language, two light sexual references and one vulgar scene about being with women. Also, Mike has a habit of euphemistically saying “What the duck?” sometimes. Thus, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution, especially for pre-teens.