"Homemade Movies for the Masses"
BE KIND REWIND is a goofy, sometimes endearing comedy. There is some brief foul language and vulgarity requiring caution, however. Also, some lying and deceit by the characters move the plot along.
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.
(Pa, B, C, Ho, LL, V, S, MM) Light mixed worldview with some immoral pagan elements, some endearing morally uplifting elements and light positive Christian references (such as a Christian pastor is a minor character and references are made to a historical figure’s Christian clergy father), but with no particularly strong moral or theological premise, plus man mentions the word “homosexual” when he fears getting too close to a homeless man that he and his friend have dressed up to play the femme fatal in RUSH HOUR 2, so they decide to use a real woman instead; 13 obscenities (including a few “s” and “h” words), one strong profanity, two light exclamatory profanities, implied vomiting twice, man says “What the duck” a few times, and it is implied that magnetized man is urinating in the streets and movie cuts to a metallic yellowish liquid flowing down the gutter with a few metal parts from cars and a metal spoon going with it; light comic violence with no blood such as firecrackers attached to homemade toy weapons pretend to shoot people in homemade movies, people pretend to be shot dead, comic falling, man gets electrocuted and this causes him to be magnetized, pretend fighting; no depicted sex but three men talk briefly about the idea of being with women and a vulgar term is used for male anatomy, man says a joke about another man “flying solo” (or some phrase like that) to imply auto-eroticism, and lightly implied pretend sex when couple acting in a homemade movie are under a blanket making the blanket move around quickly and when woman in a car in a long-distance shot lifts up her legs, but nothing graphic shown; no nudity; no alcohol; no smoking; and, miscellaneous immoral elements such as lying, deceit, an excuse is made for lying about the past, two young men make low budget special effects of ghosts for their homemade remake of GHOSTBUSTERS, and people use movie fantasy to escape from the hard facts of their rundown city.
BE KIND REWIND stars Jack Black as Jerry, a paranoid young man who lives in a rundown neighborhood in Passaic, New Jersey. Jerry has befriended Mike, a young black man working in a decrepit video store owned by the elderly Mr. Fletcher. Mr. Fletcher leaves Mike in charge for a couple weeks so he can spy on what the big chain DVD stores are doing. Jerry has become magnetized, however, after trying to sabotage the electric company. He inadvertently erases all the videotapes Mr. Fletcher rents. To satisfy an older female customer checking up on Mike for Mr. Fletcher, they make a homemade 20-minute version of GHOSTBUSTERS. The people in the neighborhood love the goofy remake and demand more homemade versions of their favorite films.
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.