Be Kind Rewind

Be Kind Rewind

Dir. Michel Gondry Writ. Michel Gondry Star. Jack Black, Mos Def, Danny Glover, and Melonie Diaz

Pretty good, I’ll say that. I wouldn’t spend my last seven bucks on it, but it’s good for a Sunday afternoon.

Let’s get Gondry out of the way. He does need Kaufman for a whole, cohesive script. Be Kind Rewind’s plot had some of the same flare as Eternal Sunshine. Still, there was some pretty glaring plot holes.

I read some reviews for Be Kind Rewind before I saw it, and I have to agree with their major plot critique on Jack Black being magnetized. I can understand Gondry wanting a magical element to the film, but it was wholly unnecessary, implausible, and confusing. A swarm of bees destroying the videos would have made more sense.

Also, I’m a little confused about Mos Def. Maybe he needs a little more experience as an actor. Maybe his character, Mike, was supposed to be a little slow, a little challenged. There could have been more of the romance between Mos Def and Diaz too.

Complaints aside, it was a good film. It was especially visually pleasing. It has the raw, gritty romanticized feel of Eternal Sunshine. It’s worth seeing for that alone. Plus, it’s funny.

The “Sweden”ed (remake) films were the highlight of the movie. Jack Black brought out his A game for Rush Hour 2 and Driving Miss Daisy.

Anyone who has made a bad home movie will probably get a kick out of Be Kind Rewind.



4 responses to “Be Kind Rewind

  • Nathan

    I’ve read a lot of criticisms of this movie regarding the magnetic Jack Black and the sloppy script and other such things. When I watched it, I really didn’t care if it “made sense.” Usually I do care about that, but this movie, and Michel Gondry’s work in general, is so dream-like and creative that I think it needs a very different set of criteria than basically anything else in theatres. I don’t know what the criteria would be…but when I watched this movie, I felt amazed and amused and affected in each individual moment. And the ending of the movie shows, in a very powerful way, why anyone would want to make art in the first place. If a movie can so beautifully illuminate subject matter like that, even if I’m the only one who finds it illuminating, then any complaints become subordinate.

  • max not logged in

    I don’t mean to nitpick, but don’t you think Gondry could have found another way for the films to be erased?

    How would you compare Be Kind Rewind to Gondry’s other works?

    I’ll agree there was something special, something different about how he illuminated the neighborhood.

    I really liked Be Kind Rewind. The best analogy I can come up with is one of either a high school or college professor that knows a student. Though I liked the movie and I find it to be a lot better than most of it contemporaries, I know what Gondry can do. He can make a good film so I’m less inclined to “give him good marks” for sloppy mistakes he should have known better then to make. I hold him to a higher standard because I respect him. It may come off as highly arrogant as I am merely a college student eating spicy cheetos instead of regular meals and Gondry is a proven success, but I’ll call it how I see it: He could have done better.

    It was fun and at moments spectacular. It was a lot better than most juvenile comedies I’ve seen over the last year. Still, I’m convinced that Gondry could have made a more cohesive film.

  • robfunk

    Nathan, glad you finally posted and didn’t keep your discontent to yourself… as for Be Kind, Rewind, I can’t say much because I haven’t seen it…

  • Nathan

    I’m sure the tapes could have been erased another way, but I don’t see what’s so bad about the way it is. The movie didn’t seem particularly grounded in reality, or interested in being plausible. Instead it seemed like a celebration of personal movie-making and being part of a community, and it celebrated in a way that was funny, fun to watch, and (probably) fun to make. Why would it be better if it were plausible?
    In regard to Gondry’s other work, I guess I would say this is more similar to his music videos than his movies (though I haven’t seen Human Nature). What I mean is that the characters in his other movies seemed quite plausible and relatable, even though the surrounding events are totally bizarre and dream-like. I feel like I have met people like the characters in Eternal Sunshine and I feel like I’m similar to the character in The Science of Sleep. His videos, on the other hand, seem more about ideas than specific people, and the characters are as weird and unrealistic as the world around them. I felt the same way about Be Kind Rewind. I’ve never met people like those characters. They aren’t grounded in reality, and neither is anything else. I’m fine with that and focus on the truth of the ideas and how they are presented. I thought the ideas were beautiful, and the slightly shaggy presentation was appropriate and ultimately more satisfying. The ending was left open in a lot of ways, and the movie seemed to be about possibilities. The script presented possibilites without concluding them (such as the romance), and that extends the movie far past its running-time.

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