Ken's Review: Be Kind Rewind - The Comedy with Heart
by Ken Evans
February 22, 2008
It isn't very often that I come out the theater from watching a comedy and feel like I took something rewarding away from it. Comedies in recent years don't usually have much of a message. Lately they have been filled with nothing but joke after joke or funny situation after funny situation. I don't have anything against those movies, but it's refreshing to not only laugh but to also be touched by a film as well. That's exactly what Be Kind Rewind is, a comedy with heart.
Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover) owns a VHS rental store that isn't doing very well and is in danger of being taken over by a real estate developer. Deciding to leave for a short time on business, Mr. Fletcher leaves his only employee, Mike (Mos Def), in charge of running the store. While Fletcher is gone, Jerry (Jack Black), Mike's best friend, comes in and unknowingly erases all of the video tapes due to a mishap at the local power station. Unable to replace the videos, Mike and Jerry decide to re-shoot them and try and pass them off as originals. Although no one believes that they are original copies, customers love them and the store starts to turn some real profit. When they realize how much money they are making, they set a goal to try and save the video store.
This is by no means a perfect film. The jokes sometimes fall short and the pacing is never quite right. There were many times that the film felt awkward like the timing was completely off. It does a lot of jumping back and forth between funny and sentimental. I blame the trailer for not preparing the audience for that. The trailer focuses on the sweding of movies and never mentions the fact that they are trying to save the video store from going under.
Putting the pacing and unfunny moments aside, there are still reasons to see Be Kind Rewind. Every time they swede, which is remaking a film that already exists, I laughed and smiled. They swede everything from Driving Miss Daisy to RoboCop to Carrie. You don't always get to see the completed product, most are just small clips, but everything they show you is perfect. The sweded films are so over the top and cheesy, but at the same time clever and exactly the way I would imagine making it with a few friends in my neighborhood. My personal favorites were Ghostbusters, Men in Black and The Lion King.
Jack Black was perfect in this movie. Everyone else that was cast is completely dry in their humor. I prefer dry humor but wouldn't have been able to take a whole movie of it. Jack balances their dry humor by bringing in his outrageous slapstick comedy that he is famous for. There were so many times I was cracking up at his antics or the delivery of certain lines. His version of the Ghostbusters theme song, which can be found in the trailer, is hilarious!
As funny as it is, there are a lot of scenes that make you smile because of how sweet they are. As Black and Def swede movies they start to realize that it is bringing the town together. Slowly they start integrating other people around the neighborhood into their films so that they feel like a part of the movie. I loved how writer/director Michel Gondry was able to use sweding as the catalyst to unite the town and bring them together for a noble cause.
This is stacking up to be a good weekend with movies like Be Kind Rewind, Charlie Bartlett, and Vantage Point. I would say that Be Kind Rewind is a film to see with the family. It's rated PG-13 but for the life of me I can't remember why - I would think it's more of a PG film. If you thought the trailer was good then you should definitely see it, as it's rewarding on many different levels.