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Be Kind Rewind

Be Kind Rewind

Director:Michel Gondry
Cast:Jack Black, Mos Def, Danny Glover, Mia Farrow, Melonie Diaz
Release Date:2008

By Michael Byrne | Posted 2/27/2008

Hip white kid object of affection Michel Gondry's previous effort, Science of Sleep, was a failure mostly because it forgot that hip white kids do, in fact, care about things beyond visual gimmickry and pop psychology, such as character and, you know, story. It was painfully self-aware indie eye candy, and Gondry really should have stuck with that steez because his first foray into Hollywood pandering, Be Kind Rewind, is generally unpretty, disjointed schlock. The story's straight out of the Billy Madison playbook: old guy who owns a video store (Danny Glover) in a small town gets threatened by developers and has to come up with the cash to save it. He takes a sabbatical from the store, leaving his employee Mike (Mos Def, wasted here so badly it hurts) in charge. Mike's hapless goofball friend Jerry (Jack Black) gets his body magnetized--don't ask--and erases all the tapes. So the duo remake the movies--mostly New Line Cinema, Be Kind's distributor, movies--themselves in a process known as "sweding," which is pretty funny and lets Black do his thing. And, more importantly, it lets Gondry do his thing with the cutesy DIY set pieces and is really the only time you see the Gondry who won the hearts of hip white kids--but eventually those hip white kids are gonna be pissed.

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