Be Kind Rewind

Film

Comedy

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Mon Feb 18 2008

French celluloid sorcerer Michel Gondry delivers his most playful, accessible and subtextually sparkling slice of bespoke whimsy to date in the follow-up to his stifling 2005 quirk mire, ‘The Science of Sleep’.

This time, he accompanies us on the Capra-esque journey of highly-strung VHS rental shop clerk, Mike (Mos Def) and his skittish, mildly unhinged mechanic buddy Jerry (Jack Black) as they are forced – via myriad helter-skelter plot machinations – to locate the journeyman director deep inside them and remake all the films in the store when they are inadvertently erased. In doing so, they manage to convert the present-day dead-end town of Passaic, New Jersey into a teeming, ramshackle film lot where customised (or ‘Sweded’) versions of ’80s popcorn classics such as ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ are rolled out at a dizzying rate and perform a roaring trade.

On paper, it sounds eccentric, but this is all part of Gondry’s vision. He presents us with a film whose simple structure could have tripped from the tongue of any vacuous pony-tailed studio exec (a community coming together to save a dilapidated video shop? It could only have come from the ’80s!).But Gondry uses this premise to flip open the ribcage of cinema and allow us to peruse its blood, bones and sinew, and really see how they flow, fit and flex into a glorious whole.

The magnitude of Gondry’s visual ingenuity is consistently jaw-dropping: with the aid of some washing machine innards and a white jump suit, he manages to reduce the iconic rotating space station scene from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ to a kind of cinematic primordial ooze, at once presenting the infinite potential of the camera to create, subvert and renew reality while also screaming, ‘Yes, you can do this too!’

Because this is a film in thrall to the fact that we have camera phones, YouTube and iMovie at our fingertips, and that there are people who go out there and make movies – just for the hell of it. But the joyful process of filmmaking is not its sole concern: there’s also a fondness for archaic technology (you could even read it as a clarion call to a generation weened on in-built obsolescence) to the point that CGI is rejected in favour of in-camera effects which lend the film a ragged visual energy comparable to the ’80s classics to which it pays homage.

In the end, though, it’s this total respect for its ironic source material which has enabled Gondry to achieve his greatest coup. In a postmodern rendering of the archetypal ’80s schmaltz finale, the director picks at our heartstrings like a cigar-box banjo, assembling the entire town together to watch Mike and Jerry’s fictitious biopic of local jazz legend Fats Waller in what must be one of the most nakedly romantic salutes to the restorative power of cinema since the ‘montage of kisses’ scene from ‘Cinema Paradiso’. It’s an awesomely simple and powerful moment, echoed by an earlier declamation from Mia Farrow’s doddery Mrs Falewicz as she enjoys one of Mike and Jerry’s remakes: ‘A toast to movies with heart and soul!’ Hear hear!

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Release details

UK release:

Fri Feb 22, 2008

Duration:

100 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Michel Gondry

Screenwriter:

Michel Gondry

Cast:

Jack Black, Mos Def, Mia Farrow, Danny Glover

Editor:

Jeff Buchanan

Cinematography:

Ellen Kuras

Music:

Jean-Michel Bernard

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:17
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:9
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|76
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John Cooper

The Time Out review wins the Oscar for the most pretentious review of the year. This mildly amusing satire on movie-making doesn't get close to the quality of movies like Bowfinger or Ed Wood which are much funnier and much more engaging in terms of plot, character and thematic cohesion. Do not be fooled by the reviewer's use of words like `postmodern` and `visual ingenuity` in an attempt to justify this indulgent jumble of a film with its anti-Hollywood , anti-professional subtext. Basically, the film doesn' work . . . it doesn't engage . it doesn't amuse . . Shallow people won't understand its putative intellectual subtext . . . and intellectual people will be stupified that a film with such a shallow premise ever got made. Just read the comments that this film has elicited . .. apart from the apologist suppport from movie nerds. . . If you haven't seen Johnny Depp in Ed Wood or Steve Martin in Bowfinger, then, rent themboth out instead of wasting your time with this. .

Chad Goodell

A gorgeous, loving film. I was awestruck by the heart & balls Gondry used making this story; it says more about community and self-invention, about the pure, clean joy of narrative construction/destruction than it does about "movies," per se. Gondry's concern seems to be with bringing us back that feeling of community, that ineffable joy watching shadows on the wall and identifying with them, recognizing the bits of ourselves we want to improve and develop in the characters playing onscreen. But I guess some people want another Tropic Thunder. Whatever. If you give this film a chance, you'll be surprised. See it.

Chad Goodell

A gorgeous, loving film. I was awestruck by the heart & balls Gondry used making this story; it says more about community and self-invention, about the pure, clean joy of narrative construction/destruction than it does about "movies," per se. Gondry's concern seems to be with bringing us back that feeling of community, that ineffable joy watching shadows on the wall and identifying with them, recognizing the bits of ourselves we want to improve and develop in the characters playing onscreen. But I guess some people want another Tropic Thunder. Whatever. If you give this film a chance, you'll be surprised. See it.

RobG

Not as good as promised on the cover but interesting and some funny moments (fliming Ghostbusters 2 - hilarious). Schmaltzy too so one for the girlfriend but worth watching - Mos Def steals it.

katherine

watched this in bed last night, was switched off after half an hour it was that bad, will be going in the bin when i get home tonight, what a load of pish

Gubboo

I was waiting for it to get better, it only got worse. :[ BIG disapointment.

corne

This must have been the worst movie I have ever had the pleasure to see. Half way through this film I had suicide thoughts. DO NOT WATCH THIS.

dee n loz

this film was the worst movie we have ever seen in our entire lifes. it was soo borin and if we were you do not go and see it! omg were famous!

adam

omg it waz a mint film lol not likly why would you what to wach a film like this it is so boring i would have saved my money if i knew it was going to be this bad i will never go and see this film ever again

adam

omg it waz a mint film lol not likly why would you what to wach a film like this it is so boring i would have saved my money if i knew it was going to be this bad i will never go and see this film ever again

Rach

Some funny moments but the storyline was a bit strange. Jack Black was brilliant in this.

o d on

clearly jack black has life in him yet this is a classic laugh a second whirlwind of a comedy and thos who find it unfunny are devoid of any sense of humour or 50+ without hearing or sight A MUST see for those jack blac fanatics i loved it keep it up!

o d on

clearly jack black has life in him yet this is a classic laugh a second whirlwind of a comedy and thos who find it unfunny are devoid of any sense of humour or 50+ without hearing or sight A MUST see for those jack blac fanatics i loved it keep it up!

pants

This was the worst film I have EVER seen. Absolute rubbish. Reading the telephone directory would be more interesting.

batwoman

this film is the worst film ive eva seen. i spent more time making out wit my boyfriend than watching the film. go and see BATMAN

Nic

Went to see it with a bunch of friends, who all - without exception - hated it! I thought it was OK, not overly funny (but I did laugh a couple of times). The others absolutely hated it and wished they'd left half way through. If you are looking for Jack Black a la "Holiday" or "Shallow Hal", you'll be disappointed.

michael ward

I really liked it I don't know how people can't laugh as it's a comedy masterpiece my fav bit was the ghostbusters' scene

michael ward

I really liked it I don't know how people can't laugh as it's a comedy masterpiece my fav bit was the ghostbusters' scene

Dave

this film was cheaply made with no real storyline. i wasnt impressed at all. dont waste your time going to see this! didnt make any sense! worst film ive seen in ages.

A

I would not recommend this film to anyone! no story line, wasnt funny absolute RUBBISH! i was tempted to walk out of the cinema!!!!!!!!!! really such a waste of time. a cheap film made for the sake of making a film.

Lauren

It was ok... I took my younger sister to see it thinking it would be funny. It isnt. It is more of a though provoking film I suppose. But wouldnt rate it too highly...

dan

BORING and DULL, i havnt watched a film like this is a while, theres just no proper ending to it. perthetic film!

j

rubbish would be too nice of a description for this film. minimum of 1 star is also too high of a rating

dale

strange movie,mostly mind numbingly poor however some of the classic remakes such as the ghost busters library scene were extremely funny. overall VERY dissapointing.....but watch the vid for the ghostbusters scene

Rachael

This film is amazing. Its sweet, and gently funny. I think people are expecting it to be hilarious - it isnt. Its well acted, well scripted and intlligent - just what you would expect from Gondry.

Rachael

This film is amazing. Its sweet, and gently funny. I think people are expecting it to be hilarious - it isnt. Its well acted, well scripted and intlligent - just what you would expect from Gondry.

moo

this was the worst film i have seen in years, there was not a funny moment in it unless you were 4years old! as a fan of jack black i was truly dissapointed a waste of money wanted to walk out but thought it may have got better

K.T

We wanted to walk out after the first 10 mins, but gave it a chance. 20 Mins was more than enough to cope with the ability to watch crap, dull, unfunny, badly acted. No story line at all.

David

Brilliant, intelligent, hilarious stuff, Gondry is a superb director and this felt like his best film. I can't understand the negative reviews, were we watching the same film?

David

Brilliant, intelligent, hilarious stuff, Gondry is a superb director and this felt like his best film. I can't understand the negative reviews, were we watching the same film?

Connor

Slightly funny at the start, around 20 minute's in i think i could've fallen asleep , too boring , would not recommend! me and my friends were just yawning lol.

bohemian

this is a serioulsy crap film. my friend and i were gonna walk out but we didnt want to wate the money. do not watch this film. 2/10 is too generous. If you watch the film ull know wat i mean.

kia

this fim was absolutly dreadful, no story line terribel acting, misleading trailer what a waste of my well earned money! DONT SEE THIS FILM very disapointed!

daniel d

the worst film i have ever seen, totally stupid, i never write reviews but with this film i had to, because maybe it will stop someone going to see it, cant belive they can produce rubbish like this and expect people to pay for it

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