Be Kind Rewind
Wondertwin powers … Activate! Form of – Jiffy Pop!

Theatrical Release Date: 02/22/2008
Director: Michel Gondry
Cast: Jack Black, Mos Def, Danny Glover, Mia Farrow, Melonie Diaz

Ahh, the good old days; when you drove down to the local video store, found a movie and popped it into your state of the art VHS VCR. These days, a movie is just a mouse click away and while there are still brick and mortar stores doling out films, their days are numbered.

And with the advent of the DVD, those pesky warnings about placing magnetic fields near your films are no longer needed. Now, you just need to make sure not to use the business end of the disc as a coaster and to keep your children’s grubby little hands off of them.

But what if your VHS collection had been erased? Would you go out and replace it with another standard version – or would you prefer two comedians give you a slimmed down, fresh take on that “new classic”. That’s the hook in Michel Gondry’s “Be Kind Rewind” starring Jack Black and Mos Def.

I know what you’re thinking. Jack Black and Mos Def in a Michel Gondry film about remaking classic films? That has to be the funniest film of the year, right? Well, you should know that their “re-imaginings” take up about 15 minutes of the film. The largest portion of which comes in a very creatively blocked scene that is a semi-montage more than anything else.

That’s not to say this film isn’t worth watching. The underlying story is that the town video store (yes, VHS tapes) is about to be repossessed and demolished for some new condos. Black and Def take it upon themselves to galvanize the community and raise the funds necessary to save the shop.

The performances all around are fine. I’ve seen better from most of them but it’s nothing terrible. Actually, if there’s one standout, it’s Melonie Diaz. As the third part of their effort, she brings a real connection for the audience and helps keep the entire film from being too myopic.

There’s really not much to say here. The film is not nearly as deep as “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and it’s not as funny as “The School of Rock” or “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. However, it’s decent and if you are a fan of any of the involved parties, then this is worth a rent when it hits the DVD … excuse me … video shelves. I’m giving “Be Kind Rewind” a 3 out of 5. I expected more but I’ve definitely seen worse.