|Page 1 of 23:||          |
|Index||225 reviews in total|
114 out of 167 people found the following review useful:
Fun film, though script is lacking, 25 February 2008
Author: mrtimlarabee from United States
Michel Gondry is a very talented filmmaker especially when it comes to
visuals. His music videos and films go beyond simple video marvels into
a world of simple visual trickery. This is something Gondry is very
good at. Furthermore, he has a do it yourself mantra when it comes to
filmaking. He's not into the marvels of CGI. He's more into what you
can do without it.
But it takes a little more than visual trickery to make a film a success. Be Kind Rewind is a prime example. The film starts off well enough. Mos Def helps run a video store owned by Danny Glover's character. The store is probably one of the last remaining stores catering to VHS. Jack Black is Mos Def's left of center friend who works at an electrical plant. Through some plan to sabotage the plant, he becomes magnetic, erasing all the tapes.
Our heroes are forced to re-record the movies and do it through a process called "sweding," producing 10-15 minute versions of the film, using a wide array of do it yourself techniques that Gondry himself has utilized in his work. An example is a simple trick where filming through a fan makes the film look old. All of this is fun. The way the guys try to truncate the film's stories into a little time or their lack of knowledge regarding some films like Driving Miss Daisy. the crude effects are fun and are prime examples of why we love Michel Gondry.
The downside to the film is the script, penned by Gondry. Clearly, the film is built around the sweded films. But I was starting to think that watching the sweded films would've been more fun than watching Be Kind Rewind itself. Gondry never fully fleshes out his characters or resolves some of the subplots. The visuals are fun, but when Gondry's forced to wrap up the movie, it becomes a little sporadic and we start to realize the the film doesn't go much beyond its rich concept.
There is something great to take away from this film. And while I have some reservations about the film, my recommendation for the film is based on Gondry's filmaking vision. That is to say, there is clearly a joy of filmaking associated with Gondry that will have me continue to look forward to his work. If you're not sure what I mean, take a look at his promotional materials or at his other short films. The man loves filmaking and has fun with this movie. However, I'd recommend he build an alliance with some good screenwriters that would help his visions become fully realized, and not just good natured diversions, as this film is.
143 out of 234 people found the following review useful:
Funny and endearing movie from Gondry, 21 January 2008
Author: (firstname.lastname@example.org) from London, England
The trailer really said it all about this film, and the film delivers
everything it promises! What a great concept and how great a story we
got from Gondry this time. Very accessible (unlike Science of Sleep)
and entertaining from beginning to end. Jack Black and Mos Def play
their parts well and the aforementioned is actually funny in this one,
unlike a lot of his recent work. At the core of it all, Be Kind Rewind
tells a great story about how you don't really need high-tech equipment
to make movies. Who needs film-school when you've got your friends and
a cheap camera?
I really enjoyed this film.
95 out of 145 people found the following review useful:
Lovely, charming, original and not too sweet, 22 February 2008
Author: shomethemovie from United States
I missed this film at Sundance, caught it as soon as possible, and I
wasn't disappointed. Despite being privy to the exhaustive fine-tuning
of an indie film with an improvised feel, watching "Be Kind" I could
absolutely believe it came together as quickly and spontaneously as the
snippets of "sweded" films. This was part of its charm and I think
All the actors were engaging, and genuine heartfelt emotion - most definitely by the surprising, naturally pitch-perfect Mos Def - transcended the dialog, plot points and general wackiness.
The Fats Waller thread was just random enough and very skillfully and satisfyingly woven into the story from beginning to end. This and many other details - including touches like lovely Mia Farrow's curiosity about supernatural films and Sigourney Weaver's brief take-charge turn - convinced me that Gondry put quite a bit of thought and skill into perfecting the film's endearing awkwardness. It might not be to everybody's taste, but I think it was a great idea, executed and seasoned just right.
87 out of 143 people found the following review useful:
Skillfully Directed, Decent Acting, and A lot of Fun, 22 February 2008
Author: sUrf_wAX_AMeRica55 from United States
OK let me start off saying that i loved Eternal Sunshine and had pretty high hopes for this film. Michael Gondry did a more than exceptional job to capture the tone of this film which i'll describe as old-school, and scraggly. Jack Black once again played the same part he usually does just a funny weird dude, Mos Def did a real nice job a lot better than I expected after seeing him in Hitchikers Guide to The Galaxy. Danny Glover was really great. But the thing I loved about this film is that it was so different from the usual cliché comedy. The movie does have some flaws but what the heck, just go see it and relax. Its not supposed to be a Citezen Kane. Overall the film was real fun and actually a little touching, so go see it. I recommend it for sure. Real Fun!!
39 out of 53 people found the following review useful:
An Excellent Tribute To The Video Cassette Generation and Film-making, 5 September 2008
Author: Chrysanthepop from Fraggle Rock
'Be Kind Rewind' has already become one of my favourite films of the
year. It's funny. It's charming. It's nostalgic. It's awkward. It's
unique and it's moving. The entrance of DVDs to our lives have lead to
the rapid extinction of video cassettes but does one remember the days
of renting, collecting and watching those big tapes? Rewinding them and
forwarding them? Something small but one that I find fascinating. While
'Be Kind Rewind' pays respect to that generation, it's also a wonderful
tribute to film-making in general. All the classic movies and
blockbusters this film refers to are some of the most memorable movies
that played during the VHS days and, in a way, 'Be Kind Rewind' is a
superb homage to those films. Just watch all the sweded 'refilming' of,
for example, 'Driving Miss Daisy' with Danny Glover and Mia Farrow,
'Ghostbusters' and 'Rush Hour 2' with Jack Black and Mos Def...and so
many more hilarious surprises. 'Be Kind Rewind' also explores what it
is about cinema that fascinate the ordinary man.
Gondry's writing is just as great as his direction. Everything fits together excellently. The comedy and drama blend smoothly. Michel Gondry's screenplay is impeccable. The dialogues are laugh out loud and never out of place. The characters are genuinely heartwarming, goofy and lovable.
The performances are heartfelt and fantastic. A wacky Jack Black, an endearing Mia Farrow (who's a science fiction fan), a very impressive Mos Def (I was very impressed by his comic timing), a humbly naive Danny Glover, a vivacious Melonie Diaz, Sigourney Weaver as an inspector in charge (with a touch of comedy) and many more talented actors make a terrific ensemble.
Gondry has tackled a lot of themes like a strong sense of community, people's love for movies, people being accustomed to old technology (as a result to which they sometimes have difficulty moving on to more updated sources), reviving loved artists who have vanished into oblivion and the overall sense of doing something great together (like the last movie on Fat Waller's life). He tells the story skillfully. I liked that it ended on a bittersweet note but somewhat ambiguously. I was having so much fun and laughing out loud so many times that I didn't even care if it bothered other people.
Many people seem to have trashed this movie because it wasn't like 'Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind'. I'd like to tell those people to get over it. How can people even begin to compare too totally different films and then call one of them trash for not being like the other? I love both movies and to me, with 'Be Kind Rewind' Gondry proves to be a versatile director and my appreciation for him as a filmmaker has only increased.
57 out of 89 people found the following review useful:
Gondry lays out another visual feast, 26 February 2008
Author: come2whereimfrom from United Kingdom
This is the latest brainchild of Michel Gondry the one time video maker turned director of 'Eternal Sunshine..' and 'The Science of Sleep' and once again there's a visual feast on offer. On many levels this is just a clever comedy but on many others its much more than that, it is a homage to film-making as a whole, the death of artistry in the face of technology, the sense of community that cinemas can bring in a world where cinema is struggling against the internet and apathy. Jack Black and Mos Def play at odds friends who have an outlet running the local video store 'Be Kind Rewind', with the huge DVD emporium down the road the business is struggling and in danger of being pulled down to make way for condos. After a freak accident wipes all the tapes in the shop the pair decide to remake all the films rather than get caught and lose the shop and this then is where Gondry et al step up to the mark and let their imaginations run wild with hilarious consequences. The first film they make is 'Ghostbusters' and it sets the premises of what is to come as they do their own versions of 'Robocop, Lion King, Rush Hour 2 and Men in Black to name but a few. Black and Def play off each other really well but it's the ingenuity in the sets and lo-fi costumes that make all these little twenty minute 'Swedes' (The tapes are described as having come from Sweden as an excuse for higher rental fees and longer wait times) brilliantly funny. They are even available to watch online and you're also encouraged to make your own! The story is for want of a better word silly and my only criticism I have is that Gondry tends to be too whimsical and over idealistic at times but that said he is portraying a fantasy world where he can play like a child with bits of old rubbish and sticky back plastic and come up with stunning arty creations that shine on screen. With so much subject matter to work with Gondry picks films that he is sure most people will have seen, although I hadn't seen 'Rush Hour 2' and so struggled to find all of that section funny, so on the off chance you haven't seen any of the films being Sweded you may wonder what the hell is going on. Be Kind.. is not a new story or even a new idea but it has new things to say about the state of the industry, copyright law and ownership that hide subtly below the comedy and it is so full of visual ideas it's a film you could quite easily watch again. Not as dark as 'Eternal Sunshine' and slightly better than 'Science of Sleep' Gondry is proving he can do aesthetically great lo-fi films without the lure of CGI or the Hollywood big budget. Like the war between VHS tapes and DVDs Gondry is taking on the big boys and coming out relatively unscathed.
53 out of 86 people found the following review useful:
The Purple Rose of Passaic, 2 March 2008
Michel Gondry's new film is NO "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind",
but it's better than "The Science of Sleep" and doesn't deserve the
negative reviews it's been getting. Without Charlie Kaufman writing,
Gondry's script might be a little less original, but his visual
creativity (no one else knows how to make art out of cardboard boxes
like him!) and passion for his story makes "Be Kind Rewind" some kind
Mos Def and Jack Black work at Danny Glover's video store and, after Black gets "magnetized", he unintentionally turns every tape in the store blank. They have the brilliant idea of remaking the customers' favorite movies (from "Driving Miss Daisy" to "Last Tango in Paris"), and they suddenly become the local sensation. Some moments are very funny, others not so much, but this is not supposed to be a Farrelly Bros. kind of flick. With a simple but very compelling idea, Gondry created a story about people's love for movies, the sense of community, the compulsion for memories, the oblivion of old-time artists (the Fats Waller subplot) and old-fashioned technology (should Glover finally adhere to DVDs?). Gondry said in an interview: "I am not against modern things. I use technology, but what I am against is when the technology creates a system that makes you believe you need to use it". I couldn't agree more. By the end, even though not being a masterpiece like "Eternal Sunshine", "Be Kind Rewind" leaves you with the bittersweet feeling of other movies about our love for film-making, more notably "The Purple Rose of Cairo" (by the way, Mia Farrow plays the video store's most loyal customer) and "Cinema Paradiso". Definitely worth seeing. 8/10.
63 out of 108 people found the following review useful:
Black and Def are excellent, but the rest of the film is just disappointing, 26 February 2008
Author: DonFishies from Canada
Just reading a brief synopsis got me fairly hyped for Be Kind Rewind.
The film was written and directed by Michel Gondry, who directed my
favourite movie in the last five years, Eternal Sunshine of the
Spotless Mind, so it was a no-brainer that this would be a movie I
would want to see. But unfortunately, the idea seemed to be a whole lot
better than the final product.
Mike (Mos Def) works at an aging video rental story in New Jersey run by Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover). Despite the advent of DVD, the store only carries VHS tapes, and rents them to local customers at a fee far cheaper than the usual rental store. The store is apparently a landmark, so Mr. Fletcher does not want to give into local developers looking to turn the block into a nice piece of real estate. He leaves Mike in charge for a few days, but leaves specific instructions for him to not his friend Jerry (Jack Black) into the store. He does, and after a rather amusing accident, Jerry manages to erase all of the tapes in the store. To help cover this up, Mike and Jerry begin to film their own versions of the films.
It sounds creative on paper, but Be Kind Rewind is too muddled in subplots to really take advantage of its outrageous idea. The entire landmark dispute becomes rather boring and annoying right after it is mentioned, and the frequent mention of jazz musician Fats Waller loses its sentimental and nostalgic touch far too early on in the film. It just lacks the focus of Eternal Sunshine, and lacks the daring scope of The Science of Sleep, another film by Gondry. While Sleep was not all that great either, it seems to have had a much better grip on the point of the movie than Rewind does. It mopes around far too much, and I found myself more bored than I ever thought I would be watching it. I wanted to be interested, but the film did not make for many interesting moments. It has a sense of purpose and clearly knows what it wants to accomplish, but allowing it to seems to be an issue the film can never overcome.
One of these reasons may be the lack of depth in the characters. We learn very little about Mike or Jerry, and their pasts and motivations seem to never come up. We just know the basics, and that seems to be enough. Ditto for Mr. Fletcher, the frequent customer Miss Falewicz (Mia Farrow) and Alma (Melonie Diaz), who seems to get thrown into the mix rather randomly half way through the film, and never seems to fully materialize as anything other than being a female in a primarily male dominated main cast. Gondry clearly has a point for these characters to be here interacting (and a couple of curious supporting characters like Irv Gooch's Wilson, who lend the film a lot of its laughs), but he does not seem to want to make them be anything more than near one-dimensional cut-outs. I do not want to make them seem as simplistic as that, but more often than not, I really found myself not seeing anything other than that.
When the film actually gets to its key drawing point, the re-filming of the VHS movies (or sweding as the film refers to it as), it does bring in a lot of that creative depth Gondry is known for. Using many different angles and stylistic devices, Gondry remakes specific scenes out of these movies with ease, and brings a lot of humour to them as well. Watching Def and Black redo Ghostbusters is absolutely hysterical, as is their redoing of Driving Miss Daisy, King Kong, We Were Kings and 2001: A Space Odyssey. But unfortunately, these scenes are really short and sweet, and many of them are never lingered on. Frequently, they are only mere seconds long before the next sweded movie scene comes in. At one point, there is just a scrolling list of movies that are being redone, but barely any are shown on screen. It is a little disappointing, but I did really like the footage that is shown.
While the film's storyline is a little winded, and the character development is a little off, the actors themselves do really well.
Def continues to impress, and helps carry this film from beginning to end. I am never really impressed with his work, but he seems to have a knack for making his characters enjoyable and very human in their design. He just seems to have that natural acting talent that every young actor tries to have, but never can truly create for themselves. Even in its most boring sections, Def delivers a great performance that is insightful and more introspective of what the film could have been had Gondry put more effort into it.
The same goes for Black, who continues to redefine himself as an actor. On one hand, he does his usual screwball schtick to its finest degree, and gets plenty of laughs for it. But on the other, he really develops his dramatic side, one that is seen only in the likes of King Kong (where his performance is not nearly as well liked as I think it is) and pretentious fare like Margot at the Wedding (which I doubt many people will ever attempt to see). It is a fine balance, and Black walks it perfectly throughout the film, and gives a solid performance for one of the film's most undefined characters. Kudos to him for really making something of it.
While the rest of the supporting cast does fairly well for themselves, none ever match the charisma or the chemistry that Def and Black share. And in a film that is disappointing already, that makes it all the more worse.
52 out of 93 people found the following review useful:
Are you kidding?, 18 March 2008
Author: scream1863 from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I don't understand how this movie is getting all these good reviews
saying how "charming" and "intellectual" it is. This was probably the
worst movie I've seen in my life.
This movie was so poorly written, acted, and directed that it made me sick. The plot is so forced and dull that the audience doesn't care. How cliché is the fact that they need to save the old building? And the whole paranoid eccentric Jack Black character is so overdone. The dialogue felt like bad improv (did they even have a script?). The first 30 mins dragged on like nails on a chalkboard.
I love a good stupid Jack Black movie as much as the next guy (loved Nacho Libre), but this movie is so ridiculously stupid that I think I lost brain cells. The fact that Fatts Waller actually wasn't born in that building but then they decide that they can make up their own story and completely fabricate the past because Mia Farrow says "hey, our past is ours so it can be whatever we want". WHAT IS THAT? What kind of message is that?? As for the performances, I can't say there was anyone who stood out. Jack Black was playing typical Jack Black, Mos Def was bland, Danny Glover was ehhh, Mia Farrow was so unlikable and stock, and that Melonie Diaz made me want to stab out my eyes. I've never seen such a poor performance before. All her lines seemed like she didn't know what she was saying and was just ad libbing. I've never wanted to punch an actor for their work like I want to punch her.
The only good part of this movie was the Ghostbusters homage, which wasn't funny because we'd already seen it in the previews a million times.
This movie is a disgrace to cinema.
19 out of 29 people found the following review useful:
Interesting Ideas... Dull Screenplay, 4 July 2008
Author: iamthebeatles from Chicago
I respect Michel Gondry's work in every aspect of the word, whether his
innovativeness in music video making or his film work. He has
definitely a unique style, some whiz, excellent film techniques, and a
generally good sense of humor. However, Be Kind Rewind, which I have
been waiting to see for some time... was a huge disappointment. And I
don't mean to be harsh... but the film is really badly written. Yes, it
has good ideas, but it has no believability of character... and it's
extremely dull. That film should have been co-written with someone like
Charlie Kaufman per se.
I don't recommend Be Kind Rewind. It's hardly funny. And it's not worth watching. Yes, it has cute ideas, but I prefer watching plot less art films than this trying-to-be-commercial unentertaining flop.
|Page 1 of 23:||          |
|Plot summary||Plot synopsis||Ratings|
|Awards||Newsgroup reviews||External reviews|
|Parents Guide||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|