Two bumbling store clerks inadvertently erase the footage from all of the tapes in their video rental store. In order to keep the business running, they re-shoot every film in the store with their own camera, with a budget of zero dollars.
To become the greatest band of all time, two slacker, wannabe-rockers set out on a quest to steal a legendary guitar pick that gives its holders incredible guitar skills, from a maximum security Rock and Roll museum.
In Passaic, NJ, Elroy Fletcher runs a video store in a condemned building he claims was the birthplace of Fats Waller. Fletcher goes on a Waller centennial trip, leaving his foster son Mike in charge of the store. Mike's peculiar friend Jerry tries to sabotage a power station and nearly electrocutes himself, getting magnetized in the process. He inadvertently erases every tape in the store. Mike and Jerry hatch an plan to hide the disaster by making a homemade "Ghostbusters" to rent to a woman whom Fletcher will be phoning to check on them. Soon, with help, their homemade versions of films develop a cult following. Will this new business save the store and the building? What about Fats?Written by
When Alma puts the movie selections of several store patrons into a black trash bag and picks two at random (settling a dispute about which titles to "Swede"), Jerry says "Without civilization, life is nasty, brutal... and short!" This is an almost verbatim quote from Thomas Hobbes' "Leviathan", one of the most important works in political philosophy. See more »
When Mr Fletcher sets off on his trip, the train leaves going back the way it came, even though Passaic does not appear to be a terminal. See more »
[while shooting "Driving Miss. Daisy", Alma chases the car with the camera]
Who is that hussy chasing after us? Be gone, hussy.
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Imaginative and sweet film and with interesting themes shame the first third is easily the weakest
I shan't bother to describe the plot because it is impossible to do that without describing a different film or making it sound stupid. To avoid plot synopsis, one must concentrate on the start of the film in describing the plot but this section is easily the weakest part as the film contrives to get the tapes wiped and the sweding of the films begins. Once it reaches this point it remains a bit weird and silly but it is actually pretty funny. The one thing you cannot deny is that these parts are inventive in how the remakes are made. The standard plot summary understandably tends to focus on this part of the film but the downside is that it suggests that the film is therefore all about the comedy of the remakes a suggestion strengthened by the presence of Jack Black.
The thing is that they are not so much things to be laughed at so much as little flights of fancy that are wonderfully inventive in how the various effects and scenes from the various films are reproduced. I totally understand why some viewers were frustrated with the messy opening parts and perhaps also disappointed not to find themselves rolling in the aisles with laughter I know that this is sort of what I was led to expect by the trailers so I'll not pretend that I didn't struggle with it at times. However the film does manage to be entertaining enough to hold you and also make you forget what a nonsense the plot is up till this point. Gradually this gives way to a ultimately warming and simple tale of community and active involvement with others and it is this that stays with you as you leave the film not the early rubbish.
It is a shame that it is so weak and weird at the start because this does put people into the wrong mindset and that is a thing that is hard to shake. I know I felt this way and was already mumbling to myself that this was yet another weak film from Gondry (I was not that impressed at all by Science of Sleep) when, little by little, it won me over by how inventive it was but also how much heart it suddenly had it is difficult to be silly but then also engage but this film does it. The cast went through a similar cycle in my eyes weak at first but getting better as the material got better. Black doesn't benefit from this so much and he is always just a bit of a loud clown, although he gets less annoying as he moves away from being the magnetic narrative device of the early parts. Glover is consistent quality and is a great presence in the film outside of also giving some nice laughs. Farrow doesn't have much to do, while Diaz is quite fun but the real surprise to me was Mos Def. I do wish he would kick out some good albums but at the same time it is a pleasure to watch him turn out good performances such as this. He is good when the material is weak and great when the material gives him something to work with a really nice turn all round.
Be Kind Rewind is a very weird film that doesn't totally work but it toploads all the weakness into the first third of the film, where the plot setting is silly and messy. The rest of the film is an increasing delight though as it gets funny, inventive and, ultimately, touching. Not as accessible as the trailer would suggest but as long as you keep in mind that it is a Gondry film then you probably know what to expect and can forgive it its flawed nature in exchange for what it does really well.
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