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Prepare to be Sweded.

  • Jan 22, 2011
***1/2 out of ****

"Be Kind Rewind" is what I believe to be an instant cult film. It hasn't got significant critical praise thus putting it off the map in terms of winning any awards (and awards always help, right?). I can understand why the style of Michel Gondry's film would bore people to tears, but then again what are cult films for, right? It is none the less a spectacular film, and in my opinion, it will get its audience one of these days. Someday, much like the superior works of Gondry, people will start to appreciate it. But what do I think? Well, I think that "Be Kind Rewind" is a superbly clever and fantastically funny movie; and it's the kind of whacky stuff that only a surrealistic genius such as Michel Gondry could deliver. It's no "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", but I'd say it's a damn good follow-up to Gondry's previous "The Science of Sleep". What amuses me about this title is purely its premise and how Gondry intends to execute it. What should have been a dull, boring, and unimaginative affair is turned into a pretty clever little movie. I admit that it's not the FUNNIEST concept a miracle-worker such as Gondry could conjure up, although it's satisfying for the funny flick that it is. None the less, it's not quite perfect. Don't get me wrong when I say this: "Be Kind Rewind" is still an overall fascinating film; it's just that some moments the film could have done without. That's about it for complaints, since as long as you agree with the man's vision, then I think you're going to enjoy this film. You just need to look at it with an open mind. I think this is the best way to approach a Michel Gondry film since as long as its fascinating on some given level, then it's bound to blow your mind. Even if you don't want it to. Just so you know; "Be Kind Rewind" isn't on the same emotional level as "Eternal Sunshine" or on the same level of pure whimsy as "The Science of Sleep", but it's special in its own little way. I think it's one of the finer films of 2008, and it really didn't fail to impress. It's definitely not for everyone, but as a lover of the kind of weird stuff that Gondry has the rare gift to produce, I kind of had to admire it. Personally, I would recommend it; the only trouble is knowing whom to recommend it to. I feel that the best approach is to pop the disk in, sit back, and let Gondry take you to his inventive visually heights. This isn't the same kind of surrealistic trip that I'd expect out of Gondry, but it's the kind of charming weirdness that I found fit him as a director. It's a film that you can take as you will; and I'm interested to hear what other people thought of it. It's definitely unique as a film, but exactly who will realize this? There's no telling who will. I think I need to look for myself.

After his boss leaves for a little R&R, a Video Store employee (his name is Mike) and his friend (his name is Jerry) have an idea. Jerry has wanted so desperately to shoot his own movies for years, and soon enough he gets his opportunity. When Mike and Jerry go out one night to sabotage an electrical substation, Mike leaves Jerry for dead (or to be electrocuted). The electrocution gives Jerry certain abilities (some of which include static wave control, magnetism, etc). And this gives both friends an idea. After Jerry's new-found powers accidentally wipe all the content off each and every VHS in the store, the two decide to make their own little versions of each film. With low-budget equipment and just about every willing bystander they can find, the two keep the business going with these films. They call the ones they make "sweded", and if you know what the word is referring to then you'll know that it's basically their attempt to get more money. After a few successful attempts, the boys are in business, day-by-day making new "sweded" films. You name it; they shoot it. That's one of the film's tag-lines, and strangely enough it's one that the characters actually use. The plot doesn't stray far from the "sell "sweded" tapes, get rich" story-line, although it was near the end of the film that I realized just how special it really was. Here we have a story of two dreamers who are able to get popular in a world that can't tell the difference between real and fake movies. This is both funny and oddly admirable. I think it's sort of meant to encourage amateur filmmakers to get started in making their movies; since these guys easily did it. And from the looks of it, what they did wasn't too shabby. Their work made money, after all. Of course, not everybody will want to go as lame as the characters in this film do, but I find the fact that Michel Gondry respects aspiring filmmakers quite touching. Maybe it's not a film with extreme sentimental value; I don't think it was made for that. But the characters are quirky (and likable!), the story is speedy and fun, and "Be Kind Rewind" is all-around a very satisfying piece of entertainment. It's not a "deep" film like "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" per se, but in its own, "Be Kind Rewind" is a new kind of film; one that doesn't care what you think about it. It's also a film that dares to be different; in a goofy, silly, but overall admirable way. What a wonderful film it was, not only to watch, but to feel. I loved virtually every minute of it. Sometimes I even wanted to rewind it.

It's good to see Jack Black...back on track. He's been in a lot of crap lately (due to his change of heart when it comes to the ever-so common appeal swap of Hollywood's stars). This is one of the man's better movies, and along with Mos Def (the film's other great star); Black is quite entertaining to watch. I don't think these are characters that really need all that much depth. They're funny, entertaining, and engaging as people; although perhaps they're not people that one would want to meet in real life. But at least Gondry's characters are ones with ambitions, and each and every one has a heart. Even Danny Glover, who too little; to often either has one or he doesn't, had a heart. And only a master can make him have one, if I do say so myself. The supporting cast is pretty good although the stars truly shine in this film. Gondry has an eye for talent, so it would seem. But then again I established that when he mastered Jim Carrey.

"Be Kind Rewind" is not surrealistic. There, I said it. By all means, it should be a dud for that. But you know why I liked it? Because it was still weird. Yes, I don't think Gondry has succumbed to Hollywood clich├ęs quite yet. I think he's still got genius in him; although perhaps less so then he had when he made "Eternal Sunshine". I still think that he has an eye for ideas and he's genuinely good at executing them so...yes, I would say that "Be Kind Rewind" is a very good film. I'm sure that quite a few of you reading this hated the film, or at least didn't enjoy it as much as I did. That's understandable, because maybe it's not a film for everyone. It's goofy for sure, but I also thought that it was truly funny. Not everyone will praise it so highly, although I think due to this it will become a sort of cult movie. It's not Michel Gondry's masterpiece, but it's another one of his intoxicatingly imaginative works; the kind that I just can't stand NOT admiring. So where do I begin when it comes to praise? Well, I guess I can begin as I usually do. "Be Kind Rewind" looks and feels mighty fine. The visual style is excellent even though it's not as trippy or surreal as Michael Gondry's "Eternal Sunshine", or perhaps even his last film "The Science of Sleep". Sure, "Be Kind Rewind" has flaws in its style. It's not a perfect film due to its lack of appeal, but you know what: I really, really loved watching it. It's the kind of thoroughly upbeat and endearingly wacky flick that just plain HAS to appeal to someone like me, and the film's oddball charm was pretty much consistent throughout so...it's unique amongst others. I felt that it actually succeeded at expanding on the premise with humor and wit so much to the point where it does about all it can do. It's not a film for everyone, as I've said, but it's the perfect antidote if you're looking for an escape; as all Michel Gondry's best films are. It's unique and interesting. That's all I really have to say regarding it's odd, seductive whimsy.

Sometimes it's a delight to simply watch something messy unfold. That's the kind of feeling that I got while watching this film; since it is indeed a mess. But it's the good kind of mess; the kind that I personally wouldn't mind revisiting once in a while. It's not a film that's meant to be any sort of significant, but as the spectacularly entertaining and original film that it is, "Be Kind Rewind" might as well have been great. It's the kind of film that you would find years later, lying under a box of old DVD's, waiting to be sought out. Perhaps someday, we'll all watch this again and say, "Hey. This is pretty damn good. This is actually funny!" I'm fine with people having negative views on this film; it's not for everyone. But I thought it was loads of silly, inventive fun. Gondry is a genius when it comes to hidden beauty, and he's always open for delivering a genuine surprise. "Be Kind Rewind" is his fourth film, and it's also one of his best. It's not THE best (that goes to you, "Eternal Sunshine"), but it's got enough Gondry in it to move it along. And I like that. It's the kind of film that deserves a good cult status; and the premise alone could give it one. Not yet; but someday the world will hear me out. I think that the fans of this film should rejoice and watch it yet again. I think that anyone who appreciates a unique film should give it a chance if they haven't already. There are so many people that I could recommend it to yet so few at the same time. It will divide viewers, but what the hell. I liked it. You can call me a damn fool for essentially loving it, but there's a sort of charm to it that only a seductively brilliant genius such as Gondry could embed. For that, I think it's a nice big ol' breath of fresh air. Not everyone will feel this way, but as long as I do, I might as well be content.

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January 25, 2011
Love this flick too! wonder if we can 'swede' the Movie Hype community? LOL!
February 01, 2011
January 24, 2011
I loved this movie
January 24, 2011
Cool. Great stuff it is.
More Be Kind Rewind reviews
review by . April 11, 2009
When this film was first released, I think many will agree that it didn't really receive that much recognition. In a way it's a shock considering it contains one of the big comedy stars of the moment, but hey there you are. This is without a doubt one of the more kooky pictures by Black, and let's be honest he's been in some pretty bizarre movies not counting Pick of Destiny. His character, Jerry also seems to be completely insane with a certain level of sanity that is quite endearing in its own …
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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Genre: Comedy, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Release Date: February 22, 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 1hr 41min
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