Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"Be Kind Rewind" - REVIEW

Usually, I can tell if I'm going to like a movie or not after the first 30 minutes or so. However, when it comes to "Be Kind Rewind", the latest from "Eternal Sunshine" director Michel Gondry, there's more than meets the eye. The story is set in Passaic, New Jersey, where Mike (rapper Mos Def) and Jerry (Jack Black) work for a very outdated VHS-only rental store run by Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover). After an accident at a powerplant (which comes across as an unfortunately contrived way to get the story going) Jerry is magnetized and manages to erase all of the tapes in the store. In a panic to satisfy an elderly customer Ms. Falewicz (Mia Farrow), the two make their own 20 minute version of "Ghost Busters" for her to rent. It soon falls into the hands of her nephew and his friends, who come by and tell the pair (along with new recruit Alma, played by the charming Melonie Diaz) that, "that wasn't so bad....what else y'all got?". Soon the trio (with some help from neighbors and friends) begin to "Swede" titles at the request of their increasing fan-base; they begin to cover everything from Seven, to the original King Kong, and even 2001: A Space Odyssey. While the story itself is an offbeat and charming idea, something goes wrong in the first half or so in Gondry's execution. The first 45 minutes are completely lifeless and depressingly devoid of charm. While the two "Swede" Ghost Busters (their first attempt), there's not an ounce of charm. However, after a sluggish start, everything starts to pull together to build to a surprisingly sweet and charming conclusion that should leave all but the most cold-hearted with a grin.

Grade: B

Nominations: Best Original Screenplay(#4)

Number of 2008 Films Seen: 11

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