Thursday 17 July 2008

Be Kind Rewind (2008) - ickleReview (DVD)

Bit of a weird one, this. It's about an old video rental shop in Passaic, New Jersey, where jazz pianist Fats Waller was born (according to legend). Mike (Mos Def) works in the video shop owned by Elroy Fletcher (Danny Glover). Mike's friend, Jerry (Jack Black), gets himself electrocuted during a sabotage attempt on a power station. This doesn't kill him. He is magnetized. When Jerry returns to the video store, he unwittingly erases all the tapes. To make up for the blunder, Mike and Jerry record their own version of Ghostbusters for Miss Falewicz (Mia Farrow), one of Elroy Fletcher's best customers. The DIY remake is a success and starts to generate unprecedented interest in the store in the local community. Soon, customers are queuing around the block to place their own requests for "Sweded" movies. Meanwhile, Elroy Fletcher is scouting out local rivals West Coast Video, who have made the successful transition to DVDs. His business, "Be Kind Rewind" (no customers ever rewind their rented video tapes), is failing, and local real-estate developers are threatening to have his building condemned so that they can replace it with high-end apartments. Will the "Sweding" project be able to generate enough income to save the store, the legendary birthplace of Fats Waller?

This is an uneven and on the whole unsuccessful film, although it did make me laugh out loud with Jack Black's slapstick humour and some clever visual jokes. It is directed by Michel Gondry, progenitor of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and music videos for Daft Punk and The Chemical Brothers.

Nugget: more miss than hit.