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Rental Review: Be Kind Rewind

October 15, 2008
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By Chad Larson

I will be the first to admit that Jack Black is a very polarizing actor. Many people seem to love him or hate him. I don’t really fall in to either of these groups, because sometimes I think he’s hilarious and sometimes I can’t stand him.

When I initially saw the trailers for Be Kind Rewind, I felt like it was going to be pretty funny. It looked like a great, oddball comedy. Two buddies working at a video store accidentally erase all the tapes inside and start recording their own versions of the films, using a handheld camcorder and zero budget.

How many of us as kids did exactly this with mom and dad’s camcorder? I know I did.

The trailers to this movie are a little misleading, though. There are plenty of comedy moments, and I wouldn’t call it a drama, but this movie is something more. It harkens back to the good old days of comedy when funny movies were more than just a slapdash collection of parodies or grossout jokes, and there were actual plots involved.

Mike (Mos Def) works at a video store in a decrepit building that was the place where Fats Waller was born. Jerry (Black) is his peculiar buddy, and Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover) is the owner of the store. Mr. Fletcher takes some time off to celebrate Waller’s legacy, and Jerry gets Mike involved with a plan to sabotage a power plant. The end result is that Jerry’s brain gets magnetized, and his return to Mr. Fletcher’s all-VHS rental store results in blank tapes galore.

Wanting to atone for their mistakes, they come up with the hairbrained scheme to film their own versions of the stories. This is where the bulk of the film’s comedy comes in as they re-enact Ghostbusters, Rush Hour 2, and more.

The thing about this movie that sets it apart is its heart. It’s not just an empty comedy digging for laughs, and it has its twists and turns. I left the movie with a smile on my face, and not one that was a remnant of laughter – I just felt good.

This is by far one of my favorite movies in the past year. I might go as far as saying it’s one of my favorites ever.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 16, 2010 1:00 pm

    I enjoyed it – loved the premise and I thought it was nicely cast with some good comic performances.

  2. October 20, 2008 7:36 pm

    Yah I thought it got a little too predictable

  3. October 20, 2008 2:17 pm

    I was a teeny bit disappointed with it, but overall I liked it.

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