20 February 2008 | simonparker1990
Fast forward through the beginning and you have a great movie here...
Remember the days when the VHS dominated the market, the days you had to sit for ages rewinding or fast forwarding the damned things just to find the moment in the film you wanted. I know it seems like a lifetime ago, DVD quickly saw an end to that tedious routine. However, there is still something nice about a VHS, I don't know what it is but it just feels a bit more homely. That's the way that Be Kind Rewind seems to have gone, sure it isn't as nice looking, it isn't as memorable, and hell it even gets a bit tedious after a while, but it has a nice feel to it. Be Kind Rewind in essence appears to be nothing more than a string of amateur movie clips strung together by a plot, that's what the trailers make it out to be. But when you watch the film and you peel back the surface you find something more, a good natured storyline that actually is genuinely heart warming. Unfortunately however the movie takes a while for an humour or heart warming to kick in. The film for at least twenty five minutes verges on boring. But once you get past the dull part, and the movie remakes kick in the movie just becomes hilarious, and when the movies true moral kicks in at the end, despite it at times feeling forced, the movie at least does seem to suck you in still. The performances are pretty top notch and the script is witty. Sure it is not even in the same league as Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but the movie is well written and will leave you feeling that little bit warmer inside once you leave the cinema.
So let me get onto the performances. Jack Black is obviously the major star of the film, now I'll be honest I approached his performance with some caution. I admit that Jack Black is an incredible talent, School of Rock and to some extent even Tenacious D the movie confirmed this, nevertheless when given the wrong material he is pretty awful. Nacho Libre, one of the biggest disappointments in recent years, left me horrified that someone had made me dislike a Jack Black performance. And then at Christmas I had to endure The Holiday, the less said about that the better. Thankfully Black is at home in this movie, he has the opportunity to be completely manic, he does a classic Jackie Chan impersonation and he also has a genuine heart in the film. He also works superbly alongside Mos Def, who is admittedly quite dull at the start of the movie, but when he has some weight in the script he delivers a great performance. Danny Glover finally proved he could act in this movie, in recent films he has been on auto-pilot, but here he seems to like the movie he is in. Mia Farrow makes a welcome, if admittedly pointless appearance. And Sigourney Weaver pops along and almost steals the movie in way too brief screen time.
I suppose however that Be Kind Rewind's biggest selling point has to be the remakes of the movies. Well I was quite surprised not to see too much of them, in fact one of my biggest complaints is that we say way too little of them. The Ghostbusters sequence is a classic, in fact in years to come I'm sure I'll love that scene as much as I do today. The driving Miss Daisy scene is priceless, but apart those and the Rush Hour 2 scenes, we get brief glimpses at the other films. I'd have loved to see more on Men In Black, the Lord of the Rings remake that we see the case of, 2001 and all those others. They're the best bits of the film yet they flash past way too quickly. Matters are never helped that too much time is focused on the making of a Fats Waller movie, sure those scenes are extremely touching, but the characters waffle way too much about the man and you get sick and tired of it by the end. Thankfully the movie does have genuine heart, the final fifteen minutes just make you feel happy and make you smile. The ending is very abrupt, but the scenes proceeding it are pitch perfect.
Be Kind Rewind is a decent movie that could have been an all time classic, alas the movie just has too many mediocre moments for it to ever be something you can endlessly watch. The remake scenes are priceless and it is a nice movie to watch, but a very slow beginning and a lack of memorable moments make this something to rent or watch once.