Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Be Kind Rewind


Mos Def works in a tiny video store owned by Danny Glover, certainly the last one on Earth that rents VHS tapes. His friend is Jack Black, playing the usual crazy Jack Black verbal and physical volcano. Jack becomes magnetized by a nearby power plant (at which point we abandon all connection to reality, but that doesn’t have to be bad) and accidentally erases all the tapes in the shop. But people still want them, so they set out to recreate movies like Driving Miss Daisy, Rush Hour 2, and 2001: A Space Odyssey, among many others. Oddly, people like this stuff, although some complain that the movie was only 20 minutes long. Soon the whole neighborhood is involved in recreating movies, starring themselves.
This sort of whimsy is very delicate, and the director, Michael Gondry, who was at the helm for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind—which I thought was one of the most original and delightful movies of the decade—and the less successful The Science of Sleep … well, he sort of lays it on too heavy. There are some wonderful moments, but in the end it didn’t work enough for me to recommend it. Too bad. I was really looking forward to it.
Nice touch: One of the stars of the first movie they recreate, Ghostbusters, shows up in a bit part as a rep for the motion picture industry, pointing out that they are in violation of copyright. Hey, it’s Sigourney Weaver!