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Movie Reviews

Film Review: “Be Kind Rewind”

(New Line Cinema. 101 minutes. Rated PG-13 for some sexual references. Directed by Michel Gondry.) Jack Black, Mos Def, Danny Glover, Mia Farrow, Melonie Diaz. Music by Jean-Michel Bernard.


Black’s moved from the record store (High Fidelity) to the video store in this scruffy, goofy film from French director Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Nacho Libre stars as a lovable loser working in a Passaic, New Jersey junkyard and steeling himself against possible alien attacks (best not to ask). When he unintentionally erases all the tapes in the barely-surviving video store where his best friend (Mos Def) works, he devises a plan to satisfy the store’s few loyal customers by re-creating every movie they decide to rent. Glover’s the grizzled owner of the store; Diaz is the dry-cleaning clerk recruited to be the female star in the videos; Farrow’s a ditsy old lady. The movie recreations (including Ghostbusters, Rush Hour 2, The Lion King, Men in Black, etc.) are the best part of the film (and can be found on the Internet), but things slow way down in the final third and lurch to a near-maudlin conclusion. I was one of the few in the audience laughing at the 2001: A Space Odyssey spoof; I guess that 1968 classic is a bit old for the YouTube crowd. (Speaking of the 60s, anybody else remember Borscht-belt comic Larry Storch on F Troop always referring to “my grandmother in Passaic”?) Look fast for Kid Creole as a clerk at the rival West Coast Video store. A mild recommendation.