Be Kind Rewind
Director: Michel Gondry
United Kingdom/USA 2008
Starring: Jack Black, Mos Def, Danny Glover, Mia Farrow and Melonie Diaz, among others.
Oh, I can't believe how many people thought they were going to see an average screwed Jack Black comedy and got real disappointed. A cinephile like myself do at least recognize the director's name Michel Gondry, and with his previous Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) in thought have entirely different expectations. And I was not disappointed - this is a really adorable picture.
It probably has one of the funniest plots in many years:
Two guys has to take care of the VHS rental store Be Kind Rewind while its owner goes away to find answers how to save his deer store from being torn down. The owner is an aged man by the name of Elroy Fletcher (sweet old Danny Glover), and the guys looking out for the store while he is away are the two main characters Mike (Mos Def) and Jerry (Jack Black).
Things do however turn for the worse when Jerry decides to sabotage a power plant, through which he thinks the government control the people with microwaves. Long story short - Jerry manages to get his brain magnetized during his mission, and when he comes back to the video store all the tapes get erased by the magnetic fields surrounding him.
When a friend of Elroy's, the slightly demented Miss Falewicz (Mia Farrow), wants to rent Ghost Busters, Mike and Jerry does not have any other choice than to shoot their own version of the film. Then they have to fill the request for Robocop, The Lion King... and yes, it goes on like that. They get the assistance of the energetic young woman Alma (Melonie Diaz), and with her help Be Kind Rewind rental store becomes amazingly popular for their "Sweded" films.
You might just be wondering what the hell they mean by "Sweded" movies? (...is "Sweden" a verb?) The explanation on IMDb's trivia section goes like this:
The term "Sweded" was created due to the Swedish government's stance on file-sharing. While many media corporations have succeeded in having files of their copyrighted works removed from Internet web sites, Sweden has treated such file sharing as a form of free speech, and a right of consumers. There is even a Swedish pro-piracy political party.
Let me update my dear readers on the subject: that freedom of speech thing has been killed in its cradle, file-sharing is punishable by law and the pro-piracy political party (existing in several other European countries as well) is being hushed more or less successfully. Go Sweden! (I hope you all get my sarcasm on the matter.)
Now, back to the movie:
The Sweded films become hugely popular, and make it possible for Elroy to save his rental store. But of course, the government wants things otherwise and show up to destroy all their tapes. Mike, Jerry and Alma has to start from scratch, and instead decide to make a film in the same manner about the jazz legend Fats Waller, whom Elroy claims was born in that same condemned building. The result is a moving fictional documentary (I forget the term used for made-up documentaries), and hey! ...I won't say anymore. Just see the film, it's a classic-to-be for sure.
Now some photoshop work I just put together, in order to compare the original movies with the "Sweded" ones. I think it's pretty impressive.
Oh, and I never liked Jack Black. Until now. Working with Gondry gives him a lot of credit. At least enough for me to respect him as a human being.
And here's Fats Waller. It was hilarious when Jack Black's character showed up in minstrel wanting to play the lead in the film.
Note to readers:
Sorry for my absence from the blog, and above all my absence from your blogs. I've been trying to make some money by knocking doors and selling telephone- and internet subscriptions. Three days on the 12h-a-day-job: Nada. I guess my evil eyebrows just scared the fish away. Remind me to never ever again complain about how boring it is just sitting home doing nothing.
So why did I leave that tempting job anyway? Hell, I just found out that the University of Stockholm accepted me into Cinema Studies this spring! Perhaps I finally can make something of my life? Unless some good-looking millionaire crosses my path along the way, of course.