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Be Kind Rewind
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Be Kind Rewind

4.0 5
Director: Michel Gondry, Jack Black, Mos Def, Danny Glover

Cast: Michel Gondry, Jack Black, Mos Def, Danny Glover


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When a bumbling movie lover becomes magnetized while attempting to sabotage a local power plant and accidentally erases all of the videotapes in the small video store where his best friend works, the pair attempt to keep the store's loyal customer base by remaking as many of the top-renting movies as possible. Mike (Mos Def) is an employee at


When a bumbling movie lover becomes magnetized while attempting to sabotage a local power plant and accidentally erases all of the videotapes in the small video store where his best friend works, the pair attempt to keep the store's loyal customer base by remaking as many of the top-renting movies as possible. Mike (Mos Def) is an employee at Be Kind Rewind, a modest mom and pop video store that is owned by Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover). Mike's best friend Jerry (Jack Black) works in an auto garage/junkyard directly adjacent to a local power plant. Lately Jerry has become increasingly paranoid about the effects that the power plant is having on his health. Convinced that he has developed a brain tumor from working in such close proximity to the power plant, Jerry attempts to sabotage the plant. Unfortunately for Jerry, his brain is magnetized in the process. The next time Jerry goes to visit Mike at Be Kind Rewind, the powerful magnetization emanating from his brain erases every videotape in the store. Now the only way for Mike and Jerry to be sure that Be Kind Rewind stays in business is to remake every film on the shelves before the customers notice. But when word gets out that Mike and Jerry have remade such Hollywood classics as Back to the Future, Robocop, The Lion King, and Rush Hour without permission, the store is threatened with copyright violations and forced to close its doors. In the aftermath of the closing, Mr. Fletcher and his employees discover just how loyal their customers really are when the entire neighborhood pools their resources to transform the junkyard into a legitimate movie studio and produce an entirely original film detailing the incredible adventures of a local jazz legend.

Editorial Reviews

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Michel Gondry's Be Kind Rewind is both sweet and inventive, but to say that it lives up to the expectations laid down by his previous works like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind would probably be going just a tad too far. The zany premise is that Mike (Mos Def) has been left in charge of the video store owned by his boss and quasi surrogate father (it's unclear), Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover), while he goes out of town. Upon the venerable man's departure, Mike's friend Jerry (Jack Black) accidentally gets himself magnetized in an incident at the adjacent power plant, and inadvertently erases all of the store's tapes, leaving the two to recreate the classic films with nothing but some elbow grease and the creative use of household objects. They dub their brand of film reinvention "Sweding" -- a name Jerry comes up with on the spot, hoping to make the process sound exotic and possibly European. It doesn't work. Of course, this is a Gondry film, so beneath the wild and crazy premise of the plot is the poignant and bittersweet premise of the subtext. In this case, it revolves around the bleakness of the video store's destitute New Jersey neighborhood. Again and again, the film comes back to the idea that the myths we turn to for comfort and for identity are ours to create, whether we're making our favorite movies our own (which Mike and Jerry do quite literally) or inventing our histories (which the whole ensemble does, by extolling their city as the supposed birthplace of jazz musician Fats Waller). The juxtaposition of the guys' funny and inspired film remaking process against the dead-end nature of their crappy neighborhood is good, but probably not as effective as it was meant to be. The two parts are clearly supposed to be alternate sides of the same paradoxical coin, intended to show how hardship and despair often inspire the most tremendous displays of hope and creativity. Except, all too often, the opposing moods of the film don't read as self-creating and self-sustaining, but rather as simply disjointed. Watching Mike and Jerry making their movies is downright delightful, and the Sweded films are no doubt the heart of the film. In lieu of money, or even time, the duo employs limitless ingenuity and an enduring love of movies, conjuring pure enchantment every time they roll camera. It's gleeful and gratifying whether they're working on Rush Hour 2 or Last Tango in Paris, which is why it feels so uneven for us not to be shown more of their adventures behind the camera -- let alone their finished products. The disappointingly small amount of screen time that the Sweded films are allotted makes it feel like Gondry is skipping out on the element of the movie we relate to most. And while the Be Kind Rewind's serious content is often moving and eloquent, it's also frequently rambling and slow. Despite its faults, the film is still full of great performances, especially by Mos Def, who could easily have played the simple straight man to Black's highly caffeinated antics but instead opted to subtly flesh Mike out into someone very real. The film is also deft in hitting home its themes about nostalgia being so vital to us -- though it expresses those sentiments in pretty obvious terms as well, hence the plot hinging on a room full of VHS tapes. True to form, Gondry offers equal parts hope and heartbreak in his ending, but the greater tragedy may lay in the uncertainty of whether the ending, or indeed the film, packs all the emotional punch that he intended.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
New Line Home Video
Region Code:
[Full Frame, Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jack Black Jerry
Mos Def Mike
Danny Glover Mr. Fletcher
Mia Farrow Miss Falewicz
Melonie Diaz Alma
Chandler Parker Craig
Irv Gooch Wilson
Arjay Smith Manny
Marcus Carl Franklin Kid 1
Blake Hightower Kid 2
Amir Ali Said Kid 3
Sigourney Weaver Ms. Lawson

Technical Credits
Michel Gondry Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Raffi Adlan Associate Producer
Rahel Afiley Costumes/Costume Designer
Georges Bermann Producer
Jean-Michel Bernard Score Composer
Jeff Buchanan Editor
Kishu Chand Costumes/Costume Designer
Linda Cohen Musical Direction/Supervision
James Donahue Art Director
Toby Emmerich Executive Producer
Julie Fong Producer
Michael Hausman Asst. Director
Ellen Kuras Cinematographer
Dan Leigh Production Designer
Jeanne McCarthy Casting
Ann Ruark Co-producer
Guy Stodel Executive Producer
Pawel Wdowczak Sound/Sound Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Be Kind Rewind
1. Opening Titles/Capital of Jazz [4:25]
2. Mr. Fletcher's Store [6:04]
3. Keep Jerry Out [3:45]
4. Sabotage [7:22]
5. Magnetized [5:14]
6. Mike's Dilemma [2:51]
7. Busting Ghosts [7:33]
8. Rush Hour 2 [3:46]
9. New Leading Lady [2:32]
10. Demagnetized [3:26]
11. Sweded [3:24]
12. The Animated Lion [2:23]
13. Robot Karate [3:04]
14. Miss Daisy's Drive [2:19]
15. Sweding Films [2:03]
16. Mr. Fletcher Returns [6:06]
17. More Sweding [3:34]
18. Blind Test [2:04]
19. Copyright Infringement [2:12]
20. "Just Tell Me Why" [2:48]
21. Fats Waller Movie [7:15]
22. Getting Dangerous [3:48]
23. Neighborhood Premiere [7:30]
24. End Credits [6:00]


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Be Kind Rewind 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
*Fun & entertaining. *Jack Black, Mos Def, and Danny Glover were good. *Plenty of laugh-out-loud moments occur when the storyline unfolds. *It was entertaining watching the cast doing re-makes of movies long since removed from today's generation of movie "play lists." *Good for laughs, "crazy" humor, and for stress reduction.
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