Be Kind Rewind
3.5 Waffles!

Mos Def stars as Mike – a dedicated employee in the Passaic, NJ video and thrift store known as Be Kind Rewind. It’s a rundown store in a rundown neighborhood operated by a rundown owner, Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover). When Mr. Fletcher decides to go on a week long trip, he leaves Mike in charge, and the young man realizes this is his big opportunity. Of course, that big opportunity is put at risk by Mike’s crazy friend, Jerry (Jack Black).

When Jerry is electrocuted, magnetized and accidentally erases all of the videos (it’s a funny story I will let you see for yourself), can Mike and Jerry fool people with homemade versions of the movies they want to rent?

Can they save Mr. Fletcher’s store?

Be Kind Rewind is a movie about movies for people who love movies. Sure, we have a familiar plot where two screw ups need to redeem themselves and save their store from the impending creep of yuppies, expensive condos and chain coffee shops, and you have a feeling they will accomplish this Herculean goal because they are good natured and doing it for all of the right reasons. However, Be Kind Rewind tackles the hackneyed with the tender hand and heart of writer/director Michel Gondry.

Gondry, known for his unique, slightly twisted look at the world, provides very real dialogue from people who talk about the movies they love, why these works of art are held close to their hearts, debate which ones are best and remake their favorites with a charming low budget feel complete with homemade costumes and horrible acting (these remakes are kinda like a movie with Larry the Cable Guy, but entertaining). However, like the entire movie Be Kind Rewind, Gondry instills us with the belief each character feels deeply for the work and the film, so you find yourself laughing along and rooting for them. For all of their goofiness and awkwardness, they are lovable underdogs thanks to Black and Mos Def as well.

Black can be over the top and annoying at times, but he is hilarious in Be Kind Rewind. He gets all of the funniest and most outrageous stuff, but keeps us interested in his character because his actions are driven by passion, even if it is misdirected passion.

While Black is bouncing off the walls and getting the easy laughs, Mos Def is the soul of the movie. He fills Mike with a desire for what is right and honorable as his character fights the good fight and tries to stand tall for the neighborhood and people he loves. Mos Def, along with Gondry's script, makes Mike into a modern day hero who doesn't have a cape or x-ray vision, but a heart of gold.

Be Kind Rewind has some fun little inside jokes if you pay attention, and plenty of other jokes everyone will be able to understand and appreciate.

Be Kind Rewind is rated PG-13 for some sexual references.