Be Kind Rewind

Director Michel Gondry delivers an ode to VHS and ye olde neighborhood video store with this uneven but satisfying comedy starring Jack Black and Mos Def. Black plays a paranoiac who, after an accident at a nearby power plant, gets magnetized. When he visits his friend (Mos Def) at his video-shop job, he accidentally erases all of the movie tapes by merely standing in the store. When a mild-mannered but persistent customer (played by Mia Farrow) demands a copy of Ghostbusters, they shoot their own version on video and start a mini-phenomenon. The spoofs, including Rush Hour 2, Robocop and When We Were Kings are very funny, as are some of the Black antics. The movie switches over to schmaltzy sentimentality in its finale, and that harms the picture’s overall effect. Still, the sight of Black doing Jackie Chan or Jessica Tandy in Driving Miss Daisy is worth the price of admission.


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