Be Kind Rewind (2008)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Be Kind Rewind</strong> (2008)

(In theaters, May 2008) Michael Gondry is an bizarrely inventive director, and Be Kind Rewind is never as good as when it runs with that streak of lunacy, imagining how a few desperate filmmakers come to recreate home-made “sweded” versions of some of cinema’s greatest hits. It’s funny, it’s original and it’s affectionate toward cinema. But there’s only a few minutes of that in the entire film: the rest is taken up by the increasingly annoying Jack Black shtick and a forced conclusion in which we’re supposed to believe in the old clap-trap of communities pulling together. A barely-interesting plot holds everything together loosely, forcing us to wait between the film’s most compelling scenes. The dialog is trite and the characters act as if they’re brain-damaged (though Danny Glover’s finger-written warning is amusing): even for movie buffs, Be Kind Rewind barely gets started before lapsing back in a far-too-conventional third act. Almost a failure, but certainly not a triumph.

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