Be Kind Rewind (2008)

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Released 7-Aug-2008

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Passaic Mosaic, Improvisation + others
Featurette-Making Of
Interviews-Cast & Crew
Short Film
Music Video
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2008
Running Time 97:26
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (67:27) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Michel Gondry

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Jack Black
Mos Def
Danny Glover
Mia Farrow
Melonie Diaz
Irv Gooch
Chandler Parker
Case ?
RPI ? Music Jean-Michel Bernard

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

Michel Gondry has made a bit of a splash over the last few years by writing & directing award winning films such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind & The Science of Sleep. This, his latest writing and directing effort, Be Kind Rewind, is the first of his films that I have seen so I will be unable to compare it to others of his films. I would assume however that this is not up to the quality of those two previous films which have been widely praised. This film has an interesting premise and a good heartfelt ending, however generally it does not really hold together. It is certainly not a broad, laugh-out-loud comedy (despite one very amusing sight gag that takes a long time to come to fruition), more of a weird, whimsical one.

The story of this film revolves around a small Video & Thrift store in Passaic, New Jersey which is called Be Kind Rewind. It is owned by Mr Fletcher (Danny Glover) and is seriously behind the times as it still only rents videos rather than DVDs. It is also located in an old rundown building which is scheduled for demolition. Mr Fletcher's shop assistant is the well meaning (but somewhat dim) Mike (Mos Def). Across the road is a car repair and junk yard run by the very unhinged Jerry (Jack Black). He thinks the local power plant is sending out microwaves to control their brains. Accordingly, he decides to sabotage the power plant and ropes Mike into his scheme. After an accident during the sabotage attempt he becomes magnetised. Mr Fletcher goes away on a short trip, leaving Mike in charge of the store with strict instructions not to let Jerry in. Jerry manages to get in & ends up wiping all the video tapes with his magnetism which leaves Mike with a large problem. Mike & Jerry decide that the obvious solution to their problem is to remake all of the films which have been wiped themselves using locals and cheap props. They refer to this process as 'sweding'. Their sweded films quickly become very popular in the community and the shop's customer base increases overnight. Of course, challenges are just around the corner including Mr Fletcher's friend, Miss Falewicz (Mia Farrow) and a representative of Hollywood (Sigourney Weaver).

Personally, I found this film hard to like as much of the running time left me quite cold, however, the final few scenes were quite good. The premise of the film as outlined above is more interesting than the actual execution of the idea which I felt should have focused more on the actual remakes which seemed to be only a very small part of the film. On a positive note, the final film they make and its effect on the community are well put together and leave you with a better view of the film by the end. The themes of community spirit, triumph of the little guy and technology not being the answer to everything come together well in these final scenes. I could not get excited about any of the performances, however, Mos Def was significantly less annoying than he was in 16 Blocks.

Fans of the director's work will get something out of this film but those looking for a straight comedy should look somewhere else.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


The video quality is excellent.

The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

The picture was clear and sharp throughout. Shadow detail is very good.

The colour was very good with no noticeable issues.

The only noticeable artefact was some minor aliasing.

There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired which were clear and easy to read.

The layer change occurs at 67:27 causing a slight pause.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


The audio quality is very good.

This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s and English Dolby Digital 2.0 descriptive audio soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s.

Dialogue was mostly clear and easy to understand although some lines proved a bit of a challenge.

The score by Jean-Michel Bernard is mostly jazzy piano and suits the film well.

The surround speakers were used well considering the style of film for lightning, music and some dialogue such as the boys' version of HAL.

The subwoofer was used sparingly adding bass to music and explosions.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Extras are 16x9 enhanced and include optional subtitles.


The menu was in keeping with the style of the film and included an intro, action and some dialogue.

Passaic Mosaic (9:58)

A worthwhile and interesting featurette about the city of Passaic, the effects of the movie being shot there, how locals were used in the production, a potted history of the town and some behind the scenes footage.

Booker T & Michel Gondry (6:27)

Featurette on the scene in the film involving some famous blues and soul performers and some footage of Gondry jamming with Booker T & the MGs.

Jack & Mos improvise songs (4:46)

Exactly what the title says. Not funny.

A Conversation with Jack Black & Michel Gondry (5:49)

A 'supposed to be amusing' conversation between star and director that covers some interesting topics. WOuld be better if they were not trying to be funny.

Fats was Born Here (4:46)

This is the film they made during the main film about the life of Fats Waller, in full. Better than the main feature.

The Making of 'Be Kind Rewind' (31:59)

An overlong making of which covers the genesis of the idea, use of non-professional actors, how various scenes were put together and other topics.

Paris Concert (6:07)

A concert to promote the film held in a small club in Paris in 2008. Features Mos Def on vocals and Gondry on drums, playing jazz standards. Not bad.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

Our local release includes all the extras which are on the Blu-ray release in the US, however, the Region 1 DVD release only includes the Passaic Mosaic. So, for SD buyers the Region 4 is the one to get. There is no local Blu-ray release at this time.


A weird and whimsical comedy that doesn't really work as a whole despite an interesting premise.

The video quality is very good.

The audio quality is very good.

The disc has a decent collection of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Funniest scene in this film - JediDude (read my bio)