Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Be Kind, Rewind

The friendly video store on the corner is in danger of being closed down. To compound matters Frank Black, after an electrical accident, wipes all the store's stock. Mild-mannered Mos Def must collaborate with Black, and later the neighbourhood, to remake some of cinema's most successful movies, without even a shoestring. Can they do it? Does it matter?
I tried to see this in the cinema when it came out and ended up having a fight with an obnoxious Australian female dog which sent me out of the screening near the start. Last night I finally gave it a watch.
With 'Be Kind, Rewind', writer-director Michel Gondry, maker of the excellent 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' and the more troubling 'The Science of Sleep', tries to bring Blue Peter-style creativity to Hollywood, calling for a renewed sense of community in the process. We can all make movies, he seems to cry, meaningful movies! This is an admirable call, but he should start with his own film. His story is intentionally small scale, but rather than win us over, this results in a very shallow experience. Ultimately he can only get so far on good-natured whimsy, which is all it all amounts to!
Forgive me if my comments are a little too subjective here, but, in my humble opinion, the problems are many. Firstly it's simply not funny enough; Jack Black is annoying; there aren't enough Swedes (remade movies); the story is paper thin and predictable; the characters are paper thin and predictable; etc.. Again Gondry tries to get by on being good-natured, but we the audience deserve a little more than that. I admire his 'in the camera' tricks (as opposed to CGI effects), and I appreciate his love of filmmaking, but in the end he is a far better director than writer (something borne out by his last two movies; Charlie Kaufmann wrote the wonderful 'Eternal Sunshine', Gondry the mediocre 'The Science of Sleep'). Please Monsieur Gondry, be kind, rewind to the former.

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At 3:51 am, Blogger red said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 3:52 am, Blogger red said...

I agree 100%- a really disappointing film. I saw it a few months ago in Rome. It'll take some dragging to get me to see the next Gondry.


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