So once again we have survived.

Vern’s Seen BE KIND REWIND… And Sorta Digs It!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.

As much as I agree with Vern’s take on the wretched DIARY OF THE DEAD, I disagree with him here. But I’ll get into it when I publish my review later in the week. For now, here’s Vern, who has been Sweded.

You might know the premise. Mos Def works at an all VHS video store. Jack Black is magnetized (long story). (No, come to think of it, short story. He climbs into a power plant and gets shocked.) Jack Black’s brain erases all of the videos in the store, and Mia Farrow demands to watch GHOSTBUSTERS. So they dress up, go to the library and tape their own ridiculous home-made version of GHOSTBUSTERS directly onto the tape. Because they don’t want Danny Glover to know they fucked up. And it goes on from there.

The style of BE KIND REWIND is in the spirit of the subject matter. It’s real sloppy and cheap and mostly seems unscripted. But like Mia Farrow says of their crappy home-made remakes, this movie “has heart.”

Be Kind RewindI’ve enjoyed all of Michel Gondry’s movies including HUMAN NATURE. I don’t care if I was uncomfortable from laughing way more than everybody else in the theater, I still love that movie. The Charlie Kaufman-less Gondry is alot sweeter and more lighthearted, and BE KIND REWIND is his version of a cheesy lowbrow comedy. It’s not meticulously designed like his other ones, it’s more off the cuff. I think making DAVE CHAPPELLE’S BLOCK PARTY must’ve inspired him to do one that’s more spontaneous and is about creativity and community, and has Mos Def in it. (And I think he tried to get Chappelle for that role first.)

I would not recommend BE KIND REWIND to your more jaded talkbackers, or anybody who hates Jack Black, or who demands logic or realism in comedies. I’m not in those categories but I still think it’s Gondry’s weakest. The trailer already gave away most of the plot and the highlights of most of the movies they make. That’s not to say there’s not other good shit in there, though. Mos Def’s surprisingly successful tactic for imitating Chris Tucker in RUSH HOUR 2 is mostly to just say “Lee! Lee!” And I love when he timidly tries to explain that he doesn’t want to do DRIVING MISS DAISY because it’s “a little condescending.” And later when Danny Glover has to explain to Jack Black why he can’t wear black face.

Most of the movies they remake are from the New Line Cinema library. There’s a reference to them doing JASON VS. FREDDY, but you don’t see any scenes from it. They come close to doing WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE, but decide on a different one. (I wonder who would’ve played Wes Craven?) And they don’t do BLADE. Or BONES. I would’ve liked to see them branch out to a couple smaller movies like GUMMO or BAD LIEUTENANT. I think Jack Black would do a good job on that scene where Harvey Keitel is waddling around naked in a Jesus pose and moaning like a sea lion that just got shot with an arrow. But obviously they gotta do mostly movies that a broad audience is gonna be familiar with. At least they threw me WHEN WE WERE KINGS.

Alot of the entertainment comes not just from the movie choices but from the inventive no-budget effects. I was especially impressed by their way of making video look like old film, which I assumed was done in a computer but turns out to be in-camera. That’s how you know it’s a Michel Gondry movie I guess.

Even though this stuff made me laugh, it didn’t exactly blow my socks off. I think it’s more amusing than hilarious. But the movie still won me over from the one aspect I didn’t get out of the trailer: Gondry’s obviously heartfelt glorification of independent neighborhood businesses, respect for history and the power of creativity and ridiculousness to bring people together. The store is trying to earn enough money to prevent their aging building being demolished and turned into condos. I know the “put on a show to save the community center” bit is an old cliche and a Mr. T favorite, but in this case it’s just so accurate and it feels more like a commentary on modern life than a plot device.

I don’t know about you, but for me it hit close to home. Here in Seattle it’s a heartbreaker how often local businesses or nice old buildings with character suddenly disappear and are replaced by generic million dollar condos. The message to rich people is: “Isn’t this city great? How ’bout we knock it over so you can live where it used to be?” We fear it so much here it has its own urban legends. There are constantly re-circulating rumors that it’s gonna happen to The Showbox, which is one of Seattle’s best venues for rock and hip hop shows, and happens to have been there since 1939. The story is they can’t get historical landmark status and it would be more profitable to wreck it and turn it into yet another god damn condo. For now it seems to be only a rumor, but the place was recently sold to an out-of-town entertainment conglomerate, and we don’t trust those. We just had our basketball team stolen. Can we trust some corporation to feel that contributing to the culture of the city and honoring its history is more important than making some extra money? Of course not. This city will be all condos and nothing else by 2015. I’m surprised the Space Needle is even still there. And Bruce Lee’s grave.

And everybody’s at fault. The people who want to turn it into a condo. The people who sell it to them. The people who buy the condo. They’re like the family in POLTERGEIST, they’re living on an Indian burial ground and if somebody ever does do that to the Showbox I hope they’re haunted by the ghosts of all the great musicians who have gone through there since the Jazz Age. Sadly, they won’t even know who the ghosts are because none of them are on the jazz compilation CD they got at Starbucks.

Anyway all that might seem like a tangent, but it’s exactly what this movie is about. Gondry is smart enough not to play the developers too broad. They aren’t the-crusty-dean-in-a-fraternity-movie bad guys. They’re basically nice people, but people who don’t get it. To them Danny Glover, as the owner of Be Kind Rewind, seems a little crazy. And he is. Gondry seems to realize that he’s an idealist and that the world he wants might not work, but fuck it, he wants it anyway.

Of course, Glover wants to save his business so he tries to adapt to the laws of the real world. He spies on a Blockbuster-like chain store and decides that what his store needs is uniforms, less knowledgeable staff, and for all of the movies to be divided between action or comedy. And it’s true – the pursuit of money and the pursuit of excellence usually don’t overlap. More often than not, selling a billion products to a billion people all across the world means your product must be dumbed-down, watered-down, homogenized, test-screened, focus-grouped. BE KIND REWIND is asking us not to let go of the hand made, the home-made, the local, the amateurish, the personal. Their business is pathetic and out of date, but their movies are inexpensive, and the customers know their names without them having to wear nametags. Everything from movie theaters to radio stations to stores and restaurants are moving in the opposite direction – instead of one great business that caters to its specific neighborhood and clientele, you get a thousand identical ones dropped into every city across the country. And you know those jerkoffs in the corporate office on the other side of the country have no idea what people in Seattle like. Be Kind Rewind not only cater to their neighborhood, they actually make their movies by request for specific customers. They know that people like to be involved and see their neighborhood and their neighbors in the movie. The condo developer is sincere when he says that his plan will make their lives better, but he’s wrong.

Another bad guy that shows up, of course, is a representative of a movie studio that (in one of the more ridiculous scenes in the movie) enforces their copyright claims. I think it’s obvious from his movies that Gondry is a pure artist – he just wants to do what he wants to do, and he wishes these systems didn’t get in the way. If it was 2008 and you were a kid trying to do a remake of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, or a DJ trying to combine the Beatle’s White Album with Jay-Z’s black album, or if you were Public Enemy trying to sculpt a thousand samples into It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back, you might run into some of these people. Art and culture and quality of life is fun and all, but let me run it by the corporation to make sure it does not interfere with their money. Money is more important. Excuse me sir, I’m going to have to ask you to move, this seat is reserved for money.

Gondry ties these themes together into a perfect ending. He warms my idealist heart but doesn’t patronize it. Everybody comes together and shares a moment of joy and there is hope about what this could mean, but then the movie ends. If he took it further and had everything work out it would seem phony. Instead he ends on that perfect moment of people coming together, so regardless of what happens next it’s a happy ending, because we can just stop and appreciate that moment while it lasts.

Alot of times when you say a movie is flawed it means it starts out great and fizzles out. It’s nice to see it the other way around this time, a movie that kind of flounders around for a while but then sticks the landing so god damn perfect it almost tricks you into thinking it’s a great movie.

Other movies they should’ve done:
THEY LIVE, OUT FOR JUSTICE, DAVE CHAPPELLE’S BLOCK PARTY, CRASH (either one), PREDATOR, HELL IN THE PACIFIC. And throw in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET since it’s New Line and I’m sure these jokers would do better than Platinum Dunes.

anyway that’s it,

Vern

Originally posted at Ain’t-It-Cool-News: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/35654

View the archived Ain’t-It-Cool-News Talkback

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Vern wins

    by Son of Hades

    Thank you, sir

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 5:23 p.m. CST

    looking forward to it

    by wilsonfisk89

    but may wait til dvd-strange they use tenenbaums score in commercial

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 5:24 p.m. CST

    no reason to see this movie

    by BrowncoatJedi

    the entire film was spoiled in the trailer

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Is it on a collision course with wackiness?

    by skywalkerfamily

    Sounds wacky!

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 5:27 p.m. CST

    Hey Vern

    by Son of Hades

    Check your Seagalogy link; the page isn’t there any more

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 5:40 p.m. CST

    The wretched Diary of the Dead?

    by LordEnigma

    Oh you vain human being. Coughing typewriter, coughing typewriter, and coughing typewriter. Have a good day.

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Looks good.

    by rbatty024

    Mixed review is a little daunting but the subject matter is interesting. Comedy seems to be capable of actually saying something these days. I remember it was only a few years ago when I wouldn’t dare rent a comedy because it was all Adam Sandler shit.

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 5:48 p.m. CST

    i hope this is good

    by Gungan Slayer

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 5:48 p.m. CST

    This review is INCREDIBLY accurate

    by IndustryKiller!

    At least int eh sense that it’s how I think most audience members will feel. I actually saw a test screening of this last March, and at the time the early cut was so shambolic I couldn’t even review it in any sort of fair coherent capacity so I never bothered to send one in. I can’t say I was a big fan on the whole, and Jack Black starts out playing a character, and slowly degrades back into annoying, ironically narcissistic Jack Black, but it certainly has some great moments (the Ghostbusters remake is excellent) and an ending that makes you feel pretty god damn good no matter what came before it. It’s heart is in the right place, but Gondry definitely needs someone around to reign him in from his annoying tangents.

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 5:52 p.m. CST

    Lukewarm On This One

    by FatherMcGruderKicksAssForTheLord

    I like Gondry’s films, mostly, and I plan on checking this one out.

    I do hope that I enjoy it more than I did The Science of Sleep though.

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 6 p.m. CST

    Not wacky – whimsical.

    by Laserbrain

    Whimsy, charm, idiosyncrasy, heart. You can always count on Gondry for that, bless him. Great review as always Vern. And you’re right, Human Nature is well underrated. Those fucking mice with their table manners. Now *that’s* funny.

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 6:31 p.m. CST

    Nice review

    by Aethyrr

    It only got me more interested in seeing this movie. Thanks.

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 6:42 p.m. CST

    Great idea, still sounds worthwhile

    by BrandLoyalist

    Thanks Vern. It’s true that the Seagalogy link doesn’t work, and the title isn’t searchable either, but it’s in the categorical index – I looked under Cult, then Contemporary, then Superheros, then Classics, then finally spotted the Humor category & there you go.

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 6:45 p.m. CST

    I didn’t say Diary of the Dead was wretched

    by Vern

    That’s funny, I was mixed on both movies but I guess with that review I focused on the weaknesses and on this one I focused on the strengths. Now the big mystery is did Moriarty hate this one or did he love it? Or did he love the comedy and hate the message? I’m confused.

    Anyway thanks fellas.

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 7:21 p.m. CST

    Jack Black

    by johnnyangelheart

    Even his name tries too hard. Was Dean Greene already taken? Or Fred Redd? Stu Blue?

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Plot sounds like it sucks.

    by critch

    The whole premise baffles me. Danny Glover goes and spies on a blockbuster store to copy their style…why the hell doesn’t he just buy a bunch of dvds and rent those?

    Corner stores like the one in this movie aren’t going out of business because Wal-Mart and Blockbuster exist. They go out of business because their hours suck, their selection sucks, and they cannot compete with companies that simply can do it better. And anything that sends the message that it’s simply because the bigger stores are evil and at fault isn’t worth my time.

    They should have focused on the comedy with the videos instead of some ‘save the video store’ bs.

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 7:38 p.m. CST

    It’s like a Star Wars review

    by skywalkerfamily

    Man, I hate the acting, but wow, I really love the visuals!

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 7:41 p.m. CST

    For movies where amateurs re-make classics, this

    by SkinJob69

    will come a distant second to “Son of Rambow”.

    Still the ending on this one sounds intriguing- maybe I’ll check it out.

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 7:42 p.m. CST

    thanks for the review again Vern

    by Kloipy

    Always look forward to your reviews. I like Gondry a lot. I liked Science of Sleep it had a lot of greatness in it but I liked what he did with Charlie Kaufman much more. With Kaufman’s writing style it really seems to lend itself to Gondry’s artistic vision. For me at least Science was really all over the place, which I understand is part of the whole dream logic thing, but it seemed to lose something after awhile. it would have been great if they would have done Gummo, even better if they did The Brown Bunny. That would be interesting.

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Jack Black as Dutch in Predator!

    by travis-dane

    and Mos Def is Carl Weathers.hehe…

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 7:48 p.m. CST

    Mos Def is Michael Gross in Tremors 3

    by Kloipy

    come get a dose of the Gross

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 8 p.m. CST

    Jack Black as Jabba the Hutt

    by skywalkerfamily

    in SW: Clone Wars

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 8:06 p.m. CST

    Mos Def as Al Pacino as…

    by vaudeville villain

    Bond Villain.

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 8:43 p.m. CST

    Did they have the Ghostbusters theme in the movie?

    by Mike_D

    The REAL GB theme, not the Jack Black botched version!

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 9:05 p.m. CST

    The screed talked me into it.

    by Galva

    The commercials didn’t do a thing for me, and I wasn’t interested at all until reading this review. Good job.

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 9:32 p.m. CST

    BEST DIGRESSION EVER

    by jigsaw

    “The message to rich people is: “Isn’t this city great? How ’bout we knock it over so you can live where it used to be?”” Christ you’re awesome Vern, and I say that as someone who’s ambivalent about Steven Seagal. Everytime I go back to my little town south of Seattle I get more and more allergic to it, not that shoddy homogenous aesthetically offensive buildings aren’t choking the other 49 states (+ guam, maybe puerto rico) as well. Keep up that thing that you do.

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 10:38 p.m. CST

    Great Review

    by hallmitchell

    You are now in Moriaty and Quint’s league.

    Love the words on Seattle. Great review. Great soapbox rant.

    P.S. I don’t live in Seattle.

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 10:57 p.m. CST

    What’s ‘be kind rewind’ mean again?

    by Orionsangels

    They used to say that in the late 80s early 90s right? We used these giant plastic things with film tape inside to view movies. How quaint. It’s not relevant at all in our modern culture. So lets make a movie about it! In this movie tapes still exist and are somehow relevant. What’s next a movie about an 8 track store in 2008? Get the fuck outta here with this film! You can tell the script set on the shelves for 20 years and just now they got around to making it.

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 11:44 p.m. CST

    Creepy Thin Man, you make me SICK

    by Guy Who Got A Headache And Accidentally Saves The World

    Just the other day you were ranting about Big Corporate Studios buying out small local Cinema’s and now you’re calling this movie obsolete!? YOU GOT NO SOOUUULLLL. This is like finding out Santa Claus isn’t real, everything is a lie. And this movie is hardly obsolete because it’s about FUCKING VIDEO TAPES dumbasses, are you the same guys who cried over that scene in Children of Men where the army stopped fighting too look at the baby, saying it was “unrealistic”, you unimaginitive, soulless, suckers of cock.

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 12:45 a.m. CST

    Holy shit Vern!!

    by Itto Ogami loses Daigoro

    You referenced the great Danger Mouse/Jay Z Gray album which was musically superior in every way to Jay’s Black album! What are you going to do next man?

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 12:53 a.m. CST

    the meaning of “be kind rewind”

    by half vader

    Orions, you wouldn’t know a metaphor if it slapped you in the face!

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 12:57 a.m. CST

    Ogami

    by Vern

    Personally I like the Jay-Z version better but I thought that was a great example of a work of art many people enjoy that is actually illegal due to copyright. Of course Jay-Z was smart enough to see the value of it and immediately released a vocal-only version of his CD to encourage other people to do the same. But the corporate owners of the Beatles music weren’t as excited about it.

    By the way, why did Ogami Itto lose Daigoro? What the fuck is Daigoro gonna do? He can’t push that babycart himself.

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 1:04 a.m. CST

    probably right vader

    by Orionsangels

    i’m pretty fucked up in the head as it is, but i enjoy having fun. i really do.

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 1:38 a.m. CST

    I’m looking forwards to this flick…

    by sonnyfern

    but I’m an indie moviemaker, and I think that has more to do with it than anyone else, I can dig the heart and spirit.

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 1:57 a.m. CST

    Ya know….

    by TiPPiDa

    If I could make the world into a utopia I know it could be… then Gondry, Spike Jones, Soderburgh, Scorecese, and fucking Spielberg would all be making movies based on Kaufman scripts…… the end.

    Really looking forward to this movie.. from the trailer, it looks cute, not high art, or even good theater, but good entertainment. I hope it lives up to my expectations.
    This message has been approved by CHUCK NORRIS for viewing by all audiences.

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 4:30 a.m. CST

    This movie is a rip off of Blockblister Video on The Amanda Show

    by goku_z

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 6:19 a.m. CST

    How is renting shit for 5-7 dollars at Lackluster

    by Guy Who Got A Headache And Accidentally Saves The World

    Better than the .99 cent rentals I can get at Scotten’s Video, which actually has old shit I enjoy watching and old classics I have yet to see. But if I ever need Transformers on Blu-Ray then I guess Lackluster will probably have it. Maybe it takes some of you a week to watch a two hour movie, in which case it sounds like a personal problem. They don’t even have THE THING or THEY LIVE or jack shit of anything decent that hasn’t come out in the past five years at the blockbuster around here. It never amazes to me to see people actually come out here in the talkbacks and defend this soulless corporate bullshit, every fucking time.

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 6:47 a.m. CST

    Mia Farrow is the true sexiest tomboy beanpole ever

    by Demetrius

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 7:40 a.m. CST

    Black tape renaissance

    by Franklin T Marmoset

    Due to current financial restrictions, I’m getting much of my film watching fix at the moment by borrowing heavily from a friend who I’ve recently discovered has an Alladin’s Cave of VHS tapes in his loft. It’s fun, actually, going back to those things. They’re so big and heavy and clunky, and they have no special features at all. I can’t even switch on the subtitles for those times when the dogs over the road won’t stop fucking barking and I can’t hear what is being said during Christine or The Witches Of Eastwick or Boyz N The Hood.
    Anyway, because of this retro viewing situation (also, Vern’s review) I think I’m going to check this one out.

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 7:46 a.m. CST

    Also…

    by Franklin T Marmoset

    I do miss my first ever video shop, which was called Mike’s Video and carried both Beta and a decent selection of VHS tapes. He had Porky’s and The Exterminator and Death Wish II and Scanners and Conan The Destroyer, but you had to put your name on a list if you wanted to see the bigger new films like ET and whatnot. It also smelled faintly of wee, but that was part of the charm.
    My friend Leroy Palestine’s dad claimed he accidentally rented a snuff film from Mike’s, but even back then we all knew he was full of shit.

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 7:52 a.m. CST

    my down home video store

    by Kloipy

    It was called “Alex Minoff’s Videos” it had tons of b-horror from the seventies. They were the only place you could find Eraserhead and Pink Flamingos. And when you walked in the door there was a huge carboard cutout of a woman coming out of a wicker basket from “The Lair of the White Worm”

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Vern; about the Pisneyland Mafia

    by Kloipy

    will I ever get to finish that story? I loved it so much but I’ve been in suspense for awhile as to the conclusion. Just wondering

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 8:26 a.m. CST

    That review was like a warm hug

    by Spandau Belly

    And Vern’s right, I’m not interested in this film despite not being jaded or demanding of realism in comedies, but this movie just looks stupid. I wish I could elaborate, but “stupid” is the only word that comes to mind whenever I see a trailer for this.

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 8:38 a.m. CST

    sense of community

    by Spandau Belly

    My city’s situation is different from Vern’s. We’ve got lots of condos that went up in the last couple years, but they were all built on empty lots and long deserted squater houses and whathaveyou. But nobody bought them so they’ve stopped building them.

    Somewhere along the line some asshole sold a bunch of people on the glories of country livin’ and everybody bought it up hook, line, and sinker. Everybody I work with has spent huge money to live a two hour commute from downtown (where they work every day). Nobody even wants to live in the suburbs which are twenty minutes from the city and where the houses are the same price as in these glorious distant villages.

    I listen to these assholes brag on and on about the gloriousness of “quiet” and being away from all that “hustle”…. and they’re talking about the hustle noise of the suburbs! not the condos in the core. I don’t know when they get to appreciate the quiet when you add four hours of driving to their working day, but their answer is always a dead serious “When you live out there, you don’t even notice the commute.” I grew up in suburbs, after 6:00 pm you could hear a pin drop. What’s even more ridiculous is that since country living is so big the developers have packed the houses tighter in the country than in the suburbs so it’s like you get a big lot to do nothing with. This “country” thing is like some doublethink phenomenon of stupidity. Sorry, that’s my tangent.

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 9:35 a.m. CST

    How does one rewind a dvd?

    by knowthyself

    Just asking.

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 9:37 a.m. CST

    this year’s School Of Rock?

    by palewook

    i didn’t get the hype around that one, but ppl flocked to it.

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 10:02 a.m. CST

    I’m going to see this

    by Bloo

    because of Mos Def, dude is funny, great comedic actor. I like jack Black 9I know it’s trendy in the TBs to hateon black because hte public likes him, but I’m not going to conform to you non conformists and I’m going to say it) I like Jack Black. I won’t see a movie just because Jack Blacks in it, but I do like Black

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Spandau

    by Kloipy

    I grew up in the county, surrounded by the forest and acres of rolling fields. It was wonderful because I had all that I could ever need to play into my imagination. Nothing was more fun than running around with my friends in the woods. And the quiet and solitude that was used to reflect upon life/nature does good for a soul. It was wonderful to be able to look at the night sky and not see the ugly orange haze of lights blocking out the stars.

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 10:25 a.m. CST

    one time in the country

    by Kloipy

    I was out in the woods with some friends and we came upon a clearing that had an abondoned trailer in it. It was missing a wall but still had some furnishings. We used that spot as a hangout for years. Once we came back and for some unknown reason the trailer was loaded with boxes, the boxes were filled with baby blue sinks. There were over 50 sinks. Before long, our boyish nature took over and we destroyed everything in the trailer. Kicking down walls, breaking all the sinks, throwing the toilet out a window. My but what fun

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 10:36 a.m. CST

    Wow Vern

    by NoahTall

    Didn’t know you lived in Seattle. I’ll come help you kick some ass if they ever condoize the Showbox. On the other hand this raises the possibility of being able to kick your ass if one of your reviews cons me into seeing a really horrible movie and as a result my entire life is ruined. I never used to believe that it was possible to have your life ruined by seeing a bad movie but reading the talkbacks has convinced me that it does indeed happen to some people.

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Oh, and about Jack Black

    by NoahTall

    He is amusing enough but only able to play one character and that character is Jack Black. At least his one character is more amusing and charming than those of Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider and Will Farrell. I actually love “School of Rock”

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 10:54 a.m. CST

    country livin’

    by Spandau Belly

    Like I said, these places where all these people live are really fucking far, but when you go there they’re just like suburbs to nothing. There’s no core or centre, it’s just a bunch of expensive tightly packed houses that cost a ridiculous amount of money considering all you get is the cache of being able to say “I live in the country”.

    What’s even worse is these bastards all bellyache that they shouldn’t have to pay city taxes even though they use our roads more than anybody when they drive their fuel-inefficient toy trucks on them five hours a day. They also do all their shopping in town, too.

    What I’m criticizing here is a phoney image. If you live on a farm or in a small village and make a living out there and can milk a cow and build a snare and catch a fox and cook him and wear his skin and have an actual reason for driving a truck and all that stuff, then I’m cool with you. But it’s these people who for all purposes but their address live in the city that piss me off. All they do is pollute, complain, and pat themselves on the back for having all the accessories of a lifestyle they don’t live.

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 11 a.m. CST

    I guess streets lights or the odd passing car are unbearable

    by Spandau Belly

    Especially when you’re indoors in the basement watching your blu-ray copy of Transformers. Ahhhhh, the country.

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 11:17 a.m. CST

    I’m not disagreeing with you Spandau

    by Kloipy

    I know the types of people you are talking about. And I didn’t have a basement it was a root celler filled with stone and mud :)

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 12:11 p.m. CST

    The first great

    by skimn

    amusedy of 2008!! Doesn’t inspire me to run out and see it. Ironically I can wait till this comes out on video. Would it be too meta if this became Sweded..??

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Gondry is better with shoretr material

    by cowboyone

    He’s great with the music videos. Leave the longer stuff to feature directors.

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 7:53 p.m. CST

    Blockbuster edits movies?

    by skywalkerfamily

    Uh yeah, did you pull that out of your uninformed ass?

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 9:51 p.m. CST

    skywalkerfamily, I think that Creepy . . .

    by systemsbroom

    . . . is confusing Blockbuster with Cleanflicks or something.
    Anyway, to all of those who are upset that chain video rental stores have replaced small-time video rental stores, don’t worry: things like Netflix have already more or less replaced chain video rental stores (as has the convention of consumer purchase of dvds), and in a couple/few years, online dissemination will replace things like Netflix. Which means ultimately more choice and convenience for the consumer, whether said consumer lives in a run-down city apartment, a soulless new condo, or a house in the suburbs/exurbs.

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 10 p.m. CST

    VHS tapes in *2008*?!

    by Osmosis Jones

    Name ONE video store you’ve been in for the last two or more years that still stocks VHS.

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 10:40 p.m. CST

    The big scene in the movie is when Jack cries

    by skywalkerfamily

    over the loss of HD DVDs.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 2:07 a.m. CST

    Vern is the only writer on this site

    by vealchop

    who fucking gets it right more often than not.

    well played, sir.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 2:23 a.m. CST

    Osmosis

    by Vern

    In Seattle we still have at least one kickass independent store that has kept all their VHS of any titles that haven’t come out on DVD. That means alot if you’re into weird ’80s action movies and shit like I am, because alot of that stuff is not on DVD and might never be. In fact it’s not just obscurities, there are still some classics I’m waiting for to come out on DVD, ROLLING THUNDER being at the top of the list. (WHITE DOG was up there too but rumor is Criterion is releasing it.)

    I can’t really get into Netflix partly for that reason and partly because I like browsing a store trying to decide what to watch. I’m sure gonna miss video stores if they all die off. And music stores.

    The store in the movie is different though, they ONLY carry VHS at the beginning, and that of course is ridiculous. And they don’t have a big collection either. But that’s the point, they’re supposed to be completely behind.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 2:41 a.m. CST

    appendix: movies I like that are on VHS but not DVD

    by Vern

    80 Blocks From Tiffany’s, Derby, I Come In Peace, The Outfit, Rolling Thunder, Streetwise, Tougher Than Leather, The Woman Chaser… and I’m sure I’m forgetting some stuff, but it’s nice to see the list keeps getting smaller and smaller. Last year I finally crossed off Stone Cold, Holy Mountain and El Topo, for example.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 3:59 a.m. CST

    Mr. Gus Van Rant

    by ViolentN8

    Gus Van Rant had this to say: ‘It is a sponsor of this site…never bite the hand that feeds you…right slapnuts?’ First, Vern (as far as I know) garners nothing from AICN (or its advertisements) other than traffic for his fantastic GeoCities site. Secondly, Vern is revered by the people who are long standing staff at AICN and his fanbase (which admittedly includes myself), his articles are published because of his credibility with the internet community in which you participate frequently. Third (and I feel most importantly) is Vern has always spoken what he feels to be TRUE. Transformers sucked even when banner ads for it were everywhere (including AICN), Texas Chain Saw Massacre remake sucked (even though Harry was in it as a body part and banner ads were everywhere on AICN) and bona fide Hollywood Stars actually care about Verns views on their performances/films as he dared Bdub to account for a PGfucking13 Die Hard film. Vern has suffered for us and enlightened us as well. What have you done for us besides bitch Mr. Van Rant. Long live Vern and his honest reviews. Can you do it better? If so get crackin’!

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 4:04 a.m. CST

    Also GVR…

    by ViolentN8

    Also, Slapnuts? Really?

    Who the fuck are you J-E-Double F J-A-Double R-E-Double T? Please don’t Balsa Wood me across the melon like the Honky Tonk Man used to! Or maybe you just work for your dad and wear flashing sunglasses. Enjoy your midgets and lousy booking.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 4:07 a.m. CST

    They should have done Bloodsport!

    by Mr. Graboid

    That would have been pretty funny. Anyways I look forward to this… And please shut up about the store still stocks VHS. Who the hell cares?

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 5 a.m. CST

    Dark Angel isn’t on DVD?

    by Lost Jarv

    what a fucking travesty. Arguably Dolph’s finest hour.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 5:03 a.m. CST

    Fuck you, Space man!

    by Musicballs

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 8:41 a.m. CST

    Hey, Thin Man, don’t forget…

    by James_O’Nasty

    the lack of porn! And back in 2000 Harry went apeshit when he found out they were liquidating VHS for DVD space…

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Vern

    by DocPazuzu

    I Come in Peace (Dark Angel) is indeed on DVD albeit in R2 land — as is MegaForce. I am the proud owner of both.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 10:16 a.m. CST

    VHS

    by Embeedeuce

    I live in Venice, CA. Up the street from me in Santa Monica is a store called Vidiots. Their selling point is that they have everything. No hyperbole. The stock every movie. Ever. And they sort them by not just genre and title, but by shelves of certain directors, actors and era. They have a ton of DVDs to be sure, but the library’s foundation is – gasp – VHS. So all you VHS haters can go f**k yourselves (kidding). Don’t get me wrong. I love me my Netlfix, but I maintain a Vidiots membership too. Just nice to know they’re there.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Oh, and for locals…

    by Embeedeuce

    Odyssey Video still carries a ton of VHS.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 10:40 a.m. CST

    Vern…the Sonics weren’t “stolen”

    by Ninja Nerd

    They just found a better town where they will have actual fans! Hell, the Hornets are leading their division and they STILL don’t have the attendance they did the 2 years they spent in OKC after Katrina. Hey, you get to keep the crappy WNBA Storm team! Kwitcherbellyachin already! Seattle pissed off, then on, the Sonics and you wonder why they’re heading for sunny skies and great fans? You realize the Sonic Drive-in food chain is headquartered about 2 blocks from the Ford Center Arena where they will play? This is practically karma, Vern!

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Ghetto vision

    by petewitham

    I worked at Homevision Video in Portland Maine, and it absolutely sucked. They had a 20 minute loop that played constantly in the background consisting of five or so new release titles, a hit song they were pushing from one of those movies and a bit about upcoming releases. This to me is the equivalent of systematic torture of company employees. This is one example of the atrocities perpetrated by cooperate owned movie stores and why they should be fought at every turn.

    I was eventually fired for playing Elvis movies instead of the 20 minute loops. I’d rather have Elvis and Anne Margarette in the background than listen to the the same shitty trailer 24 times in a single shift for an entire month straight. It’s just not humane. I think that it would have been covered in the Geneva Conventions if video stores were in existence then.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Mos Def does suck

    by IAmJack’sUserID

    Oh wow, a stupid rapper can act mediocrely without shooting anyone or slapping women around. Let’s give him all sorts of unjustified props and back-pats. Also, anyone who goes by their stupid ghetto “rap name” is automatically a fucking moron. I guess Steve or Richard isn’t “street” or “hip” enough.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Ninja Nerd

    by Vern

    I can’t believe it but this Sonics topic is actually on topic because this is a perfect example. The Sonics team didn’t leave because they decided there was a better town. The fucking out-of-town corporation that owns them found a town that was less ethical because their blackmail wasn’t working here. The team was previously owned by the Starbucks asshole and he wanted to rebuild the Key Arena, a perfectly fine arena. Prince played there, if it’s good enough for Prince it’s good enough for the Sonics. The thing isn’t that old and isn’t even paid off yet and they wanted the taxpayers to sink millions more on top of that to build this for-profit business a new arena so they can make more money selling box seats to rich people. The government would’ve gone for it but the taxpayers are still sore from being forced to pay for a baseball stadium that we voted against. As nice as that place is, Seattle is a mixture of liberals who hate corporate welfare and conservatives who try to weasel out of paying any taxes ever, so very few of us agree with building fancy buildings for corporations, especially when they already have one.

    So that’s a perfect example of corporate greed ruining something as simple as some guys throwing rubber balls through nets. Enjoy your Sonics Brand Hamburgers and Basketball(TM). The Storm could kick their ass, though.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 12:31 p.m. CST

    I am Jack

    by Vern

    Not to be harsh bud, but you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Mos Def is an intellectual “backpack” type of rapper. He’s known for his smart and enlightened lyrics, he never did a thug song in his life. Plus the dude used to be on the Cosby Mysteries before he was known as a rapper. He’s not 50 Cent. I hope it wasn’t you that said the same stupid shit about Common a while back. You need to get some basic information before you say some shit like that or you look like a racist moron.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 12:52 p.m. CST

    I am Jacks

    by Kloipy

    seriously man, Mos Def is a great rapper. Check out the song he did for the Chappelle show. He’s a good actor as well. Rent Something the Lord Made, he is fantastic in that. Also in The Italian Job remake, and even though I didn’t like him being cast as Ford in Hitchikers Guide, he did a good job in that movie too. Apparently you don’t know anything about the guy because he isn’t like what you claim at all.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Kloipy

    by IAmJack’sUserID

    Wrong, he isn’t a good actor. And anyone who sings a song called “Ms. Fat Booty” falls under the stupid rapper category. And I didn’t say he was a banger or anything like that; in fact, if you’ll re-read what I wrote — this time maybe slowly — you’ll see I said he WASN’T like that.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 1:31 p.m. CST

    by your standards ‘Queen’ is a stupid rock band

    by Kloipy

    because of “fat bottom girls”. And I’m pretty stupid so can you point out where you didn’t call him a that in this statement

    “Mos Def does suck

    by IAmJack’sUserID Feb 19th, 2008

    11:55:06 AM

    Oh wow, a stupid rapper can act mediocrely without shooting anyone or slapping women around. Let’s give him all sorts of unjustified props and back-pats. Also, anyone who goes by their stupid ghetto “rap name” is automatically a fucking moron. I guess Steve or Richard isn’t “street” or “hip” enough. ”

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Intellectual rapper…lol

    by IAmJack’sUserID

    And I am racist because I call it like I see it? Yeah, you’re right…the media perpetuate this violence in rap thing. I mean, you never hear about rappers shooting people or having lyrics that are filled to the brim about violence. Again, if you could read what I wrote — maybe I need to send you and Kloipy some connect the dots version of my post, or use crayons — you’ll see that I didn’t say he was that. In fact, THAT WAS MY POINT. The reason he is elevated is because he’s a rapper that doesn’t necessarily promote violence, racism, or any other negative aspect like most rap. Anyone who has a song called Mr. Nigga must be an intellectual…lol. And my saying he isn’t a good actor is an opinion, not racism. Get it straight. I guess since I hate Paul Walker I must be prejudice against whites.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 1:39 p.m. CST

    seriously go rent “Something the Lord Made”

    by Kloipy

    and if you still think he’s a bad actor than I guess we will have to agree to disagree

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Oh, no I didn’t say anything about Common, Vern…

    by IAmJack’sUserID

    I guess if I did and it wasn’t complete praise it would be racist, right? Ah, liberal logic. And Kloipy, the word is “without”, and its smack dab in the middle of my post. Too bad I can’t bolden words for you.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 1:48 p.m. CST

    I wish you could bolden words Jack

    by Kloipy

    i guess I just got confused with the whole “mos def sucks”, “stupid rapper” and “ghetto-name” comments. I guess I just assumed that you didn’t know anything because you called a guy stupid even though you know nothing about him. I guess my liberal logic was blinding me for a minute there

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 1:55 p.m. CST

    You could connect the dots yourself, bud

    by Vern

    I said it makes you LOOK like a racist idiot. You imply that when he’s not acting he’s shooting people and slapping women around, which is asinine. Even if you meant the post as you say you’re still implying that it’s some kind of a miracle that there’s a rapper who’s not like that. That is exactly the attitude that racist idiots have, and you shouldn’t want to be confused with them. And yes you can call it like you see it but you have made it clear in this case that you are calling it on something you know nothing about. Maybe I’m wrong, here’s a pop quiz:

    What is the song “Mr. Nigga” about?

    a) it illustrates through various examples how despite all the wealth and status symbols the other rappers brag about they are still on the same level as any other black man in the view of a racist society.

    b) I don’t know, I just looked up some song titles after I got called on not knowing anything about Mos Def.

    Your opinion on him as an actor is legit, it’s just the other stuff that makes it hard to take seriously. Personally I think it depends on the role. I thought he was the best part of BAMBOOZLED (not a very good movie, in my opinion) but he was killin me with that nerd voice in 16 BLOCKS (not a very good movie either, and partly his fault).

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 1:58 p.m. CST

    no

    by Vern

    There was some talkbacker who called Common a gangster when he got cast in the Justice League movie or something. It’s hilarious if you know who Common is because it’s like calling Urkel a gangster. Mos Def is a similar case although Common is funny because he’s mainly known for his goofy hats, his sensitivity toward women and his Gap commercial.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 2 p.m. CST

    His scene in The Woodsman

    by Kloipy

    I thought he was great in that as well. Even if it was a small part.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 6:34 p.m. CST

    Leo

    by Vern

    That’s beside the point though. Jack seemed to be writing off Mos Def as an ignorant, woman-hating, gun-promoting rapper, which makes it clear he’s not familiar with his music. He denied that was what he was saying but attacked him again on the basis of two song titles, I happened to be familiar with one of the songs and knew that it is actually a thoughtful and well written song. If I had to choose one he didn’t bring up I’d pick “The Rape Over” where he takes a Jay-Z song “The Takeover” with its chant about which rappers and labels are “runnin’ this rap shit” and changes it to explain that corporate America is actually runnin’ this rap shit.

    Regardless of what you think about his lyrics or concepts, the fact is that he’s not at all the type of rapper to lump in with 50 Cent and other ignorant “gangster rappers.” I guess that kind of thing gets my goat the same as the people complaining about horror movies, because half the time they deride it in the same sentence that they make it clear that they aren’t even vaguely familiar with what they’re talking about. If you want to criticize Mos Def’s music all you gotta do is complain that he got too into the singing and guitar playing on his second album and that his third album was mostly forgettable.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 7:38 p.m. CST

    vern’s be kind review

    by jason baum

    how in the hell did you get this job?! that was the worst, most off topic review i have ever read. you call yourself for going off on a tangent, but you never made any real point! i understand that you were talking about various themes in the flick, but you really lost sight here man.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 8:12 p.m. CST

    I am Legend had a DVD store!

    by skywalkerfamily

    But that was in the future.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 8:46 p.m. CST

    oh nooo

    by proper

    My favourite Mos Def tunes are next universe,speed law,umi says,May to December and travelling man,His Blackstar album is good too.DocPazuzu=Yes,The megaforce connection lives on,(remember 2004??)come on Barry,flyyyyyy :)… This film looks harmless enough…I haven’t been a video shop for 8 years,I miss those days,it’s a different world…..AICN place reminds me of those days a lot,oh well,onward.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 10:39 p.m. CST

    Can’t wait

    by billis3811

    The idea is sound and seem like it could be really funny

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 11:27 p.m. CST

    orange cinema

    by Vern

    I will remake it for you then:

    PLOT SUMMARY: The videos get erased at the video store! So Jack Black and Mos Def try to remake the movies onto the tapes! For example Ghostbusters, etc. It is pretty funny although not REALLY funny. There are NOT any themes about small business or community so DON’T FUCKING WRITE ABOUT THESE ISSUES EVER IT IS NOT APPROPRIATE

    THE VERDICT: I give it 7 out of 10 bow ties! HOORAY!! check out more of my AWESOME reviews I love movies! thumbs up!

  • Feb. 20, 2008, 4:46 a.m. CST

    Vern

    by Mastidon

    You liked it more than I did. I got all of the themes but just didn’t find it that entertaining except for the Sweded films.

  • Feb. 20, 2008, 6:53 a.m. CST

    I thought Mos Def was a town on Tattooine.

    by I Dunno

    Hmm.

  • Feb. 20, 2008, 2:40 p.m. CST

    God, Vern…

    by God’s Brother

    How do you muster up the energy to deal with these idiots?

  • Feb. 20, 2008, 4:43 p.m. CST

    heh I love his reviews

    by mprose

    Almost as much as I love his response to talk-backers.

    Seems like an interesting movie that touches on themes of community and history with some humor in it. I generally like what the acting career of Mos Def has show me so far and Jack Black hasn’t reached Adam Sandler-esque levels of SAMEGODDAMNEDCHARACTER-ism… so I’ll check it out.

  • Feb. 21, 2008, 7:48 p.m. CST

    Vern IamJack’s deserves your ridicule because

    by half vader

    He goes on about word usage and perception, and forgets that he just wrote “mediocrely”.

    Haw!

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
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