Be Kind Rewind

Scream Video Store

There are many reasons to mourn the end of the video store era. Our world of curated shops with mainstream and independent cinema is being replaced with narrow, short-term selections dictated by studio agreements with streaming services. We’re losing the system that allowed for interaction and exploration before the solitary trek to pop a tape in the VCR. We’re losing the world that allowed future creatives to meet, interact, and explore together – most famously, at Video Archives, where Quentin Tarantino clerked and shared his geekery with locals like actor/writer Danny Strong. But video stores also served many different functions in the medium. In movies, the video store is the place where geeks immerse themselves in their passion, where clerks gets creative or just condescending, where employees try to make romantic connections, and of course, the playground where characters could banter about anything and everything cinema. At least it lives on in films like the 9 below.

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Home Alone Talkboy

Defictionalization is when something that previously only existed in a movie universe comes to life. Films and TV shows are now taking advantage of this more than ever before. In the world of TV, Castle has spawned a series of books by Nathan Fillion’s crime novelist character; Parks and Rec has spawned a guide to Pawnee written by the characters themselves; and Archer is now releasing an album recorded by Judy Greer’s character Charlene (and not, apparently, by Judy Greer). Here are ten great examples of fictional products from movies that became defictionalized in interesting ways:

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There’s no need to fix the Oscars, at least as far as the Academy and ABC are concerned. The ratings for Sunday’s telecast were huge. But those of us who wish for a better show can still try to come up with ideas for how the event can improve. My suggestion: they should embrace remakes. I don’t mean specifically honoring remakes, though 12 Years a Slave was basically the second remake in a decade to win Best Picture (and if Steven Spielberg really remakes West Side Story, maybe we can see a remake of a Best Picture win Best Picture). I mean more along the lines of recreating scenes from new and old movies specifically for the ceremony. Not a lot is different between the concepts of a remake and a recreated movie. The latter might be more faithful and intended for tribute, though. Examples may include the continued art of sweding and “parody” videos that have a loving approach and the popular attraction of live celebrity script-readings, whether cast with the original or new actors and actresses. In the middle group there have been such memorable instances as the Max Fischer Players renditions of the 1999 MTV Movie Awards nominees and this year’s separate instances of kids acting out the Best Picture contenders. 

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Remake Star Wars

If you already have low expectations for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, you might not be interested in seeing the first film by Norwegian director Tommy Wirkola. It won’t exactly do much for your interest in the new action-infused fairy tale. But if you’re like me and are fascinated by the calling card short films of Hollywood moviemakers, you’ll want to check out Remake. Anyway, it’s under seven minutes, so you’re not wasting too much time. The short was produced in Australia in 2006, and Wirkola shares helming duties on the film with Kit McDee (who has his own action feature with the word “hunters” in it out this year called The Hunters Club Movie). They both also co-star as hotel desk clerks (or owners?) who offer guests homemade Betamax videos featuring cheap remakes of popular movies (Titanic, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Scream and Deep Throat are among the titles we see). Basically these movies have been “sweded,” although Remake was made before Be Kind Rewind, which coined that term and popularized the concept.

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In just a few weeks we will be getting our first Men in Black film in nearly ten years, and hopefully the Men in Black sequel we deserve. Director Barry Sonnenfeld‘s first installment was a real head-turner, a rare type of blockbuster that could be touted as being something like a modern day Ghostbusters, though it was its own original breed of film. The 2002 sequel, however, was not that, forgetting nearly everything that made the first film unique. Thankfully, Sonnenfeld is well aware of this. The Get Shorty and Addams Family director is hoping to bring the series back down to where it all began: character and plot-driven action, not another aimless gag after gag sequel. From his different 3D approach to having what he calls a real nasty villain again, Barry Sonnenfeld declares Men in Black III a return to where the series started off so well.

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An attraction inspired by director Michel Gondry’s film Be Kind Rewind started at Paris’ Centre Pompidou yesterday, and Gondry himself was on the scene to help kick things off. The attraction is a filmmaking workshop called L’Usine de film amateurs that allows groups of people to sign up and create their own amateur movies from scratch, just like the Jack Black and Mos Def characters from the film. The process, from conception to wrapping, takes three hours, you leave with a DVD copy of your film, and it’s all free. If I were in Paris I would go do this for sure, and if you’re going to be there any time between now and March 13th you could do just that. The coolness of the workshop wasn’t the big news that came out of Gondry’s appearance, however. While there he announced that he is to begin work on a film adaptation of the Phillip K. Dick novel “Ubik.” Anybody who has done any studying of Science Fiction literature knows something about Dick, but for those unfamiliar with this particular book, here is the synopsis from phillipkdick.com:

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Jack Black to play a spy-wannabe

After delivering solid performances in three very good films in 2008, Jack Black is now looking toward the future, and it appears that he is bringing his Kung Fu Panda writers with him.

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Be Kind Rewind Giveaway

Into the seemingly endless FSR goodie bag we go yet again, folks. This time we’ve pulled out five (5) copies of the Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) film Be Kind Rewind.

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DVDs I Bought This Week!

Brian Gibson loves to buy DVDs. Come with him on his weekly journey into the depths of credit card debt as he tells you what to buy, rent and avoid.

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Be Kind Rewind is a missed opportunity that can’t sustain any momentum for more than a few minutes.

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Jack Black and Mos Def remake all of your old favorites in this brilliant comedy from director Michel Gondry.

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What’s the difference between a blogger and a newspaper critic? The newspaper critic has less readers and sees more movies. No joke…

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Young fans and wannabe filmmakers take to the web to show off their sweding skills just like Jack Black and Mos Def in Be Kind Rewind! Are you one of them?

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New Line bags screenings of Michel Gondry’s most accessible flick all over the country. This, for all intents and purposes, is a very bad move.

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Michel Gondry remakes his own trailer… And it is hilarious.

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Innovative filmmaker Michel Gondry brings Jack Black, Mos Def and a lot of “sweding” to Park City. And no, there is no perspiration involved.

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Jack Black talked to Collider this week about Be Kind Rewind, but ended up spilling some beans on Judd Apatow’s “biblical” comedy.

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Three movies, seven awesome posters. They say the holidays are all about sharing with others. So here you are, poster’s of plenty!

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You could probably spell out the infinite ways that “Be Kind, _____” has been used all over the internet since this trailer was released by Yahoo Movies. The trailer is for Michel Gondry’s BE KIND, REWIND which stars Jack Black and Mos Def and video store clerks who erase a bunch of movies and have to remake them. In remaking films like GHOSTBUSTERS and ROBOCOP, they start something of a movement.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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