Be Kind Rewind 

The previews for this film make it look much funnier than it actually is, but as is the case with most of what French genre-bending director Michel Gondry gets his hand on, this title defies easy categorization. While 2004's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was a brilliant indie sci-fi-drama, 2006's The Science of Sleep was a deranged trip to dreamland. This one is more dramedy, with a sci-fi nod.

Left to tend the New Jersey video store in which he works, Mike (Mos Def, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) is devastated when his nutty pal Jerry (Jack Black) erases all of the shop's cassettes. In a last-ditch effort to appease the store's most loyal renter (Mia Farrow, The Omen), the pair begins to re-shoot much of the store's titles—starring themselves, and with Mike's home video camera.

Honestly, outside of a few of Black's lines, which include an absolutely hilarious re-hash of the Ghostbusters theme, there aren't a lot of overly funny moments. It's more of a fun little jaunt into fantasy, ridiculousness and community. Come film's end, one may feel slighted, but the special features outline how the townspeople of Passaic, N.J., really came together to make this movie, which aids the film's vibe in retrospect.

Gondry has directed some of my favorite music videos by The White Stripes, Daft Punk and The Chemical Brothers but his decidedly creative films are still hit-and-miss. This one's a subtle, cockeyed look into small-town East Coast life and ought to find a cult fan base, but those expecting typical Jack Black fare are going to suffer.

This video is courtesy of Hollywood Video, 590 Broadway Ave., 208-342-6117.

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