Home > Reviews > BE KIND REWIND – Jean-Michel Bernard

BE KIND REWIND – Jean-Michel Bernard

February 22, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Be Kind Rewind is a very unusual comedy from director Michel Gondry, whose previous credits include the cult hit Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The film stars Mos Def as Mike, a video rental store clerk in suburban New Jersey who is obsessed with the life and work of Fats Waller. One day Mike’s best friend Jerry (Jack Black) – who lives very close to a nuclear power plant – comes into the store, having received an electric shock while attempting to sabotage the plant, and as a result of his ‘magnetism’, accidentally wipes every VHS tape in the store. In attempt to cover up their tracks, the duo comes up with an idea: they will remake every movie themselves on a handheld camcorder.

It’s a strange concept for a film, but such is the nature of Gondry one has to expect this kind of thing. For the music Gondry turned to his regular collaborator, French composer Jean-Michel Bernard. Bernard’s music is low-key and understated and, taking its lead from Mike’s fascination with Fats Waller, is imbued with a definite jazz element, albeit a more quirky one than one might expect.

Cues like “Microwaves” and “Daisy’s Drive” are cheerful little pieces which make light use of Hammond organs and sunny percussion. There is also a little bit of contemporary pathos through cues like “Train Station” and the attractive but brief “Blind Test”, and even some action music in “Little Mikey”, which indicates that Bernard could be more than capable of branching out and writing something straighter and more dramatic. As one might expect, there’s also a great deal of source music, some in its original form, others in unusual cover versions performed by Bernard, Black, and even Gondry himself – listen out for their version of “I Ain’t Got Nobody” played on what sounds like a Wurlitzer!

The whole thing is a bit of a mishmash – a souvenir of the movie, to be sure, and enjoyable enough on its own terms, but certainly not one which will set the film score world alight.

Rating: **½

Track Listing:

  • Your Feets Too Big (performed by Mos Def and Jean-Michel Bernard) (2:56)
  • Nothing From Nothing (performed by Billy Preston) (2:38)
  • I Ain’t Got Nobody (3:32)
  • Jerry’s Sweded Ghost Song (performed by Jack Black) (0:09)
  • Microwaves (1:13)
  • Train Station (1:05)
  • I Ain’t Got Nobody (performed by Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn and Michel Gondry) (5:42)
  • Keep Jerry Out (1:53)
  • Little Mikey (1:55)
  • I’m Bill (1:48)
  • Lulu’s Back In Town (performed by Jean-Michel Bernard and the Passaic High School Marching Band) (1:56)
  • Chinese Bamboo (1:29)
  • Magnetic Pee (1:37)
  • The Animated Lion (0:39)
  • I Ain’t Got Nobody (performed by Mos Def, Jean-Michel Bernard and Michel Gondry) (3:34)
  • Robot Karate (2:11)
  • Daisy’s Drive (1:03)
  • Plan (3:28)
  • Blind Test (0:54)
  • Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (performed by Fats Waller) (2:20)
  • Mike Has An Idea (2:27)
  • DVD Break-In (1:10)
  • Sunny Monday (performed by Booker T. and The MGs) (4:37)
  • Ain’t Misbehavin (performed by Mos Def and Jean-Michel Bernard) (2:43)
  • Solitude (4:31)
  • Lulu’s Back In Town (performed by Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn and Michel Gondry) (7:14)
  • Your Feets Too Big (performed by Fats Waller) (3:04)
  • Mr. Fletcher’s Song (performed by Jean-Michel Bernard and Moe Holmes) (4:01)

Running Time: 71 minutes 50 seconds

Lakeshore Records LKS-339692 (2008)

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