Be Kind Rewind Blu-ray Review
PictureBe Kind Rewind comes to us at a theatrically correct 2.35:1 1080p using the VC-1 codec. From the outset it's apparent that the film really doesn't lend itself to some jaw dropping scenes, no wide open vistas, no multitudes of crowds to spot Wally. However in saying that this film still offers a nice video transfer. From the outset there's no hint of blocking or noise and the print being less than a year old is obviously showing no sign of any ageing, dirt or grain. There is some slight enhancement around the faces and shoulders of our main protagonists as they're outdoors, shot against a bright sky but even this is never distracting.
Colours are always spot on and there's a a wide colour pallet for your eyes. Mike's garage shows all sings of reds, greens and blues from the breakers yard. Equally the dismal but subtle colours of the run down video store come through rather strongly. Skins tones are spot on with no red push and all of the colours on screen never bleed. Blacks are equally strong, but perhaps not the best I have seen on BluRay, with good shadow detail apparent during the substation raid.
General detail though is exquisite and something better than I had hoped for. The opening shot of the freeway as we pan into the Mikes garage and underpass shows an incredible amount of detail fore and aft. Cars stretching into the distance, the horizon scattered with the trappings of modern service industries. Mikes garage is another area where this detail jumps off your screen, each ramshackle car waiting for its demise is lovingly pristine on screen no matter the amount of rust on its body. Similarly the video shop itself although a drab affair still offers up the secrets hidden in its corners; lamps, old brick-a-brack, the covers on the video titles themselves. All of this adds up to a very nice transfer albeit one which occasionally goes a little soft on some close ups and one which blacks could have been just that tad better.
SoundOne track to choose from here like it or not and most will enjoy the fact that this has been given the full bhuna, a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio outing. However this is complete overkill for this film, the surrounds and rears hardly ever kick in, only occasionally offering some truck passing or other general street ambiance. It's very very fleeting though, which is a shame as there are some good scenes which could have made better use of the surround channels.
Dialogue is the order of the game and as such it cannot be faulted, the lines coming across crisp and strong from the centre channel, the volume itself is a little lower than I would have expected though so crack it up a notch or two to suit your taste.
LFE, like the surrounds, is fleeting but when it does kick in (the substation raid for instance) it kicks in loud and deep. There's a visceral punch to this scene and one which is not repeated again throughout the rest of the film. It's never really needed though. So the order of the day is the frontal stage and this is somewhat of a let down. The score is a little weak not widening or opening up the front arena; there is some panning from left to right again for street ambiance but nothing more than that. It's not a bad track per se it's just not very engaging; a pity and perhaps a lost opportunity.
- Passaic Mosaic. - 0:10:22
Interviews with some of the people around Passaic and what they feel about the movie being made there. Michel Gondry & Jack have some input indicating that the police officers are very interested in the filming process. Many of the local people joined in with the film and auditioned for various roles. How the filming process rekindled some of the community spirit if just for a short while.
- Booker T & The Michel Gondry. - 0:06:41
Michel introducing some Jazz legends who were to star in a scene during the railroad-car snippet commemorating Fats Waller's death. Danny Glover who appeared in the scene contributes some thoughts.
- Jack and Mos Improvise Songs. - 0:04:58
Jack and Mos having to improvise songs to films on the instruction of Michel Gondry.
- A Conversation with Jack Black and Michel Gondry. - 0:06:03
Jack with incredibly short hair talking to Michel Gondry, Apparently there's more than a hundred definitions for the term 'Squeezing the Duck!' - I'm still no wiser as to what the term means. The conversation goes onto discuss real films which have been 'Sweded'. Some scenes in the film are briefly discussed.
- Fats was Born 'Here'. - 0:11:28
This is the montage which the characters in the film put together as their final home movie. Here you can see it in all its unedited glory.
- The Making of Be Kind Rewind. - 0:33:20
Gondry initially saying he wrote the script himself. It's the usual fodder for a short making of feature. Location shoots, some fly on the wall scenes as filming takes place, interviews with some cast and crew. Comparisons between the shoot here and his earlier work Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
- Mos Def, Michel Gondry and Jean-Michel Bernard Live! : A Tribute to Fats Waller. - 0:06:06
The trio on stage performing a few Fats Jazz numbers.
- Trailer. - 0:02:30
As the name suggests.
As an extras package this is sadly lacking. The feature with the town's people is interesting enough if only to go back to the film and see the locals playing the parts of extras in the film itself. After that though I felt these snippets had no real worth at all. It's apparent that Gondry certainly loves his music and his jazz, apart from that though there's little else to glean from this package. A discussion on where he had the idea for this would have been entertaining and more comment by Black and Def wouldn't have gone amiss either.
VerdictBe Kind Rewind is not up to the high standard Gondry set himself and others when he made Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This shows a little invention and it's a light hearted enough romp for an evening; however if you've not seen a lot of the films that become 'Sweded' then you may suffer a little because the rest of the film really doesn't offer up anything of any real value.
The audio never deserved the full on 7.1 DTS-HD treatment and at times I wondered if my surrounds and rears were actually connected, the video bears up well enough though but the disc as a whole is let down by a wafer thin set of extras, only one addition really which is interesting enough to watch.
The overall score should be somewhere between a 6 and a 7 for this but I'll be kind and give it the latter; after all I did quite enjoy the actual film. I still recommend Be Kind Rewind although if you're not familiar with some of the films they Swed then you may miss out, repeat viewing are limited so perhaps a rental is your best option. Should you do that though then please be kind and remember to rewind the disc before returning it to the video outlet. Happy viewing.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £22.31
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- Passaic Mosaic. - 0:10:22