Sometimes it’s hard to know where writers and directors get their inspiration. But when it strikes, you get movies that can only be described as unique—like these two I want to recommend.
“BE KIND, REWIND”
In Michel Gondry’s “Be Kind, Rewind,” Danny Glover plays the proprietor of a deliberately old-fashioned video store in a working-class New Jersey neighborhood. Against his better judgment, he leaves the store in the hands of employees Mos Def and Jack Black while he’s gone for several days, and let’s just say, things happen. Black has a close encounter with a power line and erases all the tapes in Glover’s vhs inventory, so our heroes are forced to recreate the missing movies as regular customers like Mia Farrow ask for them. To their surprise, their clientele actually likes these home-grown remakes, which forces them to make even more—and include members of the community in the process. But “Be Kind Rewind” isn’t about movie parodies—it’s a sweet, Frank Capra-esque movie about ordinary people brought together by the magic of movies. And the leading actors strike just the right note. Use xfinityTV.com to purchase “Be Kind, Rewind” on your TV.
Warren Beatty’s best movie, “Bulworth,” is also the most audacious political satire ever to come from Hollywood. Jay Bulworth is a California senator who’s running for re-election, but in a moment of self-examination he realizes that even he is fed up with his tired political platitudes. He decides to end his life—and with nothing to lose, he becomes brutally honest, to the dismay of campaign manager Oliver Platt—especially as he speaks to his black constituents. Freed of all constraints, Bulworth begins to enjoy the political process for the first time in years. And when Halle Berry takes him to her neighborhood for a close-up look at inner-city life he experiences something like an epiphany. Bulworth is neither a liberal nor a conservative movie. It’s born of enormous frustration with the status quo and lashes out in all directions. But it tempers its anger with a comedic fury that’s very engaging—and a performance by Beatty that’s as inspired as his wide-ranging screenplay. This is one hell of a movie. Use xfinityTV.com to purchase “Bulworth” on your TV.
Another word I might use to describe “Bulworth,” or “Be Kind Rewind,” is “inspired.” That’s why I think both movies are so rewarding, each in its own way.
Note: These picks, which start at $0.99, may not be available in all areas. SEE MORE OF LEONARD MALTIN’S PICKS HERE.