Two bumbling store clerks inadvertently erase the footage from all of the tapes in their video rental store. In order to keep the business running, they re-shoot every film in the store with their own camera, with a budget of zero dollars.
In Passaic, NJ, Elroy Fletcher runs a video store in a condemned building he claims was the birthplace of Fats Waller. Fletcher goes on a Waller centennial trip, leaving his foster son Mike in charge of the store. Mike's peculiar friend Jerry tries to sabotage a power station and nearly electrocutes himself, getting magnetized in the process. He inadvertently erases every tape in the store. Mike and Jerry hatch an plan to hide the disaster by making a homemade "Ghostbusters" to rent to a woman whom Fletcher will be phoning to check on them. Soon, with help, their homemade versions of films develop a cult following. Will this new business save the store and the building? What about Fats?Written by
Some believe the term "Sweded" was created, due to the Swedish government's stance on file-sharing. While many media corporations have succeeded in having files of their copyrighted works removed from Internet websites, Sweden has treated such file sharing as a form of free speech, and a right of consumers. There is even a Swedish pro-piracy political party. The term actually was simply coined by Michel Gondry in the script, where Jerry (Jack Black) needs to justify an exorbitant fee, and delay in supplying one of their custom-made videos to a customer. He indicates the reason is, because it is a "very rare type of video", which needs to be imported from Sweden - "Because it's a faraway, expensive country." See more »
When Mr Fletcher sets off on his trip, the train leaves going back the way it came, even though Passaic does not appear to be a terminal. See more »
How come you never got married Mr. Fletcher?
Well, the common story is, the girl that you was gonna ask, you waited too long to ask. She went on to marry somebody else. And then you can't find anybody that compared to her. So what happens?... You get old.
[raises both hands and shrugs]
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Written by Yellowman (as Winston Foster) and Henry 'Junjo' Lawes
Published by Tafait Music, Inc. (ASCAP) and Greensleeves Publishing Ltd. (PRS)
Performed by Yellowman
Courtesy of Greensleeves Records Ltd.
License arranged by Fine Gold Productions LLC See more »
I missed this film at Sundance, caught it as soon as possible, and I wasn't disappointed. Despite being privy to the exhaustive fine-tuning of an indie film with an improvised feel, watching "Be Kind" I could absolutely believe it came together as quickly and spontaneously as the snippets of "sweded" films. This was part of its charm and I think Gondry's intention.
All the actors were engaging, and genuine heartfelt emotion - most definitely by the surprising, naturally pitch-perfect Mos Def - transcended the dialog, plot points and general wackiness.
The Fats Waller thread was just random enough and very skillfully and satisfyingly woven into the story from beginning to end. This and many other details - including touches like lovely Mia Farrow's curiosity about supernatural films and Sigourney Weaver's brief take-charge turn - convinced me that Gondry put quite a bit of thought and skill into perfecting the film's endearing awkwardness. It might not be to everybody's taste, but I think it was a great idea, executed and seasoned just right.
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