Sadly, this movie didn't seem to get positive reviews...to which I say (now that I have FINALLY gotten to watch it): YOU JUST DIDN'T GET IT!! Perhaps people had a stigma against Jack Black in an 'indie' film, or had a hard time dealing with the incidentally not-so-strange combo of him and Mos Def...eiter way I was touched and inspired by this beautiful film! Michel Gondry is a cinematic/creative genius known for his work on music videos (particularly with the magnanimous Bjork), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (my favorite), and The Science of Sleep-- so I knew that even if the plot was as turbulent as the latter film, I would at least be visually enamored.
The movie synopsis will tell you that because of his typical foibles, Jack Black's character manages to erase all of the videos in the dilapidated neighborhood rental/thrift store. What is not made clearly known is that the store as a local mythos that albeit only meaningful to Mos Def's character, is being threatened of demolition to build condos. Thus theme #1, the battle between big business/modernization and small/local ownership-- which really reveals so many other social issues, but I'll save all of that for conversation. The film summary will also tell you that Mos Def and Jack Black recreate the films that have been erased, but what I found missing from many of the reviews and previews I heard was the creativity and messages this movie addresses. Firstly, to see how the characters recreate the films is worth the rental! Some who may not appreciate ingenuity or crafstmanship may see this aspect as cheesy, but what I saw was brilliance and something missing from the lives of many-- IMAGINATION! And in the film, the small and seemingly trivial community picks up on tis and realizes ow much better it is to be an "act-er" in life, rater tan just a passive viewer....and how it is so much more sweet to be part of someting and see yourself up there, than it is to merely dream. I will keep the bulk of the plot silent so you can watch and perhaps share your perspective, but I warn you, if you have a creative spirit that yearns for a time in which a soul existed in society, then you will surely experience some heARTrtwrenching moments and and perhaps desire a simple movement of people challenging the desire of the corporate world to destroy all that makes us unique and free!
To the handmade movement, to being interactive, to being creative, to being inspired!