REVIEWS: Docs / Other films — April 13, 2012 at 8:20 am

REVIEW: Being Michael Madsen (2007)

I’ve had mixed feelings about “Being Michael Madsen”, since for the first 10-15 minutes, I couldn’t understand what the heck I was watching. A documentary? A feature film? A mockumentary? Now, after watching the film, I would classify it as a mockumentary, mostly.

The story centers around our beloved Michael Madsen, who’s in trouble – he’s been accused of a murder of some young actress, whom he worked briefly on one of his movies.

A photo journalist/tabloid journalist by the name of Billy Dant (Jason Alan Smith) is harrasing Madsen, who of course denies all the charges.

The story develops further, as we get short comments from Michael’s friends (David Carradine, Harry Dean Stanton, Daryl Hannah), and family (his mom, and sister-actress Virginia Madsen) regarding Michael, and the whole situation.

Madsen decides to deal with the problem in another way – to turn the tables on Dant, by hiring a trio of documentary filmmakers to chronicle Dant’s life, loves, and troubles.

Basically, Madsen has a revenge scheme in his mind, trying to make Dant feel what its like to feel being accused of a fake crime, being under constant pressure and harassment.

As the story goes, a viewer also gets into the whole process of “Dant 24/7”, as the crew of 3 documentary filmmakers follow Dant everywhere he goes.

The more crew talks to Dant and documents his life, the more we realize that everyone has skeletons in his/her closet. In this particular case, Dant has some of those for sure.

Like I already noted, at first it was kind of hard to understand whether the story was real or fake. In fact, I thought it was real at first, and even googled “Michael Madsen murder case”, wondering if I somehow managed it to slip through my fingers.

Michael Madsen is a well-known actor, with a limited range of acting abilities. In “Being Michael Madsen” he says one phrase that couldn’t be closer to the truth: “I am about longevity”.

Longevity means that Madsen wants or plans to stay a working actor for a few more decades, since his career has both independent movies, low-budget crap, and A-list Hollywood films.

In my opinion, he’s in the same boat as Eric Roberts, Martin Kove, Malcolm McDowell, actors who keep on working on absolutely different film projects all the time.

As for the film itself, I’ll have to take my hat off to Jason Alan Smith, as he seemed more than believable as Billy Dant to me (okay, I also googled “Billy Dant”, only to find out it is a fictional character).

Michael Madsen, while being in the center of the story, has limited screen time, and he mostly talks about himself, looking tough as always.

In fact, the title “Being Michael Madsen” could have easily been changed to “Being INSERT CELEBRITY HERE”, since what the story centers on is something that is happening all the tine to movie stars and celebrities.

I was a little dissapointed to find out that 90 percent of “Being Michael Madsen” was scripted, word for word, scene by scene. Only about ten percent of the interview dialogue was ad-libbed.

Other than that, it was an interesting film, I ended up liking it. Not sure if this could be recommended to everyone, but Michael Madsen fans would be pleased.

BZFILM SCALE: 4/10

 



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