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Being Michael Madsen (2007)

Actor Michael Madsen turns the tables on notorious paparazzo, Billy Dant, by hiring a trio of documentarians to chronicle Dant's life, loves, and troubles.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Himself
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Billy Dant / Peter Kenneth Ryan
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Mark Pollard
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Jackie Clark
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Dexter Hilt
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Herself
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Herself
...
Himself
...
...
Himself
...
Herself
...
Mrs. Agnes Ripplehorn
...
James J. Perry
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Teddy Gold
...
Attorney Vicki Roberts
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Storyline

Actor Michael Madsen turns the tables on notorious paparazzo, Billy Dant, by hiring a trio of documentarians to chronicle Dant's life, loves, and troubles.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Details

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Release Date:

16 November 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Turning the Tables  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ninety percent of "Being Michael Madsen" was scripted, word for word, scene by scene. Only about ten percent of the interview dialogue was ad-libbed. See more »

Connections

References Reservoir Dogs (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Michael has been perfecting that persona of 'badboy' since he was 12."
27 June 2009 | by (Palm Desert, California) – See all my reviews

Before Being Michael Madsen was making rounds in the festival circuit, two young gals came into the store where I work asking for ANY DVD that starred Madsen. "He's just the coolest, hottest guy ever!" they gushed. I informed them that I knew of a film called Being Michael Madsen that would be released some day, and their eyes just lit up, making sure they wrote that title down. I still smile when I think of that, now having seen the film when it was screened at the Dances With Films festival in June of 2009 in Los Angeles. I can now say I agree with those gals, and while this film seems to be about Michael it's obvious everyone else is getting their share of the fun. He has some good competition with his sister Virginia here as well. Michael is so cool you want him to be your pal, though you might get the feeling he still could punch you. But you'd appreciate that he did.

Director/writer Michael Mongillo has done something I've always wished would happen: turn the tables on the paparazzi and/or tabloid reporters and have THEIR lives invaded and exposed, showing the skeletons in their closets. And while Being Michael Madsen turns out to be a mockumentary, there are still times when you forget about the faux part of it since actual facts about Madsen's life are intermixed with fiction. Whether or not you feel that completely works, there's no doubt you'll be hooked and go along with the ride. The full audience at the screening seemed to be willing and had a lot of fun. It's very apparent that when you have people putting together a film and enjoying doing that instead of it being just a "process" for them, something good will result.

The film sets up a scenario that a well-known tabloid's reporter/paparazzo Billy Dant wrote an article that Madsen killed a film extra (though no body was ever found), then gives us a background to Madsen's life and career, to then bring us back to the Dant situation. He then hires a three-person documentary crew to follow Dant and basically make his life hell. It was nice to see Mongillo regulars like Davis Mikaels (The Wind) as the camera guy, you just knew anything he was going to say in the rest of the film was going to make you laugh. Throughout all this we get interviews with Madsen's sister Virginia (who is absolutely amazing and very, VERY funny in her "seriousness") as well as friends Daryl Hannah, David Carradine, and Harry Dean Stanton (who got the entire theatre laughing by simply uttering the word "bullsh*t"). Of course the documentary crew has its own inner conflicts, so things get mighty out of control very quickly.

Re-enactments of past situations were wonderfully performed in stiff, schlocky form, and I never imagined that a scene of a woman undressing could be so hysterically funny instead of erotic. That scene alone brought in some hearty laughs, along with Billy Dant getting bonked in the head with a boom mic.

Those that go in thinking this film is a real documentary will not be disappointed after realizing what's really going on, and those that already know the joke will still get a kick out of all the fun. The cast is having a great time (you can bet Paige Davis was having a grand time of it), and while some may say this is not a perfect film, its sheer entertainment makes it worth getting high marks. Some may say it's not a mass audience pleaser because of it poking fun at a particular part of the Hollywood scene, however that's not the case here since there's something for everyone. Fans of the Madsens, film insiders and officionados, and word of mouth can especially make this one a winner as well. Sit back with some snacks and enjoy! Be sure to stick through the credits for some surprises.

Michael Madsen says in the film: "There's one thing I can't live with: a flat-out lie." *WINK - WINK* !!


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