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July Films

July Films

By Tim Parks

Don’t mess with the Winnebago Man or you could become a Basquiat case Winnebago Man has been heralded as “one of the funniest documentaries ever made,” according to someone who should know, filmmaker and fellow documentarian, Michael Moore.

The 2009 festival circuit award-winning film looks at the Internet phenomenon that Jack Rebney became, after the video of him on You Tube launched him into the pop culture stratosphere as the “angriest man on Earth,” as he attempts to show the reasons why you should buy a f**king RV! Prior to that viral venture, the 1988 commercial made the VCR rounds during the ’90s, while Rebney has made quite the reputation for himself with the hilariously unintentional commercial in Tinsel Town, with the likes of Conan O’Brien and Alec Baldwin singing its comedic praises.

Winnebago Man’s writer/producer/director, Ben Steinbauer, tracks down Rebney, circa now, and time seems to have made him even more cantankerous, like a fine “what’s the goddamned line” wine you would dare not open nor drink, and certainly wouldn’t look cross-eyed at. Opens July 9.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child chronicles the short but brilliant career of the artistic genius that began as SAMO during the late 1970s, as a graffiti artist in New York City’s Lower East Side. From those humble tagging beginnings, the up-and-coming artiste became chummy with Andy Warhol, dated a then-unknown Madonna in 1982, and sold his first painting to Blondie front woman Debbie Harry for a mere $200.00, while an untitled piece of art from 1981 went for $14.6 million in 2007.

Basquiat’s Neo-expressionist style emerged as must have items among art connoisseurs and soon he found his international stardom becoming overshadowed by his cult status. Director Tamra Davis pays tribute to her late friend (he died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27 in 1988), along with screenwriter Becky Johnston, who interviewed him on camera two years before his untimely death.

The documentary features never-before-seen footage about the man himself talking about his craft, and the creative processes he employed to become a bonafide art wunderkind. Opens July 21.

Drama Queens

Robert Duvall heads up a wonderful cast of supporting players, including Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek, as Felix Bush in Get Low. This based-upon-a-true-story drama centers on Duvall’s character, who has been living in seclusion for forty years in the Tennessee backwoods, and he has become the stuff that legends are made of in the closest proximity town. He is even rumored to have killed men with merely his hands as his weapons of choice.

One day, the townspeople come face to face with a disheveled and gun toting Bush, as he strolls into the local funeral parlor and declares, “’Bout time for me to get low. Down to business. I need a funeral.” So, he goes about inviting both friends and foes alike to his shack to attend a party they will not soon forget. Opens July 30.

What do you get when you add Gossip Girl star Chace Crawford, openly gay director Joel Schumacher and a plotline revolving around a Manhattan prep school drop out? Well, hopefully the answer is something along the lines of being like that old deodorant commercial quote about being “Strong enough for a man. But made for a woman.” IE, bring on the guy candy!

Unfortunately, the film seems to be a case of art imitating life as Crawford’s drug dealing character, White Mike, could have fronted him some of the mean green, so that he wouldn’t have been arrested for trying to buy pot last month. On the upswing, the film does reunite Schumacher with his Lost Boys and Flatliners star Kiefer Sutherland, who serves as the narrator on the material based on Nick McDonnell’s novel. Opens July 2.

Love To Love You Baby

I am Love star, Tilda Swinton, finds herself in a wee bit of a sticky wicket, love-wise, in her adopted homeland of Italy. In this drama, which was an Official Selection at The Venice, Berlin, Toronto and Sundance film festivals, the former ice cold Narnia White Witch becomes embroiled in a heated romance with her step-grandson’s friend Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellinni), a handsome chef.

Her Russian immigrant character of Emma, who is married to the well-to-do Recchi family patriarch Eduardo, Sr. (Gabriele Ferzetti), threatens to tear at the fabric of kinfolk unity, and leave a thread bare hole where trust once lived for all of those involved in the lo sono l’amore (that’s the foreign film’s proper title, by the by) triangle. Opens July 2.

The Love Ranch chronicles the true-life events of how the first legal brothel came to be in Nevada. However, it is done under the guise of “faction,” which is the blending of real occurrences with a fictional slant, so the titular Ranch, is not, in fact, the famed Mustang bordello on which the movie is based.

The film, which is directed by Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman), stars Academy Award-winning actress Dame Helen Mirren (The Queen) as the mistress of a different type of house, in her turn as brothel madam Grace Botempo during the 1970s.

Her den of beauties includes good time gal Gina Gershon (Showgirls) and husband Charlie (Joe Pesci), while a well-known South American heavy weight boxer Armando Bruza (Sergio Peris-Mencheta) enters the picture and causes a one-two knockout of deceit and murder. Now playing.

About timparksmediaho

I am a self professed Media Ho, which is the nicer version of being a Media Whore. My mother actually inspired me to come up with the term

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