Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Winnebago Man (2009)

Director: Ben Steinbauer

Writers: Malcolm Pullinger, Ben Steinbauer

Composers: William Anderson, Lyman Hardy, Andrew Hoke, Taylor Holland

Starring: Jack Rebney, Ben Steinbauer, Keith Gordon, Nick Prueher, Joe Pickett, Douglas Rushkoff, Charlie Sotelo, Cinco Barnes, Alan Berliner, Mike Mitchell, Alexsey Vayner

More info: IMDb

Plot: Jack Rebney is the most famous man you've never heard of - after cursing his way through a Winnebago sales video, Rebney's outrageously funny outtakes became an underground sensation and made him an internet superstar. Filmmaker Ben Steinbauer journeys to the top of a mountain to find the recluse who unwittingly became the "Winnebago Man."

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes.

I hadn't heard of the Winnebago Man until this movie came out and that's when I became a fan of Jack Rebney.  Think of a more pissed off Dabney Coleman or Gerald McRaney.   His off the rails tirades are hilarious.  This picture introduces us to the Winnebago Man video and talks about the internet phenomena he became.  It's about a half hour in that we get to meet the guy first hand.  His reluctance makes it even more special.  It feels like Jack is carefully trying to control the narrative.  You're not sure sometimes when he's truthful or not and he has a tendency to change his mood.  At least that's how it's shown.  He flip flops frequently on wanting to participate.  Something has happened to him that we eventually discover that makes him a lot more sympathetic.  He still comes across as a grumpy ass old man but he also seems to finally relax and let his guard down...a little.  I kind of felt for the guy but then who am I feeling for, Jack Rebney or the Jack Rebney he's portraying.  It's a great documentary about an unsuspecting internet star.  I've always felt like documentaries aren't really made until long after the filming is complete.  Life has a way of creating stories under our noses, not allowing us to see them until we step back and take it all in.  This must've been true for the filmmakers.

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