TagsAmy Adams Angelina Jolie Anne Hathaway Cameron Diaz Carey Mulligan Daniel Radcliffe Darren Aronofsky David Fincher Dwayne Johnson Edward Norton Elizabeth Banks Emily Blunt Emma Watson Gary Oldman George Clooney Gwyneth Paltrow Jack Black Jake Gyllenhaal James Franco Jason Bateman Jason Segel Jason Sudeikis Jesse Eisenberg John C. Reilly Johnny Depp Joseph Gordon-Levitt Julia Roberts Mark Wahlberg Matt Damon Michael Bay Michelle Williams Mila Kunis Natalie Portman Owen Wilson Paul Rudd Reese Witherspoon Robert De Niro Robert Downey Jr Ryan Gosling Sam Worthington Seth Rogen Steven Soderbergh The Avengers Tom Cruise Twilight: Breaking Dawn
Daily Archives: December 30, 2010
You may not recall much of “Gulliver’s Travels,” the 1726 fable by Jonathan Swift. Maybe you can see, in your mind’s eye, shipwrecked traveler Lemuel Gulliver on the beach, bound by hundreds of the tiny Lilliputians, residents of the first strange shore he washes up on. Or perhaps you see Gulliver, now himself small, among the giants of Brobdingnag. You don’t really have to recall much more than that from your long-ago slog through the book in high school or from one of the many filmed versions; the people behind this new 3-D version, modernized and starring Jack Black as Gulliver, certainly don’t bring much more than those two images from the book to the table. Instead, “Gulliver’s Travels” is an incredibly costly, special effects-laden plotless muddle of a film that might as well be called “In the Name of Jesus, Doesn’t the Prospect of Leaving the House and Not Having to Talk to Your Family for 90 Minutes During the Christmas Holiday Sound Appealing?”
Directed by Rob Letterman (“Monsters vs. Aliens,” “Shark Tale“), “Gulliver’s Travels” casts Black as Lemuel Gulliver, a mail room employee at a New York newspaper, who, desperate to impress comely travel editor Darcy (Amanda Peet), fibs and plagiarizes enough of a writing career to get an assignment to investigate some phenomena near the Bermuda Triangle. Adrift — literally, once he gets aboard a boat — and unprepared, Gulliver is picked up by a waterspout that deposits him in Lilliput, where everyone is one-twelfth the size of a normal human and yet 100 percent as worthy of consideration and the truth.
Neither of which Gulliver extends, fibbing himself into heroic status and saving the day in several unlikely ways. This impresses the King (Billy Connolly) and his daughter Mary (Emily Blunt) and the lowly worker Horatio (Jason Segel) he befriends; it does not impress Gen. Edward (Chris O’Dowd), the leader of the Lilliputian armies, and a bit of a blowhard and a boor. O’Dowd is a very funny actor, and his general is a fairly funny performance — imagine Michael Caine from “Zulu” as a John Cleese character — and any time O’Dowd, or anyone on-screen, does anything you might want to watch and enjoy, the film gets self-conscious and hurries to provide another pee, butt or belly joke.
Which is the strangest thing about watching “Gulliver’s Travels”: Everyone in it is really good. Connolly, Peet, O’Dowd are all comedic talents. Blunt has a real presence. Segel is somehow charming and yet foolish, silly and sincere. And while a little of Black’s boastful bragging and rubber-faced clowning goes a long way, they are hardly the worst thing in the world to watch. Nicolas Stoller and Joe Stillman have written a script full of tiresome platitudes and special effects-aided urine jokes, each there solely to move toward the closing dance number and credits with a minimum of fuss. The message of “Gulliver’s Travels” is, apparently, “Just be yourself” and “Don’t lie.” Considering that the budget for this film is tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars, I would like to let 20th Century Fox know that I will tell kids “Just be yourself” and “Don’t lie” for half of what they spent on this film and its green-screen effects and marquee-name musical numbers.
The great irony is that Swift wrote “Gulliver’s Travels” to satirize the social order of his day. Now, this 2010 version, bloated with pixels and hurling itself off the screen in 3-D, feels like an unintentional satire of modern kids-movie excesses and banality. When the film needs to end, it’s not the culmination of several plot threads; it’s a musical number, a happy sing-along version of a song released in 1969. A “giant” Lilliputian robot is added for ostensibly comedic effect. Gulliver’s journey to Brobdingnag gets short shrift. And again, the traditional problem of big-budget family entertainment arises, where the grown-up jokes are too grown-up for the younger kids in the audience and the jokes for kids are too insipid and simplistic to appeal to grown-ups. It’s as if Stoller and Stillman wrote some billboard-ready, poster-ready and trailer-ready scenes for the marketing department to use and then stopped. Like I said, you probably don’t recall much of the original “Gulliver’s Travels.” The good news is that even if you get dragged to this big-money modernization of the tale, you won’t recall much of this version, either.
There will be a number of people with no interest whatsoever in seeing “Rabbit Hole,” John Cameron Mitchell‘s film adaptation of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer prize-winning stage play. They will hear the plot — a married couple, Howie (Aaron Eckhart) and Becca (Nicole Kidman), cope with the loss of their only son in a tragic accident — and wave “Rabbit Hole” off as a downer, a bummer, a high-gloss exercise in empty Oscar-season theatrics intended For Your Consideration. And those people will be wrong. Yes, “Rabbit Hole” is a discussion of grief, and its shadow twin, healing. Yes, it features superb acting from the leads that will be talked about at Oscar time. But it also has a sense of humor, and of grace, and it never takes easy or simple outs, and it has an excellent supporting cast, and it marks Mitchell’s step to the next level of American directors. It is, in brief, exactly the kind of movie the American cinema often promises us and so very rarely delivers.
Becca and Howie have a beautiful and empty home. They talk about their loss, and there are things they do not talk about, and they each are coping in different ways and not coping in different ways. Neither of them is as good, or as bad, as they seem. Eckhart’s all-American charm and brawn cracks and crumbles. Kidman’s arch demeanor has rarely been used to better effect as when she dismisses a support group member’s statement that they must have lost their child because God needed another angel: “Why didn’t he just make one? He’s God, after all. Why didn’t he just make another angel?”
The staccato rhythms owe a debt to David Mamet, but there’s also something fine and sensitive in every word and every scene, and Kidman and Eckhart make it come alive. In a lesser drama, one of the two of them would be wrong; instead, we watch as they each work through impossible depths of despair at different rates, in different ways, like people do instead of like characters would. There are great moments from the supporting cast – including Dianne Weist, Sandra Oh and Giancarlo Esposito — but the real standout is Miles Teller. Saying too much would force open moments and moods the film gently unfolds, but Teller is given a burden — as an actor, as a character — and he carries it in a way that makes you aware of how heavy it is, and how it will never lift.
Why would you go see “Rabbit Hole?” Perhaps because you have never had such a loss in your life, and to see it shown and stated in such human terms is instructive. Or perhaps because you have had such a loss in your life, and to brush against the image of things only you can know is instructive and less painful, like using a pinhole camera to view an eclipse. Or simply because it is a film about people, people like us, living imperfect lives and arguing about if Al Green is a deliberate seduction technique or just some nice music to play when you haven’t had sex in eight months.
Adapting plays for the screen is a challenge. Open them up too much cinematically, and they get lost in trickery and tilted camera. Fail to bring the techniques of cinema to the table and you have a theater piece without the power of the presence of the actors in the same room. Mitchell does a superb job of bringing “Rabbit Hole” from the stage to the screen, with moments both large (Eckhart and Oh getting blazed in their car in the parking lot before group therapy) and small (the careful precision of Teller’s art as it says things he can’t).
Mitchell’s prior films, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and “Shortbus” were incendiary extravaganzas of sex and splendor. With “Rabbit Hole,” his flame is focused until it is almost invisible, so it might better cut and cauterize as we peel back words and moments to reveal the wounds beneath. And when everything comes down to Kidman and Eckhart in the same room but in different places, suffering the same loss in wildly different ways, the movies aches and thrums with the pain of being alive and soars with the possibility of being happy. “Rabbit Hole” looks like another American indie film of ugly feelings and beautiful furniture, big acting and small paychecks. It isn’t; it’s one of the best, most human, most true films of the year.
It is hard, in mere language, to explain how heavily “Yogi Bear” lays upon the soul. A new 3-D kids film bringing the hungry, (ostensibly) hi-larious animated Hanna-Barbera cartoon bear to the modern big screen, it is somehow both cheap-looking and garishly expensive. It is rushed and thin and yet eternal in its grinding tedium. It feels like the direct-to-video sequel of itself, featuring the return of a cartoon character that debuted in the 1960s for the benefit of possibly no one except the copyright holders. It has a startling number of poop, pee, burp and bottom jokes. It features talented people (Tom Cavanagh, Anna Faris, T.J. Miller and Andrew Daly) who are left stranded with almost nothing to do.
In Jellystone Park, Ranger Smith (Cavanagh) works to maintain the natural splendor of the American West — trees, lakes, green fields, blue skies. His biggest problems are the overeager enthusiasm of his subordinate Ranger Jones (T.J. Miller) and the park’s most notorious resident, a talking, hat-and-tie-wearing bear named Yogi (voiced by Dan Aykroyd, who presumably needs the money). Yogi, along with his smaller friend Boo Boo (voiced by Justin Timberlake, who presumably does not) dedicates himself to stealing the picnic — excuse me, “pic-a-nic” — baskets of the park’s patrons.
Just as documentarian Rachel (Anna Faris) arrives to shoot footage of Yogi (“You have a talking brown bear? They’re quite rare.”), the mayor of the nearby municipality (Daly) seizes on a plan to rezone Jellystone for commercial exploitation, which will refill the city coffers he plundered and put money in the pockets of voters (and any resemblance to Alaska’s oil-revenue payouts to its residents is possibly intentional). Smith can save the park if he can show a break-even balance sheet, but his efforts are hindered by that darn bear.
Directed by Eric Brevig (“Journey to the Center of the Earth“), “Yogi Bear” is less bad than it is inert. There will be wacky chases, pie-hurling antics, and Yogi will discover that there’s more to life than basket-snaring scams and schemes. The 3-D is fairly thin, and the quasi-realistic Yogi, all fur and fang and bulk, is somewhere between scary and stupid-looking. (I for one kept flashing back to ”Grizzly Man,” which, it is to be hoped, the kids in the audience will not, but at least that took my mind off the antics on-screen.)
Aykroyd plays Yogi as a blowhard and a braggart (“I can’t help it! My melon is full of smart juice!”), and Timberlake plays Boo Boo as stalwart and steady in the face of ill-considered plans and selfish pic-a-nic basket snatching. There’s one sequence of action that made me laugh, if only because it felt like a lift from ”Point Break,” but overall the movie feels like a rushed corporate moneymaker — a few splashy visuals and some goony 3-D patched over a threadbare plot.
Cavanagh, Faris and Miller are all talented and funny, but they’re given little to do aside from ride the gentle curves of the movie’s three-act structure and fill its ready-for-the-small-screen scope. The writing team has extensive TV credits, but, really, the problem here is not the lack of cinematic-scaled ambition. The problem here is Hollywood, as ever, committing a series of safe nostalgia-fueled films that represent less risk than, say, actually making something new.
If you’re looking to plunk your kids in front of something, anything, for 80 minutes of peace and quiet during the holidays, you could do a lot worse than “Yogi Bear,” but, let us be honest, you could also do a hell of a lot better, and you kind of know that already. (“Hey, kids! Come and see a cartoon character I loved as a kid! He’s a bear named after a baseball manager from when your grandpa was a kid and … oh, never mind.”) the fact that “Yogi Bear” will earn money during the holidays is really only good news if you’re a Warner Brothers shareholder. Or if you own the copyrights to Deputy Dawg.
In “Blue Valentine,” Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams play a couple, and we get to see them at very different stages of their life. We see them meet — cute kids excited by possibility — and then, years later, married, with a kid, worn down by reality. Written and directed by Derek Cianfrance, “Blue Valentine” went through a serious challenge when it initially received an NC-17 rating from the Motion Picture Association of America, meaning it could be seen only by people over 17, a rating that’s a financial death sentence for any movie. That rating was later repealed, but when I spoke with Gosling in December, it wasn’t yet, and the 30-year-old actor had some inside perspective on what that rating meant to his film, and his confusion about why it was there at all.
“Well, I can’t make any sense of it,” he said. “They don’t give you enough information. I only know it’s because of the oral sex scene because I heard from somebody who talked to them. There’s no official statement, and there’s no real reasoning. You just hear it through the grapevine. The hearing takes place in private. It’s not recorded; you can’t really know. I’d love to hear the argument. I feel like we’re being held accountable for what we did, and I think they should be held accountable for what they’re doing. I’m confused.”
Frankly, the ratings board’s decision was confusing — especially when you consider that “Black Swan,” with a drug-fueled similar scene, got an R rating. Not only is it a double-standard, Gosling noted, but he found it hard to explain to people why the rating meant bad things for “Blue Valentine.” “What I think people don’t really understand is they think ‘So what, it’s an NC-17 film. You can’t see the film unless you’re 17. What’s the big deal?’ The reality is that if it gets an NC-17 rating, it can’t play in most major theater chains, and you’re not even allowed to take out ads on television. You’re really stigmatizing the film. In a way, you’re saying not ‘I don’t want kids to see it,’ but ‘I don’t want anyone to see it,’ unless you live in a big city and you have an art house theater. So it’s a very aggressive rating, and I think a lot of people don’t realize that.”
“But it is very much a double standard, it seems, because obviously you could reference other films, plenty of films where guys are receiving oral sex from women and that’s fine, or women in sexual scenarios that are violent, and that’s entertainment, but if they’re complicit or they’re receiving pleasure, or somehow if there’s love involved in the sex, it becomes pornographic. What else is confusing is the idea that it’s a film about, in a way, sexual responsibility. People are having careless sex, and she has a baby. She has to give up on her career plans and her life, and her whole life is affected by her choice. Everyone’s held accountable for their actions, which is pretty rare in terms of sexuality presented in film. Worst-case scenario, your kid sneaks in and sees that. What’s so bad — that a kid would see a man and a woman making love, or that there’s consequences for your actions?”
“Blue Valentine” wasn’t shot like a conventional film, nor was the script written in stone. Instead, Ryan Gosling and co-star Michelle Williams pretty much moved into the house where much of the film was shot, with director Derek Cianfrance constantly rolling the camera and letting his actors live like a married couple. As Gosling explained, “We thought every detail we could think of, and we did everything we could do. We had Christmas and birthdays, made birthday cakes, wrapped presents, got family pictures at Sears, cooked, cleaned, fought, made up, bought clothes, gave old stuff away to the Goodwill, mowed the lawn, got in trouble for not mowing the lawn. We did as much as we could in that month so that we would have actual memories to refer to in the film.”
And Gosling and Williams didn’t get a lot of opportunities to decompress: “(Cianfrance) never really called ‘cut.’ He never really said ‘action.’ I don’t know how to explain it, but it wasn’t like that. The thing that blows my mind is that Michelle somehow would do what you saw in the film and then she would go home at night and be a mom. She’s an athlete. … I felt like Scottie Pippen, and she was Michael Jordan. I felt like every time I’d pass her the ball, she slam-dunked it.” And what, I asked, did Gosling learn from that? “That I’m not as good as Michelle Williams.” I suggested he was being modest, and he demurred: “No, that’s true.” I asked if there was, in fact, anything else he learned, and Gosling laughed: “That Michelle Williams is better than me.”
Gosling may be more than willing to praise Williams, but it’s not as if his own performance is going unnoticed. Gosling is getting more than a little Oscar talk for his work in “Blue Valentine,” and not without cause. He explained how, to him, the Oscar process isn’t really something he thinks about, even as he plays along. “Well, there’s nothing you can do at that point. There’s nothing you can do. You do more interviews and go to more screenings, or something like that. There’s things you can do. But you can’t change your performance, and you can’t change how it’s going to resonate with people. You can’t change the criteria how these things are judged. All that stuff is out of your control. You’re not aware that you’re in some kind of competition when you’re doing it. When you’re making a movie, at the end of the year it’s treated like some kind of a race, but when you’re doing it, you don’t even know. You’re just in a competition with yourself.”
Gosling, of course, was nominated for “Half Nelson” in 2006. Does he feel like that experience would prepare him for another nomination? “I really have no idea,” he said. “You can’t really predict those things. I’m just excited that people are talking about the movie. We have a big hurdle now with this rating, and all of this helps. Anything to raise awareness for the film. This film took 12 years to make this movie. We worked on this for years. Right in the home stretch, to be handicapped with a rating like this, it’s unfortunate. We’ll make it. Movies have a life way after these three months they’re being promoted. People will find — I didn’t see ‘Blue Velvet’ until I was 14. It was probably 10 years after it was made, but it changed my life. People will find this movie when they’re supposed to find it, and it’s the best movie I’ve made. That’s reward enough for me.”
A few days later, talking by phone with Ryan Gosling‘s “Blue Valentine” co-star Michelle Williams, I could hear her children in the background as she came on the line. After some placating and guidance, she came to the conversation, and I asked, only half-kiddingly, if this is just part of the pleasure of being Michelle Williams, that she goes through the tough balancing act of having it all? Williams, whose personal life has occasionally overshadowed her superb body of work, laughed: “I have never once looked at it as a case of trying to have it all. No, I think that the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh in equal measure. Although I actually don’t think that’s true. I think he takes and takes and takes. Sometimes I feel like you’re like running through time shedding. There’s this quote in this book that I love, ‘Rich in Love’: ‘When you’ve truly lost everything, then you can at least become rich in love.’ And I feel like I’m rolling in it. And then there are these small pleasures and large pleasures along the way that help you — or that, I (just) don’t know.”
And, like Gosling, she’s also trying to keep her head in the hubbub of awards season: “I mean, it gives my heart a little — what would I call it? — a little start, a little … if I say ‘a hug,’ I’m going to be embarrassed for all time. I mean a little jump start, a little kick of energy or something. It’s lovely, because I think — maybe more in keeping with what I was trying to say before — is that there are so many things, there are so many reasons to not celebrate. So when something comes along, it’s like learning how to take a compliment. You know what else it is? Appreciate when things are going well, because as soon as things are going well, it means that it’s going to change.”
Williams doesn’t seem to take the roles other young actresses do — I noted that she’s never been the plucky journalist with a new job in the big city, or the tough-as-nails cop with bangs and a gun. Do her agents and advisers, I asked, ever suggest a part like that in the name of building a paycheck along with a career? “Yes, I hear that from time to time,” she said. “I am interested in not repeating myself, obviously. That would be boring for me and for everyone else. So I have my eye on that, but at the same time, staying true to what is my nature, what are my beliefs, and how I want to spend my time, how I want to spend the time that I have in this lifetime, which is never enough. And also, my work takes me away from my daughter. She comes with me, obviously, but it is time spent away from her, so for me, to justify that decision, you couldn’t pay me to spend time away from her. I don’t do this for money. I do it to support us, sure, but it’s not the motivating factor. So my time away from her has to mean something almost on a spiritual level. Like I don’t have a choice; I must do this.”
Michelle Williams was in Martin Scorsese‘s big-budget thriller “Shutter Island” earlier in the year. Does it, I asked, make a difference to her if she’s in a movie that costs tens of thousands of dollars, or tens of millions? “No, not really,” she said. “I have a preference to working small, because I like to feel — I like to know everybody’s names. I like to feel that we are all in it together. I think that I give better performances when I have relationships on set. When everybody’s in it with you, really. Sometimes I wish I was a different kind of actress. Sometimes I wish I could just unpack my suitcase, so to speak. What I want to say, what I’m trying to say, is that of course it doesn’t ultimately matter, but I do find the roles just tend to be more interesting, honestly, in the smaller movies that I get offered, as opposed to the more commercial things. I also think there’s better actors for that. I’m not the best person for those jobs.”
Of course, smaller films often mean more intensity — as was the case with “Blue Valentine” and its hard-to-watch moments of conflict and intimacy. I asked Williams if that was as tough as it seemed. “It was, indeed, exhausting,” she said. “It’s exhausting, but also it’s regenerative, because working like that, it gives back to you in a strange way. It was exhausting because you never knew what was going to happen. What I mean is that you’re constantly on your toes, and that all of your senses are in overtime because you’re basically under siege. You’re under siege with the actor that’s in front of you and the director that’s asking of you, and so you must be alert at all times, especially when you’re working with somebody like Ryan, who is prepared — fully prepared — and completely unpredictable.”
Since I spoke with Gosling after the NC-17 rating had been appealed, and with Williams after it had been reversed, I asked her if it was a relief to have that change made. “Oh, it sure is,” she said. “When I first heard about it, it didn’t really rile me up, until I came to understand that the larger issue was one of censorship and of valuing violence over an honest portrayal of a sexual relationship over time. So to have it overturned actually feels kind of miraculous, although something else I’ve learned along the way is it’s good company to be in. (To be) censored material is kind of a compliment. When I first heard, I thought that it was referring to children under the age of 17 being allowed to see this film or not. Because I’m a girl and because I wasn’t socialized to fight — I was socialized to accept the world as it is and learn how to work inside of it — so I didn’t think about it. Especially when you’re fighting a roomful of men. I thought, ‘I’m not going to get anywhere.’ When that was explained to me, that you could basically only have access to this movie if you lived in a major metropolis near an art house cinema, then my little fighter spirit came alive. And also, I came to understand my role of the woman in the situation in question. What I wanted to communicate was that when we filmed that scene — the oral sex scene, the scene in question — Derek and Ryan said, ‘If you see this, and you feel uncomfortable with this, it won’t be in the movie.’ So actually, it was my decision.” Williams laughed, low and bemused: “I’m the reason we’re in this mess.” “Blue Valentine” opens this week in limited release.
We here at MSN Movies collaborated on a list, the Top 10 Movies of 2010, but, hey, this is my column, and I want to note some of the films that got away, just in case the January doldrums mean you have the time, and the inclination, to look for more of 2010′s best.
The films that got away may have played in limited release, or worked far better for me than they did for others, or just simply missed my top 10 by a matter of degrees. For whatever reason, just know that these, too, were movies that mattered to me in 2010 — in no particular order .
Teen movie as horror film, horror film as teen romance. George Romero meets Steven Spielberg meets John Hughes meets Terrence Malick. This indie, by the Deagol Brothers, used dark fantasy to explore the realities of teen life and love in one of the most beautiful, compelling and darkly human movies of the year.
A petty criminal goes to prison … and becomes a king. Jacques Audiard’s drama played as a metaphor for a changing Europe and a changing world, but still had the peril and passion of a top-notch prison thriller.
Sure, my growing up in the ’80s bumped this comedy up a few notches … but look past the pastel and haircuts, and “Hot Tub Time Machine” is brilliantly constructed. Alongside “Role Models,” “Hot Tub Time Machine” might stand as the best Judd Apatow film Judd Apatow never made.
At this point, saying Catherine Keener is a great actress is like saying the sun is large and warm. But in “Please Give,” Nicole Holofcener’s story of modern morals and the Venn diagram of sensitivity and hypocrisy, she’s surrounded by a great cast (Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall, Amanda Peet and a brilliant Sarah Steele) and a script that gave the actors and the audience plenty to think about.
Writer-director-star Katie Aselton and Dax Shepard are a loving young married couple who give themselves one night off from their wedding vows. What could have been a big, broad comedy becomes one of the most sensitive — and sexy — films in years about love, desire, the bonds of marriage and how hard the backlash can sting when they’re cut.
The start of love, and the end of love, with Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling showing us what was lost, and why, with devastating clarity. “Blue Valentine” was, like “Rabbit Hole,” a brilliantly acted portrait of the challenges of truly loving another person, and just how hard that can be.
If I’m gonna eat a burger, it’s gonna be a good burger. If I’m going to watch an insane, over-the-top fully automatic caper action-comedy, it’s gonna be one as good as “The Losers,” and one with as engaging a cast of charismatic but not overly familiar actors given, and taking, a chance to swagger and shine.
Gorgeous, thoughtful, underplayed and heartbreaking, Mark Romanek’s not-quite-sci-fi film turned a familiar premise into a beautiful meditation on the fragile nature and terrible beauty of life itself. Criminally overlooked on its release, “Never Let Me Go” is a film sure to endure when the 2010 Oscar season is just a memory.
With Kerry Washington and Anthony Mackie, writer-director Tanya Hamilton’s “Night Catches Us” is the kind of movie that we so rarely get — a film not about the roaring big moments in American history, but instead about what we quietly say, and choose to hear, in the silent years that follow. With Mackie and Washington as ’60s radicals living and coping in the Philly summertime of ’76, it’s a moving and real achievement.
Director Ben Steinbauer wanted to track down the foul-mouthed star of the infamous “Angriest man in the World” videotapes, a series of outtakes from a Winnebago promotional film made in 1988 that are full of profanity, frustration and Zen wisdom. Finding the “star” of the tapes, Jack Rebney, Steinbauer spotlights many of the challenges of life in the digital age — and many of the challenges of life, period. Along with “Catfish,” “Winnebago Man” will go a long way in explaining to future generations just how, and just how deeply, the Internet changed our lives in unexpected ways.