Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015)

Directed By – Brett Morgan

Screenplay By – Brett Morgan

Cinematography By – Eric Edwards, James Whitaker & Nicole Hirsch Whitaker

Starring Kurt Cobain

145 min.

As someone who wasn’t old enough to experience the world craze that was Nirvana and Kurt Cobain, Nirvana (and Cobain) have been something (and someone) I’ve had to find on my own. Nirvana was never a band I ever embraced as a teenager but as I get older their music becomes more interesting to me and equally so Cobain a more interesting figure. With things like youtube I have been able to explore Cobain through various interviews and performances but never got the true feeling I understood the man, and like much of the world, have been left wanting something more.

Montage of Heck gives you as much more as there can possibly be. That doesn’t mean it fills that want for more than comes with Cobain, but it does give you more. Even though it still includes plenty of the images and videos that one can find online, MOH excels through access to personal journals and videos that have never been released publicly. The aspect in which one can grasp the most new information and a little more of inside the brain of Cobain is in the journals, filled with lyrics and sketches that Morgan animates and brings to life beautifully.

Personally I think Cobain led such a short life that there is only so much that there is to know about him, Morgan has made something that gives us as much a we probably can ever know about him.

A viewer doesn’t need to know anything about Nirvana or Cobain going into the film and will come out knowing as much as an outsider can about Kurt and as always still left wanting more. But they will have an urge to explore the music and when it is all said and done is all we really have left of him.

God Bless America

Life Itself (2014)

Directed By – Steve James

Cinematography By – Dana Kupper

Starring Roger Ebert 

120 min.

Life Itself is worth watching for anyone who loves movies. It’s also worth watching for anyone interested in American popular culture or Chicago. But mostly Life Itself is a wonderful tribute to what appears to have been a wonderful man.

Growing in the late nineties and early 2000s, past the height of Ebert’s fame, I was enthralled to learn about the movie critics past, his rise to criticism fame, and most appreciative of his pure and endless love of film.

Life Itself is not the easiest of movies to watch. In fact it is incredibly cringe worthy. The movie capture Ebert in his final stage of life with most of his mouth and jaw missing. While it is a disturbing sight it will bring forth in you feelings of extreme sympathy for someone like this and gratitude for one’s own health and intact facial features.

I’m not sure this movie needed to be two hours long and maybe it would be more entertaining if it was shorter with a quicker pace, but it’s a tribute to man whom who ever he knew loved him and watching the extra twenty to thirty minutes won’t do you any harm.

God Bless America

Chaplin (1992)

Directed By – Richard Attenborough

Screenplay By – William Boyd, Bryan Forbes & William Goldman

Cinematography By – Sven Nykvist

Starring Robert Downey Jr,

143 min.

An unveiling film about the life and career of the amazing Charlie Chaplin. Downey is remarkable as the silent film star as we watch him play novice entertainer, actor/director powerhouse and ultimately the elder exile. Biographical movies can sometimes drag on but Chaplin is not hindered by its longer running time and if anything leaves the viewers wanting more of both the real Chaplin and Downey’s version.

I really enjoyed this movie and would advise anyone to watch it.

God Bless America