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Heart Like a Hand Grenade (2008)

Video  -  Documentary  -  2008 (USA)
8.6
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 46 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

An intimate look of the band recording their album American Idiot...art house style.

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Title: Heart Like a Hand Grenade (Video 2008)

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The bulk of the material in the film was recorded live at The Key Club in Los Angeles on November 22, 2003, with many post-production shots mixed in with the live clips. The title itself, "... See full summary »

Directors: John Roecker, Roy Miles Jr.
Stars: Billie Joe Armstrong, Tre Cool, Mike Dirnt
Drama | Music

A struggling musician becomes the guardian of a 12-year-old music prodigy one summer.

Director: Frank Whaley
Stars: Leighton Meester, Debra Messing, Billie Joe Armstrong
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An intimate look of the band recording their album American Idiot...art house style.

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User Reviews

My review after two days of cool down...
27 March 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Before I get started, I just want to explain my reasoning for writing this review after two days. Green Day is my all-time favorite band and had I written this directly following the film I would have sounded like a little schoolgirl. I have given myself 48 hours to cool down and embrace the art in which I have absorbed.

On March 20, 2009 I received an e-mail, it was from John Roecker. It simply said that I was added to the guest list for the one and only showing, ever, for Heart Like a Hand Grenade. I was excited, anxious, honored and I had absolutely no clue what to expect.

I arrived in Hollywood at about 5:00PM and walked into the area in front of the Egyptian Theater. I saw only a few people lined up and they were all gathered around one man. That man was John Roecker. I said hello, asked him how he was, thanked him, and got in line.

Two hours after arriving, I check in and get my hand stamped. We walk into the theater and wait for my friend DJ RossStar who quickly follows. At this point I am so anxious and nervous to see this production half-a-decade in the making that I can't even think straight. I see the posters and quickly grab one for each person in my party.

Walking into the theater I see a large, beautiful and elegant screening room with some of most gorgeously designed walls and art pieces throughout. I now already know that this film is more artistic than your average documentary, and much more artistic than your standard band documentary. The wonderful Mr. John Roecker would have chosen a much different venue had it just been a run of the mill movie.

The film is scheduled to start at 7:30 but runs a few minutes late. Due to the tardiness, I am getting more and more nervous and anxious. After a few moments of waiting, John steps to the microphone and talks for a few moments about the film, conversations he has had with the band and tells a few jokes (most of which were written by Green Day's manager Pat Magnarella).

(Begin)

I must say that this film is hilarious, inspiring, insightful, energizing and (very) amazing. It starts off simple enough, but quickly submerses you into a world never seen before. It puts you on a roller coaster the fastest and wildest roller coaster in the entire world and it does it without so much as headrests, shoulder restraints or a lap bar. There is no restraint whatsoever on this ride as it is a no-holds-barred masterpiece.

Watching this film I have an even deeper love and admiration for the music and band that is Green Day. The way that they carry themselves during the writing and recording process and the way that they conduct business throughout is simply amazing. To some people they come off as half-wit children that can hardly be mistaken as musicians in some interviews and press releases. To the serious fan, and real musician however, Green Day are professionals to every extent of the word. This documentary proves that even further.

Billie Joe: Serious musician that takes his work very seriously yet has fun at all times. He is an artist who writes from his heart and soul as well as from his mind and his mind is a brilliant one to say the least. Watching him work you could almost see the gears turning. You could tell when he was simply thinking of what to do next, and at other times you could also see his heart and soul come into play. During the recording of Whatsername Billie Joe shed a few tears and you could tell that the song had a meaning to him. Knowing that Wake Me Up When September Ends was written for his father, I can also imagine that much of that song also came from his heart as well.

Mike Dirnt: Ultimate professional in the studio (although he jokes around a bit as well), and the ultimate friend outside of it. This is made clearly evident by everything from the way he treats his friends in the studio and by the way he jokes and horses around the few times the camera is rolling outside of it. Mike seems to be the most level headed member at most times, although Billie Joe occasionally outdoes Mike in this aspect. Due to this and as a fan on the outside looking in (given this beautiful opportunity) it appears that Mike Dirnt is the glue that holds this band together. It was beautiful to hear his input, commentary and constructive criticism on every song.

Tre Cool (WHO THE **** IS TRE COOL?): Ultimate Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. On one side of his split personality, you have an amazingly talented and professional musician and on the opposite side of the character and personality pool you have the biggest joker I believe I have ever seen. Tre Cool makes the antics of the Jackass crew look like child's play. There are no real words to describe Tre Cool and the way he acts at times as it would simply take far too many words to ever do so.

I learned quite a bit about Green Day and this film is far too good for the world to not see. It needs to be released and be seen by everybody. It is an award worthy look into the minds and recording process of the band. They are much different from any band I have ever worked with or encountered and the world should know. I want everybody to know about their professionalism and their chemistry. Everybody could learn a thing or two about music and the industry from watching this film.

I am inspired.

Thank you, Tom


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