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Bob and the Monster (2011)

7.6
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Six years in the making, this documentary film follows outspoken indie-rock hero Bob Forrest, through his life-threatening struggle with addiction, to his transformation into one of the ... See full summary »

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Six years in the making, this documentary film follows outspoken indie-rock hero Bob Forrest, through his life-threatening struggle with addiction, to his transformation into one of the most influential and controversial drug counselors in the US today. BOB AND THE MONSTER crafts contemporary footage, animation and compelling interviews with archival performances and personal videos from Bob's past to reveal the complex layers of this troubled, but hopeful soul. Testimony from his peers, including Courtney Love, Anthony Kiedis and Flea add texture, but it's the depth of Bob's music, interwoven throughout the film, that illuminates this unforgettable and inspirational story. Written by Anonymous

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3 September 2013 (USA)  »

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Worthwhile and inspiring
10 April 2014 | by (US) – See all my reviews

Often inspiring biographical documentary about Bob Forrest, lead singer and songwriter for the late 80s LA critical darling Thelonius Monster and his battle with addiction, leading him to become an outspoken and passionate advocate for helping get people off drugs.

It's good to see a drugs and rock 'n' roll documentary that shows someone surviving, coming out the other side, and not only learning from his plunge, but using his knowledge of suffering to help others, There's some real inventiveness amidst the talking heads: animation, both claymation and line drawings help flesh out Bob's experiences. Interviews with Bob's friends and band mates from the late 80s L. A. inde rock/punk scene including Flea, Anthony Kiedis, Courtney Love let us in to both Bob's bravery, and what a total jerk he was when drugs and anger ruled his life.

Yet, for all it's power, there's something a little too neat about the documentary. Or maybe it's that it tries to cover too much – Bob's whole musical career from the very start, his slow rise to rock semi-stardom to his collapse into selling out, his childhood, the whole arc of his drug addiction, from his obsession to the idea of drugs as a depressed young guy, to working as a dishwasher when he was finally trying to get clean, and then his whole life post drugs, from being lost in the wilderness, to discovering his voice as a drug counselor and advocate, and re-discovering his love of playing music, not to be a star, but for the joy of it. That's a lot to jam into an 87 minute documentary, and sometimes it feels like important details are being skipped over. It can also fall into making Bob too much of a saint, there's sort of a fan- boy air to it, For all those around him being willing to talk about how awful Bob was at his addicted low, there's a little too much of the hagiography to the current version of Bob, a man I suspect is still more complex, maybe even difficult than the film lets on.


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