Review: Rock + Roll Nerd The Tim Minchin Story

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It’s hard not to like Tim Minchin, the awarding winning actor and comedian is a highly talented and personable individual who has been performing comedy and producing DVDs (in his current style) since 2005. This DVD however is NOT a taping of a performance with some behind the scenes stuff thrown in; it is a documentary detailing Tim’s life from 2004 to 2006 and contains only a handful of his songs and clips of stand up.

This period of Tim’s life tells the rags to slightly more posh rags story of a talented musical comedian whose popularity has sky rocketed in recent years and how he copes with the pressure of his career and personal life. The best aspects of the film are all about Tim’s personal life and how his unstable career choice affects it. With separate interviews and heart breaking real footage of events in their personal lives really helps you to understand the relationship between Tim and his wife.

The film starts well with a 2006 performance of Tim’s song “Rock + Roll Nerd” and then moves back into his early career showing us why he decided to change his look, gives a look into his writing process and gives us a few details of what he did before musical comedy. This is really the most “entertaining” part of the film despite the contrasting highs in his career at the end falling a bit flat; this could have been fixed by using some more of the Montreal footage some of which is in the DVDs extras.

Tim’s career has been a fast and interesting one and being able to see in detail the challenges an up and coming Australian comedian faces can be quite fascinating. However the film can drag at parts and overall feels to long as most of the behind the scenes of Tim’s career feels dull and uninteresting.

Those types of scenes really require either much more interesting events or a more spontaneous and improvisational person to carry them, which when not on stage Tim doesn’t appear to be.

Extras:

Deleted Scenes, Montreal 2006 – While not particularly interesting in itself, the choice not to use this footage is an odd one as Tim’s performance at the Montreal Gala has got to be one of the high points of his career yet there is no mention of it outside of these deleted scenes.

“I’m so Tired” (Tim writing a musical) – A pleasant little extra in which Tim detailing and performing a song from a musical he is writing.

Rock N Roll life-style – Some more footage of Tim at home, not sure why they bothered to include it.

Tim writing a song for BBC Radio, Edinburgh 2005 – A writing session for quite an amusing song performed on BBC Radio. Another example of Tim’s talent to write great material under pressure.

“You grew on me” Tim playing at home – An entertaining practice performance of a song that Tim is not sure how he should play to an audience. Like many of his songs it involves a controversial topic (in this case cancer) and he has to decide if it needs explanation before performing it.

Mitsubishi Colt from Darkside Show in Montreal 2006 – An amusing bit of stand up and audience interaction finished of with a hilarious beat poem.

Summary:
It’s hard for me to recommend this documentary to anyone other then fans of Tim Minchin as it often feels like it should be an extra on a concert DVD instead of a stand alone documentary. However if you are familiar with his work then it will be quite informative and somewhat entertaining. If you’re not I recommend checking out one of his performances (live or DVDs) before purchasing this documentary.

Film: 3/5
Extras: 2/5