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Review: Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2004)

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2004)

Directed by: Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky 

Premise: A documentary about the making of Metallica’s St. Anger album and catalogues the most precarious time in the band’s history.

What Works: The film is a real and accessible portrayal of the band. The filmmakers take an unusual step of making the audience conscience of how they may be impacting the situation and this makes the film a much more complex picture. This also adds to the film’s authenticity and makes events like James Hetfield’s entrance into rehab much more involving. The film has been put together in a very stylish way that reflects the slick look that the MTV audience is accustomed to but in a way that is based on artistic and narrative principles rather than the flashy, montage-for-montage’s stake style of many music videos.

What Doesn’t: Although the film has a very strong narrative arc, one issue that is never fully addressed is Metallica’s relationship to its fanbase after their lawsuit against Napster. The film addresses the ways this initially impacted their relations but it does not address what, if any, long-term effects it had.

DVD extras: Deleted scenes, additional interviews with the band, commentary by the band, trailers, music videos.

Bottom Line: This ranks with Woodstock and Gimme Shelter as one of the best “rock-umentaries” ever made. While it will appeal to fans of heavy metal and VH1’s Behind the Music, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster is such a well made film that it is worth viewing even by people who don’t like the metal music genre.

Episode: #46 (April 3, 2005)