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Overall Rating
4.15

Awesome54.1%
Worth A Look: 21.31%
Just Average: 14.75%
Pretty Crappy: 4.92%
Sucks: 4.92%

5 reviews, 31 user ratings


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Metallica: Some Kind of Monster
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by Elaine Perrone

"Rock-umentary gives a whole new meaning to the term 'headbanging.'"
5 stars

SCREENED AT SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2004: In January 2001, Metallica bassist Jason Newsted resigned from the group after 15 years, citing creative differences with the band's headstrong co-founder and front man, James Hetfield. With Newsted's departure, the remaining trio -- Hetfield; his partner and co-founder, drummer Lars Ulrich; and guitarist Kirk Hammett -- found themselves at an all-time low, at each other's throats and in a creative rut. Ordered into group therapy by their management company, they began sessions with celebrity hand holder-slash-performance enhancement coach, Phil Towle.

Soon after, the group started working on their album St. Anger, leasing a converted military barracks at San Francisco's Presidio to work from, and recruiting their producer Bob Rock to sit in on bass. At the same time, they were reunited with filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, for whom Metallica had previously provided the music for the documentary Paradise Lost, and who were brought in by Elektra Records to produce a 'making-of' video to promote the new album.

Early into the process, Berlinger and Sinofsky were given free access by the band members to film their therapy sessions, which took an unexpected turn after just a few months, when Hetfield checked himself into rehab for alcohol and other unspecified substance abuse. With no idea when, or if, Hetfield would return, and with the future of Metallica in doubt, Ulrich, Hammett, and Rock continued the sessions with Towle -- and the filmmakers continued shooting.

Hetfield did finally return, almost a year later, and the recording of St. Anger recommenced with newest band member, bassist Robert Trujillo. The therapy sessions continued, as well, with the newly clean-and-sober Hetfield joining in, and Towle, their $40K per month coach, becoming, at least in his own mind, a member of the band.

By the time the album was actually completed and its tour kicked off, Berlinger and Sinofsky had spent almost three years with the group, shooting an astonishing 1600 hours of footage! The result is a monstrously entertaining, often hilarious, look at a group of middle-aged, gazillionaire headbangers on a journey of personal and professional self-discovery.

Hetfield and Ulrich formed Metallica in their teens, in 1981, and it is only after 20+ years together that the founders of the Group Formerly Known as Alcoholica seem to have any measure of understanding of themselves and each other. Perhaps the most ironic indication of that was when the long-time bickerers, who banged heads with each other for so long, joined forces to fire their therapist, who seemed to be rapidly becoming the most dependent member of the band.

Rock on!

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8546&reviewer=376
originally posted: 07/22/04 22:01:22
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2004 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Philadelphia Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Philadelphia Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Sydney Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Sydney Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Seattle Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 San Francisco Film Festival. For more in the 2004 San Francisco Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Los Angeles Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Los Angeles Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Brisbane Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Brisbane Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

11/02/06 David Pollastrini a little too much whining 3 stars
6/04/06 Humberto De la Garza It's awesome... Best Metallica documental... 5 stars
3/08/06 ALDO If you're an alcoholic and a genius, you should keep drinking as long as possible 4 stars
6/04/05 Denise Gannon 5 stars cuz it's so pathetic you HAVE TO see it! RIP Cliff... you're in a better place! 5 stars
5/24/05 David Yee Greatest Doc. ever made 5 stars
5/21/05 Cham It's hard to respect Metallica. 4 stars
4/25/05 Leah It definately made me feel connected to the band. 5 stars
4/02/05 Eric great movie that exposes a fraud of a band 4 stars
3/31/05 Richard Pryor great film dude! Metallica rules the sh*t!!! 5 stars
3/27/05 y2mckay Some kind of whiny-ass bitches. "I'm a rich rock star, but I'm not happy - WAAHHHH!" 3 stars
3/24/05 indrid cold "bloated dinosaur" exactly. But as a drama, it's actually pretty entertaining. 4 stars
1/30/05 New Jersey Rules Metallica sucks, load, reload, and St anger were the biggest pieces of shit ever. 1 stars
11/13/04 colin Best documentary ive seen ever. 5 stars
10/28/04 shockandawe Kick ass, All u haters are liberal assholes 5 stars
9/26/04 pupetmaster metallica is the best and this movie proves all the haters are just fuckin losers 5 stars
9/17/04 Jake A behind the scenes look at a bloated dinosaur 2 stars
8/14/04 John K The only good thing is old man Ulrich. Lars needs to get a clue. 2 stars
8/09/04 ajay depressing. Metallica is a full-on corporation, the 'art' is only secondary to making cash 3 stars
8/05/04 Mix Master Mason This is so NOT rock n' roll. Metallica are way too rich to rock. Snorefest city! 1 stars
7/24/04 james a peice of self-indulging shit. metallica blows. 1 stars
7/23/04 buddy garrett a real eye opener into this music genre 4 stars
7/20/04 Ted some kind of self-indulgent crap 2 stars
6/14/04 FLORENCE BOISSINOT MASTERFUL FILM- NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT BEFORE 5 stars
6/12/04 Paul Hamill Brilliant, watch millionare rock stars grow up & rock! 5 stars
4/25/04 Gabriel Dow It was amazing, brutally honest, and yet so passionate for the music!!!! 5 stars
4/25/04 stenobabe funny, sad, intriguing, insightful 4 stars
4/19/04 Joseph Matarrese Great editing and watching it with the band added and element of excitement. 5 stars
4/17/04 TIM WESTERGARD very interesting look inside the mega machine, Big Hearts, and Emotion! will see it again! 5 stars
4/07/04 Mark Best documentary of a band ever. 5 stars
3/27/04 Hilarium Pretty decent 4 stars
3/27/04 Florence Boissinot amazing.... just amazing 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  09-Jul-2004
  DVD: 25-Jan-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  16-Sep-2004


Directed by
  Joe Berlinger
  Bruce Sinofsky

Written by
  (documentary)

Cast
  James Hetfield
  Lars Ulrich
  Kirk Hammett
  Dave Mustaine
  Bob Rock
  Phil Towle



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