Worth A Look: 21.31%
Just Average: 14.75%
Pretty Crappy: 4.92%
5 reviews, 31 user ratings
|Metallica: Some Kind of Monster
by Elaine Perrone
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.
"Rock-umentary gives a whole new meaning to the term 'headbanging.'"
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
|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.