2004, Movies

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2004, Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky)

I’ve been meaning to watch this movie for a decade and a half. Watching Get Back spurned Jenn to insist we watch it and I’m glad she did. But I do wonder if taking so long to watch the movie dulled it a bit for me – what was distinct and unique in 2004 is much more commonplace in 2022 and watching it now I have the benefit of hindsight.

I think a case could be made that this film is a bit of a trailblazer, giving us more access to a band of this success level than had possibly ever happened before. The film (and Metallica) deserves a lot of credit for that.

The movie itself is relatively rote from a documentary standpoint – it follows the band through its therapy sessions and trying to make an album (over years), and a little bit of their stupid Napster lawsuit. It is revealing because, as I said, I’m not sure anyone had ever seen this much into a famous band before – or hadn’t in some time – and because of how human they all are. It’s certainly revealing and it absolutely challenges my long-held views about who is the biggest asshole in Metallica. (I always thought it was Lars, you guys. Turns out, James is a pretty big fucking asshole too, especially pre-rehab.)

My biggest issue with the film is that it is quite long. I get that it needs to be, and this is before something like this would have been turned into a TV show, but it does feel a little oddly paced. Some of that is the nature of what happened but it also feels like it might be on the construction of the film (i.e. the editing) too. I don’t think I should be too hard on it, though, as this was a relatively new type of project at the time. And it was created over years which can make pacing quite hard.

I do feel like it probably deserves a bit of a higher ranking, given its influence, but I also think the pacing is enough of an issue that I can’t quite get up to the


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