Metallica: Some Kind of Monster Reviews
The central focus of this documentary is a study on how the band's lives and work have changed over the years, and how that serves detrimental to their relationship and career, and for long periods throughout this film, that is hardly palpable. The film's focus isn't all over the place, yet it does get to be unenven, with so much time spent on pure filler at points - from the band members' personal lives to their working on music -, with little focus on the more human aspects within it, leaving a sense of intrigue to momentarily fall limp, and when conflict does fall back into play, it's often rather jarring. A big culprit behind these missteps appears to be the meditation limiting, spawned from, not necessarily hurried, but frenetic storytelling. The docuemtnary still has plenty of points of slow-down and meditation, yet even at its almost two-and-a-half hour runtime, it often dives fairly swiftly into its next point, or at least not when it's getting repetitive, with an almost inhumanly urgent tone, exacerbated by the relentlessness of the music, and something as intense as heavy metal music, at that. While the film does calm itself down here and there, much of it moves at such a constant and often repetitious tone, leaving it to lose steam and, on occasion, become disengaging. I was with the film for quite a while, but after that while, it all fell from grace and the position of upstanding, never to fully recover. However, as things stand, the film remains worth the sit, as the high points that it does hit are pretty high, thus creating a generally enjoyable documentary, and a competently-produced one, at that.
This film could be trimmed down ever so easily to maybe, say, a little over an hour-and-a-half, and it would be better for it, and I'm not just saying that because I was begging for the terrible music to just stop by the one hour mark, so that's a glaring fault in the editing. Other than that, the editing on the film is pretty clever, with smooth trimmings and transitions throughout to give the film a kind of gripping cinematic feel. This, of course, ameliorates the resonance and intrigue that Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky fail to keep consistent, yet deliver on enough for the film to engage more than it falls flat. The film's runtime is much too lengthy and its focus is much too uneven, yet completely falling out of the film is hard to do, for one the film gets a hold of you, while its grip loosens, it doesn't fully release you. As overlong as the scenes of comradery are, they are assembled and emphasized cleverly enough to where you do get a genuine sense of the band's friendship, and when things begin to unravel into tension among the bandmates, I found myself genuinely invested in these people whose craft I never even cared for. It's all so very interesting, seeing the humanity within these very brutal people, and seeing that vulnerability is quite engaging, even if it is an aspect that we've seen in many documentaries of this type. This documentary is neither terribly original nor terribly rewarding, yet is cleverly produced and directed, with a general sense of depth within these musicians, as humans, making it consistently fascinating.
Overall, this study is overlong and uneven, spending too much time focusing on other aspects outside of the central point, diluting the intrigue of conflict, something made worse by the film's unrelenting pacing and extreme repetition that leaves it to lose steam, little by little, yet never to where it fully releases you, as the film remains competently edited to where it gives the film a cinematic feel to intensify the general resonance and intrigue formed from the mostly insightful, fascinating storytelling that ultimately leave "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster" to stand as a somewhat conventional, yet ultimately engaging study on the more recent struggles in the lives, careers and relationships within one of the most recognizable bands in the heavy metal industry.
2.5/5 - Fair
It didn't feel like a documentary. It felt like bad reality T.V. Forgive me for wanting to be entertained by a documentary, but I don't consider the band that made metal genuine again going though therapy sessions entertaining. I'm grateful they were able to stay together for another decade, because they were fantastic when I saw them in Green Bay. Seeing them in the studio working through their trivial problems, however, was painful.
That's not to say that there weren't plenty of bright spots. Dave Mustane, who was kicked out of Metallica after they recorded their first album, came back to give Lars a piece of his mind. His frustration at not being a part of their success, even though he's had plenty himself fronting Megadeth, felt genuine and heartfelt compared to Lars and James's petty bickering. And once they finally hired Robert Trujilo as their third (and current) bass player, it was obvious why. Later on in the movie, Lars told him he "saved" the band, and it was pretty obvious that he was right.
I just wish we, the audience and fans, didn't have to go through a childish, ego-and-testosterone-fueled cat fight before we got there.
How can all these tough men sit around whimpering like pansies, with a therapist holding their hands?
Hahah! Metal Gods my ass"
All the above thoughts are only some of the ones any guy that likes metal music is bound to come up with while watching this documentary. Metallica fans have had it hard for a while. They had to forgive the band for cutting their hair, changing their sound, hiring a therapist.... even almost suing their fans for using ShareWare.
As the film progresses though, it becomes clear that this is not just another stupid reality show. The fact that the band have allowed its image to be deconstructed, so that it can be constructed once again should tell you all you need to know about the music business.
Luckily enough for the hardcore fans, this is not another MTV Family Ozzfest: to me it was enough to watch Hetfield parade through the first minutes of the film, looking utterly uncapable of being himself, to understand that the guy had really hit rock bottom.
Luckily enough for Hetfield, rock bottom is a bottom rockers are supposed to hit once in a while- if not ever so often in order to come out more the wiser!!!