Saturday, May 07, 2005
  DVD Review: Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster

(These reviews of Some Kind Of Monster were originally written right after we saw the film in the theater. We lost these reviews when the original film geeks site crashed, and they are rescued and posted in their original form here.)

Wendy's Review:
This film is about a few regular guys. Regular guys who have families. Regular guys who have problems. Regular guys who just happen to be in Metallica-one of the greatest rock bands ever! Anyway, I went to this more out of morbid curiousity, and also because Darrell is a huge fan of Metallica. I'm not a big fan of Metallica, but I did go through my "mandatory" Metallica phase in high school, so I am familiar with a lot of their music.

This documentary really surprised me as to how genuinely entertaining it is. This is a really funny movie. Some of the scenes with the therapist are really emorable. For the most part, Lars comes off like a real whiner. However, after seeing Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, I don't have the same negative feelings that I had towards him going in to this. As for Kirk, he really comes across as a soft-spoken hippy. Probably the best scene in the film (in my opinion) is the scene where Kirk is complaining about his lack of solos on the St. Anger album.

Another part of the movie that was really good was the search for a new bass player. From fan auditions to people like Twiggy Ramirez (Marilyn Manson) to Danny Lohner (Nine Inch Nails), it was really interesting to see the caliber of people who tried out. Robert Trujillo, who got the job, seeemed to fit in the best with the band. He made the songs his own. I think they made a good choice, but I do miss Jason. Still, Jason came across like a real jerk in his scenes in the movie.

In closure, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster is really worth seeing, and I don't think you have to be a big Metallica fan to enjoy it. I don't think I'd buy the DVD, but Darrell probably will.

Darrell's Review

I’ll disclose up front that I am Metallica’s bitch. There’s just no other way to phrase it. They’ve been my favorite band for some eighteen years, I’ve bought everything they’ve released. I even bought the stupid orchestra album. OK, yeah, I turned right around and sold it, but the point is, I bought it. Bought it the day it was released. Paid twenty-some bucks for that piece of crap. So I’d have seen this movie even if it had been getting bad reviews.

I don’t think that you have to be a big Metallica fan to enjoy the film, but if you are, like I am, you’ll probably love the movie. I went into the film not expecting to like it that much, expecting Metallica to whine and complain and come off as the big crybabies who killed Napster. And the weird thing is, that’s exactly what they do… and they still seem likable anyway. Lars somehow comes off like Woody Allen; totally self obsessed, always bitching, neurotic as heck... and yet funny and self effacing enough to be likable. Kirk comes off like Neil from The Young Ones. If you don’t get that reference, that’s a shame. James probably comes off best, as a guy who really is struggling to live responsibly for the first time in his life. It's hard to imagine anyone finishing this film without rooting for the guy... and the rest of the band, for that matter.

For fans, the movie also serves as an introduction to Robert Trujillo, the band's new bass player. Fans of Suicidal Tendencies and Infectious Grooves already know that Robert is (with the possible exception of Lars) probably the most talented musician who's ever been in the band. And he comes off as likable and down to earth, to boot.

I loved the movie and we may buy the DVD when it comes out, depending on price. My favorite documentaries remain American Movie and Crumb, Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster is not the equal of either of those films… but it’s funny and smart and very enjoyable.

Thanks, guys, for reposting the SKOM review. It's fascinating to hear someone else's impressions of the film after I've seen it instead of using the review to make a decision about seeing. Uh, anyway.

As a predisclaimer, I didn't know much about the band before I watched. I think I liked Kirk the best, because in the face of Lars' and James' ego battles, Kirk remained fairly even and open. It must've been hard, working with those wackos for so many years in a creative capacity. The way the guys dealt with the business end of things was what upped my respect for them the most - they seemed honest and not in it all for the moola. Of course, like they need the money anymore anyway.
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