FlickNut
2004/07/07
 [edit] # 16:14
Is there a life coach in the house?

METALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER is a compelling portrait of Metallica not only as a band, but as a business venture. Whether you're a Metallica fan, music fan, doc fan, or looking for a new profession you can find something compelling here. I'm not a Metallica fan, but that didn't get in the way of my enjoyment of the documentary.

The doc follows the band as they gear up to record St. Anger (2004). After 22 years, the band is in dire need of some overhaul and therapy. They hire a therapist named Phil, a type of "life coach," to help them deal with each other as they record the album. The film is at turns funny, frustrating, and almost, but not-quite heart wrenching.

The filmmakers do a great job of training their lens on the band members for a heartbeat longer than necessary. It's comical and poignant at the same time as Hetfield rolls his eyes in response to Ulrich's speaking about his feelngs to the assembled group. As the band replaces their bassist and confronts the past loss of band members, in the midst of Hetfield going to rehab -- one understands that Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield run the show with minimal input from Kirk Hammett. But things haven't been working very well.

To Metallica's credit they (seemingly) allow unlimited access to the filmmakers. They also don't shy away from controversial issues. (E.g. Ulrich's very vocal anti-downloading stance.)

As far as likabilty - in the same way that Bernard Sumner came out looking good in 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE - Hammett comes out looking the best in SOME KIND OF MONSTER. He doesn't seem as self-focused as Ulrich or Hetfield and when no one is talking to each other they are still talking to Hammett.

And at the point when Dr. Phil's salary is mentioned ($40,000/month) anyone with doubts about their career path might just consider pursuing a new profession in life coaching.

At the end you'll get more insight into the individuals that make up the business venture called Metallica.

Good fun, you'll find yourself continually laughing.

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