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Metallica - Some Kind of Monster

3.8 out of 5 stars 216 customer reviews

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(Jan 25, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Featuring the most successful heavy metal band of all time, METALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER offers a revealing and exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the legendary band as they confront personal demons and their relationships with each other while recording their Grammy-winning album, St. Anger.

Additional Features

The bonus features included in this two-disc set are well worth the time and attention of any fan of Metallica or filmmakers Sinofsky/Berlinger. It contains 40 additional scenes, and while the film itself doesn't suffer for their absence, there are interesting perspectives to be gained. Standouts include James reminiscing about his difficult childhood, a Hawaiian-themed birthday party for Kirk, and a look at Lars's childhood haunts in Copenhagen. There are also scenes of the band promoting the film at various festivals, a music video (mostly comprised of footage from the movie), two trailers, post-film interviews with Metallica, and a thorough directors' commentary describing the hurdles this movie jumped on its way to the big screen. The band commentary track is a touch slow to get cooking, but the boys have already revealed so much that one can hardly blame them for having little left to say. --Leah Weathersby

Special Features

  • 40 Additional Scenes
  • Exclusive interviews with Metallica about the film
  • Highlights from festivals and premieres
  • Two audio commentaries by the band and the filmmakers
  • Two trailers and a music video

Product Details

  • Actors: Joe Berlinger, Dan Braun (II), Stefan Chirazi, Erica Forstadt, Mike Gillies
  • Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: January 25, 2005
  • Run Time: 141 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (216 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006IIKS0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,624 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Metallica - Some Kind of Monster" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I went with four people to see this film. Two (myself included) were Metallica fans and the other two were not. The film opens like some sort of MTV expo piece with James Hetfield riding in his tricked out vintage roadster and Lars Ulrich laying on his couch with his Basquiat hanging on the wall. Not even five minutes go by and it shows the group, minus recently departed Jason Newsted, in therapy discussing their concern that they have about embarking on recording their first album in five years. Little did they know that it would take two years to make. What you get is a riveting, profound and at often times very funny documentary.
What I really applaud the band for is this: They bought the rights to the documentary so that they could have a say in the final cut. Instead of glossing over scenes that aired the dirty laundry of the band, which is what you would think they would do in a case like this, they let it all out.
And not in a counter-culture, rebellious, grandstanding kind of way either. It's sincere and thats what makes the film work.
James Hetfields door slamming, Lars' watery-eyed confrontations and Kirk unable to make declarative sentences does not put them in the best light, but it makes them real.
They confront their demons head-on with therapist Phil Towle and producer Bob Rock tow. Die hard fans might roll their eyes and laugh at prospect of the band in need of a shrink. Trust me, stick with it and don't let it scare you away from the theatre. Most of the time it is hilarious and at the bands expense. Lars Ulrichs father is a scream and when one of the toughest metal bands try to communicate with one another in their new found "therapy lingo" it comes across as comical and awkward as you might think.
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Very good documentary that will appeal to anyone with a keen interest in the inner workings of a rock band. Equal parts redemption story and kitchen-sink drama, "Metallica - Some Kind of Monster" is an honest but self-indulgent look into the private world of multi-millionaire rockers who, at the end of the day, simply cannot communicate their love and respect for each other, and the band they have made so famous.

Band leader James Hetfield, fresh out of rehab, constantly locks horns with "I-just-wanna-play-rock-n-roll" drummer Lars Ulrich, and spends most of his time fretting over his self-imposed 4-hour per day work schedule, and whether he even wants to be in the band anymore. Ulrich meanwhile fakes interest in Hetfield's mental recovery, the farcical "lyrics-by-committee" approach to the new record, and seems happiest when his multi-million dollar collection of modern art goes under the hammer for record prices. Guitarist Kirk Hammett equivocates on most of the key decisions and discussions, but comes off as a straightforward guy just wanting the best for his band and his buddies. All of which, much to Metallica's credit, is captured mercilessly by the camera crew. This includes the most bizarre aspect of the film, in which an ever present middle-aged Dr. Eugene Landy-type, hired by the band for $40k per month to help guide and mediate their feelings towards one another, presides over most of the discussion, and hilariously tries to ingratiate himself into the band in a creative capacity. He is clearly a chancer, despised by Ulrich in particular, and living on borrowed time. The scene, in which even Hetfield himself has had enough of this pseudo-guru, and tries to fire him, is perhaps the most uncomfortable in the whole film.
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Format: DVD
During the first ten minutes I felt pretty much like turning it off, which, is pretty much how I've felt about Metallica for more than a few years. Something compelled me to stay with it and 15 minutes into it I was riveted by watching the inner machinations of a shattered phoenix trying to pull itself out of not ashes, but muck and mire.

Enter Shrinkman (sorry boys) in the form of a psychiatrist named Phil who starts opening doors the boys seem intent on keeping shut . . . indeed, James slams a few shut. Like voyeurs we're invited to watch egos dashed, pretension shattered, raw nerves at the fraying point and more than a little whining, self-pitying and prima donna posturing as the Metalliboyz grow older and are forced to cope with an ever changing music industry as well as life itself.

One of the most moving moments is a confrontation/reconciliation with Dave Mustaine. A misty eyed Mustaine lays out plain and simple the pain he endured in the years since he (literally) got thrown out of the band. Watching an uncomfortable Lars try to come to terms and his full comprehension and realization of that decision - for good or ill - is stuff that cannot be scripted, cannot be acted it is life.

To their credit they come out alive, stronger, wiser and full of hope, acceptance and promise. What this remarkable documentary captures is akin to watching the dead come back to life. This is raw, inspiring, powerful stuff, and in its own way, something of a miracle.
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Format: DVD
I was never a Metallica fan, and yet I spent five nights watching the various bits of this DVD, completely fascinated by most of it. It's an incredibly personal look at the individual personalities within a band that most fans think of as idols and/or unreachable. Now, I feel as if I almost know them. The movie itself is revealing, and the extra bits enrich the experience exponentially. There's so much great extra stuff here, which is why it took me five nights watching all of it, then listening to the band or the filmmaker's commentary while re-watching the film.

Watching the movie with the band commentary is like watching an episode of "Mystery Science Theater 3000". It's wry, but not particularly insightful to the film. What's most telling is their silence during the moments that must have been excruciatingly uncomfortable at the time, especially with a camera trained on their faces. Even better is the filmmaker's commentary. I'd even go so far as to say that the commentary is essential for anyone intrigued by the movie. It's fascinating to learn that the band made NO mandates regarding the final cut; Despite their reputation for controlling every nuance of their career, they granted the filmmakers full access and made no demand other than that they keep it honest and real. There are lots of cool stories that arise, too. For instance, you learn that after not playing for months, the band warmed up by playing Ramones tunes. Or, that the band gave the filmmakers free licensing in an earlier documentary, which is what led to this film being made in the first place.

In the process, over 1600 hours of footage were filmed. 1600! They whittled this down to two hours, which is what makes the extra footage so valuable.
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