Some Kind of Monster (2004)(Art)

When you were in junior high school--shunning all pop music and wanting someone to make out with and resenting your parents and generally wishing you were dead most of the time--Metallica was the house band for the metalheads (a dying, but not extinct breed, thankfully). The clique was comprised of those cigarette-smoking kids in tight denim who often came from low-income families and who were some of the nicest people that nobody would have anything to do with. Metallica, to your classic-rock-experimenting suburban mind, was an aggressive, minor-key pileup of noise made by guys who weren't even remotely attractive, and who clearly had no interest in writing hooks; a nod of respect, but no thanks. Then somewhere along the way, when you had settled into alternative music at exactly the same time the genre itself was becoming meaningless, Metallica became legitimized in the mainstream with their self-titled black album, thanks to the single "Enter Sandman". You even bought a copy. You didn't mind it. You sort of didn't tell your friends. You kind of liked "Unforgiven".

Metallica became very, very, very successful, and the members of the band became very, very, very wealthy.

If you are leery of giving this documentary a chance, it must be said that it doesn't matter if you aren't a Metallica fan. Trust me on this one: it doesn't matter. Their music plays such a small, supporting part in this superb documentary, on the few occasions the filmmakers decide to include footage of songwriting or performing, you find yourself jolted--as if out of a hypnotized, disbelieving stupor --and sharply reminded that these grown men (who conduct themselves with a maturity level hearkening back to your junior high classmates') are millionaires because they are musicians.

Because they are Metallica. The brand, the business, the boys.

It also doesn't matter that "Some Kind of Monster" is over two hours long, because when it comes to a finish, you will simply find yourself hanging, dangling, unsatiated, wanting more. This is mostly thanks to the work of Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, the filmmakers behind the equally-spellbinding documentary "Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills" (an embarrassing omission from Altdoc, actually, which must soon be remedied).

Now, without revealing too much, as a mere teaser, if you choose to watch this film you will not believe the following: Dave Mustaine's longstanding grudge; Dr. Phil Towle, the band's omnipresent shrink; the band's enjoyably embarrassing lyrics; Lars Ulrich's "Lord of the Rings"-type father; Lars Ulrich sipping champagne whilst watching his vast art collection get auctioned off; Lars Ulrich.

added by: nadya