It seems that no matter how close a family is, or may think they are, every family has their good times & their bad times, their ups and their downs. That is the premise of the documentary, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, directed by Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky. The movie follows one of, if not, the biggest band in the world, Metallica (James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, & Robert Trujillo), as they battle various demons, or, as in this case, a monster, so to speak. The film takes place around San Francisco from about 2001-2003.
During the years of 2001-2003, a camera crew followed Metallica as the band members started to see their band crumble right before their eyes. After being with the band for 15 years, bassist Jason Newsted decided to leave the band. When they are in the studio together, James & Lars seem to argue with each other a lot as Kirk looks on asking them if they can put their differences aside so that they can get their work done. This also happens later in the film where they are sitting at a table & Lars gets right in James face. After struggling with alcohol, James decides to enter rehab. This leaves Metallica down, to 2, & literally out, with Lars & Kirk. This causes them to hire a therapist, Phil Towle, in order to help the band deal with their issues. Metallica eventually finds a new bassist to replace Jason Newsted; his name is Robert Trujillo, the bassist from Ozzy Osbourne.
One aspect of the filmmaking I enjoyed was the direction they went in. Originally intended to be about the making of their 2003 album, St. Anger, this film turned out to be about the personal & professional issues of not only a band, but also almost a family. I give credit to Metallica for allowing the cameras to roll, even though they seemed to be falling apart at the seam. I also give credit to Metallica as they let us see a part of not only them, but also many celebrities, which is rarely seen. The thing is, when we see celebrities, we tend to forget that they are human beings just like us, which means that they have their ups & downs, just as we do. The only problem is, we normally only see the glitz & glamour that comes with being a celebrity.
Another aspect I liked about the filmmaking was the editing. The part of the editing I liked in particular was when they were doing the auditions for a new bassist. We were invited inside the studio as about a half a dozen people auditioned for the bassist positioned. They did a wonderful job of editing the auditions to around 5 minutes. Of course, the auditions ended when the band decided that Robert Trujillo was the right man for the job. They weren’t just looking for a band mate, but a family member.
I enjoyed this movie, not only because I am a fan of Metallica, but also because we were invited to see how they connect with each other off stage. This movie is not just about Metallica, but also about a family in crisis. It’s crazy because when you look at celebrities, you’d think that they have it made since they have it all. However, they too have personal issues to deal with. In this case, the monster in the title, Some Kind of Monster, almost split them up. I would definitely recommend this film to anyone, not just Metallica fans, dealing with their own monster.