Metallica: Some Kind of Monster

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster

4.2 5
Director: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky, Metallica, James Hetfield

Cast: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky, Metallica, James Hetfield


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For a seemingly camera-shy band that staunchly maintained an anti-music video stance for the better part of their powerful early career, Metallica opens up quite a bit in Paramount Home Video's release of directors Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's acclaimed and insightful documentary Metallica: Some Kind of Monster. The shot-on-video feature is presented in


For a seemingly camera-shy band that staunchly maintained an anti-music video stance for the better part of their powerful early career, Metallica opens up quite a bit in Paramount Home Video's release of directors Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's acclaimed and insightful documentary Metallica: Some Kind of Monster. The shot-on-video feature is presented in its original full-frame aspect shooting ratio of 1.33:1, and with evenly balanced colors and little evidence of digital artifacting, it really does look great. Audio is offered in both English Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital Stereo, and though the 5.1 track certainly packs a bit more punch in scenes involving Metallica's trademark brand of aggressive metal, both options sound great throughout the running time of this very dialogue-driven film. After fans have had the opportunity to watch the film and see just how close their favorite metal band came to imploding following the departure of longtime bassist Jason Newsted, they'll no doubt be eager to delve into the hearty selection of bonus materials offered on this massive, two-disc release. If the long stretches of silence and missed opportunities in the band's sparse audio commentary track initially feel somewhat disappointing (it would have been great to hear how James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett felt about Lars Ulrich's emotional meeting with former bandmate Dave Mustaine), the lively audio commentary by Berlinger and Sinofsky more than makes up for this by offering great insight from a unique perspective. In addition to offering invaluable advice about structure and the value of persistence to aspiring documentary filmmakers, the parallels that Berlinger and Sinofsky draw between themselves and the struggles faced by the band make for a truly involved and fascinating listen. If DVD lovers have become somewhat jaded by the mostly incidental deleted scenes that generally offer little extra, they'll certainly be happy to note that the deleted scenes included here are both revealing and entertaining. In addition to the amusing sight of a mellow Hammett sitting on a satanic throne during a photo session and offering the film crew cocktails, viewers also get to see the soft-spoken guitarist spend a day in traffic school before being treated to a remarkably personal trip with drummer Ulrich to his childhood home in Copenhagen. With an additional scene featuring new Metallica guitarist Robert Trujillo discussing his excitement over being accepted into the fold and the entire band discussing Dee Dee Ramone's untimely death on the eve of covering his song "53rd and 3rd" for a Ramones tribute album, these deleted scenes are a real treat for fans and certainly serve to enrich the viewing experience. Footage from the various premieres of Some Kind of Monster finds the band fielding numerous questions from fans and critics, with the Sundance press conference and San Francisco Film Festival appearances in particular offering notable insight into their reaction to the film. A music video offers the title track played over various clips from the film, with trailers and filmmaker biographies (which are more "filmography" than "biography") serving to round out this monstrously satisfying release that will no doubt hold a special place in the collection of die-hard Metallica fans.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Bill Pearis
Metallica -- the most successful heavy metal band of the '80s and '90s, if not all time -- had begun fray at the edges in 2001. The band's 2000 lawsuit against Internet file-sharing service Napster did not sit well with many fans; bassist Jason Newsted left the group to pursue other musical endeavors; and the hard-partying lifestyle was finally catching up with the remaining bandmates. When the band began work on their first studio recording in five years, they hired Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky -- makers of the acclaimed documentaries Brother's Keeper and Paradise Lost -- to film the creative process for a promotional video. What they got instead is a fascinating portrait of a band on the brink of breakup, struggling to renew the creative flow. Some Kind of Monster is an intimate, fly-on-the-wall portrait, and it took real guts on the part of co-founders James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich -- as well as lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and album producer/fill-in bassist Bob Rock -- to let their vulnerable, non-rock star sides be shown. As the filming starts, the band have just hired Phil Towle, a $40,000-a-month therapist, to help them work through their issues. Towle wears sweaters that would make Bill Cosby cringe and puts up little motivational signs around the studio. At one point, he brings in former guitarist (now Megadeth leader) Dave Mustaine, who admits that as successful as he's been since being sacked from the band, he's always lived in Metallica's shadow. Months go by as the band try to write and record new songs, and Hetfield checks into rehab for over a year. The band eventually finish the album, 2003's St. Anger, and it debuted at No. 1, affording the film a conclusion that celebrates the power of both rock 'n' roll and psychotherapeutic counseling. Some Kind of Monster should be required viewing for anyone who thinks the music industry might be a fun place to work, whatever one's musical tastes. That is, in part, because there's precious little performance footage in this very talky film, a sore point with some Metallica fans. The two-disc DVD corrects that, however, with loads of head-banging concert footage.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
VH1's Behind the Music became a hit television show by trivializing the problems of famous rock stars. Metallica: Some Kind of Monster is just about as strong a reply to that series as one could possibly imagine. Having almost three years worth of footage (including material from intimate group therapy sessions involving the band members) must have made for a nightmare in the editing room; however, directors Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky are confident enough to take their time with the finished film. The viewer slowly learns the psychological makeup of each of the individual members. We see Lars Ulrich's self-absorbed perfectionism and learn how his relationship with his father colors it, Kirk Hammett's passive quest for calm, and James Hetfield's self-destructive qualities as well as his inner-strength in getting clean and figuring out how best to live his life. The genius of the film is how the audience gets to see how each of the three main band members interact with each other, and how they work together as a trio. The effect is so subtle that the viewer may not notice how much they know about the band until the point when Kirk Hammett subtly confronts the other two about how little they listen to him. Although it is a minor altercation, the audience understands how hard it was for Hammett to do what he does, and they understand what the other two are hearing when it happens. Although the psychological insights are the best reason to recommend this film, it also works as a look at how modern rock records are made, and as an endorsement for therapy. Some Kind of Monster reminds the audience that for all the goofy excesses (and the film certainly shows the goofy excess) of celebrity musicians' lives, they are fascinating and complicated three-dimensional people.
Entertainment Weekly - Owen Gleiberman
One of the most revelatory rock portraits ever made.
Slate - David Edelstein
The band's implosion and reassembly makes for one of the most marvelous rock documentaries of all time.
Dallas Observer
That he (Hetfield), and his band, still lives is astonishing enough; that you get to see how and why in a movie so painfully intimate is nothing short of extraordinary. Robert Wilonsky

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
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Special Features

Closed Caption; 40 additional scenes; Exclusive intimate interviews with Metallica about the film; Highlights from festivals and premieres; Two audio commentaries by the band and the filmmakers; Two trailers; Music video

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Metallica Participant
James Hetfield Participant
Lars Ulrich Participant
Kirk Hammett Participant
Robert Trujillo Participant
Jason Newsted Participant
Dave Mustaine Participant
Cliff Burton Actor
Bobby Rock Participant
Phil Towle Participant

Technical Credits
Joe Berlinger Director,Executive Producer
Bruce Sinofsky Director,Producer
Doug Abel Editor
Michael Bonfiglio Associate Producer
Rachel Dawson Associate Producer
Echobrain Score Composer
Jon Kamen Executive Producer
Metallica Score Composer
Miki Watanabe Milmore Editor
Robert Richman Cinematographer
Bob Richman Cinematographer
Frank Scherma Executive Producer
Cheryll Stone Production Manager

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Metallica: Some Kind of Monster Disc 1
1. Meet the Press [3:41]
2. What Intimacy? [2:03]
3. The Bunker [1:39]
4. Garage Days Re-Re-Revisited [4:19]
5. Breaking the Rules [3:16]
6. Mission Statement [1:53]
7. Temptation [3:34]
8. "F'ing Lame" [3:11]
9. Get 'Em Out My Head [2:41]
10. Exit Light [5:31]
11. Enter Night [1:03]
12. Father Knows Best [4:12]
13. S#%t Sandwich [5:04]
14. The Unforgiven [3:13]
15. "Jason Is the Future" [5:50]
16. Welcome Home [3:54]
17. A Year Later, the Next Day [1:57]
18. Tight Schedule [5:26]
19. Total Rebirth [1:34]
20. Expletive Repeated [2:21]
21. Band Depreciation Day [:58]
22. Attention Deficit [3:22]
23. Goin' Deep Now [3:04]
24. Sell Out? [4:20]
25. Bassists Past [4:58]
26. Shoot Me Again [2:24]
27. The Touring Question [5:41]
28. Turning Point [3:08]
29. Art Rock [5:56]
30. Zoned Out [3:55]
31. The Auditions [3:12]
32. Their Aim Is Trujillo [7:22]
33. Who's in Charge of My Head Today [3:08]
34. My Time [3:51]
35. Madly in Anger [1:57]
36. Coming Down [3:45]
37. On the Road/Credits [2:49]


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Metallica: Some Kind of Monster 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
DarkLotusICP4life More than 1 year ago
metallica use to be good in the 80s but now they are old and washed up and they no longer care about the fans or the music in general all lars and james ever do in this whole entire movie is whine at each other bricker at each other after 1991s black album metallica alienated their fans just by releasing that album as for megadeth they are the true next led zeppelin metallica is well the next britney spears lady gaga or backstreet boys with guitars
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film was amazing! The most intimate look at a band ever. I was blown away with the access Berlinger and Sinofsky were given. I loved their Paradise Lost films- this one is better. You don't have to love Metallica to love this film.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
great film shows how the band is when making music and the situations are sad,happy,glad, just beyond great i loved the music that they made for this movie st anger is one very great album the film that goes with it is amazing i hope megadeth does something like this in the near future
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fascinating look into the psyche of heavy metal royalty. Made me feel like I was right at home. Extraordinary people with ordinary problems. Funny, sad, angry, a down and dirty look at the dynamics of the band. I loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago