Some Kind of Monster is a music documentary about Metallica's making of their album St. Anger and the difficulties they had to go through in the process. The directors shot over 1200 hours and followed the band around night and day for over a year to create this documentary.Written by
Due to the departure of full time bassist Jason Newsted, producer Bob Rock was asked to play bass on 'St. Anger'. Despite his acceptance of the temporary role Rock did not make any creative contributions to the album, and therefore didn't receive any writing credits. See more »
At that time, the managers suggested that we have a psychotherapist come in. A man that meets with pro ball teams, you know - big-ego, big-dollar guys that can't get along, but have to make some kind of entity flow, so everybody else and everybody can make the money. And, uh, I actually said, "I think that this is really fucking *lame* - weak - that we cannot get together. Us! Look - the *biggest heavy band of all time*! The things we've been through and decisions we've made... about squillions...
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They mention, in the documentary, that maybe the film won't make money. It didn't. About a month after release, it's relegated to single late-night showings, and hasn't even earned one million dollars, nationwide, according to boxofficemojo. That's sad.
The film starts out unintentionally funny. They bring in the overpaid shrink who starts blathering on to the extent you expect Hetfield to stand up and tell him to get gone. But, no, Hetfield actually has an epiphany, thanks to 'Dr. Phil'. It's only at the end, if one sits through this thing, that you see 'Dr. Phil'. thinking of selling the homestead and moving to Bev-r-ley with that $40K a month paycheck (it's more than a lot a lawyers get), when Hetfield and Ulrich sort of cuss him out, tell him the gravy train is slowing down, and Hetfield dismissively leaves saying, Ah, let's play some music. But he still thanks the 'doc' later on. The whole thing is just sad to see. Even so, however comical his epiphany, getting off addiction is still very worthwhile. A shame it couldn't have been a little less embarrassing for Jim.
As good a guitarist a Kirk may be, this film makes him out to be not merely 'egoless', because he's clearly not, but practically effeminate. He seems more himself on his ranch. And he falls back into 'the wimp' role when he's with the band. Maybe if he just wore boots and a white Stetson he'd remember who he is a little better. I don't know.
Lars seems like some squirrely brat, most of the time. His father tells him not to settle. But Dad's in there bopping his head up and down to some truly awful tunes. The 'St. Anger' album was maybe the band's worst. But everyone was playing by the old rules, the old template, and thought there would be big money in this.
That's what they tell Trujillo, who actually had some life to his playing - for what one thinks of brain-dead Ozzy, he sure has picked his sidemen well. They give him the million up front. I wonder if he ever saw much more beyond that? They should have cashed him out for more than that! He harked back to the energy of Mustaine and Hetfield. Even Mustaine has the 'wimp factor' on his side, in this film, nowadays.
Did Metallica have to be toasted to play and compose like Metallica? Did they have to be 'monsters' to write Orion, or Master of Puppets? I don't agree. Or is that to argue that Trujillo is completely zonked in this film? I don't see that. I think the anger is real. I think the anger, the pettiness, particularly of Ulrich, is real in this film. I don't think it's put on. But the difference is that the style of metal is limited. And they don't want to try variations on the old themes, which is really the only way they'd maintain their success. They can't bring themselves to do that. And they don't want to become a folk, or pop band - or a jazz band.
So they play around in the Presidio, and goof in the studio, and have the greedy yes men saying that a least a few songs are outstanding (none were). But they want to try something new. And they've got nothing. They look like amateurs, not the band that released Nothing Else Matters, and so many others.
If they can't go back to the drawing board, if they just can't bring themselves to do that, or if there is just no longer any inspiration or nothing more to steal, then perhaps with a Trujillo they could openly recapture the first Garage Days effort where they cover 'Dope'head and Sabbath and others. They played Sabra Cadabra as well as Rhoades or Zakk. It was a great cover of that song. Some of the other covers were outstanding, even the Skynyrd stuff.
If they can't build on Puppets or Nothing Else or the rest, then maybe they could just re-establish themselves exclusively as a top cover band and cover Alice Cooper (as with the Humanary Stew album, arguably one of the best cover/tribute albums ever made). There's so much they could cover, so many bands and songs that may never otherwise really 'break through'. And then they wouldn't be so bored out of their minds that they might release another film such as this, even in the hope it might earn so much a cool million (after expensese, etc).
They'll be missed.
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