Starring Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Bob Rock, Robert Trujillo
Directed By: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky
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Metallica was the ultimate heavy metal act of the 80s and 90s. As the band went into the studio to begin the process of recording their latest album, they hired Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, a pair of documentary filmmakers, to produce a “making of” short, maybe for use on VH1, maybe as an infomercial-style promotional video, it was all sort of in the air. Nobody could have expected that on their first day of filming, which coincided with the band’s hiring of a therapist to work out some recurring issues among band-members, would *also* be the day which former bassist Jason Newsted walked out on the bad. They could never have predicted that a few months into filming, lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist James Hetfield would walk out of an argument, slamming the door behind him, and not be seen for about a year as he checked himself into a rehab facility.
This is the stuff great documentaries are made of. You want a “routine” behind the scenes look at a band? You got it. You want to see what home-life is like for a major rock star trying to juggle a newborn and a music career? You got it. You want to see a group therapy session where the word “Fuck” is said or yelled about 100 times? Well, you got that too. Berlinger and Sinofsky were hired to make something that would generously be described as “trite”, and instead they got everything a documentary-maker could dream of, and it shines through in the finished product.
The extras are huge. There were hundreds of hours of footage filmed, much of which had to be trimmed to make the film version into something a theater could manage. The deleted scenes section alone has well over an hour of additional footage that didn’t get cut for quality reasons, but simply because the movie was already long enough at 2h20m. Commentaries from the band, commentaries from the film-makers, highlights from the festival-circuit where the film played, as well as a music video make the extras portion of this release equal in stature to the film itself.
If you’re a fan of Metallica, you’ll obviously want to see this movie. That’s a no-brainer. But, unlike most “music documentaries”, this flick will even be interesting to many people who aren’t Metallica fans. The issues the band members are shown dealing with aren’t really “Metallica specific”, but are the same types of problems and issues everyone deals with, and it’s interesting to see that even people with millions of dollars in wealth, and near-infinite fame, still suffer the same setbacks as the rest of us.
40 additional scenes
Exclusive intimate interviews with Metallica about the film
Highlights from festivals and premieres
2 audio commentaries by the band and the filmmakers
2 trailers and a music video
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Surround CC
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Stereo CC
Standard 1.33:1 Color
Favorite Scenes: Probably the most popular scene in the movie seems to be what everyone refers to as “the ‘fuck’ scene”. Lars Ulrich, drummer, uses the F-Bomb nearly a hundred times it seems in the scope of three or four minutes of footage.
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 140 minutes