Metallica: Some Kind of Monster
Director: Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky
Year Released: 2004
Documentarians Berlinger and Sinofsky show up at just the right time to record incredibly successful thrash metal band Metallica go through one of the toughest times in their history: they have a bit of writer's block going on, their bassist Jason Newsted left, lead singer James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich can't stop arguing with each other, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett doesn't get much of a say in anything, they're suing peer-to-peer file sharing site Napster ... and then James goes to rehab for a year. It's more of a therapy session for colossal egos than about the music itself - "performance enhancement coach" Phil Towle is there to try to get them to discuss things in a constructive fashion, but he's viewed as the "enemy" by Hetfield and company and the end result of over two and a half years of sitting around and writing middle school-level lyrics and using really expensive equipment ... is none other than St. Anger (that's the punchline). There are so many embarrassing moments in here - Lars selling his multi-million dollar art collection (which contains works by Basquiat, Dubuffet, Jorn, Appel, etc.) and getting drunk being just one of them - that you'd think they'd be horrified at the result (many musicians hold this film in contempt), but maybe famous people unafraid to take their own fans to court don't have that level of self-awareness.