Metallica: Some Kind of Monster
Opens Fri July 30
Cinema 21

Since the first time I rolled my eyes at my parents or slammed my bedroom door, I've been listening to Metallica. I love Metallica unconditionally, and I really never gave a shit about the haircuts or that whole Napster thing, because to me, Kill 'Em All, Master of Puppets, And Justice For All, Ride the Lightning, and even the Black Album will always be sacred. So Metallica: Some Kind of Monster is like a dream come true--not only is it an exposé about the most important band in my life, it's also a poignant musing on the price of fame and fortune.

For the most part, Some Kind of Monster shows an older, out of touch Metallica trying to work together to record their shitty album, St. Anger. In order to achieve this unnecessary feat, the band goes to great lengths, like paying a geeky, new-agey, bad sweater-wearing therapist $40,000 a month to be on call whenever James Hetfield decides to insult Lars Ulrich's drumming.

Many, many problems occur while the band is trying to make the album: James goes to rehab, the band loses their bass player, James returns from rehab but only wants to work three hours a day, and the band realizes that their recordings suck. It's painfully endearing to see a group that used to be on top of the world floundering to write one song together. The question becomes obvious: What's the fucking point?

The band members are obviously pondering this question, but they're so mired in the confusion of fame, money, and chaotic notions of self worth that they simply don't know what else to do but go on. They're not old enough to retire, and they're not self-aware enough to realize it's time to throw in the towel. In the end, the film doesn't bring about any huge epiphanies other than "Wow, it must be hard to realize that you used to rule the world, but now you suck." That's enough to make this documentary a bizarre but utterly compelling watch--especially if you love the shit out of Metallica.