Metallica: This Monster Lives

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Stephen Lilley, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. Stephen Lilley

    Stephen Lilley Stunt Coordinator

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    I know I'm about a year and a half late to the game, but has anybody read Metallica: This Monster Lives, Joe Berlinger's fantastic accompaniment to the equally-fantastic documentary Metallica: Some Kind of Monster?

    After checking it out from the library yesterday afternoon, I've torn through seven chapters of this book since about 9:00am this morning - it's not that I "can't put it down", it's that I just don't want to. Not only does the book give context to certain sequences in the film, but the early chapters document Berlinger's professional career leading up to the beginning of filming, including the gritty details behind the debacle that was Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2.

    It is truly fascinating to not only see the personal struggles of one of the biggest rock bands of all time, but also the personal struggles of Berlinger himself, and how the two subjects mirrored each other so closely. The fact that Metallica overcame everything they were going through to produce St. Anger (an album that I had initial reservations about, but with time and especially after seeing the movie has really grown on me) and that Berlinger and Sinofsky overcame everything they were going through to collaborate on Metallica: Some Kind of Monster is beyond inspiring.

    After a quick search of the board, I figured this would be as good a time as any to open up discussion on the book, the movie, and the band in general. Because this all kind of transcends a number of mediums, I wasn't sure quite where to put this. I settled on here, and hope I wasn't wrong.
     
  2. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    I haven't been able to tolerate Metallica for at least twelve years now. Their albums seem to get progressively worse, and after the whole Napster debacle, I sold all of their CDs to a used store. It was a sad day, but I had simply lost all of my respect for a band that at one point was my very favorite.

    My first two concerts were Metallica, and five of my first seven CDs were Metallica. All of the good memories were lost, but I've moved on and have found some truly great music to listen to and from bands that seem to be more concerned with the music than about their image and bank account.

    There is good news though, I just saved a bunch on my car insurance.

    .....and Rick Rubin is going to produce their next album. Maybe, they have some fuel in their tank yet, but I won't hold my breathe.
     
  3. Stephen Lilley

    Stephen Lilley Stunt Coordinator

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    On the subject of the Napster debacle, Lars Ulrich addresses its origins in the supplemental material on the Some Kind of Monster DVD in a way that I am 100% behind.

    The Napster debacle did not come out of "Oh my God, people are downloading our music, we're losing money, we need to stop this and stop it now." At the time, the band was in the studio working on what would become "I Disappear" for the Mission: Impossible 2 soundtrack, and incomplete versions of it started being played on certain radio stations around the country. Upon investigation, the source of the breach was discovered to be Napster, and Metallica decided to tackle this little problem as that had with so many others in the past - violently, and head on.

    Lars admits that they gave no thought to how big Napster would become, or where it all would eventually end up. A song that they weren't even finished with was being illegally played on the radio, and they were going to stop it. It was never about stopping downloading, it was about control.

    Call them money grubbing and say that they are only concerned with their image all you want, but looking at it from that perspective I can absolutely see their point.
     
  4. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    I'm not a huge Metallica fan, and I actully forgot completely about this Doc, thanks for bringing it up, I'll have to check it out!

    I did really enjoy the 2 VHS set "A year and a half in the life of Metallica", that came out back around the black album days. I keep meaning to rebuy it on DVD, as well as "Live Shit: Binge and Purge".

    Man, I've really been neglicting my Metallica jones! Although, I too lost faith in them in much the same way Eric did, although he appears to be a bigger fan intially than I ever was. Rick rubins name on their next album well be enough for me to pick it up.
     
  5. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    Yes, but Napster is a tool and only that. It still required somebody (in the studio & close to the band) to take that song and put it on Napster. I'm so tired of bands and Movie studios complaining about the Internet stealing their property, when it's their own lack of security systems that allow this in the first place. It's not a team of ninjas breaking in to the studio and stealing the tapes, this is an employee!

    It's the old adage of blame the weapon and not the criminal.[​IMG]
     
  6. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    ...and to clarify something. I in no way condone the illegal downloading of music or movies and have never done so.
     
  7. Stephen Lilley

    Stephen Lilley Stunt Coordinator

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    This is the first time I'd heard that possibly they were "provoked".
     
  8. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    In the end, it's all neither here nor there, but they did lose a lot of fans over it, and from the quotes you posted, Lars doesn't care. That's his loss, I guess. Truly a shame considering how the band started, which was by handing out FREE tapes of their music in order to spread the word. Without FREE sharing, they would have never made it.

    The Napster thing was simply a final "Shortest Straw" after many other things over a period of ten years that made me lose faith. Personally, "The Black Album" was not all that good, and got old really, really fast. I can't remember the last time that I listened to it, but it was probably '92 or '93. After hearing the first song from "Load", I decided to not even buy it. The only album that I purchased from that point on was "Garage Days" and that I made a profit on, by selling my original CD before the re-release came out. Their new musical direction, just did not interest me on any level, as they seemed to be more interested in emulating other bands rather than continuing on with their own sound that was utterly groundbreaking. I have no objections when a band wants to change their sound, but when they change from extremely complex music with message-driven lyrics to a straight forward rock music with typical rock lyrics, then I don't see that as a progressive change.
     
  9. Stephen Lilley

    Stephen Lilley Stunt Coordinator

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  10. RudyN

    RudyN Supporting Actor

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    I got the book for Christmas from my g/f along with the dvd. Almost done reading the book and have enjoyed it so far.
     
  11. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer

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    So no one whose house is broken into should complain because it was their fault for not having enough security. That's basically what you are saying and somehow I don't think many will agree with you.
     
  12. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    Thanks for not reading my post!

    Your comparison would only be valid if it was friends or family members that were stealing your stuff. If you honestly think that somebody is breaking into the studio and stealing these tapes, then we have nothing to discuss.
     
  13. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer

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    Songs, movies and other entertainment material is often stolen by outsiders for the sole purpose of copying the material. That’s a fact. It’s rather naïve to think that it is always an insider.
     
  14. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Cinematographer

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    That's just the nature of art. If an artist has any real ambition or integrity they're going to keep experimenting throughout their career, and eventually they're going to start experimenting and evolving in ways that few people like and you just have to accept that. I'm not much of a Metallica fan anymore, but I think if they were still playing the same kind of music that they did on their earlier albums it would be pretty pathetic.
     
  15. Stephen Lilley

    Stephen Lilley Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll tell you what this book has *really* made me want to do - check out Brother's Keeper and the Paradise Lost films - the other documentaries from the Berlinger-Sinofsky team.

    Has anybody seen them? Are they as good as Berlinger seems to think they are in this book?
     
  16. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    Paradise Lost was an excellent documentary, but I never saw Part II.
     
  17. Stephen Lilley

    Stephen Lilley Stunt Coordinator

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    In the supplimental material on the Some Kind of Monster DVD, Berlinger makes reference to the team starting work on a third Paradise Lost movie. A quick search of the IMDb, however reveals that this has not actually happened yet - almost two full years later.
     
  18. Stephen Lilley

    Stephen Lilley Stunt Coordinator

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    I finished reading This Monster Lives this afternoon, and I can honestly say it was fantastic. There is so much useful information to anyone even remotely interested in documentary filmmaking, as well as more depth provided to fans of Metallica: Some Kind of Monster.

    Some of the most fascinating insights come when it came time for the decision of just what all the footage that had been shot over the course of two years was to become. Originally hired to produce a simple infomercial for the upcoming album, there was serious talk at one point of it all turning into a The Osbournes style show for Showtime. At the zero hour, the decision was made over Christmas 2002 to turn it into a mini-series on VH1 that would coincide with the release of St. Anger. Editing began on television episodes before a format had even been decided, this is how pressed for time they were. Luckily, the members of Metallica decided to buy the film themselves, which allowed Sinofsky and Berlinger to turn it into the theatrical film they always wanted.

    The amount of work that went into this documentary on every front is amazing. This book really made me further respect a movie I already really loved.

    Does anybody know if the recently released paperback version has any updated material, as is the case with some books of this nature?
     

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