Double Feature

Author: | Filed under: What To Watch

I would like to suggest a fantastic double feature to you, readers:  start with “Metallica: Some Kind of Monster”, then go straight into “Anvil: The Story of Anvil”.  The Anvil movie isn’t scheduled for release on DVD until October, but I happened to see these films in close proximity because when “Anvil” came through town I had just re-watched “Metallica”.

This pairing is a match made in heaven (or hell, really, to use metal imagery).  First you see the journey the members of Metallica go through in their movie, with their huge success and all the ways they let it get the best of them.  Then, “Anvil” opens with all of the stars of heavy metal (Lars Ulrich of Metallica among them) citing Anvil as the prototypical metal band, only to find that the co-founders of Anvil, Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner, have been laboring in obscurity for years while the bands they influenced found the huge success that has so poignantly eluded Anvil since its early days.

The contrast is fascinating.  Metallica has millions of dollars at their disposal with which to do their band therapy, go to rehab, and make their new album, knowing that millions of fans breathlessly await their every move.  Meanwhile, Anvil suffers through a dismal European “tour” for virtually no money, and desperately tries to raise enough funds to make a new record and maybe return to the big time at last.

Kudlow and Reiner fight, inspire each other, and share their hope, and fear, that this may be their very last chance.  Kudlow is a riveting presence – undaunted, manic, the driving force behind the band.  James Hetfield is the parallel character in “Metallica”, and his relationship with Ulrich is striking in comparison to that of Kudlow and Reiner.

The main reason I suggest this as a double feature is because viewing them together forces you to examine what success, and lack thereof, can do to the creative spirit, the desire to create, and the need to share the fruits of creativity.