Oct. 05--Metallica is intense enough. Now imagine the legendary, seething metal monsters inches from your face.
That's what moviegoers get in "Metallica Through the Never," a combination of concert film and futuristic tale. Directed by Nimrod Antal, the 3-D movie stars Metallica -- James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo -- and actor Dane DeHann.
DeHann plays the part of a young roadie hurled into apocalyptic scenes as he is sent on a mission by the band. It's a day in the life as no other.
Trujillo, the band's bassist, is scheduled to make two in-theater appearances in San Antonio on Saturday, at Santikos Palladium IMAX and Santikos Silverado 16, to introduce the film. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. at Palladium IMAX and 10 p.m. at Silverado 16.
The last time Metallica was on the big screen was for the therapy session documentary "Some Kind of Monster."
The new project, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, is much more ambitious, with the band co-writing scenes with Antal. Its themes are similar, however: conflict, struggle, reaction and survival.
Metallica singer and guitarist Hetfield described "Metallica Through the Never" as "two movies in one."
"The intensity is great, and it's rated R because of that," Hetfield said in a phone interview Friday, explaining that the aim was to conjure "all the theatrics from the last 30 years on steroids."
"Collectively, there's some chemistry that happens when we write and we play," he said. "We have no idea how it happens. But when we get together and play, it's there."
Metallica wanted to take a concert film idea "into the future."
"It'd be great to have a cult classic that lives on forever and is looked upon as the best concert footage ever shot," Hetfield said. "And it has a storyline that's also intense."
Q: What's it like to see yourself in 3-D?
A: It's a little embarrassing, actually. Especially when you're sitting in the theater and you're watching yourself headbanging to you. It's really ridiculous if you think about it. But it's also just real. The fact that this was a dream and you're actually seeing it is amazing.
Q: How are friends and fans reacting?
A: Some people are really attaching to the live footage, some people are attaching to the narrative. That's just how it is.
Q: What is the thinking behind the narrative portion?
A: The thinking behind it was, for me, wanting to have something that had longer legs, that wasn't just, "OK, 3-D experience live." We've kind've seen that. We haven't seen it this intense. We wanted to make people think a little more, put a story where it's, "Wow! I don't really get it. This doesn't make sense to me." I think things like that are challenging, similar to our lyrics, vague enough to apply to your own life.
Q: Is this film easier to watch than the documentary?
A: These are completely different beasts, but they do complement each other, I would say. "Some Kind of Monster" was life happening in a complete, natural and human way. We were supposed to be making a record, and you guys are filming us make the record and then life happened. It was more about relationships and the human side of us. This is pretty much the opposite. This is the theatric "other self" of us. This is the alter egos of us onstage just going insane and the music taking us to Olympic level. I've seen "Some Kind of Monster" once or twice since we did it. I lived it. It's a great mirror.
Q: How is Metallica these days?
A: As far as us, as a band, relationship-wise, we're stronger than we've ever been and a lot more comfortable with each other and where we are and the gratitude we have for getting through ("Some Kind of Monster").
Q: Is there a concert film you didn't want to make?
A: Not to judge other people's art, but I have seen 3-D concert footage that was kind of cheesy with a guitar neck sticking out in your face or playing up to the camera, overdoing the novelty of 3-D. I knew we didn't want to do that. We wanted people to see what we see, feel what we feel.
Q: Is it possible to learn something about yourself watching the new film?
A: Wow! I should trim my nose hair. I've got ear hair now. I'm 50 years old. It's warts and all up there. Obviously, there's self-conscious image management that goes on when you see or hear yourself. But I got to get past that.
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