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Metallica Through the Never 3D(2013)
Trip, a young roadie for Metallica, is sent on an urgent mission during the band's show. But what seems like a simple assignment turns into a surreal adventure.
For more about Metallica Through the Never 3D and the Metallica Through the Never 3D Blu-ray release, see Metallica Through the Never 3D Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on February 3, 2014 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Dane DeHaan, James Hetfield (I), Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujillo (I)
Director: Nimród Antal
» See full cast & crew
Metallica Through the Never 3D Blu-ray Review
"You know what to do. Good boy."
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, February 3, 2014
What begins as a live concert film starring a roadie named Trip (actor Dane DeHaan, The Place Beyond the Pines, The Amazing Spider-Man 2) tasked with delivering a can of gas across town soon becomes a surreal, hallucinatory journey across a hellish cityscape ripped straight off a thrash metal album cover. Burning buildings. Fleeing crowds. Faceless riot police. A throng of homicidal, Mad Maxian anarchists. Blood. Gasoline. Mayhem. Ultra-violence. Hangings. A gas-masked horseman hellbent on Trip's destruction. And that's just the beginning. As the concert draws closer and closer to a fever pitch, with frontman James Hetfield, guitarist Kirk Hammett, bassist Robert Trujillo and drummer Lars Ulrich turning in a performance any band would kill for, Trip's fight for survival begins to fray and unravel, growing more bizarre the farther he pushes into the chaos. By film's end, Metallica stands triumphant and Through the Never proves its metal's mettle, even as director/co-writer Nimród Antal's (Armored, Predators) story sequences are revealed to be as arbitrary and abbreviated as they are visually arresting.
Part of what makes Trip's adventure outside of the Vancouver arena ultimately a bit underwhelming is that the concert itself is so ambitious and enthralling. During "Ride the Lightning," a series of Tesla coils circling an enormous electric chair descend from the ceiling and fire high-voltage bolts of electricity that arc above the band and audience. A specially trained crew erect a 35-foot statue of Lady Justice -- live, mid-show -- just to destroy it and watch it topple to the ground. The stage floor is comprised of screens that track each musician on the fly and under-light him with individualized animations and effects. Hanging screens flash even more video footage. Fireballs and flame towers ignite at regular intervals. Giant, smoke-wrapped crosses erupt from the floor. A sword rises from an enormous toilet bowl. One crewman is lit on fire as another plummets to the ground. A truss explodes, sparks fly and equipment falls from the rafters onto the stage. And Metallica gives their all with every twist and turn.
Trip's journey, meanwhile, is granted weight by DeHaan's near-silent performance, but tends to struggle, fizzle and confuse, particularly by its climax, which involves a walking puppet-talisman, a disintegrating rider and a super-powered, war-hammer-wielding roadie. Perhaps if the story sequences were more substantial, or if Trip's travels earned more screentime, the "film" portion of Metallica's concert film would be more gripping and satisfying. As is, though, Trip is in a tug-of-war the band -- I suppose rightfully -- wins. If Trip were the focus, fans would scream, "where's the live performance!?" With Metallica front and center for 90% of the movie, the question arises: "why weave an off-site story through the concert in the first place?" The result is a glorified music video strung across a feature-length concert. Not that Metallica fans paying to see the band will care. They'll get their fill, and then some. Five stars all around. Cinephiles and more casual fans will wonder why there isn't more of DeHaan, and react with more indifference.
Through the Never includes the following songs:
2. Creeping Death
3. For Whom the Bell Tolls
5. Ride the Lightning
7. The Memory Remains
8. Wherever I May Roam
10. And Justice for All
11. Master of Puppets
13. Nothing Else Matters
14. Enter Sandman
15. Hit the Lights
Metallica Through the Never 3D Blu-ray, Video Quality
Through the Never's 1080p/MVC-encoded presentation and 3D experience impress, both on the stage and off. Beams of light, sparks, flashing video monitors, lasers and belching flames are vivid and white-hot, while vibrant swaths of blue, green and purple douse the band and crowd. Skintones are nicely saturated, black levels are satisfying, and delineation is quite good. Detail also delivers, although not with the consistent crispness or clarity you might expect. Softness, artifacting, noise and other minor, infrequent eyesores creep into the concert, as do other anomalies tied to a few low-res, steadicam shots; all attributable to the various cameras and source photography, sure, but a bit distracting all the same. The only real downside, though, is that each distraction is exacerbated by the 3D presentation, as any unsightly nuisances are that much more in-your-face than they are in 2D.
Even so, the 3D experience is a proficient one. Filmed in native 3D, stage shots are striking, with notable depth and pop (particularly when the stage is bathed in light), while scenes that take place throughout the city exhibit excellent dimensionality. Aliasing and crosstalk are rarely a problem either, and the 3D encode fares as well as its 2D counterpart. Trip's journey still steals the show, though, with more cinematic 3D than the slightly gimmicky 3D of the concert stage. Darker and grittier than Metallica's live show, Antal's war-torn cityocalpse looks great, with deeper, richer hues, an earthier palette, more refined edge definition, more exacting fine textures and more remarkable 3D prowess. Clearly the cameras employed are of a higher quality. Fewer issues plague the story sequences as well, and close-ups are more revealing. Surprisingly, it doesn't result in an erratic image, and the stage show dovetails neatly into the segments starring Trip. All told, there's little here to complain about, and even less to worry over. Metallica fans will certainly get their money's worth.
Metallica Through the Never 3D Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Through the Never's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is angry, aggressive and loud, just as it should be. The LFE channel latches onto Trujillo's bass runs and Ulrich's drum beats with thundering tenacity and low-end ferocity; the more the music surges, the more the crowd roars and the more hell erupts in the city streets. The rear speakers are full and rowdy, spreading the cries of Hetfield and Hammett's guitars, the screams of their fans and the noise of the arena across the entire soundfield, making for an immersive, ground-pounding, ear-piercing concert. (Did I mention Through the Never is loud?) Hetfield's throaty vocals are as clear and carefully prioritized as they could be, as are the brief, and I mean brief, bits of dialogue that grace the story segments. Even when the cameras follow Trip, it's Metallica's music that remains front and center at all times; the film bits never dominate the soundscape, despite the macabre madness and surreal post-apocalypsing that goes down. Non-thrash metallers may be left rubbing their temples and popping two Excedrin Migraine, but the louder and louder it gets, the more ecstatic and amped up Metallica junkies will become.
Metallica Through the Never 3D Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Metallica Through the Never 3D Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Those expecting more "film" from Metallica's experimental concert film will be disappointed to learn the ambitious, surreal side story starring actor Dane DeHaan is short and scattered. Those looking for a bit of music video flair and a few cinematic flourishes while watching the band do what the band does best, though, will be pleased to hear the story segments aren't the primary focus. Fortunately, whichever way you lean, the concert delivers and Metallica puts on one helluva show. As to the film's Blu-ray release, the disc's video presentation is strong, its 3D experience solid, its DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track shreds the heavens, and its supplemental package is quite extensive, adding more than three hours of content alongside the feature film (all in HD no less). All in all, if you have any love of Metallica, you'll love Through the Never and its Blu-ray release.
Metallica Through the Never: Other Editions
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Metallica Through the Never 3D Blu-ray, News and Updates
• This Week on Blu-ray: January 28-February 4 - January 26, 2014
For the week of January 28th, Universal Studios Home Entertainment streets Ron Howard's Rush on Blu-ray. Other titles include Paramount's Jackass spinoff Bad Grandpa, the 3D rock documentary Metallica: Through the Never, and HBO's season four and complete series ...
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