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Metallica: Through The Never (DVD Review)

Metallica Through The Never - www.whysoblu.comThe ‘tallica boys are back and they’re bringing gigantic props! Filmmaker Nimrod Antal (Predators, Vacancy, Kontroll) has teamed up with the heavy metal rock act to bring a concert-feature film experience that has never quite happened like this before. The budget is huge, the theatrics are on overload, and Metallica does what they do like no other band out there. Metallica: Through The Never is here on DVD!

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Metallica Throught The Never - www.whysoblu.com

Film 

A couple of years ago the powers that be sat down and talked about what would be next for the most popular rock band in the world. Technically, that’s an irrelevant statement, because since the band is Metallica it can be whatever it wants it to be. A film about the band or a film with the soundtrack provided by the band featuring a linear/non-linear storyline is what was agreed upon and the architect at the various production companies used went to work. Nimrod Antal was hired on as co-writer and director of Through The Never along with various input from all four members: James Hetfield (vocals, guitar), Lars Ulrich (Drums), Kirk Hammett (Lead Guitar), and Robert Trujillo (bass).

Everyone went to work and came back with a bleak vision of the apocalypse, in essence, set in the real world featuring a fan and roadie. Trip (Dane DeHaan) is a fan of the band and also an employee. He is given an assignment of high importance. He’s to retrieve a special package located inside an abandoned vehicle across town. What’s in the box? It doesn’t matter, because it won’t be an easy journey to get it. Trip has to skip the current show in progress to go an get this valuable item for the band by the end of the show.

This is indeed the gist of Metallica: Through The Never, a concert that’s wrapped in a film all in one. The band is in full force and destroying the stadium that they’re are currently playing in while young Trip is fighting for his life and against what seems to be a world gone mad and about to implode on itself. I’m going to be straight with you, my readers, Through The Never is a great concert film. In fact, it’s one of the best ever produced showcasing Metallica in all their hard rock glory. Nothing comes close to the spectacle. What does drag it down is that Trip and his adventure is not really all that exciting, in my opinion. It’s an incoherent mess of chaotic imagery, with a big budget that tells me nothing. Sure, there are pretty pictures and neat sequences but since Metallica is playing in the background in some of these scenes it really comes off more like a 90-minute extended director’s cut – unrated version of a music video. It’s a tad exhausting.

Make no mistake, the show is grand and awesome, the film’s visual effects and direction are stellar, but we needed a coherent storyline in order for something like Through The Never to work. I don’t believe the feature did but thankfully we get a glorious full set of all the Metallica classics along with a brand new stage and tons of special effects that have never been seen before. The band even got some fully functional turbines and incorporated them into the stage show. The lightning you see coming from the turbines is real but harmless. They literally “ride the lightning” on that one. Lady Justice makes an appearance only to be destroyed and dumped into the toilet. Literally.

The show IS the film, which is a bit of a bummer in seeing something this ambitious not quite work out. I will give Metallica: Through The Never an above average grade, because the show’s performance cannot be beat.

Setlist

1. Introduction

2. The Ecstasy of Gold

3. Creeping Death

4. For Whom The Bell Tolls

5. Fuel

6. Ride the Lightning

7. One

8. The Memory Remains

9. Wherever I May Roam

10. Cyanide

11. …And Justice For All

12. Master of Puppets

13. Battery

14. Nothing Else Matters

15. Enter Sandman

16. Hit The Lights

17. Orion

Metallica Throught The Never - www.whysoblu.com

 

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-2

Resolution: 480p upscaled to 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 (16X9)

Clarity/Detail: It’s a concert and film all in one and the level of detail and crispness presented is jaw dropping. There really isn’t much to say in that regard. The video presentation of Through The Never is smooth like silk.

Depth: Metallica: Through The Never swallows you up into its chaotic abyss and never really lets you go and I’m not even talking about the 3-D presentation, because this is the DVD version and does not have one. That’s a testament that only the best of the best elements were used for this standard 2-D transfer.

Black Levels: Since this is NOT a Blu-ray the DVD can actually get away with hints of crush here and there and not get penalized, because in the grand scheme of things, Through The Never has solid black levels that aren’t distracting at all. Does it crush at times? Yes. Does it matter? No. Why? Because it’s a DVD!

Color Reproduction: Color depth and separation were on point. The visual palette is in overdrive mode and the DVD handled everything it was thrown at it from a color palette point of view.

Flesh Tones: You can taste the sweat (not that you’d want to) off of every band member – flesh tones are natural and robust. Tripp does get ample beatings throughout his journey and you can really feel and see the “battery” of punishment he receives. Good make-up effects in those scenes.

Noise/Artifacts: Noise and artifacts are inherent to the source but are really kept in check for this DVD presentation. No complaints on that end here.

Metallica Throught The Never - www.whysoblu.com

 

Audio 

Audio Format(s): Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, LPCM 2.0 Stereo

Subtitles: None

Dynamics: It’s a two in one show (concert and film), so the dynamics of that presentation never suffer. There are many scenes during the film portion that are quiet and haunting before their respective cues hit with a force of an earthquake. The dynamics are also served very well during the show’s many set pieces, pyro cues and whatnot. No expense was spared on mixing this DVD.

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer gets a banging workout on this one. It’s clean and tight and you’ll be grooving along in its might. It left me speechless.

Surround Sound Presentation: In this case, any seat in the house is the best seat in house. You can hear every little nuance and subtlety thrown at it along with the pyro, destruction, stage movement, crowds, as if you were right there on the wall. Phenomenal!

Dialogue Reproduction: I’ve got two words for you: Flawless! Okay, that was one word. You get the picture!

 

Metallica Throught The Never - www.whysoblu.com

 

Extras 

Metallica: Through The Never got the 2-disc DVD treatment here. Disc-1 has the feature film/concert along with some extras. Disc-2 has the rest of the feature length extras. We get everything but the kitchen sink on this one. It would have secured itself a 5-star if we had gotten an audio commentary from director Nimrod Antal. He’s a funny and cool guy and I would have loved to have heard his thoughts on this project. C’est la vie. 

Disc 1 Special Features:

  • Theatrical Trailer (SD, 1:52) – The theatrical trailer for Metallica: Through The Never. 
  • Master of Puppets Music Video (SD, 8:30) – A brand new music video featuring performance and footage of the film along with new performance footage for the video.
  • EPK – Cast and Crew Interviews (SD, 10:09) – This is your standard electronic press kit where everyone basically says nice things about everyone. It’s pretty standard stuff.
  • Interview with the Sound & Music Team (SD, 9:30) – By far my favorite special feature on this 2-disc set. The band may have passion for playing in front of an audience but the boys behind making the band sound good take it to a whole new level. You are literally a fly on the wall during this tour of how they mixed the film for theaters. Greats stuff!

Disc 2 Special Features:

  • Making of Metallica: Through The Never Documentary (SD, 1:16:34) – This is an entertaining look at the project from early meetings with the band until the last day of shooting. It’s a good insiders look at what went into making the film. It really was a logistical nightmare but it all worked out in the end. 
  • Mill Valley Film Festival Q&A With Metallica, Dane DeHaan & Director Nimrod Antal (SD, 29:20) – This is your typical after-the-film Q&A session involving the band and what compelled them to make the film, etc. Lame audience questions ensue.
  • Orion Festival 2013 Film Tent Highlights with Lars Ulrich (SD, 53:28) – This also appears to be another Q&A/press conference of sorts with Lars Ulrich seemingly hijacking the session from the moderator off on to the side. The Orion Festival is Metallica’s showcase of bands that they like and want to expose to music fans out there.

 

 

Metallica Throught The Never - www.whysoblu.com

 

Summary 

Metallica: Through The Never is a bombastic tour-de-force that while not having a coherent storyline does not stop it from kicking you in the ass. Music and Metallica fans will love it and film fans in general either may or may not like the film portion of the show. The video and audio specifications are absolutely phenomenal and the special features are also great. Metallica: Through The Never has something for everyone. It is highly recommended and it is available NOW via the links below through Amazon. Enjoy!

 

Order Metallica: Through The Never on DVD!

Metallica Through The Never - www.whysoblu.com

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

1 Response to “Metallica: Through The Never (DVD Review)”


  1. Brian White

    Nice write up!
    I love all the attention to details here
    As soon as this drops to $10 it’s mine!
    Not for the narrative, but for the spectacle and music, baby!