The 10 Most Spinal Tap Moments From Metallica: Through the Never
After years of putting on stupid-looking plastic glasses in movie theaters, I think we can all agree that the 3D gimmick is an underutilized contrivance at best and, at worst, a cynical ploy to up movie prices. Save for a very few inventive shots, the 3D in Through the Never is completely useless. The artificial sense that, hey, James Hetfield looks like he's really in front of that blurry, out-of-focus Kirk Hammett onscreen ain't worth the extra three bucks it cost us to see.
Then again, if you've ever wanted to have Hetfield's sweaty chest hair pop out of the screen at you, you're totally in luck. When KISS put on an entire live concert in 3D years ago, they had the good sense to play around with it, with Peter Criss tossing giant drumsticks right into the audience's faces. Surely Spinal Tap would've done the same. But nothing so obvious and fun makes it into Through the Never.
2. The Insane Promotional Blitz
It must've been exhausting and eye-opening for Metallica to be subjected to the new school of Hollywood press junkets upon this film's release. In order to ensure an impressive opening weekend, the producers sent the band members flying around the country individually to introduce multiple screenings per day of the movie on Thursday. The AMC Gulf Pointe 30 off the Gulf Freeway got Kirk Hammett, which is something, I guess.
It feels a little shameful, though, sending the world's most beloved metal band out begging audiences to come see their movie. While none of their appearances likely turned out as dismally as Spinal Tap's disastrous record-store appearance promoting Smell the Glove, one would hope that a 3D IMAX spectacular was gimmick enough to put butts in seats without the silly whistle-stop tour.
1. Ticket Price$
Sad to say, but $12.50 is about the cheapest anyone's ever going to see a Metallica live show for ever again. Time was, you could buy a whole CD to keep for your very own for that kind of scratch. But those days are deader than Cliff Burton.
To be fair, movie ticket prices are a movie industry problem, not a Metallica problem. But for that same debit charge, I could've seen Prisoners or even Riddick this weekend and just listened to ...And Justice for All on the ride over. Having relentlessly toured every country with electricity over the past 20 years even as the recording industry collapsed, perhaps Hollywood was the only territory left for Metallica to conquer. But it was impossible to escape the notion that the too-short Through the Never is not much more than a big-budget money grab for the band and its handlers in an era where audio recordings are losing their profitability.
If you plan to enjoy the spectacle, bring money.
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