We've yet to see Joaquin Phoenix documenting his own nervous breakdown in new movie I'm Still Here,
but critics have been largely disgusted
by what's on view. With that in mind, here are five other moments in music documentaries that have left us feeling queasy and depressed.
5. Jim Morrison Having His Spirit Slowly Broken in 2009's "When You're Strange"
While we're thrilled that there's a movie about The Doors that doesn't feature Val Kilmer playing a cartoon character, When You're Strange is painful in its own way thanks to the fact that we get to watch Jim Morrison transforming, before our very eyes, from a cocky, fresh-faced imp into a slightly bloated, but somehow deflated and confused rock star who's thoroughly depressed by everything going on around him, and relying on booze and cocaine to turn off the pressures being foisted upon him by The Man. Major bummer.
4. Michael Jackson's Spending Habits in Martin Bashir's 2003 Documentary
"You like your urns, don't you?" Bashir comments, aghast, as Michael Jackson walks around the gaudiest furniture store in Las Vegas (and, seriously, that's a tough list to top) pointing randomly at ugly gold tables, chess sets and, yes, multiple urns, and going "I'll take that one, and that one, and that one..." When Bashir asks how much MJ has spent within the first two minutes, the smug-looking shop owner comments, "I'll give him a deal..." and Michael proudly says "Celebrities like bargains, too." He ends up spending over a million dollars on items that Liberace would have dismissed as "too much."
3. Britney Spears' "I'm Sad" Moment During 2008's "For The Record"
It's difficult to feel sorry for incredibly rich and successful celebrities, especially when they're multi-millionaires before they're even old enough to drink. But this look inside Britney's world was basically an exercise in depressing the hell out of every single person who watched it. The pinnacle of feeling for this isolated, lonely, lost young woman was the moment she broke down in tears and said, with all the simplicity and chin-wobbling intensity of a small child, "I'm sad." Ach! If your heart didn't go out to Spears in that moment, you're basically a villain from a Charles Dickens novel.
2. Madonna Fellating A Bottle In 1991's Truth Or Dare
Dear Madonna, you know that scene in Truth Or Dare where Kevin Costner calls your show "neat" and you jam your fingers down your throat and gag the second he leaves the room? Well, that's exactly how we feel when we have to watch you -- all eyes-closed concentration and self-conscious "Oh gosh, is this shocking to you?" faux nonchalance -- giving a bottle a BJ for the amusement of your gaggle of giggling, sycophantic dancers. When you try that hard to be shocking, you cease to be interesting altogether and just look like a little girl who didn't get enough attention from Daddy. And you're better than that, Madge. Don't do it again.
1. Literally Everything Metallica Did In 2004's Some Kind Of Monster
When you first start watching it, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's documentary about the making of Metallica's St Anger album seems like a massive hilarious joke; an updated Spinal Tap using a real band, if you will. Then it becomes apparent that all the unbelievable shit we're seeing is actually real. The sudden realization that James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett and Lars "Napster Killer" Ulrich really are genuinely this argumentative, petty, self-absorbed and - geez, somebody call them a wah-mbulance! - whiny, is both startling to us and embarrassing for them. By the time they decide to hire Robert Trujillo to replace Jason Newsted on bass, you want to crawl into the television, grab the poor fucker by his beautiful, silken hair and drag him away from these drama queens so his dignity and soul might remain intact. Watching this is basically two and a half hours' worth of wincing and screaming "Did they really just say that?!" at the screen. Pitiful.