Jim Morrison,one of the most sensual and exciting figures in the history of rock and roll, explodes on the screen in "THE DOORS," the electrifying movie about a time called the 60's and a legendary outlaw who rocked America's consciousnessforever.
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Intense biopic full of drugs, sex and rock'n'roll.
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"I believe in a long prolonged derangement of the senses to attain the unknown... Although I live in the subconscious, our pale reason hides the infinite from us." Acclaimed and controversial director Oliver Stone has yet again tackled heavy subject matter and trodden on dangerous ground with this rock biopic. The Doors is a film that takes a look at the band of the same name and their profound influence on rock music during the 1960s. There is no doubt that the lead singer of the band, Jim Morrison, virtually defined the rock god image. Despite imitators being a regularity no-one has ever done it better than the talented young rocker. The Doors has always been among my favourite bands as I am fond of classic rock music frequently produced during the decade of hippies, drugs and sex. Stone's biopic interested me for two reasons: Stone is a good director who habitually produces fine work, and I like most of the music produced by the band. The Doors examines the band's history, beginning from the formation until the eventual demise of leader singer Jim Morrison (Kilmer). More importantly, the film's central purpose is to examine the career of Jim whose life was cut short at the appallingly young age of 27. The opening few scenes bring the audience up to date with the happenings in Jim's past before proceeding to stardom. After dropping out of film school, Jim meets one of his old fellow students, Ray Manzarek (MacLachlan), on Venice Beach. Ray is profoundly moved when he hears the poetic lyrics written by Jim and suggests they should form a band. Ray and Jim are soon joined by drummer John Densmore (Dillon) and guitarist Robbie Krieger (Whaley). Together the foursome created some of the seminal sounds of the 1960s - namely their principal hit Light My Fire. As the years go by and their popularity skyrockets, lead singer Jim Morrison eventually spins off in an uncontrollable spiral of drugs, alcohol and sex. His true love Pamela (Ryan) becomes increasingly frustrated with Jim's erratic behaviour and egotistical pleasures. His career as a singer is something budding musicians would have wet dreams about; however record-breaking songs and wealth does not give Jim satisfaction he seeks - instead finding satisfaction in booze, drugs and girls. These life choices eventually lead to a fateful prosecution following a gig in Miami, after which he decides to attempt to live a serene life with Pamela in Paris. In all my years of viewing films, I have never seen such attention to detail and such potency in a depiction of the 1960s. Stone captures every detail and models it to perfection. This includes several graphic illustrations of drug usage and sex. Characters are regularly stoned. There is also explicit nudity (prominently female) and many scenes that feel like a prolonged drug trip. The film is very atmospheric with its realistic depictions of the period and frequently playing a song by the band; however the whole film feels incredibly tedious and towards the end just downright excruciating! It's impossible to actually feel engaged in the events during the final third. Stone has defended the film's feeling of an agonizingly lengthy drug trip, but I feel it's not overly very entertaining. The film is not a documentary and hence was never meant to accurately show the history of the band...on the other hand it's hardly an entertainment piece. In amidst all the depictions of the 60s the whole film is lacking something...and the script continually meanders. The character of Jim Morrison is played passionately by Val Kilmer. In most of the scenes Kilmer even does his own singing. If you didn't know better, you could honestly say Kilmer actually is the real Jim Morrison: his mannerisms, his voice and even his looks. The resemblance is uncanny! This is the performance of Kilmer's career! Overall, The Doors is a film that was dealing with difficult subject matter. Stone is a talented filmmaking who possesses the potential to make a film a lot better than the one we've been presented with. Even the real Ray Manzarek finds the film an appalling look at the history of the band. Draw your own conclusions...
- PvtCaboose91, Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Stone doesn't focus enough on the cultural context of the 60s that not only inspired Jim's lyrics, but led an entire nation to devote themselves to his music.
- MovieGeek13, Tuesday, October 30, 2007