The Doors: A Tribute to Jim Morrison VHS
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SMOREJohns Densmore once called Jim Morrison a "Media God" and he said it better than I could. It's too bad that this video is not available because it's a revealing look at the Media God. I haven't seen this in about a year, but certain images still remain. For example, John Densmore said that at first he wondered if Jim would be able to perform because he was so shy that he mumbled into the microphone. He also said that Jim would never pace himself. If he had a concert to do, he would show up after being up all night. Sometimes he would roam in the concert halls before a concert, talking to all the fans. After the concert, Jim was known to continue to party. No wonder Jim died at 27. He lived each moment like it was his last. This video also shows Francis Ford Coppolla's "Apocalypse Now" section of "The End," commenting that Jim would have loved how Coppolla used the song. I would love to own this video because now even the movie rental store no longer has it. Let's bring this one back!
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Still, as long as you accept that this is a dramatization of how one person perceives the Doors and their music, this is an enjoyable film, made worthwhile especially by Val Kilmer's uncanny impersonation of Jim Morrison. Stone's quasi-surrealistic approach evokes the time and place and seems particularly well suited to the inner world of Doors music.
A major objection is the emphasis on Morrison as a drunken, obnoxious lout. This side of Morrison is an easy target for a film maker, but it's hardly an accurate portrayal. I strongly recommend The Doors Collection DVD, which will give you a glimpse of Morrison's sensitive side. Also Manzarek's memoir "Light My Fire" will balance the picture for you.
Although the listing here says that this is an anamorphic transfer, according to information on other web sites this is NOT ANAMORPHIC, but is the same transfer used in the previous DVD release (and the laserdisc). It's nice to have the extras, but early reviews indicate that this is a particularly low quality transfer, and I'd prefer to hold out for a new anamorphic release. (The first Doors audio CDs were of very poor quality and were quietly remastered and reissued about four years later; hopefully this film will get the DVD treatment it deserves.)
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