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5 reviews, 45 user ratings

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Doors, The
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by Paulapalooza

"An incomplete sketch of the Morrison mystique"
3 stars

The Doors are easily one of the most hypnotic, influential, and culturally significant bands to come out of the psychedelia-driven California subcluture of the Sixties and Seventies. This is to no small degree because lead singer Jim Morrison was a touchstone for the souls seeking to save themselves through excess and/or spiritual enlightenment. His death continues to gnaw at the collective spirit of those who saw him as he wanted to see himself, as a modern day mystic. One of those people is undoubtedly director Oliver Stone, who presents his vision of Morrison and the Doors in this disjointed though oft-compelling exercise.

The Doors, the movie, might as well be retitled Morrison: The Movie. Jim Morrison certainly was the focal point of the band and remains the most-identified symbol of their music and mystique, but almost every opportunity is wasted to show the band actually BEING a band. Stone is much more concerned with portraying Morrison as an artist turned hedonist drunk whose personal demons devour him and the people close to him. Val Kilmer does an excellent and uncanny job of apeing the Morrison look, style, and body language, and actually performs many of the songs himself. To be fair, the concert sequences in the film are intriguingly filmed and visually arresting, but more of the effort BEHIND the music would have been appreciated.

Actually, the film is most interesting and infuriating for what it chooses NOT to concentrate on or glosses over. We learn Morrison is distanced from his family yet we never really learn why. Morrison's fascination with Native American belief and ritual is also touched on but never truly expounded. A film detailing Morrison's endeavor to be a modern-day shaman, his spiritual successes and losses, could have been fascinating. Instead, we get the barest of outlines and a snapshot of excesses. Meg Ryan is particularly wasted as Morrison's oft-ignored girlfriend Pamela Courson, and only Kyle MacLachlan as keyboardist Ray Manzarek makes any sort of impression among the remaining bandmembers.

Despite, or perhaps because of, Stone's penchant for fiddling with fact, the film is quite watchable and serves as a workable primer for who Morrison was and what his life was about. Like most of Stone's output since, it's also highly stylized and visually dynamic. Sadly, there is much more to this story than the surface gloss Stone presents---it's much more like the grittily defaced tombstone of Morrison in Paris, and, like that tombstone, all the texture deserves to be seen.

Now go listen to "The End". You know you want to.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=855&reviewer=21
originally posted: 05/01/00 19:00:47
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User Comments

12/28/17 morris campbell one stones better movies great music 4 stars
8/19/13 Fire With Fire Riot and burn,says Oliver Stone. But leave his multi-million $ mansion ALONE. HYPOCRITE!!!! 1 stars
8/17/10 art CREEPY AND DEPRESSING! 1 stars
8/09/08 Kyle Boylan Its a great movie(can't wait to watch it while I trip) 5 stars
5/14/08 Jack Sommersby Lacks dramatic depth but Kilmer's performance and recreation of the time and place is A+. 4 stars
1/31/08 Shelbie Awesome! A great idea of what Jim and that era were like. Not enough of his poetic side.. 5 stars
11/10/07 Jackson This is OLIVER STONES JIM MORRISON dont get confused 2 stars
10/16/07 Anthony Tassone A gripping movie. It stays with you after you see it. Great insight into Morrisons life 4 stars
1/14/07 David Pollastrini could have done without the Shaman stuff 4 stars
10/09/06 albert A VERY GOOD MOVIE. 4 stars
1/04/06 Agent Sands This just might get me back into an Oliver Stone kick. I mean the guy is a GENIUS. 5 stars
10/05/05 Denise Cusack I concur with the reviews' overview 4 stars
8/21/05 Jeree I really enjoyed this film! 5 stars
2/14/05 Mr. Durden This movie cannot be put into words and be done justice, It's a must see. 5 stars
11/30/04 chloe i really felt inebriated! Kilmer is my idol, next to Jim, of course. 5 stars
11/01/04 jeff this movie kicked 5 stars
9/16/04 Ryan I loved this movie it had mostly everything correct to Jim life and that of The Doors 4 stars
6/20/04 Tim Superb film, so much content of Jims life, makes me wana time-travel and join him 4 a beer 5 stars
5/13/04 John hypmotic and intense with great performances butis it authentic? 4 stars
5/22/03 Biff Boffo Surely Morrison, being an arteeest, had to have more than 1 dimension to his being?! 2 stars
2/06/03 Dee-Dee awsome, tells the true life of the doors 4 stars
1/20/03 Climhazzard This is a GREAT movie. Don't tell me that you wouldn't live like Jim did if in the 60's. 5 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum The great music and Kilmer lift this above the normal Stone slop 4 stars
3/31/02 Jenny Tullwartz Good bio, and shows how Meg Ryan could be a serious actress. 5 stars
2/28/02 Butterbean Kilmer made the perfect Morrison! A good biopic 4 stars
9/16/01 Bri Awsome! 5 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk A very honest, harrowing depiction of a musical God. Stone scores again. 5 stars
6/19/01 G-MAN Read "No One Here Gets Out Alive" first. It'll make more sense to you. 4 stars
6/14/01 Law Firm of Dewey, Cheatam & Howe Great pic tho the wigs are ALL fucking horrible 4 stars
4/01/01 Jesse L If you don't like this movie, you are too old... 5 stars
1/30/01 mehmet erkmen lack of morrison 1 stars
11/05/00 jkl;jojekl;nsa most awsome 5 stars
6/19/00 Ryan Mccollum Trip well worth it 5 stars
6/16/00 drew raley Stone seems very enamoured of his self-invoked status as '60scultural tourguide. Whoops. 2 stars
4/30/00 perverted pixie Up there with "Sid & Nancy" in terms of great rock bio-pic's. I loved it madly! 5 stars
10/10/99 Weird Andy As boring and overwrought as an actual Doors album. 2 stars
6/14/99 Dylan Fantastic biopic. Stone delivers again and Kilmer presents us with an acceptable Jim. 4 stars
11/27/98 Mr.Pink It lighted my fire alright! 5 stars
11/12/98 Lord Of The Dunce Kilmer really gives it a shake, but there's not enough here for a movie. Stone embelishes. 3 stars
10/24/98 Vincent An awesome piece of filmmaking, loses a lot on video (even ltbx) though 5 stars
10/02/98 wind excellent movie...watchin it right now...jim was pretty cool 5 stars
9/15/98 Lonatic Another Stone OPINION movie! Oliver Stone sucks as a diector/writer whatever he isn't.. 1 stars
9/14/98 cheryl_ann kickin flick, but i brought upon an a flashback for me. i dunno if that's good or bad. 4 stars
9/05/98 Helle Marie Allright, this is exxellent, beaudiful and fuckin` great! Val does a great job as Morrison 5 stars
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  01-Mar-1991 (R)
  DVD: 12-Dec-2006



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