The story of the famous and influential 1960s rock band and its lead singer and composer, Jim Morrison, from his days as a UCLA film student in Los Angeles, to his untimely death in Paris, France at age 27 in 1971.
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Oliver Stone's homage to 1960s rock group The Doors also doubles as a biography of the group's late singer, the "Electric Poet" Jim Morrison. The movie follows Morrison from his days as a film student in Los Angeles to his death in Paris, France at age 27 in 1971. The movie features a tour-de-force performance by Val Kilmer, who not only looks like Jim Morrison's long-lost twin brother, but also sounds so much like him that he did much of his own singing. It has been written that even the surviving Doors had trouble distinguishing Kilmer's vocals from Morrison's originals. Written by
Denise P. Meyer <email@example.com>
The poem that Jim Morrison is reading at the opening of the film is actually two selections from his book of poetry "An American Prayer": "Awake Ghost Song" and "Awake". It is the same book that Jim gives to his bandmates at the end of the film. However, the musical version of An American Prayer was not recorded by the surviving members of the Doors until several years after Morrison's death. See more »
During the San Francisco concert sequence, the shadow of the cameraman is clearly visible on Jim's shirt. See more »
We all know how legendary The Doors were and still are, and sooner or later someone was going to make a film about them. Might as well be Oliver Stone. Given the subject matter, Stone was able to go off the deep end with his imagery here to the point of making one have an epileptic seizure OR think they just dropped some acid. Either way, it's great to watch in my book.
The film is flawed in that it's not titled correctly. It's not about The Doors, it's about Jim Morrison and basically just the wild and crazy side of him. That's ok I guess, Morrison was The Doors. Many have criticized Stone for not depicting Jim in the proper light, but given how many people knew him it had to be an almost impossible task to please everyone as everyone knew him differently. I think we all can attest to this through the friendships we have with our friends. Some know us as one way, and some know us as another. I respect Stone for trying and feel sorry for him about the flak people have given him as I know he is a very talented director. I think his intentions were spawned out of true admiration and that he made this film for himself and to pay tribute, and not to win any awards. More of this can be found on the Special Edition DVD from Stone himself.
Even if one does not enjoy the trippy qualities of the film such as I do, or any part for that matter, one could not avoid admitting how well Val Kilmer portrays Morrison. It's simply amazing and is one of the best performances that I can bring to mind, and is the best example of how to literally become someone else, bar none. He doesn't act like he's Jim Morrison, he becomes Jim Morrison. He is Jim Morrison. This is no doubt helped by the uncanny facial similarities the two have. Not only that, most of the singing that's in the film was done by Kilmer himself and even a few of the original band members admitted that they honestly could not tell the difference between their two voices. Even if you hate Val Kilmer, this performance jumps in your face and screams for respect while trying to strangle you.
As mentioned earlier, some do not like the film for several reasons. One is that it makes Jim look like a monster and that it only glorifies his wild and uninhibited behavior. Two is that it's basically just one big acid trip into bits of history about the band. For one, Oliver Stone said it best....when you have to condense a person's life, a legend at that, into two measly hours you must take the highlights. Everyone lives longer than two hours, even Jim. We all know Jim was crazy, and with so many of the insane stories Stone heard while trying to piece together the script for this, a lot of what he heard was simply what you see. The wild and crazy side. As a result, what we're left with is not an accurate depiction of The Doors or of Jim Morrison. It is entertaining, yes, but it is not accurate. I think it could have been done perfectly, but it would have been excruciatingly difficult...and still not everyone would like it. And as far as the trippiness of the film, well that's Oliver Stone for you. We saw the same thing in Natural Born Killers a few years later. I personally like the style of it and felt that it was in place here but that's just my opinion. The '60's, drugs, and rock and roll equals trippy.
Overall a decent attempt at one of the most difficult subjects to cover, legends. And even though it's not entirely accurate and even though Morrison is one of my idols and he deserved a little better, I do enjoy the film greatly. The film should have been named Pandora's Box.
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