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The Doors (SE)
DVD disk
01.18.2007 By: Quigles
The Doors (SE) order
Director:
Oliver Stone

Actors:
Val Kilmer
Meg Ryan
Kyle MacLachlan

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The rise and fall of the famous The Doors' lead singer, Jim Morrison.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I had never seen THE DOORS prior to receiving it for review, nor did I have any interest in doing so. Rock/music biopics just don't usually do it for me. Plus, but my knowledge of The Doors is limited to only few songs and Jim Morrison's name (so you couldn't exactly call me a "fan"). But hot damn was this movie a trip! And hot damn does The Doors' music kick all sorts of ass! (I'm feeling pretty damn stupid for not having checked them out sooner.)

Even more impressive and stand-out than the slick tunes is Val Kilmer, who despite having not done much in the past to impress me, completely blew me away here (he IS the movie). Not being an educated fan of Morrison it's impossible for me to comment on how accurate his portrayal is, but my instincts tell me he nailed it. Everything about his performance was simply amazing, from his voice to his movements to his general attitude... not once did I feel like I was watching Val Kilmer. Now that's what I call acting!

Oliver Stone also worked wonders with his exciting and wild (yet somehow firmly focused) direction. Thanks to some clever stylistic choices, Stone manages to transport us to wherever Morrison is in his frame of mind. Because of this, the movie comes across as poetic, psychotic, frantic, washed-up, hypnotic, beautiful - basically, everything you'd use to describe Morrison (or at least the character he's portrayed as). I will admit the film could've benefited from some snips here and there (mostly during the final third - it drags on a bit too long), but other than that there's nary a fault to be had. It's a great tale of rock, roll, booze, drugs, sex... all layered over with that wonderful 60's style. Nice!
THE EXTRAS
Almost all of the original special features from the prior DVD release can be found here, which makes this a great first-time purchase. As for the people considering double-dipping, I would personally say you should go for it depending on your interest of the two new featurettes ("Doors in L.A." and "American Poet in Paris").

The 2001 release's extras include: an audio commentary, "Road to Excess" documentary, a promotional featurette, deleted scenes, trailers, cast and crew bios, production notes, and text notes about the cinematography. The only special features not included on this release are the latter three (bios and notes), which is fine by me because I probably would have glanced right past those anyway.

DISC 1

Audio Commentary (with director Oliver Stone): While insightful in reference to Morrison's and THE DOORS' history, this track doesn't offer a lot of entertainment value. Big-time fans will probably find themselves pleased with it.

Also on this disc are some Previews.

DISC 2

The Road of Excess (38:39): This documentary is mostly a discussion piece (including cast, crew, and some of the band members) regarding the making of the film. Interesting; worth watching.

Jim Morrison: An American Poet in Paris (52:03): This is biggest and best extra not previously found on the original Special Edition. It's all about the final moments of Morrison's life in Paris and all the details surrounding his eventual downfall.

The Doors in L.A. (19:35): This interview-filled documentary details how The Doors formed in L.A., as well as everything onward that led to their life of fame. Definitely worth checking out.

Original Featurette (6:18): Standard, uninformative, and full of clips from the film. Skip it.

Deleted Scenes (with an introduction by Oliver Stone): There are 14 deleted and extended scenes, which altogether add up to a little over 40 minutes.

Finally we have the film's Teaser and Theatrical Trailer.

Miscellaneous:

There's also a chapter selection sheet that folds out into a cool little Poster. Small but nice addition.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Sex, drugs, and rock & roll... the three things no rock/music biopic is without. THE DOORS is no different, but thanks to the top-notch filmmaking coupled with Val Kilmer's amazing performance, it stands out as one of the best of its recently worn-down genre. For people that already own the original Special Edition, this 15-Year Anniversary Edition should be easy enough for you to pass up (unless you really want the slightly enhanced video, highly improved audio, and couple of additional extras). But for those that don't yet have it, this makes for a great DVD purchase.
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