DIRECTOR: OLIVER STONE
CAST: Val Kilmer, Kyle MacLachlan, Meg Ryan, Frank Whaley, Kevin Dillon, Michael Wincott, John Densmore, Michael Madsen, Josh Evans, Dennis Burkley, Billy Idol, Wes Studi and many others, including people that were actually "there" and playing different roles this time.
ONE WORD: The Doors' excellent music.
(CAREFUL !!! EDITORIAL)
I, personally, do not care for this film.
I was around when the Doors were doing their thing, and while I did not have a chance to see them in concert, and I do feel that this film places too much emphasis on the bad part
of Jim Morrison's life, and does not really deal with the other side... the one Jim wanted to clear up a bit more, and died for. I feel that Jim Morrison didn't die because he was a drug addict, or an alcoholic (he did have twenty thousand people around him who could have helped him, and locked him up in the dryer) but because he considered himself a failed
individual, who couldn't catch up with his vision, and on top of it, the majority of people around him were leeches, who stole from his creative processes, and drained him of his creative juices, until there was nothing left.
That's not to say that Jim Morrison was a Saint. He is not. That is to say that he could have lived on, and accomplished more, if those around him cared enough to help, after all that's what friends are for. People like Jim Morrison are true artists of the heart, and can accomplish much if they are not destroyed. But it takes people that are much bigger inside of their souls to help and there are not very many of those people in the some places in this world.
But, fortunately, for most of us, the music of its leader (Jim Morrison and the Doors) is good enough, if not strange enough, to keep us interested in trying to figure out what was it about this man that fascinated us so much, and helped his downfall in the process.
(END OF EDITORIAL)
But this is not a bad film. It is a very good look at a really corrupt system that runs the business side of music in L.A., or N.Y., or London, or Tokyo. At first they hate you (when you are not known) because of the things you say, and as soon as you are making some money, and several people (the owner of both the Whiskey A Go Go and the club up the street are mentioned directly in this film, by the way) are gaining from it, all of a sudden the music is really COOL. That's Hollywood. It is no different today than it was some thirty years ago. Maybe the only difference is that the coke parties are better hidden, and the fourteen year olds picked up in the Hollywood bungalows are not as visible as they might have been before (Are You Kidding Me???), or we have turned our eyes in a different direction.
The Doors found out, like any band even in these days, that if you are going to make it, you have to literally tear up the audience. With Jim Morrison, an accomplished poet already by that time, at their front, and a few musicians who weren't afraid of holding the music while their singer went extempore ( which was all the time ) , they decided that to do what was 'happening' instead of doing the sixties rock'n'roll, was where it was at, and where the future was going. That's what the Beatles were doing. Why not someone else.
Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison is very good, and even sings. The best parts of the film, are the ones that the film doesn't get into. Oliver Stone has the idea, that all people get stoned for the sake of getting stoned. Which is not true. There are many who get stoned to learn. And Jim wanted to discover more about himself in a society that despises people that do so, and talk like it. Unlike the film, which only touches the real surface, The Doors were very serious about the depth of their material which they understood, material which still stands out very well today. TOO BAD THE FILM CAN'T.
Music is very good. The actors are very good. And there are real digs at the stuck up New York scene (Andy Warhol et al). But you will also find some really strong digs at the corruption in the Hollywood and LA scene in general as well.
Of note: NICO (Late singer of the Velvet Underground, with Lou Reed and John Cale) was madly in love with Jim Morrison, and in her last album she did a long version of " THE END ". She was an honest musician, and person. She died of heroin addiction, disappointed in having lost, what she felt was her one true soul mate.
Only see this film if you like The Doors. And one can get a pretty good look at what destroyed what might have been on of the best, and most literary rock bands, that America has ever had or seen. I suppose that many of us would like to help clean up some of that stuff, but where there is too much money, there also is a lot of evil, and some people simply have no conscience whatsoever, and this film unloads on many of them.
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