The Doors (1991) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna
|The Doors is a better movie than most
people give it credit for. People have plenty of
different reasons to dislike it
|But as with
most Oliver Stone movies, those comments tell you more
about the reviewers than about the movie.
I think if you stand back from this film and try to view it objectively, you'll find:
|So do I
like the film? Actually, no. I think it's a good movie, but I hate it,
for the same reasons a lot of you hate it. The Doors weren't that good.
Morrison was a pretentious ass when sober, and incomprehensible when
stoned, which was most of the time. The times weren't as interesting as
people thought back when they were permanently stoned.
Roger Ebert wrote, and quite accurately I think, that watching this movie is like being stuck in a conversation with an obnoxious drunk when you're not drinking.
But mostly I hate the movie because I don't like remembering how fucked up everything got when the whole peace and love and poetry and social justice thing turned into nothing more than a series of symbols to market bad rock albums and drugs and black light posters. And Morrison was a perfect symbol for that degeneration.
I read with amusement the comments at IMDb claiming that Jim was so much more than shown in the movie, so deep, so sensitive, so much more than a childish drug-abusing jerk. Oh, fiddle-faddle.
First of all, although Jim had an exceptionally high IQ, his poetry is awful. Your kid sister's book of poems is just as good as Jimbo's. Of course, being a bad poet is a real liability when your career ambition is to become a poet, but is actually a plus if you want to be a Rock God. Jim was so smart that he might have developed into a real writer - if he had spent 20 sober years reading every major work of world literature and gradually perfecting his craft. But a 20 year old guy who stays stoned 24/7 isn't likely to become James Joyce. Even James Joyce took a long time to become James Joyce.
|Secondly, Jim was a childish drug-abusing jerk
with a death wish. I saw this film at the same time I saw
an excellent BBC documentary on Morrison, and my favorite
Morrison story was told by Grace Slick, who said that
Jimbo went through LA one night on a dare, asked every
single person he met for drugs, and took the first thing
everyone handed him. Looking at the truth and the movie
side-by-side, one was led to conclude that Oliver Stone actually
whitewashed him! Jim was quite lucky to live to 27.
Ray Manzarek (Door's keyboard) has said that the film isn't a good history of The Doors. Doesn't matter. And it doesn't matter that the Meg Ryan role bore no resemblance to reality. I've pointed out before that the facts often get in the way of the greater truth. This movie isn't about facts, but experience. You can get the facts out of a history book, but if you want to know what the experience was like, this movie shows you exactly what it felt like to be there in the wretched excess of the time, and the even more wretched excess of Jim Morrison.
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