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WHEN YOU'RE STRANGE

The Doors

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The Doors When You're Strange album cover
2.47 | 13 ratings | 2 reviews | 25% 5 stars

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DVD/Video, released in 2010

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A FILM ABOUT THE DOORS captures the band from their 1965 beginnings to Jim Morrison's 1971 death, featuring footage from those years.

Total time 86 min

Extras:
- trailer;
- bonus interviews with Jim's father, George Stephen Morrison, and sister Anne (8:30)

Lyrics

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Line-up / Musicians

- The Doors
- Directed by Tom Dicillo

Releases information

DVD Eagle Rock Entertainment (2010)

DVD Vol'ga, under exclusive licence by Rhino / Warner (2011, Russia, with English and Russian languages and Russian subtitles)

Thanks to finnforest for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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The Very Best of the Doors [US Version]The Very Best of the Doors [US Version]
Rhino 2007
Audio CD$7.30
$8.00 (used)
Strange DaysStrange Days
Rhino 2007
Audio CD$4.00
$4.99 (used)
Waiting for the SunWaiting for the Sun
Rhino 2007
Audio CD$3.97
$4.00 (used)
Soft ParadeSoft Parade
Rhino 2007
Audio CD$4.00
$3.91 (used)
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THE DOORS When You're Strange ratings distribution


2.47
(13 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(25%)
25%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(42%)
42%
Good, but non-essential (17%)
17%
Collectors/fans only (17%)
17%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

THE DOORS When You're Strange reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars no one here gets...out... inspired!

It should have been like taking candy from a baby. Yet with every conceivable advantage going for them the filmmaker manages to suck all life from a great rock and rock story, band, and icon. Even worse is the uninspiring document of the music. The Doors were not the greatest band to walk the Earth, but they provided many moments of musical magic in their 5 years and this film captures very little, no heart, no soul, no Love Street. I'm not suggesting filmmakers should participate in myth-building (and of course The Doors needed little help in that regard), but a great documentary can tell the story factually while capturing the general spirit which the fans find rapturous in the music. This film fails on that most important part while managing to make this band's interesting story as flailing and passionless as possible.

As mentioned they have everything available to them: the blessing and help of the surviving Doors members, family members, a high profile narrator, and unprecedented access to the video archives. Yet the film is surprisingly boring and hopelessly negative. We all know Morrison was a serious substance user but there was so much more to the story, and this film is just a sensationalist look at his abuses and wildness. It's just like with Syd Barrett, where every documentary is obsessed with his personal issues and is unable to balance that with the good things about the person and the magic of the artwork. In the case of both Barrett and Morrison, the whole picture is always obscured by this nonsense. They want to perpetuate the "tragic figure" angle built by the band machinery and the hunger of some fans for it, when with a little digging into friends and family you'll find the reality was not one-dimensional. Morrison was much more than these caricatures, and the surface of his talent and his humor are barely scratched. It's all about Jim in the bottle here, as Barrett docs are always about LSD and mental illness, and Cobain docs always fixated about the final gunshot. It angers me if you can't tell, that these are the superficial, tunnel vision narratives being left to younger generations about these artists. Hopefully future fans will listen to the music and read beyond the surface to get the whole story. Even Oliver Stone's flawed feature about The Doors got closer to the spirit of the band and their music, in my opinion. "When You're Strange" does little to illuminate Jim Morrison, his crucial relationship with Pamela, it gives little insight into the other Doors and who they were, and it manages to reduce their music to the mundane. It's a complete fumble on the one yard line.

The single bright light here is the chance to see some really rare, high quality footage of a film Morrison made in '69 called "HWY" as well as other choice bits of early family life and extended clips of the disastrous Miami gig. Also very cool were the interviews with Jim's father and sister, but these interviews were extras and not part of the film, another huge mistake. They were the most humanizing moments. These clips are worth the time for Doors fans to check out, but when combined with Depp's lifeless narration and the tortuous insistence of the director to follow the predictable "tragic figure" angle rather than discussing the actual music, the clips cannot save the film. It moves along mostly chronologically, but jumps back and forth a bit, explaining what is happening each year. I now understand the many negative reviews at the usually universally positive Amazon.com website. I can only recommend this to fans who need to see the rare clips

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#294676) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, August 15, 2010

Review by Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I really expected more interesting things from this documentary. But anyway, it is much better than Oliver Stone`s film titled "The Doors" and better than the "No One Here Gets Out Alive" from 1981. But this "When You`re Strange" documentary also suffers a bit from the same "sensationalism" which characterizes both Stone`s film and the 1981 documentary. I can say that until now I have not yet seen a good documentary about the band which avoids the emphasis on Morrison`s substances abuse and some of his on stage "wild" antics like singing, dancing and shouting drunk and / or stoned. I think that Morrison as an artist had more interesting things to take into view to make a documentary about him and the band, like his poetry, his lyrics and his singing in the studio albums and in some live in concert recordings. But again, this documentary mostly focuses in the real or invented "wild" aspects of Morrison`s personality like he was acting this "wild" character almost all the time. So, again, this documentary also contributes to re-create and maintain the "Morrison Myth" as an anti-establishment rebel more than a very good artist. And again, the history of the band stops with Morrison`s death, and the surviving members of the band are showed as Morrison`s backing band most of the time, and not as very good musicians as they were and are. So, the fans are not seeing in this documentary different things as other documentaries (and books) about the band show, and one has the idea that Morrison was more a "Myth" created by the managers of the band, the record label and the media and not a "real" person.

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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#1101568) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 28, 2013

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