The long-running franchise's latest instalment "might be the summer's most satisfying blockbuster"
When You're Strange (Wolf Films/Strange Pictures)
The latest release of a new Doors documentary on DVD makes us yearn for fiction over fact
It’s widely accepted that Stone’s movie was less a film about The Doors than a love letter to rock’n’roll excess; the band themselves certainly agree. Upon the movie’s release, Ray Manzarek raged: “The guy I knew was not on that screen. Where’s the poet?” Now, almost 20 years later, the keyboard player describes this new facts-first documentary as “the true story of The Doors, the anti-Oliver Stone”.
Directed by Tom DiCillo and driven by archive footage, the release of this documentary on DVD this week hasn’t been without its problems. First screened at 2009’s Sundance Film Festival, many people walked out of the theatre bored of the director’s own monotone narrative. Uberfan Johnny Depp was swiftly brought on board for a redub, and his charisma and enthusiasm for the source material is obvious. Which is surprising, given I’ve watched movies about Russian gulags more entertaining than When You’re Strange.
The problem is the dry reverence shown to a band who were more fun viewed through the lens of a fantasist. It’s the reason why teenagers love The Doors so much. When you’re young, Morrison’s tortured poet schlock is romantic. When you grow up, he sounds like a drunk shouting at bins.
Stone’s move excelled in ramping the band’s preposterousness up to 11; with their story told straight, they come across as hollow. The surviving Doors shouldn’t hate Oliver Stone so much – his movie portrays them as a better band than this does. He made a better movie too.
With Skepta and Stormzy dragging hard lyricism into the mainstream, Flowdan’s blunt rap suddenly feels on trend
The Canadian band bring little to the table with their second album of meat-and-potatoes tunes
Please, let this fifth Ice Age film be the last
Spielberg’s take on the beloved Roald Dahl novel is restrained, nostalgic and sweetly sentimental