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Friday, April 9, 2010

MOVIE REVIEW
When You're Strange
Faces Come Out Of The Rain, But His Face Was Iconic

 
Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore and Jim Morrison, aka The Doors.  
The Doors

By Omar P.L. Moore/PopcornReel.com        Follow popcornreel on Twitter FOLLOW 
Friday, April 9, 2010

"When You're Strange" is a hypnotic, humorous and harrowing ride through the life of Jim Morrison and the iconic sixties American rock band The Doors.  The documentary, written and directed by Tom DiCillio ("Delirious") is comprised of never-before-seen footage of the band, and Mr. Morrison's very own 1970 film "Hwy", which is interspersed throughout Mr. DiCillo's film, which opened today in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Boston, among other U.S. cities.

Johnny Depp's narration is perfect for this documentary, which traces Mr. Morrison, a philosopher-poet trapped in a rock-star's body.  A primal energy and vitality raced through Jim Morrison on stage and "When You're Strange" captures it well.  Part spiritualist, part provocateur and always no-holds-barred, Mr. Morrison loved the limelight, and it loved him back. 

Alternately narcissistic yet un-self-conscious, Mr. Morrison's greatest strengths were his poetry and his remarkably casual and trusting approach when around his fans.  There's footage from the five-year run of The Doors during the American 1960s of turmoil, where Mr. Morrison is both innocent compassionate flower child and ribald rebel.  Robby Krieger (whose classic "Light My Fire" seemed to define The Doors and the mania surrounding them), John Densmore and co-founder Ray Manzarek are portrayed as the straight men to Mr. Morrison's onstage antics. 

I'm a huge Doors fan, and have admired them for years.  "When You're Strange" provides a context to the artistic creativity of this quartet, fueled not only by what Mr. Depp describes as a "highly intelligent and dangerous" man in Mr. Mojo Risin himself, but also framed by the turbulent times that accompanied this heavily blues-influenced rock band.  Doors fans will love "When You're Strange", which is full of music, fun, anecdotes, philosophy and serious times.  Any fans of documentaries will appreciate Mr. DiCillo's film, which goes a long way towards bringing new Doors fans on board.

"When You're Strange" is rated R by the Motion Picture Association Of America for some sexual content including references, nudity, drug material and language.  The film also features brief full frontal male and female nudity.  The film's running time is one hour and 28 minutes.

Extra: Chicago's Ray Manzarek comes to San Francisco, lights a fire under Oliver Stone's "Doors"

Unscripted review of "When You're Strange":



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Read more movie reviews and stories from Omar here.

Read Omar's "Far-Flung Correspondent" reports for America's pre-eminent Film Critic Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times - here



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