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Oliver Stone Blogathon- The Doors

September 15, 2013



From an early age, Edward Copeland became obsessed with movies, good television, books and theater. On the side, he nursed an addiction to news and information as well that led him into journalism where he toiled for 17 years until health problems forced him to give up the daily grind of work. In addition to writing for Press Play, he ran the blog Edward Copeland on Film (later renamed Edward Copeland’s Tangents and currently in hibernation) and has written for The Demanders on, at Slant Magazine’s The House Next Door, Movies Without Pity, Awards Daily as well as the political commentary site The Reaction.  Here the opening piece of the blogathon is on Stone’s  biopic about Jim Morrison, in The Doors. Copeland, critiques, Stone’s take on The Doors, calling it a neither here nor there movie. In his own words

Stone, usually reliably opinionated, seems to lack a point of view here. He’s neither defending Morrison nor chastising him. More importantly, the film lacks what much of Stone’s work lacks — structure. When you go back and look at much of his body of work, Platoon, Wall Street and Born on the Fourth of July all fail to hold up on subsequent viewings, usually because of a lack of structure. Talk Radio remains the Stone film that holds up best because of its built-in structure of the radio broadcast. In The Doors, except for occasional reminders of the year, structure does not exist, just a drifting, mind-altering montage of events leading up to the inevitable discovery of Morrison in the bathtub. The most glaring example comes in a scene with Meg Ryan as Pamela, Morrison’s “ornament.” Jim finds Pam shooting heroin with another man and. in a rage, frightens her into a closet where he locks her in before setting the door ablaze. That’s it. We hear no more about it. Twenty minutes later, Pam shows up at a recording studio. In the film’s context, it’s unclear that it’s even the same time period as when he lit the fire and nothing explains her escape.


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