Discs Are Rated
The Doors: Collector's Edition
review by James S.
Running Time: 229 minutes
Starring Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore,
Directed by Ray Manzarek, Rick Schmidlin
Retail Price: $34.98
Features: Audio commentary, Ray Manzarek UCLA Film
School shorts, Excerpts from John Densmore's one man play,
Doors Photos, new version of "The End" with Robby Krieger,
Specs: Full Screen, Dolby 2.0 Stereo, Chapter Search,
The beauty of DVD shines through as The Doors Collection
from Universal gives you not one, but three Doors videos.
The videos, Dance on Fire (originally produced in 1985),
Live at the Hollywood Bowl (1987), and The Soft Parade
(1991), give the Doors' fan three full-length videos at a
special price. Both Dance on Fire and The Soft Parade mix
concert footage with off-stage antics, including tour
footage and interviews. The middle video, Live at the
Hollywood Bowl, shows The Doors in concert at the famed
venue. The music on the disc spans the entire career of The
Doors, and casual fans will recognize quite a few of the
songs. Die-hard fans of The Doors will appreciate the
behind-the-scenes footage from concerts and studio sessions
which provide an invaluable glance into the band. Great
band, great music.
There are three primary full-length videos on The Doors
Collection. Each video chronicles the band, and as such the
video quality at times reflects the era of the band. The
mix of television footage, movie camera quality scenes, and
home videos makes the overall presentation spotty at best.
The home videos have the grainy nature you would expect, yet
even the more professionally shot scenes have a high degree
of blur and grain.
This DVD is meant to be heard more than seen. However,
even the sound suffers some problems early on. On Dance of
Fire, clipping was heard in a few spots, but overall the
sound was decent on that video. The live concert, captured
in Live at the Hollywood Bowl, sounded great through
headphones. The headphones captured the mids well. Without
headphones, the room acoustics made lows and highs dominant.
The concert, like the entire disc, is captured in traditional
two-channel stereo. Furthermore, the music is laid back and
subdued, capturing the Doors' approach. Unfortunately, the
live footage is plagued with tape hiss in the background.
However, considering the source material for the footage is
over thirty year's old, the sound holds up remarkably well.
The features in The Doors Collection comprise about
one-quarter of the length of the DVD. In addition to
watching all three video collections with commentary from
the surviving members of the band, the DVD contains two
short films from member Ray Manzarek while he was a student
at UCLA. The shorts, filmed in black and white, are
actually quite interesting. A feature covering selected
Doors memorabilia is included as well. This photographics
journey with commentary shows items related to The Doors
from all over the world. Another static feature, the
photographs of Henry Diltz, includes narration from Diltz.
Excerpts from John Densmore's one-man play were a little
corny at times, though they did provide a first-hand account
of the band. Finally, a video of "The End" by Robby Krieger
is included. Krieger presents a new instrumental version of
the classic song. The features on The Doors Collection
really turned this from an average title to a good one.
Watching this DVD is like watching a television program
from the '60s. The video quality is poor at times and
average at best. Yet the music of The Doors is an
experience of the ears. If you sit back and listen to the
music, you will enjoy the disc. Admittedly, you can get
most of the songs on other more portable formats. But
Doors' fans won't be able to escape the strong features
included on the DVD. The Doors Collection is a nice
(4/5, NOT included in
NOT an average)