Dennis Leary summed up the life of Jim Morrison in one sentence "I'm drunk I'm nobody, I'm drunk I'm famous, I'm drunk I'm dead". The movie only showcases this humour as apparent fact, for 90% of the time he appears drunk. His status as a Rock God is never in question, his status as a decent human being is nowhere to be seen.
Val Kilmer gives a career defining performance in the lead role and has never been better. The incredible music is an ever present and Oliver Stone does his best to tell the story in a coherent fashion. The rest of the cast turn in OK performances but are never really given enough screen time to make an indelible impression. It's all about Jim Morrison which is probably how it appeared back then too.
You never get the impression that success meant anything and the whole movie plays out as a love letter to the legend rather than the man. The inner workings of his complicated character have never been truly fathomed and Oliver Stone, unsurprisingly, doesn't shed any more light on the drunken enigma that is Jim Morrison.
I can't imagine anyone who isn't a fan even wanting to see this movie. So I'll presume that you are one and for that reason I will say that this is a must own.
Optimum have granted this feature with an MPEG-4 AVC encoded, 2.35:1 framed, 1080p transfer onto a 50GB Blu-ray disc of decent quality.
Firstly the print is immaculate with no specs, debris or scratches anywhere, which is why I'm slightly confused as to why the film has so much digital artifacting.
It appears at times to be over produced, digital processing seems very apparent. Edge enhancement has been applied liberally and is most noticeable in the scenes where the background imagery is a vital part of the artistic presentation. Edge enhancement is where foreground objects are digitally enhanced to give the false impression of increased sharpness, this can have a haloing effect which results in white edging to the enhanced area and can at times give a strange effect to the blend of foreground and background.
Film grain ranges from extremely fine to non-existent. In a few scenes the grain does not appear natural and moves around the image, this was most noticeable in the scene where Pam discovers Jim's body.
For the most part the detail and clarity of the image is quite striking and is a vast improvement on the DVD. Colour is extremely vibrant, the reds especially and the darks do appear inky and strong. Skin tones do take on a reddish tint at times.
Colour contrast has been purposefully tweaked to heighten the sun drenched look in many scenes which gives these moments a dreamlike quality which is vastly improved when seen in HD.
When I consider the great condition of this movies print It surprises me that any studio will subject it to such digital enhancements when processing an HD version. This could of been a beautifully filmic print which would of felt natural and right considering its set in the sixties.
Overall it's worth the upgrade from DVD and at times the image looks really impressive, sharp with great depth and clarity.
Film 3.5/5 Transfer 3/5