The Doors

The Doors Collection

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Two hours and 52 minutes of the Doors is a lot to bite off in one gulp, but this DVD release (which also exists, in somewhat different form, in VHS format as three tapes in a slip case) just about pulls it off. One needn't even be an enormously big fan of the Doors to appreciate the contents of this collection. Luckily for prospective viewers, the three programs that comprise The Doors Collection don't overlap despite their common subject. Each has its own focus and thrust, separate from the others: the first, Dance on Fire, shows an overview of their music and, to a lesser degree, their image over the five years or so of their active career and the decades since; The Doors Live at the Hollywood Bowl is a look at their concert presentation; and The Soft Parade is a chance to hear the members discussing art and poetry, as well as the rather grim-looking, bearded late-era Jim Morrison performing. The DVD contains supplementary materials by Manzarek and company that add immeasurably to the enjoyment of the material. The images and memorabilia depicted in the visual supplement are a handy for hardcore fans, but the real bonus is the complete commentary track over all three features by the surviving members, who have fun recalling various events and poke some fun at the myths and cult status that attend Morrison's memory, as well as some of the more pretentious edits in Dance On Fire. The funniest moment comes during The Soft Parade, as they run down the places where the different arrest footage of Morrison comes from ("Here's Jim being arrested in Texas, here he is being arrested in Hawaii..."), like home movies. There are at least eight hours of solid unrepeated viewing and listening here, and the DVD is a must-own document for any fan, and even for many non-fans.