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Case Number 26848: Small Claims Court

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The Doors: R-Evolution (Blu-ray)

Eagle Rock Entertainment // 2014 // 72 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Clark Douglas // January 16th, 2014

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All Rise...

Judge Clark Douglas is planning to try to set the night on fire.

The Charge

A band that helped revolutionize the way rock bands promoted their art.

The Case

The description on the back of this new Blu-ray release describes The Doors: R-Evolution as an ambitious endeavor, suggesting that it, "illustrates how the band evolved from the constraints of mid-sixties television to a point where they had the creative input and power to shape how they were portrayed onscreen." I suppose that one would be able to make such observations using the material included on this disc, but the presentation itself isn't as elegant as it sounds. The truth of the matter is that this disc offers 72 minutes of Doors footage presented without context or commentary. It's reasonably entertaining (after all, it's footage of The Doors), but one can't help but feel that a bit of extra effort to explain the significance or history behind these pieces would have gone a long way toward creating a more satisfying viewing experience.

Given that Jim Morrison tragically passed away at the young age of 27, most of the footage here was shot within a fairly narrow window, beginning with a "music film" shot for "Break On Through (To The Other Side)" and concluding with a similar video piece made for "The Changeling." In-between, there are clips of the band performing on assorted variety shows of their era: you'll hear "The Crystal Ship" and "Light My Fire" on American Bandstand, "Moonlight Drive" on The Jonathan Winters Show and "Touch Me" on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. These portions are the most intriguing, as they offer a bit of interview footage with the guys. Even so, Morrison and co. are better at expressing their ideas in music (a common tendency when it comes to rockers of all sorts). Don't be alarmed by the fact that the disc also promises Doors music videos from the '80s and '90s—these are merely needless video re-edits that fuse older footage with (generally cheesy) new material.

Here's the track list:

Break on Through to the Other Side (1967 Music Film)
Break on Through to the Other Side (1967 Shebang Performance)
The Crystal Ship (1967 American Bandstand Performance)
Light My Fire (1967 American Bandstand Performance)
Light My Fire (1967 Malibu U Performance)
People Are Strange (1967 New York Performance)
Moonlight Drive (1967 The Jonathan Winters Show Performance)
The Unknown Soldier (1968 Music Film)
Hello, I Love You (1968 Music For Junge Leute Performance)
Touch Me (1968 The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour Performance)
Wild Child (1969 Music Film)
Roadhouse Blues (1970 Music Film)
Crawling King Snake (1970 Get to Know Performance)
The Changeling (1971 Music Film)
Gloria (1983 Music Film)
People Are Strange ('80s Music Film)
Strange Days (1984 Music Film)
L.A. Woman (1985 Music Film)
Ghost Song (1995 Music Film)

The Doors: R-Evolution (Blu-ray) has received a decent 1080p/full frame transfer, though the majority of the archival footage is fuzzy enough that you won't notice you're watching the special in hi-def. Still, it looks about as good as it can under the circumstances. The DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio track is solid, too, though again it's largely dependent on the quality of the source material. With the exception of a couple of live performances, most of the music has held up fairly well over the years from a sound perspective, though it's hardly the room-rattling experience a modern concert disc would offer. Supplements include a 1966 training film featuring music by The Doors, a couple of bonus performances, a documentary called "Breaking Through the Lens," which aims to provide a bit of additional insight, and a commentary track from the surviving members of the band. The supplements make the disc more well-rounded in general, though it would have been preferable if much of this stuff could have been woven into the main presentation.

The disc highlights the fact that some of this footage has never been released before, but much of it has, and there are others options out there that are arguably a bit more appealing than this one. Not a terrible release, but it does feel like a slightly lazy and unnecessary one.

The Verdict

Guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 75

Perp Profile

Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Video Formats:
• Full Frame (1080p)
Audio Formats:
• DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 72 Minutes
Release Year: 2014
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Blu-ray
• Concerts and Musicals
• Documentary
• Performance

Distinguishing Marks

• Commentary
• Documentary
• Short Film
• Outtakes

Accomplices

• TheDoors.com








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