Watch the whole thing HERE!
Posts Tagged ‘Jim Morrison’
Richard and “Canada AM” host Jeff Hutcheson kick around the weekend’s big releases. They find out if the boss is always right in Melissa McCarthy’s “The Boss,” if Jake Gyllenhaal can overcome his grief in “Demolition,” how Hank Williams became a star in “I Saw the Light” and if “Hardcore Henry” should come with a medical advisory.
Watch the whole thing HERE!
Emotionally forthright, tunes like “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “Hey, Good Lookin’” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” were perfectly poignant, ripe with universal sentiments. “I Saw the Light” sees Tom Hiddleston hand in a terrific performance in a paint-by-the-numbers biopic that avoids the soul searing greatness of Williams’s work.
The story of Williams’s self destruction isn’t unique in the annals of popular music. He lingered longer than members of the legendary 27 Club—Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse all passed away at the age of 27—but Williams was a trailblazer of the Troubled Artist Syndrome Sect. Prodigious talent plus a predilection for booze, pills and infidelity formed the man and informed his music.
We meet him pre-fame. He’s a twenty-one year old troubadour about to wed Audrey (Elizabeth Olsen), a singer with a longing for fame but without the talent to back up her ambition. Their unsettled union is the thread that weaves its way throughout the story, binding together the biographical elements.
As his fame grows his addictions drive a wedge between him and the people most important to him, Audrey, his band and the Grand Ole Opry. “I’m a professional at making a mess of things,” he says. The best and truest relationship in his life comes from the people he didn’t know, his audience. They understood him in a way that those closest to him never could.
There is rich material to be mined from the life of a man who turned his troubled life experience into art, but “I Saw the Light” chooses to skim the surface. It’s the kind of movie where Williams says, “I’m sorry babe.” She says, “For what?” and, of course, he answers, “Everything.” Hiddleston brings a broken swagger to the role, a combination of charisma and vulnerability, but strains to create any kind of sympathy for a performer who was the architect of his own demise.
The music is terrific so it shouldn’t be a surprise that when the movie focuses one the songs, it sings, but when it looks at the non-musical components of Williams’s life it hits a sour note.
The first time we see Jaxx in the film he’s on a round bed, buried under several scantily clad women. It’s a memorable first look at the character, but it’s not exactly an original one.
Director Adam Shankman admits that the idea came from a similar scene — featuring KISS singer Paul Stanley — in the heavy metal documentary The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years.
It’s not the first time a music movie has taken its cue from real rock life.
For a year before shooting playing Jim Morrison in The Doors Val Kilmer immersed himself in the singer’s life, wearing his clothes and spending time at the Lizard King’s favorite Sunset Strip bars.
Despite the film’s many factual errors — drummer John Densmore claims “A third of it is fiction” — the recording studio scene where Jim smashes a TV is true, and even Jim’s disgruntled ex-band mates said they couldn’t distinguish Kilmer’s voice from the real Morrison’s.
The Doors weren’t the only musicians fooled by an actor.
Joan Jett was annoyed that Kristen Stewart wore leather pants when playing her in The Runaways — it would have been more authentic if she had worn jeans she said — but she was impressed with Stewart’s voice. When she first heard a recording of the actress belting out one of her songs she thought it was actually a tape of her old band.
Sex Pistols’ singer Johnny Rotten dismissed Sid and Nancy — the story of Sid Vicious’s life and death — as “mere fantasy” but Gary Oldham bought at least one authentic bit of Sid to the film by wearing the bass player’s real chain necklace in several scenes. Sid’s mom gave the actor the necklace to wear during filming.
Just as Shankman and Cruise borrowed from The Decline of Western Civilization, the Bob Dylan doc Don’t Look Back has inspired scenes in movies such as Bob Roberts and I’m Not There.
The mockumentary Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story parodies the movie in a press conference scene when a reporter compares Dewey to Dylan. “Why doesn’t anyone ask Bob Dylan why he sounds so much like Dewey Cox?” Dewey replies, echoing Dylan’s response to a reporter who likened Dylan to singer-songwriter Donovan.