The Doors: Feast of Friends Blu-ray Review: Strange Days Revisited

A good meal for new fans; a familiar one for long-timers.
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Hitting the vaults once again, The Doors and Eagle Rock Entertainment have re-teamed for Feast of Friends, a short film the band self-produced about their life on the road while touring in the summer of 1968.

Having only played at a few film festivals previously, this first official release of Feast of Friends (HD, 39 min) has been "restored from the original negative...color-corrected and cleaned in high definition with the soundtrack totally remixed and remastered by Bruce Botnick."  The band's music has been paired with visuals of them in concert and between gigs, creating a longform document of those moments rather than telling a more focused story.

John Desnmore told Billboard the band used material from Feast of Friends over the years "for lots of different film projects," and fans will surely recognize material used in Live at the Hollywood Bowl '68 and many other releases, such as Morrison sitting with a young girl, who was bloodied after being hit by a chair.

The Blu-ray has been given a 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC encoded transfer displayed at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. While colors appear in strong hues, the visuals are limited by the 16 mm source, so inky blacks frequently crush, edges are soft, and depth is limited. The black and white footage that opens the film gets blown out from the sunshine and the blacks are rather light.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sounds great.  Vocals are clear and the instruments come through with great clariry. The LFE delivers a strong suporting bass.

Also, included is the new Feast of Friends: Encore (HD, 35 min), which uses footage shot at the same time and reuses material seen in the film but it skips the hits to create a soundtrack of deeper album tracks. The Doors Are Open (1080i, 54 min), taken from a British TV documnetary, features a performance from London's Roadhouse. It is intercut with footage of American politicans and people clashing with soldiers. Filmed in August 1967 and broadcast in October on CBC's  O'Keefe Presents: The Rock Scene - Like It Is, The End (1080i,16 min) opens with interviews by Densmore, Kreiger, and Manzerek before showing the band playing in Toronto.

Fans will likely be curious to see the entire Feast of Friends, but its rewatchability factor is low compared to the many other videos of the band. The extras certainly add to this release's value. Recommend for Doors completists, but not a must-see.

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