The Prince Collection
review by Bobby Blakey
Sadly this year we have lost a lot of truly talented people this year and of one of these icons was music genius Prince. Outside of his insanely brilliant body of work in the music world Prince had also tried his hand in film with his most well-known being Purple Rain, but he had also stepped behind the camera as director for Under the Cherry Moon and the unofficial sequel to Purple Rain, Graffiti Bridge. Now Warner Bros. Entertainment is celebrating Prince’s career in film by not only releasing these films on Blu-ray.
In case you have never seen any of the films, Purple Rain follows The Kid, a Minneapolis club musician as alienated as he is talented. The Kid struggles with a tumultuous home life and his own smoldering anger while taking refuge in his music and his steamy love for sexy Apollonia Kotero. This is one of those films that was a success upon its release due to the star power of Prince and that is about all it really has going for it. The story is fine, but the film is all over the place and just plain strange at times. It is clear that the entire point of this film was just to give Prince a platform to perform and he does plenty of that. About the only reason to really stick with this film is to see the variety of performances from the iconic musician. Hardcore fans may not be able to see past the purple ones star power, but he was just not a very good actor but his stage presence is just enough for him to still be compelling on screen. The film is a bit silly and sloppy at times with the injections of moments of dealing with abuse and relationships that attempt to make it something deeper than it actually is. In the end if you are someone that either loves Purple Rain this release offers up a great transfer of the film that hardcore fans will no doubt love. This release not only features the film, but also commentary, music videos, and so much more.
Graffiti Bridge follows The Kid and Morris Day who are still competitors and each runs a club of his own. They make a bet about who writes the best song and the Kid's club is on the line. But the Kid has become a brooding character who writes letters to his dead father and ponders spirituality. Under the Graffiti Bridge in the park, he meets Aura, an angel-like poet with whom he falls in love. Once again, Morris tries to steal his girl, and in the end, she dies in a tragic accident. But not in vain, she has given the Kid his edge back, and Morris gives in and lets him keep the club after hearing the moving ballad the Kid composed. This sequel to Purple Rain fails to offer anything remotely close to decent. Where Purple Rain at least gave some great musical performances to keep the audience entertained and blind the real issues with the film, this one fails to have any redeeming quality. The story makes sense at first and then seems to be all over the place once again taking place in a world that looks more like Dick Tracy than anything resembling the first film. The acting is bad all around and it is just ridiculous and not in an entertaining way. There are many moments that make it feel like just one long an unentertaining music video that is pretty forgettable over all. Hardcore Prince fans will likely be glad to have it as part of their collection, but if you need a Prince movie fix then just watch Purple Rain and pretend this one doesn’t exist.
Under The Cherry Moon follows an American musician living with his pal (Jerome Benton) on the French Riviera and on the bank accounts of bored divorcees. The next object of his affection is a lovely and spirited young heiress (Kristin Scott Thomas in her movie debut). He doesn’t count on confronting the girl’s enraged father and he certainly doesn’t count on falling in love. Seeing the poster art and knowing that the film is in black and white you already know that this film is going to be something different and that is an understatement. There is a strange tone to this film that just doesn’t offer up anything more than confused laughter at the goofiness of it all. It isn’t funny in a comedy like way, but more that it is so bad you can’t help but laugh. Part of wanting to see Prince do anything is the music and for all the faults of Purple Rain as a film there is no denying the amazing music and stage performances that help to save the film and even some of those performances in Graffiti Bridge, but here there is really nothing that makes it bearable. This is a hard film to get through full of bad performances and overall poor filmmaking, but one that hardcore Prince fan’s will probably latch onto just because of his involvement despite it not doing any justice to the man’s iconic legacy.
I love Prince’s music and while I can recognize how hardcore Prince fans can be blinded by his purple aura into loving these films for what they are, but those that have no blinders will likely be highly disappointed in them all. OF all of the films though Purprle Rain does stand out as the best in the group and offers up that iconic image that he had throughout his career and feels the most like the purple one himself. One the plus side the transfers on all three films looks amazing with a live performance feel is any of musicial performances making that something for fans to look forward to.
Fans will no doubt be eager to add these films to their collection and not only can you grab each one of the films individually but also in the Prince Movie Collection that brings them all together in one collection all wrapped in Prince’s signature color of purple while supplies last.
Don’t miss out on bringing the iconic performances only film appearances home with the Prince Movie Collection available now on Blu-ray from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.