Released in 1984, Purple Rain was Prince’s first feature length movie. It tells the story of “The Kid”, a musician who lives at home in an abusive situation who is battling a rival performer while engaged in a budding romance with the gorgeous and talented Apollonia Kotero. Under the Cherry Moon came out two years later. Done in black and white, Cherry Moon is about two American brothers who are living in the French Rivera where they engage in a scheme where Christopher (Prince) would marry a rich heiress for all her riches. The third and last film, Graffiti Bridge, was originally released in 1990. This movie is widely considered to be the sequel to Purple Rain and it continues the story line between The Kid and Morris Day as musical and romantic rivals.
1984 – 1990, Color/B&W, Rated R/PG-13, 5 Hrs 9 mins
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/2.0, 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Prince, Appollonia Kotero, Kristin Scott Thomas and Morris Day
Directed by: Albert Magnoli (Purple Rain), Prince
Of course, Purple Rain is the best of these movies followed by Under the Cherry Moon and Graffiti Bridge in that order.
Purple Rain is a showcase of many of Prince’s greatest songs. At least that is the way I see it. It’s a movie with a story line and some acting (in many scenes, anyway). But the real treat is the chance to hear him perform some of his greatest hits on screen. The remastered picture and sound make this a very entertaining diversion and I enjoyed it enough that I give this movie 4 stars.
Under the Cherry Moon was entertaining as well and had just the right balance of cheesiness for what it was. I enjoyed the story and acting even though I found some of the story came across as more than a bit discordant (like the settings versus Prince’s costumes for one thing). I genuinely loved the musical score by Prince and the Revolution on this one. I give Cherry Moon 3.5 starrs.
Bringing up the rear was Graffiti Bridge. This movie was obviously produced on a very tihgt budget and I would venture that over 90% of it was shot on a soundstage with questionable set pieces. Prince’s musical performances on this one were not up to the standard of Purple Rain though I will assert that there are performances from other musicians that make it more than worthy of a watch through – 2.5 stars for this one.
You can rest assured that all three movies feature Prince with a flamboyant style, dashing good looks and a devil-may-care attitude.
All three of these movies were shot on film and they were all relatively low budget movies that didn’t have the best possible image quality to begin with due mainly to the budgetary limitations. So the movies have some image issues, the most glaring of which is abundant (“excessive”) film grain along with other issues regarding the contrast and color balance. All the movies have been newly remastered from 2K scans and are AVC encoded at approximately 35 Mbps. I felt the picture of Cherry Moon (which is a black and white movie) was the best, with solid grayscale tracking, good resolution and stable contrast. Next would be Purple Rain with last place going to Graffiti Bridge which apparently had the lowest budget of the three movies.
Purple Rain is presented in 5.1 DTS-HD Master audio while the other two films are presented in DTS HD-MSTR 2.0. I would rate Purple Rain as the best of the three and the audio track highlights the excellent music to great effect. Cherry Moon features fewer live performances, but the musical score is warm, rich and detailed. Graffit Bridge on the other hand was poor sounding over my system and did not impress in any memorable way.
This is a three disc set with each movie on its own separate disc. All the special features are on the Purple Rain disc and include commentary, featurettes, trailers and most importantly – music videos!!! These are the features included – First Avenue: The Road to Pop Royalty; Purple Rain: Backstage Pass; Riffs, Ruffles and a Revolution: The Impact and Influence of Purple Rain; MTV Premiere Party; 8 Music Videos and Prince Movie Trailer Gallery.