on 9 January 2006
As a big-time Prince fan of the last three to four years, I really can't believe I've only just got round to watching "Purple Rain". The brand new 2-disc anniversary Special Edition led me to buy it. Wow, I was really looking forward to watching it, but I wasn't prepared for just how electric it actually is. Prince's musical performances throughout the movie are nothing short of astounding - he REALLY has the moves in this one. I am very familiar (from repeated listens) with the classic "Purple Rain" album and all its songs, but to see them in the context of the movie completely alters your perception of the tunes and lyrics - like COMPUTER BLUE, THE BEAUTIFUL ONES, WHEN DOVES CRY and PURPLE RAIN itself. There is something undescribably hypnotising about the scenes where Prince and The Revolution perform. The closing songs BABY I'M A STAR and I WOULD DIE FOR U show how much energy and sheer talent Prince was brimming with in his mid-20s (he's overflowing!), it blew me away. It even makes Michael Jackson seem inanimate even in his peak years.
Prince shows you how to win the girl of your dreams - drive her to a lake, make her jump in, then drive off - absolutely hilarious stuff in hindsight.
Some of the scenes are very 1980s and unintentionally hilarious but this adds to the film's overall charm. Morris Day is the coolest cat on the block (and hilarious), and when his group The Time perform THE BIRD you get to see Morris Day and Jerome Benton light up the stage Minneapolis funk style - I love their dancing in this bit, and how Benton provides Morris with a mirror mid-performance.
I already can't wait to watch it again, I really can't!
Extras are terrific - particularly seeing a young Eddie Murphy pre-Beverly Hills Cop admit he is a "Prince groupie".
on 3 December 2013
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today...
This film is very special to me. And I am sure it is to many others also. This film is about Prince becoming a star and what a star he became. The soundtrack is one of the greatest works ever written in pop/rock. This was Prince at his peak and nobody could touch him. Sure, the acting is a bit naff and there are flaws in the film but all that is forgotten once Prince takes the stage and performs songs like "Let's Go Crazy", "The Beautiful Ones", "Darling Nikki" and the super epic that is "Purple Rain". I have seen many acts live but no one can play like Prince. There are also plenty of extras on here too, to keep people happy.
I can't say I noticed a big improvement visually, comparing the DVD and Blu Ray but the audio is much better with the Blu Ray!
on 17 December 2004
I'm in total agreement with some of the other reviews on here, this is without doubt the best rock'n'roll movie ever made.
This 20th Anniversary edition looks excellent thanks to the digital remaster.
The nightclub scenes are just brilliant, absolutely capturing the essence of a time when musicians could be daring and odd and still be loved for it. Check out some of the hairstyles and clothes of the audience members. Blimey!
The story-line is fairly auto-biographical, we all know that, and it's a fairly simple 'kid from messed-up family wants to break free thru his music' type scenario, but it's lack of a complex plot is more than made up for in the 'live' performances throughout the film. These bits capture Prince at possibly his most vibrant, electrifying and vital best. He engages both his audiences, us and the film one, through his performances, some of which are so damn foxy it hurts. The Darlin' Nikki bit anyone? Hot damn!!!
There are some real tender scenes aswell, I love the bit where he's talking through the puppet thing, and also some of the family scenes with his mum and the tragically sad story of his father. It's in these scenes we really see Prince's acting abilities, which through the rest of the film, it has to be said aren't always evident, bless him. Very touching.
The love story is a little flat, but I believe that's due to Appollonia not Prince. She's a little staged and it doesn't seem she could let herself go completely with him, even though they were lovers in real life I think?
Morris Day is quite a comic talent, and along with Jerome Benton, their scenes are of a fairly good comic/slap-stick standard.
The extras on this version are most interesting too. Particularly the 3 docus, First Avenue;The Road to Pop Royalty, Purple Rain; Backstage Pass and Riffs, Ruffles and a Revolution; The Impact and Influence of Purple Rain. Really good stuff on those. But was there really any need to stick on the awful footage of the MTV Premiere Party! Watch this bit once, and then never again!
Also includes 8 great videos, one of which is the Vanity 6 all-time 'classic' Sex Shooter! Eek!
Nice motorbike too!!
on 13 March 2010
I think Purple Rain is when Prince arrived into the mainstream of popularity. He is an unusual and gifted phenomenon; unafraid of expressing his sexuality. Prince had a raw talent during this time, normal of many musical artists at the beginning stages of their career.
In my opinion, the Purple Rain DVD is more about the soundtrack than the film itself. You get to see Prince performing on stage as the 'Kid'; he's really just himself and it's fantastic to see his fancy footwork whilst singing now many of his great hits, such as Baby I'm a Star, Let's go Crazy and other lesser known tracks, such as Darling Nikki - look out for Prince 'humping' the stage during this one; later to become known as one of his trademark moves whilst performing.
Of course for those who like Prince's chart hits, there is the moving performance of Purple Rain.
The acting itself isn't going to award anyone with an Oscar, maybe a Razzie and if anything the performances come across as comical in an entertaining way, even though they're not meant to be.
But it's Prince and if you're already a fan, then this is him at his hottest, super cool best, at the beginning of his superstardom and like he's say knowingly of his gift, "Might not know it now, but baby ......I'm a Star!"
on 29 June 2008
I suppose one of the main reasons for watching the film is to try to extend an understanding of Prince, of that brilliant and enigmatic character whose unique talents have shaped the most joyful music of our generation. Whilst the film hints at a semi-autobiographical content, this is not fully explored. The Kid (the main character) has to overcome family difficulties and the scepticism of his peers, using his experiences, to shape his music.
Prince ,typically, is generous in allowing others to share the spotlight. Both the Time and Apollonia perform . Yet it is Prince's films and his concert performances are energetic and captivating. Darling Nikki is challenging and sexy. Purple Rain is soulful and magnificent. These sequences alone show an artist of stature and probably justify the cost of the DVD.
So it it better than a concert video? Maybe not... the script lacks dramatic energy and the acting is lightweight in places. Yet it is a wonderfully watchable record of the talents of one of our most mercurial performers.
When this came out in 1984 it was a phenomenon and turned Prince from a man with potential into a global superstar. Which is quite an achievement considering his early work set him apart from the more mainstream artists. Having included some quite risque material on earlier albums. Looking at the cover of "Dirty Mind" it's hard to believe he'd be the star he was in under 5 years.
The film itself was meant to be semi-autobiographical (although that claim has since been refuted) and centres around the club The Kid (Prince) and his band (The Revolution) play in. It details the struggles he has to maintain his artistic sensibilties and also the rivalry with the other band who play the club (The Time). There is also a love interest in the shape of Apollonia who is given the chance to sing with her own band thanks to Morris Day (leader of The Time) which increases the rivalry. There's also a sub plot about The Kid's unsuccessful father and his relationship with him. In truth the plot is paper thin and there for one reason and one reason alone - to get you to the next piece of music. Plotted like a disaster movie more than a musical it lives for its highs.
The music itself is the film's saving grace. In strict terms what Prince plays here at times harks back to the old style ("Darling Nikki") and also hints at where he'd go next with the lush orchestral gentle grooves of "Take Me With U". The rest was pretty much where he was at the time with a mix of soul, funk, and blistering Hendrix-like guitar. It's impressive music and it makes the film rise above the mediocre.
Prince performs with aplomb when onstage and the chief delight of the film itself is to show what an utterly electrifying live performer he is. Offstage he's moody and rather inarticulate but once he's in front of the crowd he's another person performing on another plane. James Brown leaps and yelps, Michael Jackson's dance moves - plus that guitar - made Prince a total one-off and the main purpose of the film is most adequately satisfied. Even 20+ years on it is still a marvel to behold.
The extras on the DVD follow pretty much the standard fare with some talking heads discussing the movie, and a rather dated MTV piece covering the film's premier which is of little interest. The rest of the disc is made up of the videos for all the tracks released as singles. The best of the lot, surprisingly, is the one for Apollonia 6's single "Sex Shooter" which is delightfully silly but at least doesn't rely on the film for most of its footage. The rest fall evenly into those designed to advertise the film, with "When Doves Cry" topping the bill acting as a 3 and a half minute trailer in itself, and live performances. There are a couple of these and the extended jam session that is "I Would Die For U" is the most enjoyable, featuring some blistering timables from Shiela E.
Overall it's a wonderful advertisment for a brilliant live performer. It's not the greatest cinematic achievement in modern cinema but it still manages to hold your attention - although Jerome Benton is sorely underused - and once Prince hits the stage, the magic begins. For the price, it's worth the ride.
on 29 June 2007
This movie is soooo 80's and watching this last night had me dying while bringing back some fond memories. This semi-biographical tale of Prince's struggling to make it in the music industry is hit and miss throughout. For those who haven't already seen this; the film is really nothing more than a feature-length music video marking Prince's acting debut; he is essentially playing himself here, and is surprisingly charming. Prince is no actor...he mumbles his lines and resorts to melodrama in serious scenes...but his performance truly conveys a great deal of pain and conflict.
For a musician in his first role, he is actually quite good. Morris Day is a virtual scene-stealer; the "Time" leader plays, who else, Morris Day and his performance is inspired and funny. Prince's then-band mates Wendy and Lisa also shine as well as Apollonia who is adequate as The Kid's love interest. Clarence Williams III ("The Mod Squad") gives the best performance here as The Kid's father; his rage, confusion, and guilt truly come through in a brilliant performance, and his role should have been bigger.
"Purple Rain" is certainly an ego trip for its star. But Prince certainly deserves to have a big head because the music in "Purple Rain" is nothing less than awe-inspiring. He deservedly won an Oscar for his score, and the excitement of his live shows are truly on display here. The Time is also fun to watch; "Purple Rain" includes their performances of two of their biggest hits, "The Bird" and "Jungle Love."
"Purple Rain" is not without its imperfection. The film doesn't fully investigate The Kid's home life with the exception of a few throwaway scenes. Despite the charms of most of the performers, the acting is amateurish and often laughable. Despite its shortcomings, "Purple Rain" is a modern classic, the quintessential 80's picture. If you get a chance, rent or buy this DVD, the quality is great as well as the music.
This 1984 rock musical drama is an unabashed showcase to the singer Prince in which he illustrates his particular talents through several extended concert/show sequences. The songs are linked via a basic plot in which struggling musician Prince, falls for new girl on the scene, Appolonia, and his rivalry with other stage acts, principally the Time.
If you don’t like Prince or his music, leave this alone, but if you even have a passing interest, then buy it. Featuring the bulk of his greatest songs, the setting of them to a storyline gives a new insight to them. Yes, the acting is often poor and stiff, the hairstyles and approach very dated 80’s and the script not very innovative, but it does capture the flavour of the time in a pop video culture manner. The humour is mainly dry and dark with a fair amount tongue-in –cheek, some of which Prince aims at himself.
This two disc set has the widescreen film on one disc, the other containing interviews and 8 Prince music videos, plus behind the scenes commentaries. The film contains some swearing and nudity which rates this as a 15 but despite the flaws is well made and has a great sound presence making this a ***** movie.
on 24 May 2010
This is one of those films that stands the test of time. I am not really a Prince fan in all honestly but I managed to sit through the whole film and rather enjoyed it. The Audio and Visual quality are nearly flawless and the price is good for a blu-ray
on 26 April 2016
I have loved Prince and his music since I was 12 years old. Re watching this film having not viewed it for over 10 years I was transported back to my Prince obsessed youth. He was a musical genius who took his music seriously but not so much him self, he was fun loving and his humour was very tongue -in-cheek. This film is fun, dramatic and packed with amazing music. He will be missed dearly.