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Purple Rain
DVD disk
Oct 7, 2004 By: Indiana Sev
Purple Rain order
Director:
Albert Magnoli

Actors:
Prince
Appolonia Kotero
Morris Day

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The Kid (Prince) and his rock band (The Revolution) are trying to make the 'big time' by playing nightly gigs at a local Minneapolis (Prince’s real life hometown) hot spot. Unfortunately, The Kid’s life is turning into a bigger mess than his hairdo: his dad is a nutjob wife-beater, the rival band at the club (Morris Day & The Time) is gaining popularity as his band’s status decreases and he has a new love in his life (Appolonia) whom he needs to start treating right (i.e. stop slapping her around
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
The acting in this movie is so consistently poor that it’s almost a non-factor; about a half hour in, you won’t even notice it anymore. Regrettably the dialogue is equally weak and close to an hour of the 111 minutes of runtime is just musical sequences - albeit great musical sequences. Prince’s classics Purple Rain, When Doves Cry, I Would Die 4 U, Let’s Go Crazy, Take Me With U and a couple of other lesser known tracks take center stage and The Time takes care of the rest with The Bird and Jungle Love. The well staged and popular songs made it so I wasn’t bored and the hammy acting was so unprofessional that it kept me entertained enough not to dub this movie ‘horrible’. Instead, I would categorize it as a watchable failure or, to make it clearer – 6/10. I would have given it a 5, but the music is just so goddamn good!

One of the highlights was the newcomer fox Appolonia Kotero (a cross between Teri Hatcher and JoBlo’s ex), who was just a complete pleasure to look at and take in. Although they overdid the gratuitous boob shots a bit (even for the JoBlo.com team). Morris Day was another spark in the film. His cheesy acting actually seemed appropriate for his slimy character and that made almost every scene he was in pretty enjoyable to watch. Prince’s acting left a lot to be desired, but he’s too cool a guy not to like and root for. I guess my overall complaint is that I really didn’t buy most of the dramatic sequences in the film; either someone really overreacts to something (Prince slaps his newfound love within a second of hearing she might join another band- calm down chief!) or you have characters that hardly react at all. It was nice finally seeing this movie and revisiting the 80’s, but I doubt I’ll ever watch this again. For nostalgia purposes only…

By the way, did Prince really think that fuzzy little moustache was cool looking?
THE EXTRAS
DISC 1:

Audio Commentary by Director Albert Magnoli, Producer Robert Cavallo and Cinematographer Donald E. Thorin: As expected with 3 commentators, you'll be getting lots of insight into what brought this film to life, as well as the usual assortment of fun trivia. Surprisingly, there are more than a few lulls on the track; I expected a really smooth non-stop talk-a-thon. And yeah, why isn't Prince on this audio track!?

Prince: The Trailers: Trailers for The Symbol's PURPLE RAIN, UNDER THE CHERRY MOON and GRAFFITI BRIDGE.

DISC 2:

First Avenue: The Road to Pop Royalty (12 minutes): This feature focuses on First Avenue, the real life music club in Minneapolis that I mentioned in my review. Producers, Prince's former tour manager, members of The Revolution, journalists, etc. all chime in on the history and appeal of the legendary hot spot. Seeing as many elements from this movie are semi-autobiographical, this was a welcome extra feature which I found very interesting. Although, to this day, I still find it shocking that Prince is from Minnesota!! It just seems like an unlikely place from where he would emerge. Is it just me? The Coen Bros. too…

Purple Rain: Backstage Pass (29 minutes): An amazing making-of, behind the scenes look into everything and anything PURPLE RAIN, with insight from the director and producer as well as members of The Revolution and The Time. But seriously, where the f*ck are Prince and Appolonia in these features!!

Riffs, Ruffles and a Revolution: The Impact and Influence of Purple Rain (10 minutes): Man, I forgot what a real phenomenon Prince was back in the 80's, especially after the album and movie hit. If you forgot too, this feature will remind you of the colossal change and influence Prince had on rock and roll music and the culture of the 1980's. Prince speaks about this at length in this feature. I'm kidding of course, why would Prince appear on an extra feature in the 20th anniversary DVD release of his first and most influential mega-hit smash movie? Hmm, puzzling…

MTV Premiere Party: See MTV VJ Mark Goodman in his 1984 haircut at the after party for Purple Rain. If you like fun early footage of your favorite 80's "stars" like Eddie Murphy, Sheila E., Pee-Wee Herman and Prince (I swear, the man can't be taller than 4'7) showing up at Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood for the premiere then tune in to this. Goodman chats with a couple of the girls from The Revolution, Little Richard, Sheila E., Eddie Murphy, Weird Al Yankovic, John Cougar Mellancamp and Lionel Richie at the party afterwards. In other words, people who aren't famous anymore. WHERE THE HELL WAS PRINCE!!?? It's his after-party, no?

Purple Rain: The Videos: 5 videos by Prince, 2 by The Time and 1 by Appolonia 6. All songs that were featured in the film.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
If you’ve never seen the movie and love Prince’s 80’s pop offerings (and who doesn’t?), then I suggest you drag your loved one to the video store this weekend and rent this music video masquerading as a film. With these cool extras, for die-hard The Symbol fans, you can’t go wrong by adding it to your collection...
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