The 20th anniversary of "Purple Rain" is celebrated with a new two-disc special edition DVD. Bonus features included on Disc One are a Prince trailer gallery (featuring Purple Rain, Under The Cherry Moon, and Graffiti Bridge) ans an audio commentary track by director Albert Magnoli, producer Robert Cavallo, and cinematographer Donald E. Thorin.Moving over to Disc Two, you'll get four featurettes: First Avenue: The Road To Pop Royalty, a 12 minute look at the Minneapolis club made famous by the film and Prince's many appearances there; Purple Rain: Backstage Pass, a 30-minute look at the production of the movie; Riffs, Ruffles And A Revolution: The Impact And Influence Of Purple Rain (10 minutes); and the MTV Premiere Party, a 28-minute time machine back to the summer of 1984 courtesy of MTV. Also included are eight music videos: five by Prince ("Let's Go Crazy," "Take Me With U," "When Doves Cry," "I Would Die 4 U"/"Baby I'm A Star," and "Purple Rain"), two by The Time ("Jungle Love" and "The Bird"), and one by Apollonia 6 ("Sex Shooter").
Starring Prince as himself, Purple Rain tells the story of the young singer and his struggle to make it to the top. While in the company of the lovely Apollonia (Kotero) and when up on stage, Prince enjoyed life to the fullest, but while at home with his abusive father (Williams), his life was anything but enjoyable. Through it all, though, Prince stayed determined in his quest and did what it took to pursue his dream of life on stage. Prince won an Academy Award
Available for the first time in widescreen, the anamorphically enhanced 1.78:1 DVD picture can exhibit some dated fidelity, but the concert sequences are incredibly well presented. The stage lighting is bright and images are sharp and detailed, with bold colors and deep blacks. During the storyline of the movie, the picture can appear slightly aged with images that vary in sharpness and contrast that seems a bit low. There are times when dirt is noticed in the source element, but the picture is quite clean overall. There is no bothersome edge enhancement noticed, and pixelization is minimal. Overall, the picture is quite satisfying, and is surprisingly clean and solid. (Suzanne Hodges)
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