Talyn R. (Talyn) from DORCHESTR CTR, MA Reviewed on 8/25/2009...
Please note I'm a die-hard Prince fan, but there are only two good things from this film: the music, (a great deal is not on the soundtrack), and Kristin Scott Thomas.
Love ya Prince, but this is not a good film, you've done better.
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Prince in Valentino mode!
Brett D. Cullum | Houston, TX United States | 08/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I shouldn't like this movie, but I kind of do. It's a total vanity project for Prince, but it's charming and funny so I enjoy watching it. Prince plays Christopher, a gigolo who plays piano in the French Riviera. He sets his sights on a rich heiress, and then finds himself falling in love. Meanwhile the father does not approve, and wants him hurt or dead. The movie is photographed extremely well by a legendary lensman called Michael Ballhaus. It looks phenomenal! And Kristin Scott Thomas seems to breathe some real life and class to her role as Mary. Jerome Benton is just fun to watch as he goofs on everyone. And Prince is Prince - mysterious and fully decked out in stack heels and full make-up.
The DVD is nice. It includes all the videos, and a trailer. But the real treat is seeing it in widescreen after all these years. Filmed on location in Nice, France ... mmmmm! South of France.
Hits include "Kiss" and "Girls & Boys". Some of Prince's most exotic and rythmic music."
Once upon a time in a land called "Fantasy"
AriesSpaceboy | Chicago | 08/25/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is not nearly as good as the Purple Rain and Sign o' the Times movies... however, if you are a child of the 80's / hardcore Prince fan, then you already love every corny / self-indulgent second of Under the Cherry Moon. This is Prince at the height of his post Purple Rain out-of-control narcissism and that's what makes it so much fun! Cryptic in-jokes and costume changes run wild to the beat of Prince and the Revolution's quirky funk-pop. The movie isn't given any special treatment in it's transfer to DVD. No 5.1, no commentaries of any kind but the inclusion of the music videos for the songs Mountains, Kiss, Girls & Boys and Anotherloverholenyohead is a nice touch. I wish they would've added the live performance of Prince and the Revolution from the MTV Under the Cherry Moon premiere at Sheridan, Wyoming but I guess that will have to wait for the Under the Cherry Moon: Special Edition. STOP LAUGHING! IT COULD HAPPEN!"
One of my favorites
TheBandit | SEA-TAC | 03/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I guess I understand why this movie was so savagely criticized during it's year of release, 1986. Prince was still enjoying huge popularity based largely on the success of "Purple Rain," both the film and the soundtrack. And critics love to knock someone off a pedestal, which is what they did to Prince in those days. Many claimed that the movie was nothing more than an ego trip. They couldn't believe Prince had the nerve to fire the director and then assume that role himself. It was all way too harsh criticism for a movie that isn't trying to be anything more than a fun romantic comedy.
Of course, poor critical response alone doesn't usually keep the public from making a movie popular. Yet "Under the Cherry Moon" was a bomb at he box office. Probably the main reason for this is that the movie, although shot in color, was released in black-and-white. For some unfathomable reason, the general movie-going public is more often than not horrified at the prospect of seeing a black-and-white movie. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not claiming that had the movie been released in color that people would have flocked to it in droves. I'm only saying that it would have attracted more of an audience if it had been in color. I will acknowledge that this movie's target audience is Prince fans. Since I am one myself, and have been most of my life, I'm not the most entirely objective viewer.
But I make no apologies for my love of this movie. It's not a "guilty pleasure" for me, because I proudly hold this as one of my favorites. I had only seen it a couple times before the DVD release - and unfotunately I missed it in theaters (I couldn't get anyone to take me, I was only 12 and none of my friends were into P and certainly not my parents - though my dad went with me a few years later to see "Grafitti Bridge" on opening night, but that's for another review). But since it's DVD release in 2004, this has become one of my most-watched discs in my collection.
The soundtrack is KILLER, the tunes make up one of the best Prince albums ever. There's even some great stuff heard in the movie that didn't make the album (some of which was issued on 12" vinyl). Plus, I think the movie looks great - the cinematographer was Michael Ballhaus, who has multiple Academy Award nominations to his credit (and was the DP on numerous Martin Scorsese classics). I wonder how the movie would feel in color, but I do think black-and-white was the right way to go. Even though the movie is set in then-contemporary times, it has the feel of something from the '30s.
There are so many classic moments in this movie, I won't try to list them all. But here are a few... Christopher Tracy (Prince) giving his "Bela Lugosi eyes"...Tricky (Jerome Benton) tossing rose petals into the tub while Christopher takes a bath...Christopher freaking out when he sees bats at the eatery...the "Wreka Stow" scene...the car race between Christopher and Mary Sharon (Kristen Scott Thomas).
As for the acting, I've heard a lot of people saying that Prince's performance was no good. I don't see much truth in that claim. After being so serious in "Purple Rain," it was a nice contrast to see him so loose and funny in this. Jerome Benton proved he could do just fine even without Morris Day at his side (as in "Purple Rain") - I'm surprised Jerome hasn't done much additional acting outside of Prince movies. And obviously Kristen Scott Thomas moved on from this, her first major role, to become an Oscar-nominated, highly repected leading lady.
How is the DVD presentation? Pretty good, for such a largely overlooked movie. The widescreen transfer and 2.0 stereo mix aren't anything phenomenal, but get the job done nonetheless; the movie looks and sounds fine. As for features, anyone expecting a full-blown Special Edition like the 2-disc "Purple Rain" will be disappointed. But at least it's not a completely bare-bones release - four music videos are included, though unfortunately not presented in optimal audio/visual quality (though they are passable, I would've preferred 5.1 mixes). The highlight is the live performance of "anotherlover" which was taken from a never-released (at least not domestically, not sure if it saw the light of day anywhere outside the U.S.) concert video documenting the Parade tour.
MTV held an interesting (i.e.- very weird) contest to determine where "Under the Cherry Moon" would have it's world premiere. The ten-thousandth caller to an MTV hotline would accompany Prince to the premiere, which would be held in their hometown. MTV ran a special that covered the premiere party - and unlike the premiere of "Purple Rain" unfortunately this program is not to be found on "Under the Cherry Moon"'s DVD release. Lisa Barber was the contest winner, and the movie did indeed premiere in her hometown of Sheridan, Wyoming - a very unusual place for a big movie to premiere. When asked what he thought of the town of Sheridan, Prince summed it up with a single word: "Purple.""
A Wonderful Experience Revisited
L. Gurley | Ohio | 08/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Even though this was one of Prince's underrated movies, I still love it. The DVD version includes all of the music videos (some in color) that were released in reference to the soundtrack. This was ingenious for the marketability of this DVD. Way to go!"