Thursday, November 03, 2005

But it's not like he got any weirder after this: "Purple Rain"

Like a bazillion other kids, I had a copy of the "Purple Rain" soundtrack when I was growing up. I didn't, however, see the R-rated movie back in 1984, nor had I seen it at all until recently. After recording it from HBO, I finally checked out the Paisley One in all his glory last night, right after I had seen the little dude in "Everybody Hates Chris" dress up as Prince for Halloween. Pretty funny, trust me.

Now let's get something straight: I'm not really a Prince fan per se. Sure, I'll turn up "When Doves Cry" when it comes on the radio, and some other tunes aren't bad. But I've never shelled out an absurd amount a money for a concert ticket, nor do I have an "Under the Cherry Moon" poster on my wall. That said, you gotta admit the guy isn't boring, between the quirky costumes and that whole changing his name to a combination male/female/French horn symbol. In fact, I submit that he and Madonna -- who rose to prominence around the same time -- have been the most entertaining/annoying musicians to watch the last couple of decades.

Anyway, with "Purple Rain" being a seminal '80s pop movie -- MTV-plus, as it were -- I felt obligated to give it a whirl. Sadly, I did so 20 years too late. It may not have been a total loss, but as a relatively boring thirtysomething white guy, my tolerance for Oh Ye of Much Puce and Lace mugging for the camera was about as long as his wispy mustache hairs.

As you may know, Prince really branches out by playing "The Kid" -- that's right, no other name given -- a band frontman who regularly plays a well-known Minneapolis club. (First Avenue; I've seen it.) While he struggles to make great music, his dad (a failed musician) beats up on his mom, leading to some really awkward moments in which The Artist Who Becomes The Artist Formerly Known As Prince (TAWBTAFKAP) tries to do drama. Not so good.

His attempts at romance aren't much better, although the love interest, Apollonia Kotero, doesn't bring much to the table. Well, I shouldn't say that. After all, she did end up with some pretty great roles after this, playing Zarah in "Ministry of Vengeance" and Hot Tub Woman in "Anarchy TV." Nice lungs in the lake scene, though.

Which leaves us with two things: the villain and the music. The villian -- America, have you heard? -- is Morris Day, frontman for the Time and idol of Jay and Silent Bob. Day is relatively entertaining and gets the best lines, although he's not exactly channeling Brando here. Still, he and Jerome getting down during "Jungle Love" never gets old.

As for the music ... hey, it's good. What did you expect? Prince and Morris have some good stage scenes, while Apollonia prances around in her underwear. (No complaints there.) If you're not into Mr. Raspberry Beret, you won't watch this anyway. But if you're on the fence, you'll probably think he does a decent job when it comes to putting on a show. Hell, it beats watching him try to look tough on a motorcycle. What, was the little red corvette in the shop?

2 Comments:

At 2:21 PM, Blogger Roberto Iza Vald├ęs said...

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At 9:22 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

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