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Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

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Hullabaloo


Thursday, April 21, 2016

 
This is what it sounds like



By Dennis Hartley




RIP Prince 1958-2016
Do I believe in god, do I believe in me?
Some people want to die so they can be free
I said life is just a game, we're all just the same, do you want to play?
2016…the year the music died. Or at least it’s starting to feel that way. It’s all too much.


What can you say about Prince Rogers Nelson? If anyone could be labelled the “American David Bowie”, I’d wager this ever-evolving musical chameleon comes damn close. He was a true iconoclast. He was an amazingly gifted songwriter, vocalist and musician who could effortlessly segue from funk to rock, soul to psychedelia, R&B to jazz, hip-hop to techno…you name it. It’s as if he was created by a mad scientist who wanted to see what happens if you take DNA from Sly Stone, Paul McCartney, James Brown, Todd Rundgren, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder-and toss it all into a super collider.


His foray into cinema was more of a bumpy ride. Still, I have a soft spot for his semi-autobiographical 1984 vehicle, Purple Rain. While it is uneven from a narrative standpoint, the soundtrack is genius, a truly superlative song cycle in Prince’s canon. His 1986 “vanity project” Under the Cherry Moon, however, kind of put the kibosh on his acting career. It challenges Ishtar for title of Most Critically Drubbed Film of All Time. Still, its critics-to-audience score ratio on Rotten Tomatoes tells an interesting story. Only 25% of the critics “liked” it…but the audience score is 69%. As one critic wrote: “Strictly for Prince fans — but then again I am one.” Ditto. Obviously, he struck a chord.


(*sigh*) It’s getting crowded up there. Now George can thank him for this heartfelt solo:




Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince.
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.


More at Den of Cinema



--Dennis Hartley