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Under the Cherry Moon

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 1 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Cherry Moon demands patience but rewards Prince fans with a superior presentation.

    Under the Cherry Moon Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • Under the Cherry Moon, shot by Michael Ballhaus and converted to black-and-white post-production, boasts a carefully restored 2K scan on Blu-ray with detailed grayscale, solid blacks, and a natural grain, ensuring a visually rich experience despite a slightly softened image due to color removal.

  • Audio
  • Under the Cherry Moon, released in Dolby Stereo and encoded in DTS-HD MA 2.0 for Blu-ray, boasts a clear, dialogue-focused soundtrack with Prince's music, offering sufficient dynamic range and bass, despite budget limitations on environmental sounds.

  • Extra
  • The reissued film features a remastered 1080p (1.78:1; 1:27) trailer as its only extra, notably lacking the music videos from Warner's 2004 DVD of Under the Cherry Moon.

  • Movie
  • Under the Cherry Moon," a black-and-white film by Prince set in the French Riviera, marries romance and failure, intriguing yet flawed, with standout moments by Kristin Scott Thomas.

    Video: 63

    In the Blu-ray release of "Under the Cherry Moon," Warner Brothers delves into its archives to breathe new life into this intriguing piece of cinema, produced with the renowned German cinematographer Michael Ballhaus at the lens. This film, initially captured in color before making the stark transition to black and white in post-production, showcases Ballhaus's adaptability, meshing his visual storytelling with Prince's eclectic style. Warner's Motion Picture Imaging team embarked on a meticulous process to create the 1080p, AVC-encoded presentation, utilizing a 2K scan from a fine-grain master positive. This effort towards restoration has been comprehensive, addressing damage and signs of age, thereby presenting a crisply detailed image that stands as a testament to both Ballhaus's cinematographic prowess and the film's elaborate costume and production design.

    The Blu-ray presentation shines with its solid blacks and a wide spectrum of gray shades, lending an intricate layer of visual depth to the film's busy scenes. These might have seemed overwhelming if presented in color, but here they are balanced beautifully, allowing viewers an unobstructed view into the film’s intricacies. The post-processing decision to remove color has introduced a slight softening to the image, yet maintains a natural grain pattern that is finely resolved, contributing to an authentic cinematic texture. Moreover, this release benefits from Warner's commitment to high quality, boasting an impressive average bitrate of 35.02 Mbps. This technical dedication ensures that "Under the Cherry Moon" is presented with the clarity and definition that it deserves, making this Blu-ray version a noteworthy achievement in film restoration.

    By prioritizing both visual fidelity and historical integrity in this restoration project, Warner Brothers provides a distinctive viewing experience that bridges Prince's unique artistic vision with Ballhaus's cinematic excellence. The Blu-ray version does not merely offer a window into the film’s past but serves as a polished showcase of its timeless appeal, underpinned by technical meticulousness and a deep respect for the film's original aesthetic values.

    Audio: 63

    The audio presentation of "Under the Cherry Moon" on Blu-ray comes through in a Dolby Stereo format, which is transferred onto this medium as a lossless DTS-HD MA 2.0 track. The segmentation of this track rightly emphasizes the core elements of the film: its dialogue and the iconic musical score by Prince and the Revolution. The dialogue clarity stands out, efficiently delivering the screenplay's narrative despite a few instances where it might not reach absolute perfection. The musical score, on the other hand, is where the audio track shines, capitalizing on the dynamic range and bass to present tracks like "Kiss" in a manner that can only be described as vividly engaging. Despite these strengths, one may ponder what could have been if the soundtrack was given more resources to encapsulate the seaside ambiance more richly. However, the environmental sound effects present do their part in narrative storytelling, giving a sense of place without overpowering the primary audio elements.

    The technical execution of transferring the original Dolby Stereo into a DTS-HD MA 2.0 for the Blu-ray edition has evidently been handled with care. This ensures that not only is there a preservation of audio quality but there's also an enhancement in delivering a crisper and fuller sound experience, especially noticeable in musical sequences. The balance between dialogue and music is finely tuned, ensuring neither overwhelms the other, thus maintaining an immersive experience for the audience.

    While the budget constraints might have limited the full potential of re-creating a more immersive auditory environment, especially concerning environmental effects, it doesn't substantially detract from the overall experience. The primary focus remains on delivering crystal-clear dialogue and showcasing the musical genius of Prince and the Revolution, which this Blu-ray audio track does commendably. The effective rendering of key musical pieces alongside sufficient dialogue clarity ensures that the essence of "Under the Cherry Moon" is not lost in translation from its visual grandeur to its auditory representation.

    Extra: 28

    The extra presentation of the Blu-Ray for "Under the Cherry Moon" leaves much to be desired for enthusiasts hoping for a rich collection of supplementary material. The only feature included is the film’s original trailer, which, while remastered in stunning 1080p at a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, provides a brief glimpse of nostalgia for fans of the movie. Running for 87 seconds, it offers a crisp, clean look at the film's aesthetic. Notably absent, however, are the music videos featured in Warner's 2004 DVD release, a conspicuous omission that diminishes the overall value of this Blu-Ray's extras for collectors and aficionados seeking a comprehensive package of content related to this Prince-directed cinematic piece.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Trailer: The film's original trailer, remastered in 1080p.

    Movie: 38

    Under the Cherry Moon," Prince's cinematic follow-up to his smash hit "Purple Rain," proved to be an ambitious departure that failed to ignite the same fervor, resulting in a mixed legacy marked by Razzie Awards and critical panning upon its release in July 1986. Set against the lavish backdrop of the French Riviera and opting for a nostalgic black-and-white presentation, the film thrusts Prince into the role of Christopher Tracy, an American gigolo entangled in a romance with the young heiress Mary Sharon, portrayed by Kristin Scott Thomas in her feature debut. Despite its commercial struggles and Prince's controversial dual role as actor and director following the dismissal of the original director, "Under the Cherry Moon" offers a visual feast, thanks to Prince and cinematographer Michael Ballhaus' keen eye for the beauty of the Côte d'Azur.

    The narrative attempts to weave together comedy, romance, and melodrama—a combination that results in uneven pacing and tone, oftentimes overshadowing the potential depth of its central romance. Moreover, performances vary, with Prince's portrayal of Christopher criticized for lack of nuance, though Scott Thomas' talents shine through, hinting at her future success. The supporting cast, particularly Jerome Benton as Christopher's brother Tricky, injects a comedic element, albeit with mixed results due to the film's erratic shifts in tone.

    Technical aspects, notably the film's presentation on Blu Ray as part of Warner's Prince Movie Collection, underscore the enduring visual appeal of "Under the Cherry Moon." Despite its narrative and directorial shortcomings, its cinematography remains a highlight, capturing the allure of its setting and offering a glimpse into what could have been had the film matched its aesthetic ambition with a more cohesive and compelling narrative structure.

    Total: 48

    The Blu-ray presentation of "Under the Cherry Moon" navigates a middle ground in Prince's cinematic oeuvre, faring better than the convoluted narratives found in "Graffiti Bridge" but still requiring a certain level of commitment from the audience. It's evident that the film may not cater to the casual viewer, potentially alienating those unfamiliar with Prince's unique blend of artistry and storytelling. However, for fervent admirers of the artist, Warner Bros.’ offering is a noteworthy endeavor. The preservation and presentation of this film on Blu-ray have been executed with a care that both acknowledges and elevates the original material, making it a commendable addition to a fan's collection.

    Technical aspects of this release merit specific attention. Warner Bros. has ensured that both audio and visual elements receive substantial upgrades, enhancing the overall experience of "Under the Cherry Moon." This careful remastering process respects the artistic integrity and stylistic choices inherent in Prince's vision, providing an immersive experience that’s as close to the director’s original intent as possible. For enthusiasts and cinephiles, these technical refinements alone make this Blu-ray a valuable acquisition, setting a precedent for how cult classics should be treated in the digital age.

    In conclusion, while "Under the Cherry Moon" may not universally appeal to all audiences due to its distinctive narrative and pacing, this Blu-ray release from Warner Bros. significantly contributes to its appreciation. With superior audiovisual quality that revitalizes the film for old and new fans alike, it stands as a compelling purchase recommended primarily for Prince's devoted following. The effort put into this edition underscores a respect for the artist's multifaceted legacy, ensuring that "Under the Cherry Moon" shines a bit brighter in the annals of cinema history.