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Thread started 06/21/16 9:03am

GottaLetitgo

The 4000th Thread on Under the Cherry Moon

Just saw UTCM again on VH1 Classics. UTCM still fascinates me. Graffiti Bridge was a great long form music video but a horrible movie. UTCM still seems like a movie that, with just a few tweaks here and there, could have been a pretty decent film. It is very easy to point out things like the film would have looked better in color (it would have) or that the actors appear to be acting in different movies from time to time. The characterization is the weakest element in the movie. Mary's father, played by Steven Berkoff, who was such a nasty baddy in Beverly Hills Cop, is so over the top evil in UTCM that he is basically a cartoon. Mary is a prude in one scene, then a free spirit, then a prude again. Her first screen time is playing naked drums but then she keeps reverting from princess to rebel throughout. Jerome is hilarious as Tricky but the movie does not make it clear whether he and Christopher are good friends, cousins, or brothers which would just help us understand their relationship/partnership a little more. And Prince as C. Tracy...there are many times in the movie when you do want to slap him a little bit. The character can be really obnoxious which makes it hard to sympathize with what ultimately happens to him. But the best scene in the movie, where he rips the check that Mrs. Wellington gives him that is from Mary's Dad and Anotherloverholenyohead starts playing, hints at a Christopher character that would have been fun to watch and made the movie stronger. The whole point I know was to see the metamorphasis, from self-centered giggilo to a man capable of loving someone more than money, but even then Prince spends half the time making him the ultimate cool ladies' man and the other half this deep philosopher who has all of these thoughts on life and the magic of love. The thing is that Prince tried. UTCM had many of the tentpoles you look for in a romantic comedy and there are some very funny lines and scenes that show Prince's hidden to many wicked sense of humor. Prince's love for what he was trying to create is evident throughout, the movie works hard to be something meaningful. In the end, the movie is ultimately plagued by weak character development, something that can derail even the most talented of screenwriters. A for effort, C+ for overall execution.

All good things they say never last...
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Reply #1 posted 06/21/16 9:19am

breakdown2k14

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I have always loved this movie .I enjoy it more than purple rain .it would've been more popular if it was released in color .crazy thing is I went to best buy the other day and I looked at the prince DVDs and CDs they had up for sale .Both Purple rain on bluray and Graffiti Bridge were SOLD OUT! But they had plenty of copies of cherry moon left.
[Edited 6/21/16 9:20am]
There's Joy in repetition
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Reply #2 posted 06/21/16 11:47am

AnnaStesia10

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I like Under the Cherry Moon and Graffiti Bridge in different ways. Yes there are some issues with both films. But I was obsessed with UTCM when it first came out and still love it to this day. For me, I admire Prince's drive and talent so much that I can overlook some flaws to his films because this music is woven into the piece. And I can just watch him talk and stare for hours, so there is that. I have binge watched GB and appreciate it more now. Maybe it is because he is gone and I am just missing him. But I appreciate what Prince was trying to do with both these films. I loved that he was just so different it was always refreshing. The 30 year anniversary of UTCM release is July 3rd...1986. I looked for a screening to be had on or around this date in the Los Angeles area and there is none!! I was sad. It's Prince. How could you not wanna listen to his music or see him talk and act! Man!!
"A strong spirit transcends rules." - Prince
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Reply #3 posted 06/21/16 12:06pm

GottaLetitgo

Just thought of another minor distracting flaw. I am not nitpicking but the actor that does the phone voice for Mary's boyfriend easily sounds like he is about 50. And yet Mary says she dates guys her own age in one of her verbal battles with Prince. I don't know how someone "sounds" 50 but he just does. And just one more thing. I have a very hard time figuring out the staging at the end. Prince leaves her at the grotto. He walks forlornly down a road, runs into Tricky, makes up with Tricky, gets in a boat with Mary's Dad and half of France's police force behind him, and then makes it to the island. He sees Mary, I think, and she sees him. But then when he is shot where the hell is she coming from? Does she see him get shot or is she around the corner? Just can't figure out who is where at the end.

[Edited 6/21/16 12:08pm]

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Reply #4 posted 06/21/16 12:56pm

PeteSilas

breakdown2k14 said:

I have always loved this movie .I enjoy it more than purple rain .it would've been more popular if it was released in color .crazy thing is I went to best buy the other day and I looked at the prince DVDs and CDs they had up for sale .Both Purple rain on bluray and Graffiti Bridge were SOLD OUT! But they had plenty of copies of cherry moon left. [Edited 6/21/16 9:20am]

just the opposite for me, i found purple rain first and had to wait longer for graffiti bridge and UTCM at best buy. went back every couple days.

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Reply #5 posted 06/21/16 1:02pm

Wlcm2thdwn3

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I loved that movie, but I've heard that Prince did not... Why? eek

Toast 2 the ones here 2day. Toast 2 the ones we've lost on the way.
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Reply #6 posted 06/21/16 1:17pm

PeteSilas

it wasn't that bad and the music was brilliant but the pop world had moved on.

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Reply #7 posted 06/21/16 2:15pm

TooLate

I really liked Under the cherry Moon honestly. I've always heard that it was bad but it's actually not that bad. I'll definitely watch it again.

Graffiti Bridge is horrible and doesn't make any sense to me but I enjoyed looking at Prince. So much charisma.
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Reply #8 posted 06/21/16 2:28pm

PeteSilas

you know, after watching graffiti for the first time in years, he actually seemed more likable and down to earth than he did in UTCM when his ego was one of the major detractions.

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Reply #9 posted 06/21/16 2:55pm

TXfan

I like under the cherry moon better as a movie than Graffiti Bridge but I love the music from both. I always felt all of his movies were missing parts of the story. The relationships seem rushed, one minute he meets the girl then he loses her. Only to get back then lose her again one way or another. Except for Purple Rain where I guess he ends up with Apo.
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Reply #10 posted 06/21/16 3:08pm

tish9311

I think UTCM is your typical boy meets girl but is a con arist so he loses girl than gives his life for the women he loves. What was hard for me was to believe that Kristin Scott Thomas was 18. I like the black and white feel, I think I would hate it in color.

Grafitti Bridge os a different beast altogether but it has some of the best quotable corny lines ever

"Man is she too fine?"

"Naw she three fine"

That is not as good as wreck stow but I have to laugh everytime I her it.

The only thein about UTCM that bothered me was that it was that it was set in France but everybody in the money spoke really good English. Except for the bodyguards. lol

Beautiful, Loved and Blessed

Thank You Prince
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Reply #11 posted 06/21/16 3:42pm

GottaLetitgo

Does someone has the link to Steven Berkoff's description of Prince directing? How precise he was, demanding every line be spoken exactly from the script. But I get the feeling Jerome improved some lines ("Im my own man...just like Liberace!) There are little scenes in the movie that are just hilarious. Prince in the bathtub with the Mountains hat crashing the bath toy and yelling"facist"...that still makes me laugh. There are way too many goofy expressions and awkward closeups though. Too many scenes that if directed a little sharper might have had more impact. Kristin Scott Thomas yelling "Do U lie!" at Christopher while he looks what can only be described as emotionally constipated...I'm sure that scene is not on Ms. Thomas' highlight reel. But you take all these things and you still think "Hey Prince was 28 when he made this, he directed the damn thing himself, created a story that made sense even if the execution was sometimes lacking." It's better than all of Madonna's films and I am not throwing shade at Madge.

[Edited 6/21/16 15:43pm]

All good things they say never last...
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Reply #12 posted 06/21/16 3:48pm

ACharmed1

I love UTCM. The whole Wrecka Stow scene is perfect with him starting off with "that's french...you understand?" To me just the Wrecka Stow line alone is just as iconic as PR as a whole IMO. Then there's "PITS!!!...uuuugghhh!" and as the bodygaurds thow him and Tricky out the line "damn couldn't you buy some cologne?!!?!" so many good zingers in it and he played it well. I agree with U PeteSilas where in Grafitti Bridge he was much more likeable and at ease but that character needed that for being such a spiritually driven, God infused movie. The ego in UTCM is kinda needed but I see how some can think it was over the top. The only thing I really didn't like was the ending where Christopher gets shot and Mary just stand and covers her face with her arms it's like eek really, no screaming running to save him? That's the bummer for me, I'd take a bullet for my man!

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Reply #13 posted 06/21/16 3:51pm

ACharmed1

Oh, the phone scene with Mary too...phew. What happened there? Anyone else think it's waaaay too drawn out?

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Reply #14 posted 06/21/16 3:53pm

herb4

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It's a pretty bad film but I dug it moderately enough at the time.

It's just such a total vanity project. All the preening and posing...it gets goofy after a while. PRince is supposed to be the "good guy" and a sympathetic character but half the time he just comes off as a self absorbed asshole who's trying to get this girl for her money. Several of the "comedic" bits fell flat, seemed like corny inside jokes and were often cringe worthy (the 'eyes', the bats, the bathtub scene).

I think it would have been better if Christopher Tracy had been played as a struggling street musician from the "wrong side of the tracks" who captures Mary's attention with something resembling charm and shyness, or maybe saves her from a mugger or a pickpocket, rather than the egocentric "gigolo" who's supposed to be rather poor but somehow has all these expensive clothes, a fancy car and a secret Prince cave by the beach. Maybe he crashes her party or is part of the band hired to play and cathes her eye and ears. Play him as a barely making it hustler/guitar player who secretly has a heart of gold and helps kids or something.

Instead of sequins and midriffs and things, have him still dress "cool" but in a more thrift store type of way that effectively describes his poverty but still emphasizes his artistic sensibilities.

This way we render the character sympathetic and actully get more scenes of Prince actually playing music which is what was really missing and why so many people disliked the film. Very few people want to watch Prince hamming it up, mugging for the camera and vamping like a dapper dandy for 90 minutes. It would have been a good vehicle to showcase his acoustic guitar skills and let people see that side of his talent too. Let him be doing his music on street corners while Tricky passes the hat.

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Reply #15 posted 06/21/16 4:05pm

morningsong

With the exception of PR at the theatres I haven't watched a movie, I even have UTCM still in it's wrapper from 5 years ago and I was crazy about the movie. I don't know why I won't watch it now though.

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Reply #16 posted 06/21/16 4:22pm

NouveauDance

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The story works and the ideas are good, even some of the execution is too. Had it been overseen by the right people they could've actually pulled it off, maybe with more music scenes? I mean Purple Rain hangs together largely on the strength of the energy of the club scenes and Morris Day. Christopher is a gigolo, but he also has a day job perfoming in bars right, work the songs in that way, something to hook people in and make up for the holes in the story and acting ability of the cast.

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Some better dialogue, some punchier delivery (there's a fair bit of mumbling) - the jokes are there, I just don't think they translate that well to a general audience because of the script and delivery. I've watched it with people who I've had to explain all the Prince-isms because a lot of the jokes fall flat.

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I like it on a lot of levels, as a fun b-movie, as a vanity project - are these negatives? They're not for me! I love vanity projects. When else can an artist or celebrity get to do whatever they want at whatever cost than when they are at the hight of their powers? I watch it more than the other two because I think it's fun and light and effervescent - something you certainly can't say about Graffiti Bridge which I always find so gloomy and claustrophobic, although it work as a 'good, bad movie' too in it's own right, but UTCM almost works as just a good (fun) movie!

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Reply #17 posted 06/21/16 4:27pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

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Wlcm2thdwn3 said:

I loved that movie, but I've heard that Prince did not... Why? eek

I love UTCM too, I can watch it just as much as I watch Purple Rain.

Prince ended up not liking it because he should not have directed it.
I thought doing movies & videos were almost the same(repeated a worse/same mistake with GB)

If Prince did not finish directing it, and had live band scenes it would have been on par with Purple Rain. Parade era 1986 would have been more spectacular than what it was.

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence
I will make you cyber shit in your pants!
What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In
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Reply #18 posted 06/21/16 4:38pm

MJ007

I enjoyed the movie although I didn't watch it as many times as I did Purple Rain. I loved the scenic and the music (Parade is my favorite Prince album). Overall, it was a fun and worthwhile watch. Graffiti Bridge, however... Today, I clicked on "Tick Tick Bang" on youtube and couldn't stomach more than 20 seconds of it. That entire movie was cringe-worthy for me - but Prince was fine as hell in it.

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Reply #19 posted 06/21/16 4:39pm

bookwomen

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UTCM has some wonderful humor but it does seem to be humor only a Prince fan can understand. The one liners are wonderful. More music scenes might have helped. Girls and Boys is a perfect example. UTCM also works better on the small screen. PR is better in the theatre. I always thought GB should have been one long music video.

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Reply #20 posted 06/21/16 4:47pm

AnnaStesia10

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MJ007 said:

I enjoyed the movie although I didn't watch it as many times as I did Purple Rain. I loved the scenic and the music (Parade is my favorite Prince album). Overall, it was a fun and worthwhile watch. Graffiti Bridge, however... Today, I clicked on "Tick Tick Bang" on youtube and couldn't stomach more than 20 seconds of it. That entire movie was cringe-worthy for me - but Prince was fine as hell in it.



Ha lol. Yeah I hear ya but like someone said his personality in GB had less vanity and was more intriging. Idk I liked GB but I like some B rated movies from the 80s. I still love all the films Prince ever did in this order: SOTT, UTCM, Purple Rain and then Graffiti Bridge. I love his music the good and the bad I cant help it!!!
"A strong spirit transcends rules." - Prince
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Reply #21 posted 06/21/16 5:23pm

jkrumes

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I just watched it again the other day and was thinking that because it's in B&W, it looks timeless, and could easily be passed-off as a recent release. I like it; it's a fun movie.

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Reply #22 posted 06/21/16 5:39pm

MJ007

AnnaStesia10 said:

MJ007 said:

I enjoyed the movie although I didn't watch it as many times as I did Purple Rain. I loved the scenic and the music (Parade is my favorite Prince album). Overall, it was a fun and worthwhile watch. Graffiti Bridge, however... Today, I clicked on "Tick Tick Bang" on youtube and couldn't stomach more than 20 seconds of it. That entire movie was cringe-worthy for me - but Prince was fine as hell in it.

Ha lol. Yeah I hear ya but like someone said his personality in GB had less vanity and was more intriging. Idk I liked GB but I like some B rated movies from the 80s. I still love all the films Prince ever did in this order: SOTT, UTCM, Purple Rain and then Graffiti Bridge. I love his music the good and the bad I cant help it!!!

.

Yup, a B-movie is a perfect description. But GB seemed like they didn't even have a budget smile Like someone else mentioned, it maybe would've been better as a pure concert movie. Because he sure had the look, charisma, and moves to captivate like he did in his first movie.

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Reply #23 posted 06/21/16 5:54pm

PeteSilas

GottaLetitgo said:

Does someone has the link to Steven Berkoff's description of Prince directing? How precise he was, demanding every line be spoken exactly from the script. But I get the feeling Jerome improved some lines ("Im my own man...just like Liberace!) There are little scenes in the movie that are just hilarious. Prince in the bathtub with the Mountains hat crashing the bath toy and yelling"facist"...that still makes me laugh. There are way too many goofy expressions and awkward closeups though. Too many scenes that if directed a little sharper might have had more impact. Kristin Scott Thomas yelling "Do U lie!" at Christopher while he looks what can only be described as emotionally constipated...I'm sure that scene is not on Ms. Thomas' highlight reel. But you take all these things and you still think "Hey Prince was 28 when he made this, he directed the damn thing himself, created a story that made sense even if the execution was sometimes lacking." It's better than all of Madonna's films and I am not throwing shade at Madge.

[Edited 6/21/16 15:43pm]

i don't have the berkoff description but it's in pop life he said something like "curiously, he directs quite well" and he said how it got on his nerves when he would hear the high heels clicking and prince would come up and say "you left out a word here". I honestly think Prince could have been a very good filmaker, but like Berkoff said, he needed people who told him the truth and he needed tolisten. I liked some of the visual stuff, the acting was a step up from purple rain, his humor was in full view. but the movie was a huge flop anyway. Purple Rain wasn't perfect either but it was the perfect time. By utcm Prince had alienated a huge chunk of his PR fans with ATWIAD and had also went through the very public backlash over the we are the world debacle with his bodyguards beating up photographers on the same night. It was true, the fame went to his head like it would to just about anyone.

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Reply #24 posted 06/21/16 5:56pm

PeteSilas

AnnaStesia10 said:

MJ007 said:

I enjoyed the movie although I didn't watch it as many times as I did Purple Rain. I loved the scenic and the music (Parade is my favorite Prince album). Overall, it was a fun and worthwhile watch. Graffiti Bridge, however... Today, I clicked on "Tick Tick Bang" on youtube and couldn't stomach more than 20 seconds of it. That entire movie was cringe-worthy for me - but Prince was fine as hell in it.

Ha lol. Yeah I hear ya but like someone said his personality in GB had less vanity and was more intriging. Idk I liked GB but I like some B rated movies from the 80s. I still love all the films Prince ever did in this order: SOTT, UTCM, Purple Rain and then Graffiti Bridge. I love his music the good and the bad I cant help it!!!

the music to all of those was pretty damned good in my mind. some people dogged out the graffiti bridge soundtrack but there were some real gems on there for me. I guess I coulda done without the tevin cambell, time, staples numbers though.

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Reply #25 posted 06/21/16 8:08pm

AnnaStesia10

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PeteSilas said:

AnnaStesia10 said:

MJ007 said: Ha lol. Yeah I hear ya but like someone said his personality in GB had less vanity and was more intriging. Idk I liked GB but I like some B rated movies from the 80s. I still love all the films Prince ever did in this order: SOTT, UTCM, Purple Rain and then Graffiti Bridge. I love his music the good and the bad I cant help it!!!

the music to all of those was pretty damned good in my mind. some people dogged out the graffiti bridge soundtrack but there were some real gems on there for me. I guess I coulda done without the tevin cambell, time, staples numbers though.

Ha, maybe I'm crazy and just so in admiration of Prince that anything he is attached to is gold. But I just played those songs today by Tevin, Staples and the Time and I didn't think they were bad. Again, you all can think I am nuts maybe I am. razz

"A strong spirit transcends rules." - Prince
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Reply #26 posted 06/21/16 8:20pm

PeteSilas

AnnaStesia10 said:

PeteSilas said:

the music to all of those was pretty damned good in my mind. some people dogged out the graffiti bridge soundtrack but there were some real gems on there for me. I guess I coulda done without the tevin cambell, time, staples numbers though.

Ha, maybe I'm crazy and just so in admiration of Prince that anything he is attached to is gold. But I just played those songs today by Tevin, Staples and the Time and I didn't think they were bad. Again, you all can think I am nuts maybe I am. razz

no, they weren't bad but they weren't as good as joy in repetition or elephants and flowers to me. everyone has different tastes though. Tevin was a guy i never really saw the fuss about as a singer. I know that people were saying he was better than mj at the same age but I never saw evidence of that. The time? Well, those songs weren't quite Jungle Love or cool.

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Reply #27 posted 06/21/16 10:15pm

breakdown2k14

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"Melody cool" is a song I could never get into.my favorite part in the graffiti bridge movie is the "joy in repetition" dream sequence.it cuts off after the "love me" part .I wonder if they filmed it in full?
There's Joy in repetition
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Reply #28 posted 06/21/16 10:33pm

ThePanther

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GottaLetitgo said:

Prince's love for what he was trying to create is evident throughout, the movie works hard to be something meaningful. In the end, the movie is ultimately plagued by weak character development....

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Lol! That's like saying World War II failed to win the Nobel Peace Prize because it was plagued by violence.

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The movie does not work hard to be something meaningful. The movie does project Prince's fantasies on screen, in an entirely egocentric manner.

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It's a 5-star turkey, sitting comfortably alongside Plan 9 From Outer Space and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. Naturally, there are a few nutty Prince aficionados who like it -- these are the same kind of fans who find "deep meaning" in Prince's excrement. And the three decades of pop-culture detritus since its release have added kitsch to its "qualities". But make no mistake, it's an abysmal, horrendous, piece of crap.

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Reply #29 posted 06/21/16 10:41pm

PeteSilas

ThePanther said:

GottaLetitgo said:

Prince's love for what he was trying to create is evident throughout, the movie works hard to be something meaningful. In the end, the movie is ultimately plagued by weak character development....

.

Lol! That's like saying World War II failed to win the Nobel Peace Prize because it was plagued by violence.

.

The movie does not work hard to be something meaningful. The movie does project Prince's fantasies on screen, in an entirely egocentric manner.

.

It's a 5-star turkey, sitting comfortably alongside Plan 9 From Outer Space and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. Naturally, there are a few nutty Prince aficionados who like it -- these are the same kind of fans who find "deep meaning" in Prince's excrement. And the three decades of pop-culture detritus since its release have added kitsch to its "qualities". But make no mistake, it's an abysmal, horrendous, piece of crap.

naw, it wasn't that bad, it's flaws make it possible for you to say that though. there were several cringworthy scenes though. I still like a lot of stuff in it, i like all his references to old films, maybe cuz i grew up on them. But Prince gave the critics plenty of ammo in that one, what was it that one critic said "in black and white, prince reminds you of something your biology teacher asked you to dissect".

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