Purple Rain 4K Ultra HD

WSR Score5
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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Albert Magnoli
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1, DTS HD Lossless 2.0
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In "Purple Rain," rock star Prince makes a spectacular feature film debut in this highly autobiographical blockbuster that won both an Oscar® and a Grammy®. Headstrong, vulnerable young musician The Kid (Prince) struggles with his own inner demons and with his alcoholic father who beats his mother. But the madness infects his music, fueling a sound that transforms the struggling young rocker into a star. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the previously released commentary by Director Albert Magnoli, Producer Robert Cavallo and Cinematographer Donald E. Thorin, the featurette "First Avenue: The Road To Pop Royalty" (SD 12:22), the music videos: "Let’s Go Crazy" (SD 04:04), "Take Me With U" (SD 04:52), "When Doves Cry" (SD 05:57), "I Would Die 4 U/Baby I’m A Star" (SD 17:55), "Purple Rain" (SD 07:04), "Jungle Love (SD 03:26), "The Bird" (SD 03:48) and "Sex Shooter" (SD 04:39) and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.

The 1.85:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 4K Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a VIZIO Quantum X P85QX-JI UHD/HDR display, was photographed on 35mm film stock using the Panavision Panaflex camera system and sourced from a remastered 4K Digital Intermediate. For the 40th Anniversary of Purple Rain, the film has been completely restored digitally from an 8K scan of the 35mm Original Camera Negative (OCN). The picture was also conformed to the original theatrical release aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The picture looks great with s nicely filmic look. Film grain is smooth and never objectionable. The color palette is richly and warmly hued with predominant blues, yellows, reds and purples soaking the stage during Prince's spectacular performances. The live performances are bright and spectacular. Production design flows between Prince's home and the club where the stage performances are lit with multiple bright colors against a black background. Colors are natural and nicely saturated. Flesh tones are perfectly accurate. HDR contrast is well balance. Of course, the stage lighting is dramatic and otherwise black levels appear realistic though at times inconsistent. Shadow delineation is revealing. At times, white levels are intense and sometimes project specular highlights. Resolution is good but slightly soft. Closeups reveal more detail yet still exhibit a slight softness. Overall, this is a terrific looking film whose restoration results in the best the film has ever looked. Fans will be thrilled. (Gary Reber)

The film’s audio was also restored from the original Dolby Stereo (LCRS) archived 35mm magnetic film source elements containing the separate dialogue, music, and effects (DME) tracks. These restored elements along with the 20th anniversary’s 5.1 multi-channel print master were used to complete a newly remastered DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1-channnel presentation for the film.

The soundtrack is dynamic sounding, especially during the music performances, which are enhanced with deep and powerful transient bass that can extend to sub-20 Hz in the .1 LFE channel. The stereo soundstage is very wide and often extremely active with music, and segments of bongos, Prince's motorcycle, police sirens and even train sounds, all with excellent imaging and placement. The orchestra score is exciting, especially with the intense bongo segments, and not only with a wide and deep soundstage, but with aggressive surround envelopment. Likewise, the stage performances at the First Avenue club are extremely dimensional with aggressive surround envelopment. Atmospherics and sound effects are effectively realistic as are Foley sound effects, which are quite prominent. Deep bass is a foundational element of the soundtrack and heard and felt is numerous segments. Overall, fidelity is good though during rock music performances the high-end screeches and squalls with drum symbols and guitars. Dialogue is intelligible and generally nicely integrated spatially. This is a terrific soundtrack with dynamic holosonic® excitement that will thrill not only Prince fans but all fans of pop/rock music. (Gary Reber)