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Category:    Home > Reviews > Musical > Drama > Literature > Comedy > Gospel > Blues > New wave > Pop > Adult Contemporary > Color Purple 4K (2023 musical remake/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)/Cutting Crew: All For You The Virgin Years 1986 - 1992 (Cherry Pop CD Set)

Color Purple 4K (2023 musical remake/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)/Cutting Crew: All For You The Virgin Years 1986 - 1992 (Cherry Pop CD Set)

4K Ultra HD Picture: B+ Sound: B+/B Extras: C+/C Main Programs: C+/B-

PLEASE NOTE: The Cutting Crew CD set is now only available from our friends at Cherry Red Records U.K. and can be ordered from the link in the review text.

Now for two new music releases that recall the 1980s.....

Blitz Bazawule's musical remake of The Color Purple 4K (2023) is based on the successful stage musical, which itself is based on Alice Walker's classic book and Steven Spielberg's hit film that put many an actor on the map. You can read more about the original hit film at this link:


This time, Fantasia Barrino is the adult Celie, Taraji P. Henson steals some of the movie as local star and traveling artist Shug Avery, Danielle Brooks is Sofia, Colman Domingo has the thankless role of Mister and Corey Hawkins is Harpo. They are good casting, supported by some impressive new talent and other veterans like Halle Bailey. H.E.R., Ciara, David Alan Grier, Jon Batiste and Academy Award-winner Louis Gossett, Jr. giving it their all to their great credit and energy any musical needs.

Unfortunately, the film expects too many to have already either read the book or have seen the film and as a result, it makes the story lose its impact, which is why I think it was a mixed critical and commercial success. Celie's ordeals do nto seem dire enough to make the storyline as effective as before. It is too much of a relatively upbeat musical on some levels. Still, anyone who is a fan of either should see it at least once just to see what they think does and does not work, but for this viewer, once was enough.

Extras include Digital Movie Code, while the disc adds these featurettes...

  • Creating The Color Purple: A Bold New Take on the Beloved Classic

    • Join the director, Blitz Bazawule, filmmakers and cast on their high-stakes, high intensity, heart-stopping, and awe-inspiring odyssey to bring Alice Walker's beloved novel to life.

  • Hell Yes! The Iconic Characters of The Color Purple

    • The cast, producer Oprah Winfrey, and director Blitz Bazawule explore the characters - their personalities and intricate interpersonal dynamics, as well as their relatability and lasting impact - and how the actors connected and grew as performers.

  • In The Flow: Creating The Color Purple's Biggest Musical Moments

    • Rehearsal footage reveals what it took director Blitz Bazawule, producer Scott Sanders, Quincy Jones, the cast, and the music team to push through the stumbles and missteps and hone all the rough edges to get each musical number exactly right.


  • A Story For Me: The Legacy of The Color Purple

    • The cast and filmmakers discuss the importance of Alice Walker's novel - its timelessness and how it has touched so many, from book to landmark 1985 film to 2005 Broadway musical - and what it means for them to be a part of this bold new film.

Then we have the 3-CD set Cutting Crew: All For You The Virgin Years 1986 - 1992 from the band whose two big international hits are ''I've Been In Love Before'' and especially, ''(I Just) Died In Your Arms'' that are always playing somewhere at any moment in the world as you read this. The 'virgin' of the title of the set is not a girlfriend of the lead singer or any other band member, but of Virgin Records, the great record label that was smart enough to sign them at the time. Died helped put Virgin Records on the commercial map.

''One For The Mockingbird'' was a third hit from their 1986 debut album Broadcast, but the hits somehow stopped after that album, which is more surprising when you hear the follow-ups. The Scattering (1989) and Compus Mentus (1992) are richer sonically, a little less lite and romantic and lead singer Nick Van Eede shows new sides to his vocals too.

Singles for The Scattering included the adult contemporary-only hit ''Everything But My Pride'' and two others that did not do as well: ''(Between A) Rock and A Hard Place,'' the title song and ''The Last Thing'' that are not bad, but were not picked up. Versus some of the singles in that particularly lame year, including some of the worst #1 Billboard Hot 100 hits until recent decades (and still...) these would have been a definite improvement. Ditto to the "If That's The Way You Want It" single from Compus Mentus (1992) that barely charted, but the now-defunct Capitol/EMI (the company was sold off to the three other major record labels in a story that needs a big separate essay) bought the company out and in the first of many, many, many bad decisions that eventually caused the company to collapse, they dumped any further promo of the album or band. The band is still recording and playing to solid crowds and Universal Music now owns these albums.

Now you can hear what you missed and appreciate the talent of a group that was much more than a one or two-hit wonder, one that might have had more hits had Virgin stayed independent just a little bit longer, but this has happened to way too many talented music acts and you wonder why music has become as bad, generic and horrid as it is these days. Though one of the original members (original guitarist Kevin MacMichael died young at age 51 from cancer in 2002!) died too young to see the band survive to this day (now 2023 as this set arrives and we post this coverage,) Cutting Crew ands all of its members past and present can be very proud of an underrated legacy that is long overdue to be reheard and rediscovered now after far too long.

Since people still play, enjoy and love those early international hits, that will be more than enough curiosity interest to get them to hear how well made these albums are. Overall, a pleasant surprise I am happy to see finally arrive!

You can read the track list and a few other facts about the albums and this set at the link to order it here...


Extras include a very thorough booklet on the band, these albums and their music history, including illustrations and tech info. Each CD has bonus tracks, some of which have never been released before, but see the specifics at the link above.

Now for playback performance. The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 1.85 X 1, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on Color Purple is from a 4.5K Ultra HD shoot, which immediately distinguishes it from the memorable 35mm shoot of Spielberg's original film and is lusher, but it lacks a little too much of the grittiness and period authenticity of the original film. Musicals are usually lush, but even Scorsese's New York, New York (1977) and Herbert Ross' Pennies From Heaven (1981) show how to go bleak in the genre. This film could have taken a few pointed from them without being as deconstructive. It looks consistently good, but not always as memorable as it could have been despite its Director of Photography being Dan Laustsen, a Guillermo del Toro alumni who also lensed some John Wick sequels.

The lossless Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older systems) mix on the film is pretty good and a little more dynamic than the original film, which was issued in Dolby's older analog A-type 'Dolby System' noise reduction format, but this is a musical and needs the dynamic range even more. It is well recorded, mixed, mastered an edited, but does not stick with you too much, but the musical as a genre has been mostly dead for decades and anyone making a new one has to reinvent it all from top to bottom. Sonic innovation has been missing form most attempts in recent years,but this is fine for what it is.

The PCM 2.0 16/44.1 Stereo sound on all the Cutting Crew CDs sound good, though the first CD and album with the big hits might have a little more echo than expected, but that is the style of the album. The later albums get richer, beefier and more layered sonically as the band changes their sound a bit. For the format, I do not think these discs could have sounded much better.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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