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Review : Prince and the Purple Rain Era Studio Sessions: 1983 and 1984

Prince is music.  

Prince is a prolific writer.  

Prince is a workaholic.  

Prince can be tough at times.  

Prince has a way of pushing you beyond your self-assumed boundaries and will have you doing things you never thought possible…  

We hear these notions that describe Prince so often,  it’s almost easy to gloss over exactly what they mean. Only when we hear specific stories or accounts about working with him do these phrases truly begin to resonate past lore and into real life experience.

Prince and the Purple Rain Era Studio Sessions: 1983 and 1984 describes a young man who is almost solely fixated on his craft. He “hears” something and becomes singularly focused on translating what he hears for us to enjoy. When he says his songs are his “children”, he truly means this. He grows them, nurtures them, feeds them, spends quality time with them, he does all he can to help develop them into beautiful works of art we all deeply connect to.

This book explores the meticulous ways in which our hero brings his children to life. What you’ll read here is a study guide really for students of the music industry, sound engineering, production, musicianship, songwriting, musical collaboration…it is a book that shows the dedication and tenacity that goes into being such a prolific artist and all that it takes to support that artist in their work. This book shows that success does not happen overnight…or even that your biggest songs aren’t always a direct download straight to tape. Sometimes you will tinker for weeks to get it juuusssst right. Bias aside (smile) Prince is of course the greatest to have ever done it, and it’s important to know that there’s A LOT of work and A LOT of sacrifice that happens behind the curtain…a message that clearly comes through in this book.

For fams, this book will give you a deeper appreciation for these songs that mean so much to us. The amount of work and care that Prince put into them is INCREDIBLE. For those who wonder what a certain song was about, you’ll get a bit of insight into that here. You’ll also get some insight into what a good day working with P is like…and what a bad day working with P is like. You’ll also get some information about where he found his inspiration…or his muses if you will, and that inspiration does not always come from those you would expect…

Prince and the Purple Rain Era Studio Sessions: 1983 and 1984 is an AMAZING labor of love that gives a great history in this bountiful time of Prince’s musical history. Take your time traveling this journey with him and imagine what it must have been like… 4am at Sunset Sound knee deep in tinkering on Computer Blue after several weeks of work on this same song to make it perfect for us, his family.

Thank you, Prince.

And thank you Duane for chronicling this incredible journey for us.

Amazon $35.76

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Sean Hill Reviews TRIPLE 9

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Ex-Special Forces member Michael Atwood (Chiwetel Ejiofor) leads a crew of corrupt police officers and former soldiers (Anthony Mackie, Clifton Collins Jr., Aaron Paul and Norman Reedus) in a daring bank robbery that ends in a frenzied freeway shootout. As Detective Sergeant Jeffrey Allen (Woody Harrelson) investigates the spectacular crime, he is unaware that his own nephew, straight-arrow cop Chris Allen (Casey Affleck) has unknowingly been partnered with one of the robbers on Atlanta’s gang task force. When ruthless Russian mob boss Irina Vlaslov (Kate Winslet) strong-arms the crew into attempting one last, seemingly impossible robbery, they decide their best hope is to divert the entire police force’s attention by staging a “999” incident — cop code for “officer down.”

The film gets off to a very good start with its opening bank robbery and ensuing freeway chase and shootout. From there it is a long slope downhill slope into mediocrity. . TRIPLE 9 makes the most crucial error of falling into the category of a being a thriller with no thrills. To say the film is unoriginal is an understatement. This film is very similar in plot as the 2012 Ah-Nuld film SABATOGE which is far superior to this film. Despite the good cast giving good performance, particularly Harrelson, channeling his inner Matthew McConaughey, and Affleck, the film goes nowhere. These are good characters trapped in a bad film. As much as I liked some of the characters the film did not seem to have time to properly develop them. Motives are unclear and some of the relationships are given superficial treatment.  My mind started to wonder during the film thinking these are smart actors; what was it that they saw in this lackluster script that attracted them to be involved in this film? Being shot in Atlanta it does not appear the travel to an exotic location was the attraction. This is no diss to my home state.

I kept waiting for something, anything to happen to make me sit up in my seat and take notice. Once the end credits starting rolling I still sat there waiting on something to happen. That moment never came. Skip this film and see SABATOGE or better yet TRAINING DAY instead. Even see television’s SHADES OF BLUE with Jennifer Lopez is better than this film. All TRIPLE 9 has to offer is an A-Level cast in a B-Level movie. A bit of insider information; typically at a screening I am asked to provide my initial thoughts on the film. My words to the studio rep were “this is a by-the-numbers run-of-mill cop thriller slightly elevated by good acting.” You will not see that in the ads for this film.

Sean Hill Reviews DEADPOOL

PJ Deadpool

Wade Wilson AKA Deadpool first appeared in Marvel Comics The New Mutants #98 in February 1991. Deadpool is a disfigured and mentally unstable mercenary with the superhuman ability of accelerated healing. Deadpool, known as the “Merc with a Mouth”, is aware that he is a fictional comic book character and he breaks the fourth wall to humorous effect. He is known as the "Merc with a Mouth" because of his talkative nature and tendency to break the fourth wall, which is used by writers to create humorous effect. The character made his cinematic debut in X-MEN ORGINS: WOLVERINE in 2009 coincidently also played by Ryan Reynolds. Now the character is back on the big screen in all his R-Rated glory in a fun but uneven film.

Sean Hill Reviews CREED

CREED NEW

Previously on the ROCKY saga--- Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is a small-time boxer who seems to be going nowhere in life, as he works day-in and day-out as a collector for a loan shark and fights in sleazy clubs for low pay. Because of this Rocky is labeled a bum by the neighborhood, especially by gym trainer Mickey Goldmill. At the same time, Rocky successfully courts Adrian Pennino, a painfully shy woman with an alcoholic brother, Paulie. Rocky’s future changes when heavyweight champion of the world Apollo Creed chooses Rocky at random as his opponent in a title fight. Rocky realizes he now has the chance to prove he is not a bum. Rocky fights for his self-respect but ends up losing the fight in a split decision.

Sean Hill Reviews THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2

PJ MOCKINGJAY

Previously on THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1---Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) has been rescued from the Quarter Quell games while unconscious and awakens in the never-before-seen District 13, the underground location where a plot to take over the Capitol is forming.  Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) is being held and forcibly indoctrinated by President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Under pressure from District 13’s leader, President Coin (Julianne Moore), Katniss must embrace a role she never really wanted: to be the symbol of the Mockingjay, the symbol of hope.  Peeta is eventually rescued from Snow’s grip but is now in a hate-filled trance designed to kill Katniss.

MOCKINGJAY PART 2 picks a few days after the end of previous installment with Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) still unable to connect with a brainwashed Peeta.  As the Mockingjay, she can see that it is going take more than symbolism to defeat the Capitol. Joining with Gale (Liam Hemsworth), an unpredictable Peeta, Finnick (Sam Claflin), and others, she sets out for the once-thriving Capitol now transformed into a city of mayhem under attack. Her mission is to stage an assassination on Snow. Meanwhile, Snow has become increasingly obsessed with destroying her. And a showdown between the two is inevitable.

Sean Hill Reviews SPECTRE

SPECTRE PJ

Previously on James Bond #23, SKYFALL—James Bond faced off with latest villain Raoul Silva at Skyfall, his family estate and childhood home in Scotland. Bond is there with M, the Head of the Secret Intelligence Service—also known as MI6, who is wounded by Silva and dies.

I’M NOT SAYING THIS JUST 2 B NASTY-THE LEGACY OF 1999

1999 cover

1999 is the fifth album released by Prince. It was released on October 27, 1982 and was his  first top ten album on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States. The album peaked at number 9 and became the fifth best-selling album of 1983. This album is the last of the raw and dirty Prince funk sound. Yes, he was still “dirty” afterwards but never this raw. From the sexually charged LITTLE RED CORVETTE and DELIRIOUS; the F the rules party anthem DMSR, the “activity” that takes place about halfway thru both LADY CAB DRIVER and INTERNATIONAL LOVER his sound was never quite the same after this. It all seems so effortless and not forced. This Prince at his synth pop/funk nasty best. Even the album cover is raunchy. Don’t believe me check out the 1 in the 1999. Although he would reach the apex of stardom 2 years later the nastiness was all mostly but gone. On a side note at age 11 in February 83 to be exact the first time I wore my tour shirt (the album cover) to school I got in trouble. I cannot imagine why!

SUPERGIRL DEBUTS ON CBS!

SUPERGIRL FLIES HIGH WITH CRITICS BUT...Is it just me or is there no buzz amongst us geeks about Supergirl, which debuted last night? Here's what I thought about it five months ago. I make an error in the timeline of Kara's arrival on Earth, but I stand behind everything else...

Sean Hill Reviews THE WALK

the walkTwelve people have walked on the moon. Only one has ever, or will ever, walk in the immense void between the World Trade Center towers. THE WALK tells the amazing story of Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), guided by his mentor, Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley), and aided by an unlikely band of international recruits, who overcome long odds, betrayals, dissension and countless close calls to conceive and execute their mad plan. Which is Philippe walking between the top of the World Trade Center Towers….On a wire.

Sean Hill Reviews SICARIO

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When Arizona FBI agent and kidnap-response-team leader Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) uncovers a Mexican cartel’s house littered with dead bodies, it leads to profound consequences on both a personal and global level. Kate is recruited to join a covert black-ops mission headed by a mysterious Colombian operative known only as Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) along with special agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin). Even as Kate tries to convince herself she’s on a hunt for justice, she is thrust into the dark heart of a secret battleground that has swept up ruthless cartels, kill-crazy assassins, clandestine American spies and thousands of innocents. SICARIO explores the journey of an intelligence operation that pushes the rules to engage with those who don’t play by any.

Sean Hill Reviews EVEREST

EVEREST BANNER

On May 10, 1996, Rob Hall (Jason Clarke), the safety-conscious and leader of climbers Adventure Consultants, and Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal) leader of another group of climbers, Mountain Madness, led their teams on an ascent toward the highest point on Earth: the summit of Everest, 29,029 ft. above sea level. This is essentially the cruising altitude of a 747.

SEAN HILL REVIEWS JURASSIC WORLD

JURASSIC BEST

JURASSIC PARK released in 1993 and directed by Steven Spielberg is one of the most successful films of all time. For those that are unfamiliar, the film centers on the fictional Isla Nublar where a billionaire philanthropist and a small team of genetic scientists have created a wildlife park of cloned dinosaurs. The film featured ground breaking computer-generated imagery by Industrial Light & Magic and with life-sized animatronic dinosaurs built by special effects wizard Stan Winston and his team. To showcase the film's sound design, which included a mixture of various animal noises for the dinosaur roars, Spielberg invested in the creation of Digital Theater Systems (DTS), a company specializing in digital surround sound formats. The film went on to gross $900 million worldwide during its initial theater run and was the highest grossing film until 1997’s TITANIC. A film that successful will most certainly bring a sequel and in this case two sequels THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK and JURASSIC PARK III. Both of which were box office successes but received mixed critical responses. Now fourteen years after the last entry, comes full circle as the park that was only a promise comes to life. The park is now open. Welcome to JURASSIC WORLD.

SEAN HILL REVIEWS AMERICAN ULTRA

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Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) spends his time getting stoned, working at the Cash & Carry and writing a graphic novel about a superhero monkey. He and his bail-bondsman his Phoebe (Kristen Stewart) are a match made in Heaven. He’d like to take her to Hawaii but whenever he tries to leave the city limits he experiences panic attacks. What Mike does not know is that he is actually a sleeper agent created by the CIA. I swear I am not making this up.

SEAN HILL REVIEWS STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON

                                                          straight-outta-compton


During the late 1980’s the streets of Compton, California were some of the most dangerous in the country. The plague of crack cocaine was growing at an alarming rate as the violent gang drug business propelled its use. The LAPD specialized gang unit were leading the charge on the war on drugs that left residents of the Southern California community distrustful of authority. Rising from all this was the hip-hop group N.W.A(Niggaz Wit Attitudes) consisting of Eric Wright (Eazy E) O'Shea Jackson (Ice Cube), Andre Young (Dr. Dre), Lorenzo Patterson (MC Ren) and Antoine Carraby (DJ Yella). As a group, they manage to merge the things they saw going on in their society into the revolutionary music they created. Their biopic STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON chronicles that rise to fame and how they became the world’s most dangerous group. It is and exceptional entry in to the biopic genre and is one of the best films of the year.