Video Review

Billboards

MPAA Rating: Unrated
EW's GRADE
B-

Details Movie Rated: Unrated; Genre: Musical

Prince en pointe? Not exactly. Joffrey Ballet artistic director Gerald Arpino enlisted four choreographers (Laura Dean, Charles Moulton, Margo Sappington, and Peter Pucci) to create a full-length ballet to 13 recorded songs by the currently unpronounceable one, including ''Purple Rain,'' ''4 You,'' and an extended version of ''Thunder.'' The result, Billboards, was a crowd pleaser when it toured the U.S. last year, so it was taped for video release. The ballet itself occasionally hits a hip-hop high, though at its bump- and-grind worst it's like an opera singer attempting rock. Derek Bailey, who directed the video production, doesn't help with quick cuts, odd angles, and close-ups (of dancers' faces and limbs) that can be jarring. At least the energetic, superbly trained dancers are a consistent pleasure. Billboards could have used less flash and a little more of Prince's impish humor. Better yet, it could have used Prince himself. B-

Originally posted Mar 11, 1994 Published in issue #213 Mar 11, 1994 Order article reprints
Advertisement

From Our Partners