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Blue Velvet (25th Anniversary) - Blu-ray / arthouse DVD / drama DVD review
BLUE VELVET (25TH ANNIVERSARY) Rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 5 stars
Featuring: Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern, Dean Stockwell
Director: David Lynch Distributor: MGM (Video & DVD)
DVD release: 08 November 2011 Runtime: 120 min.
(1 disc)
Format: AC-3, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p High Definition, Aspect ratio 2.35:1, Audio tracks (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 - English; DTS 5.1 - French, German, Italian, Spanish; Dolby Digital 2.0 - Portugese, Spanish), Subtitles (English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, German, Italian, Dutch, Mandarin [Traditional]), Mysteries of Love, Newly-discovered lost footage, A Few Outtakes, Siskel and Ebert At the Movies, Vignettes, Theatrical trailer, TV spots

*Blue Velvet (25th Anniversary)*BLUE VELVET is 25 years old, and you're either engrossed by it or you hate it; I don't know that there's any middle ground. It's the film that put Dennis Hopper back into the collective consciousness for the first time since Easy Rider. He totally embodied the personification of evil and dysfunction in Lumberton, a peaceful and pleasant slice of Americam suburbia--at least on the surface).

*Blue Velvet (25th Anniversary)*The opening scene nearly says it all: A man waters his lawn near a white picket fence, but his hose has gotten twisted. As he tugs on the hose to free the twist, he grabs his neck and falls to the ground, an apparent victim of a stroke or an aneurism. We never find out. Under the ground where he's fallen lurks a busy clutch of disgusting bugs, rutting around in the dirt, chomping and slurping. Dripping with symbolism, that scene sets the stage for the rest of the film.

*Blue Velvet (25th Anniversary)*Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) is called home from school when his father falls ill. He must help run the hardware store, and the medical expenses make his education a luxury they can't afford (see the deleted scenes). On his way back from the hospital, Jeffrey finds a human ear in a field behind his neighborhood and takes it to the police.

*Blue Velvet (25th Anniversary)*Detective Williams (George Dickerson) is friendly and happy to help. I suspect he knows both sides of Lumberton--its peachy-keen bright side and its sticky, sickly underbelly. He represents the wall between the two sides.

*Blue Velvet (25th Anniversary)*Detective Williams' daughter, Sandy (Laura Dern), volunteers some information that she's overheard. It all has to do with Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rosellini), a chanteuse who lives in the apartments on Lincoln (a street Jeffrey is warned about). Looking deeper, Jeffrey discovers a world of intrigue in which Dorothy Vallens' child and husband have been taken from her to force her into carnal activity with Frank Booth (Hopper). Frank has a thing for blue velvet, both the song and the fabric.

*Blue Velvet (25th Anniversary)*Jeffrey cannot resist his curiosity, and he is dragged deeper into lust and his own dark side. As peachy-keen as he is, the situation he plunges himself into brings out his Frank Booth-like side, a dark side that threatens to spill over into the nice town before it's all over.

BLUE VELVET is David Lynch. Lynch refuses to swear and strikes most as a boy scout, but there lurks a dark side. He reveals to us the underworld below the surface. In real life, our towns may be less pleasant, their underbellies perhaps less scummy, but these opposing forces exist in reality, in our cities, in ourselves.

BLUE VELVET was criticized by Roger Ebert (see the extra features) as being too cruel to Rosellini for her scene of humiliation. But that scene represents the nice town being flooded by the waves from the dark side. Jeffrey's dark side spills out onto his girlfriend's lawn. Now it's dark.

Extra features are compelling, if partially recycled. Mysteries of Love, a making-of doc, has been seen before, but it's worth catching again. Newly discovered footage includes about an hour of extra scenes that once were lost but now are found. (Look for Megan Mullally as Jeffrey's girlfriend from college.) The scenes give much more insight into Jeffrey's perspective and why he's home from college for good. It also shows an even more dangerous side to Frank Booth (?!!).

The Blu-ray transfer is pretty clean, looks and sounds great. If you're a fan of Lynch's work, you love BLUE VELVET, and you'll get this edition for the extra scenes alone. The price is nice enough.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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