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Blu-ray Review Blue Velvet Blu-ray Review (1 Viewer)

Citizen87645

Reviewer
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Cameron Yee
David Lynch’s bizarre journey to the wrong side of Lumberton gets an impressive presentation on the Blu-ray format. Newly discovered deleted scenes, presented in HD, and extras from the 2002 DVD special edition round out a release that proves to be a worthwhile upgrade and purchase.

aa97de89_BlueVelvetBlu-ray.jpeg




[SIZE= 24px]Blue Velvet[/SIZE]
Release Date: Available now
Studio: MGM Studios
Packaging/Materials: Single-disc Blu-ray “Eco-Box”
Year: 1986
Rating: R
Running Time: 2:00:32
MSRP: $24.99












THE FEATURE

SPECIAL FEATURES



Video

1080p high definition 16x9 2.35:1

Standard and high definition



Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio: English 5.1 / Dolby Digital: Spanish 1.0, Portuguese 2.0 / DTS: French 5.1, Italian 5.1, German 5.1, Castellano 5.1

Various



Subtitles

English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, German, Castellano, Chinese, Dutch

Various







[SIZE= 16px]The Feature: 4/5[/SIZE]
Returning from seeing his father in the hospital, Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle McLachlan) discovers a severed human ear in a field by his idyllic Lumberton neighborhood. He takes the rotting appendage to Detective Williams (George Dickerson), who kindly accepts the evidence and says he will look into it. A few days later Jeffrey returns to check on the progress of the investigation, but is gently rebuffed by the detective.

On his way home, he runs into Williams’ daughter Sandy (Laura Dern) who offers him some information she’s overheard from her father’s conversations on the case. She takes him to the apartment building of a woman whose name has come up in the case - Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini), a local night club singer. Intrigued, Jeffrey later concocts a plan that will allow him to get into her apartment and be able to search for clues on his own. When he successfully makes it in, he discovers more than he bargained for, as he learns Dorothy is being victimized by a gas-huffing psychopath name Franke Booth (Dennis Hopper), who is holding her husband and young son hostage to make her submit to his sexually sadistic impulses. Though Jeffrey manages to get out of Dorothy’s apartment relatively unscathed, he can’t stop thinking about that bizarre night, and decides to help Dorothy any way he can. But like that first journey into her home, Jeffrey will soon find himself in over his head as he eventually must come face-to-face with Frank himself.

Though not quite as cryptically strange as his later film, “Mulholland Drive,” David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet” certainly ranks among his more surreal cinematic efforts. At the time of its release, it was confounding and polarizing to most viewers, as evidenced by the opposing reactions by critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert in their “At the Movies” TV show. Today, with the film having reached undeniable cult status and viewed many times over, some of its scenes have lost some of their initial shock value and come off as more amusing. Still, there’s no denying Lynch is a master of creating tension and dread from some of the most bizarre and seemingly innocuous circumstances. And though the story and its major theme around the darkness that lies underneath the surface is nothing groundbreaking, there’s few other films that have been able to do it with such a distinctive style and tone. While “Blue Velvet” certainly isn’t for everyone, those with whom it resonates will find the film and its characters endlessly intriguing.

[SIZE= 16px]Video Quality: 4.5/5[/SIZE]
The film is accurately framed at 2.35:1 and presented in 1080p with the AVC codec. The great looking transfer features richly saturated colors (particularly the thematic ones of blue and red), deep and stable black levels, and fine contrast levels with no signs of compression. Grain structure is intact - with the darker scenes exhibiting slightly heavier levels - and no evidence of excessive noise reduction measures. Detail is excellent as well, particularly in the film’s landscape shots, and edge haloing is nowhere to be found. “Blue Velvet” has surely never looked better.

[SIZE= 16px]Audio Quality: 4/5[/SIZE]
Dialogue in the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix is consistently clear, detailed and intelligible. Surround channel activity includes some directional and atmospheric effects, but otherwise are fairly subdued through most of the film. LFE is non-existent, but the track exhibits good depth and dynamic range.

[SIZE= 16px]Special Features: 4/5[/SIZE]
The most notable addition to the previously released extras are deleted scenes once believed lost (the 2002 DVD special edition represented the material with an image slide show). The outtakes also appear to be new and offer a humorous glimpse behind the scenes. The documentary, trailers, and excerpt from “At the Movies" are all from the 2002 DVD release, though continue to offer strong insights into the film and David Lynch as a director.

Mysteries of Love (1:10:45, SD): The 2002 documentary includes interviews with all the main cast members and David Lynch, covering topics like the inspiration for the story, an overview of Lynch’s biography and directorial style, casting of the major characters, location scouting and shooting, analysis of characters and story, cinematography, music, sound design, critical reception, and the film’s ongoing legacy. The piece offers plentiful insights into both the artist and the making of the film, and should please anyone fascinated by either. The documentary is divided into eight chapters.

Newly Discovered Lost Footage (51:42, HD, DD5.1): The never-before-seen material consists of 11 chapters taking place at various points in the film. Some of the new footage casts certain elements of the story in a different light, such as Jeffrey’s initial reluctance to return home to help the family, but is ultimately unnecessary and even disruptive to the story. Still, after all this time, it’s interesting to see what Lynch chose to cut from the film.

  • Chapter 1 (3:13): Frank and his gang take Jeffrey and Dorothy to a bar before seeing Ben.

  • Chapter 2 (:26): The neighbor discovers Mr. Beaumont in the yard.

  • Chapter 3 (10:39): Jeffrey’s life at college and his return home. Scenes include a glimpse of his pre-existing habits, him getting the news about his dad, and the girlfriend he left behind.

  • Chapter 4 (1:49): Jeffrey calls his girlfriend.

  • Chapter 5 (12:37): Jeffrey visits Detective Williams at his house, has some cake with his wife, and meets Sandy and her boyfriend for the first time. Subsequent scenes also establish Jeffrey’s playful rapport with Aunt Barbara, show more in-car interaction between him and Sandy on the way to the Slow Club, and the acts that preceded Dorothy’s “Blue Velvet” number.

  • Chapter 6 (:53): Jeffrey’s mom lays down the law.

  • Chapter 7 (:47): Jeffrey makes another call to his girlfriend.

  • Chapter 8 (:54): Aunt Barbara shares a concern.

  • Chapter 9 (8:48): Jeffrey spends the evening with the Williams family, including Sandy’s boyfriend. Meanwhile Aunt Barbara does some investigation around the house.

  • Chapter 10 (2:17): Jeffrey and Sandy say goodnight; Jeffrey calls Dorothy.

  • Chapter 11 (9:16): Jeffrey follows Frank back to his hideout; returns to Dorothy’s apartment, where she takes him to the roof. A thank you message from Lynch and credits for the extras follow.



A Few Outtakes (1:33, HD, DD5.1): Bloopers from Dern, McLachlan, and Priscilla Pointer (Jeffrey’s mom) as she tries to drive the car up the driveway.

Siskel and Ebert “At the Movies” (1986) (1:30, SD): The critics debate the film’s treatment of Rossellini.

Vignettes: Excerpts from the “Mysteries of Love” documentary.

  • I Like Coffee Shops (:22, SD): Lynch talks about what he likes to eat for lunch.

  • The Chicken Walk (:55, SD): McLachlan talks about his inspiration for the humorous moment in the film.

  • The Robin (1:33, SD): Why the filmmakers went with a stuffed robin marionette for the closing scene.

  • Sita (:45, SD): Rossellini talks about the issue of misogyny, and the book “Sita.”



Theatrical Trailer (1:31, HD; DD2.0)

TV Spot 1 (:32, SD)

TV Spot 2 (:31, SD)

[SIZE= 16px]Recap[/SIZE]
The Feature: 4/5
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 4/5
Overall Score (not an average): 4.5/5

MGM Studios delivers an excellent presentation for Lynch’s bizarre journey to the wrong side of the town of Lumberton. The newly discovered deleted scenes, presented in HD, are a highlight, though, like most other excised material, they would not have benefited the film by their inclusion. Along with the previously released extras from the DVD special edition, the Blu-ray makes for a great all-around release and HD upgrade. It’s also an obvious choice for those who haven’t yet added the film to their collections.
 

SD_Brian

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Though, overall, I agree this is a great release, there are two caveats: 1) I wish MGM would use Main Menus rather than have the movie play on a continuous loop with the option of a pop-up (that complaint isn't exclusive to this release). 2) For no good reason, the "Mysteries of Love" documentary has been stretched from 4:3 to 16:9, making everyone who appears in it look distorted. I can forgive those nitpicks though because of the great effort that was obviously made to make the deleted scenes look and sound almost as good as the feature. Thanks for the review!
 

Citizen87645

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Cameron Yee
I was able to change my display's aspect ratio setting to 4:3. The piece doesn't appear locked to the 16:9 AR.

Quote:
2) For no good reason, the "Mysteries of Love" documentary has been stretched from 4:3 to 16:9, making everyone who appears in it look distorted.
 

Tubal

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May 26, 2005
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Thanks for the review. Thought I'd point out that Dennis Hopper's character is called Frank Booth not Frank Poole. Thanks.
 

uVSthem

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uVSthem
Does anyone know if the 5.1 track on this bluray is the same mix as the DVD that comes in the Lime Green set or is it the mix from the DVD that came out alone previous to the set? I believe the disc in the Lime Green set had a new 5.1 mix.
 

Darren Gross

Supporting Actor
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May 16, 2001
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The Blu-ray has the 5.1 remix that Lynch created with Dean Hurley for the Lime Green box set, albeit in higher resolution on the DTS-HD track, of course.
 

DSmith1984

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Wasn't there something a while back about Lynch finding a bunch of previously thought lost footage from this film? Was it re-integrated into this blu-ray or will there be a double dip later?
 

TravisR

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DSmith1984 said:
Wasn't there something a while back about Lynch finding a bunch of previously thought lost footage from this film? Was it re-integrated into this blu-ray or will there be a double dip later?
Those are the deleted scenes. As for adding them back in to the movie, I don't think (and I hope) that will never happen.
 

Charles Smith

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I just got this, and first and foremost, the movie looks and sounds superb. I know it's been a little too long since I've watched it, but just in spot-checking a few scenes I was seeing and hearing little things that had flown right by me in the past. It's really beautiful and I can't wait for the right evening to settle in and devour it in its entirety.


As for gripes: I, too, hate the lack of a standard menu structure. First off, I never want any feature to start without my controlling it. And it's always disconcerting to find that when exiting a special feature you can only "return to film". WHY no top menu? Who dreamed this up? Okay, it's one disc out of hundreds and I can deal with it ... under protest.


What I'm really not happy about is the aspect ratio situation in the "Mysteries of Love" documentary. With my settings, which perfectly display the other 2000+ titles across all formats in my collection, the image on this already primitive looking feature (maybe that impression is due to the VHS-standard segments) is stretched to the sides of the 16x9 display, and none of the settings on my screen -- including 4x3 -- result in an undistorted picture. For instance, in the shot of the Lumberton NC roadside sign, I can't make the town seal round with any setting, and all the people look a little bit off. It's totally distracting and just not watchable. On the DVD, the documentary plays perfectly in 4x3. So what's up with this?
 

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