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on July 18, 2004
I've had a weird experience with this movie. The first time I saw it, I couldn't help being disappointed having already seen some of Lynch's other films. While Dennis Hopper's performance was impressive and many of his quotes from Blue Velvet stuck in my memory, somehow things just didn't click and I more or less thought of 'Blue Velvet' as a somewhat interesting, but ultimately forgettable experience. The seemingly good vs. evil theme of the film (the robins and Sandy's dream) in particular annoyed me and the whole thing added a definite 'cheese' factor.
One night I decided to give Blue Velvet another chance and surprisingly the experience was a much richer one; in fact, I would now say that this is an excellent movie.
[Incidentally, Lynch's Lost Highway had a somewhat similar, but completely opposite effect - I went from thinking that it was a great flick to thinking it was an alright one].
I would say that it is wrong to say that this film is about 'good vs. evil' or that Lynch is trying to make any sort of a moral statement in it; the nuances of Blue Velvet are much more subtle than that and the characters more complicated. As most of Lynch's work, Blue Velvet is about obsession and obsession luring people into dark corners of the world. The film pulls the viewer (as a voyeur) into its dangerous and strange universe and relies much (as a lot of other Lynch movies) on the pure flow of images, the atmospheric experience. The sound element adds much to enriching this powerful experience and Blue Velvet as a whole invites multiple viewings.
In my opinion this is one of Lynch's fairly straight forward films in terms of the linear-time progression (along with The Elephant Man and The Straight Story) and as such might serve as a good introductory movie to those who want to become more familiar with his work. (Mulholland Drive is, I believe, so far the consummation of Lynch's previous efforts into one crowning achievement).
Also, there are many interesting bonus materials in this little DVD package.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon December 10, 2011
David Lynch's "Blue Velvet" (1986) is a surreal tale that takes place in a small lumber town which has the big city problems of murders, and gangs. Jeffrey (Kyle MacLachlan) discovers the dark side of the town as he investigates the mystery behind a human ear he finds in a field.

This blu-ray appears to be the same master as the Special Edition dvd that came out in 2002, but now seen in 1080p. Though what this blu-ray has over past releases is 50 minutes of newly discovered footage, whereas the 2002 dvd Special Edition only had about 9 minutes of still photographs that approximated the lost footage. Lynch had shot about four hours of film, which he then trimmed down to two hours for the final cut of the film. Two other things the blu-ray has over the Special Edition dvd are a few outtakes, and four vignettes, including the story behind the robin at the end of the film, which isn't what I thought it was. As in the 2002 Special Edition dvd set there is the review by Siskel and Ebert, and a documentary which is over one hour long called "Mysteries of Love".
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on January 21, 2004
To make a long story short-this movie is not a masterpiece, calling it that would be laughable.This is a mediocre film at best.There is nothing shocking or controversial or boundary breaking about it, as has been said.Truth to be told the film starts out intriguingly and you're actually thinking this is going to be a great movie, it is a little strange, but nevertheless convincing and even fascinating.This keeps up for about ten minutes, and then the film becomes a typical mystery with nothing new to offer.IN fact,only thanks to Dennis Hopper's convincing role as drug-addicted maniac Frank Booth, did I keep watching this.None of the other performances were convincing,and Isabella Rossellini was just pathetically laughable,her portrayl was completely overblown, and overacted.I know I'm going to get about 30 negative votes for this, but I could care less.One of the most unjustly overrated films of all time.Not to mention the ending was like something out of a Lifetime movie,yes that predictable and unnafecting.And I guess,if you're really bored one Saturday night you could rent this movie for mild distraction.That's all I got from it.See Mulholland DR. instead
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on January 22, 2008
This is a very beautiful film; it captures so much about life itself. There is certainly a dark side explored here, and you cannot look away once you start watching it. David Lynch has created a piece of artwork here only he could master. The more often I watch this, the more I appreciate it. Dennis Hopper is amazing here; if you are open to more than the mundane in film, you must see this film.

Unfortunately, it is not available from; get it at
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on March 24, 2004
BLUE VELVET, at its core, states a simple case: all things that appear good are only good in appearance; all things evil are evil through and through. You start with the over-Kodachromed shots of Anytown, USA, with its wildflowers, fire engines, and spotless sidewalks. You conclude with a chirping robin which is a puppet, and David Lynch makes no attempt to make it seem like it's anything but a puppet. In between these elements is evil: a severed ear, shootings, bloodied and battered people, and Frank Booth. This dark world seems much more real than the sunlit Anytown, and this is David Lynch's starting point.
BLUE VELVET is going to be unwatchable for many people: it's violent, it's graphic, it's "weird", etc. But if you get beyond some of the stylization, you will find this film to be a powerful indictment of American society gone mad. And as far as movie-making goes, this movie is a magnet for the eyes. This is a visual dans-macabre: stark settings and brash lighting amid the darkness; the contrasting colors; the sweeping camera movements just keep your eyes glued to the screen. Combine this with the brilliant performances of Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, and, of course, Dennis Hopper, and you'll find out why this film endures, even as it nears its third decade.
If you don't get this film, you will get a love letter from me. And you don't want a love letter from me. Do you know what a love letter from me is?
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on March 21, 2004
In many respects - well, almost every respect - this is a brilliant film. The contrast between the violence and seaminess of Frank's world and the laughable banality of Jeffery's world comes across perfectly. Dennis Hopper's performance as Frank really cannot be praised enough. Sure, he's impressive when he's huffing nitrous oxide and hitting Jeffrey across the face, but his expression while listening to the old lounge songs - melancholy, regretful - is equally convincing, and he's almost sympathetic. Also classic is the moment when another character proposes to toast his health, and he mutters: 'Aw, let's drink to something else.' Jeffrey's Reeve-like blankness is a good foil for him.
That said, there's just something - something about the random imagery inserted, like subliminal shots but held for longer, images of a snuffed candle and insects - something about the pacing, the long silences and occasional anticlimax - and something about the surprising semi-happy ending - that doesn't work. I feel like I'm missing something, and maybe I just am, but I don't feel like Lynch accomplished everything he set out to do. Just when it could be frightening, it lapses into comedy. This vagueness may be part of the message - life isn't black-and-white, or clean - but still. The movie is effective, but it doesn't resonate.
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on January 12, 2004
Although I was once inclined to agree with Roger Ebert's dismissal of "Blue Velvet" as a shocking albeit skillful montage of pointless images and effects, I've had to do a 360 turnaround after seeing it on DVD and reconsidering it in relation to some similar texts. The film certainly makes sense in comparison with a quest narrative such as Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" and in light of Freud's ideas about love as well as Nietzsche's thoughts on the Dionysian self. It's also a film that pays constant homage to Hitchcock's best work, notably "Rear Window" and "Psycho," in its preoccupation with spectator psychology.
The most important lines occur early in the film when the protagonist, Kyle MacLachlan, tells Laura Dern that he needs to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding Isabella Rosselli because "knowledge requires risk" but with the possible reward that "you might learn something." By the end of the narrative, MacLachlan's character should have learned a lot, but here's where Lynch flinches, much like Robert Altman in the conclusion to "The Player." MacLachlan emerges neither a sadder nor wiser man from his rite of passage and his descent into the dark corners of the psyche. Instead, Lynch cynically reprises the film's innocent opening with its hopelessly artificial, Pollyannish, pastoral idyl that is most likely the preferred reality of the American mainstream movie consumer. At the same time, he preserves the tenuousness of such a naive vision with the shot of an insect impaled on a robin's beak and with a soundtrack that subjects the theme song to a disturbing treatment out of some internal, subterranean sound studio.
The film's meanings are inexhaustible, though a few important details should not be missed. Jeff confronts, first, mortality (his father stricken by a life-threatening stroke), then a severed, decaying human ear. The ear, the organ of hearing, is also the sense that fully awakens only in the dark, granting access to the Dionysian, deep intuitive wellsprings of the self. But the ear we see on screen has become a diseased, useless instrument in a "sunny" culture whose idea of music is Bobby Vinton's version of "Blue Velvet." Rossellini's alternative version of the song, with all of its sensuous, alluring darkness, will draw MacLachlan in to the same degree that it repells girl friend Dern (contrast this relationship with that of Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly in "Rear Window," where Kelly becomes increasingly drawn to the voyeuristic and "ghoulish" activity initiated by Stewart). Soon MacLaclan will discover the love substitutes embodied by both Rossellini and Hopper--the sadism and masochism, fetishism and scopophilia that, like it or not, are present in every son and daughter who has inherited from birth and learned from upbringing the pleasure/pain principle that underlies even the most well-intentioned, "selfless" love (the absence of any shown feelings between MacLaclan and either parent is another tip-off to the basis of his attraction to the dominitrix/sex slave character played by Rossellini).
As for the "villain," the foul-mouthed Dennis Hopper did not seem so frightening or repelling to me on this viewing. If anything, he's less the personification of evil than another version of insecure, overcompensating macho desire, perhaps better seen as a projection of the searching MacLachlan than as anybody's nemesis.
Lynch must know the risk, and even believe in the necessity, of coming to terms with the feelings of a darker but far from inauthentic self. MacLaclan tells the naive, shielded and conventional Dern from the beginning that it's extremely dangerous business. But the alternative is a Salem where everybody is "good," a Lumberton where people get sick but never die, a Disney fantasy that can exist only in artificial movies. I still think that "Blue Velvet" (in fact, most any other film since 1980) is eclipsed by his own "Elephant Man," where the camera takes us into the eye-hole and interior world of John Merrick, whose world we discover is also ours. But "Blue Velvet" is a more personal film, revealing not simply the mind of its creator but capturing a distinctively American experience.
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on January 28, 2003
A fantastic, action-filled intense Noir thriller about a "joe citizen" named "Jeffrey Beaumont" {"well, howdie neighbor"} is pushed to the brink of insanity, as he stumbles across the nightcreatures inhabiting the underside of a Norman Rockwellian North Carolina suburb. The counter-culture; the flipside.
He comes upon a human ear decomposing in a field as he walks to & from from visiting his elderly relative in the hospital, who was seemingly attacked by his waterhose as he was watering the lawn one bright sunshiney day. The denizens lurking in the black earth are always prepared to take their due.
This film really manages to present the polarities between seemingly "wholesome" Americana & "unwholesome" Americana, as it were {the Dream & the Nightmare}.
Dennis Hopper portrays a most convincing sadistic crime boss addicted to nitrus oxide, who takes long, deep inhalations to magnify the thrill of the kill &/or sensual indulgence {often, one in the same}, which is always very graphic. He literally stuffs blue velvet in his victims' mouths as a calling card. Of his murders, the most notable was the execution of two Police officials - one with the material crammed in his mouth, & the other, standing dead with an electrical current running through the corpse. Now THAT'S creative! It rivals even Hannibal Lechter's imaginative killings.
Isabella Rosellini plays a tasty nightclub {'The Slow Bar'} dish whose prime number is, not surprisingly, "Blue Velvet" - which, after you learn more of the character's traumatic personal life, becomes much more haunting, as she is indeed a tortured soul.
She & "Jeffrey Beaumont" {MacLachlan} enjoy a tryst together, after she rapes him at knife-point, but he soon learns to compensate for his normalcy by indulging her fetish - sex & violence.
Interspersing the more dramatic/climactic moments in the movie {there are many}, are telling appearances of a dancing flame vigorously flickering upon a black candle accompanied by magnified infernal sounds {the black flame of life}, the protagonist growling beastially in dream sequences, a raging wall of lustful fire igniting the kundalini. Very Satanic. Thus is director David Lynch's style, as can be seen in favorites such as "Twin Peaks" & "Lost Highway" {which includes a cameo by Rev. Manson}.
Well, the villain discovers Jeffrey exiting from {Rossellini's} residence, after some particularly passionate sex, & takes them both for "a ride" {a Noir term meaning "swimming with the fishes", i.e., death}, but not before stepping by a favorite bar {what a sport!}. Of note, one of this author's favorite artists' song "In Dreams" by Roy Orbison is used as a prelude to the frivolity with Jeff. Jeffrey is subjected to mental as well as physical torture for a few hours, until beaten unconcious {not without good reason, of course}, & left in some desolate industrial section in the outskirts - he is truly fortunate to have not been executed.
Also keep in mind that he was deceiving a hometown girl {sort of an inconsequential foo (played by Laura Dern)}, but he could not fool the experienced fox, who makes them both pay for their lies.
{Dern}, a foo for sure, remains with him through the ordeal {that's true love!}. She represents the love interest / the "angel", whereas {Rossellini} represents the she-devil / succubus, or "lust interest", if you will. Between them both, is an amalgam of the "Madonna / Whore" dynamic analyzed by Freud.
Two worlds collide, & he walks the fine line between them, experiencing the pains & the pleasures of both.
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on November 28, 2002
Cleancut college boy-Jeffery (Kyle MacLachlan) finds a human ear in a field from his mayberry-like hometown. But then he get involved with a beautiful night club singer (Isabella Rossellini) and then it's gets deeper, when Jeffery meets a [chemical substance]-addicted sadist (Dennis Hopper) into his depraved existence. Jeffery tries to get out in this dark, enigmatic underworld, where it seems to be no point of return of this ordinary young man.
Written and Directed by David Lynch (Dune, Elephant Man, Erasherhead) made a beautiful, disturbing unique exploration of the dark-side of America Suburbia. Excellent Performances by MacLachlan, Rossellini and especially-Hopper. Laura Dern is also Good as Jeffery`s friend. This is Lynch's most unique film. Rossellini recieve a Best Actress award at the Independent Spirit Awards. Lynch recieve an Oscar Nomination for Best Director. DVD's has an fine anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1) transfer and an good Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround Sound. The Latest DVD from MGM has an terrific digital anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) transfer supervised by the Director. For the First Time:Digitally Remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. DVD has an 73 Minute Documentary, Deleted Scenes Montage (Which Lynch`s Original Cut of the Film was about 4 Hours!, but the footage is now lost forever), Photo Gallery & More. This is a extremely well done film. Not for all tastes. Joe Dunton Camera Scope (J-D-C Scope). Grade:A+.
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on March 7, 2002
How does one describe Blue Velvet? Disturbing, entertaining, romantic (yes, I did say romantic), mysterious, brilliant. Those words all describe Blue Velvet. This is a masterpiece of cinema. With all of David Lynch's brilliance, he has or may never touch a film this great again.
Dennis Hopper. Why isn't this man in a category of the legends? Why isn't he revered as much as Pacino, DeNiro or Nicholson? Dennis Hopper can take the most wacked-out roles and transform them into legendary villains (Speed, Apocalypse Now).
Kyle MacLachlan does an incredible job with his protagonistic role as does Laura Dern, playing the innocent virgin. Isabella Rossellini is also incredible as the victim, and there is always the cast of crazy characters David Lynch is famous for (Dean Stockwell, Jack Nance, to name a few). But the show is stolen by the script and cinematography. The scene of Dean Stockwell's lip sync is one of the greatest scenes in the history. It's why we have film. Plus, extra mention should me made about the score.
Blue Velvet is not for the kids. It has graphic language, nudity and some violent moments not for the squeamish. But if you're in the mood to be disturbed, Blue Velvet is the movie for you.
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