Review: Blue Velvet Blu-ray

STUDIO: MGM/Fox | DIRECTOR: David Lynch | CAST: Kyle Machlachlan, Laura Dern, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper, Dean Stockwell, Jack Nance, Hope Lange
RELEASE DATE: 11/8/2011 | PRICE: Blu-ray $24.99
BONUSES: newly found footage, vintage documentary, outtakes, more
SPECS: R | 120 min. | Mystery drama | 2.35:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 | English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, German, Italian, Dutch and Mandarin subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio  | Video  | Overall


Twenty-five years on, Blue Velvet—David Lynch’s (Dune) tale of youth and hope finding its way through the dark underbelly of suburban adulthood, shattered dreams and encroaching evil– still has the power to shock and awe and wholly envelope you in its strange, dreamlike “reality.” And in its lustrous new Blu-ray edition, it’s never looked or sounded better.

Blue Velvet movie scene

Dennis Hopper does it to Isabella Rossellini in Blue Velvet.

Luxurious visuals and immersive audio aside, the big draw here is the inclusion of 50 minutes of deleted scenes that were thought to have been lost for the past 25 years. Wow! Well, one thing’s for sure: the material is a long way from the stills-filled deleted scenes montage from the 2002 Blue Velvet special edition DVD. Included here as a bonus feature (with a high-def transfer and color correction supervised by Lynch), the additional scenes are presented in the same order they would have been in had they been included in the film.  It’s fascinating material and definitely of the same, oh, “Lynchian” flavor as the feature from which it was excised. Most prominent are several scenes of protagonist Jeffrey Beaumont’s (Kyle MacLachlan, Showgirls) life at college and his relationship with his soon-to-be-former girlfriend (played by Smashed‘s Megan Mullally) and a handful of sequences highlighting a relatively minor character, Jeffrey’s Aunt Barbara (Frances Bay), who at one point kills two flies and presents them to her beloved nephew.

Though Lynch originally had a four-hour movie in mind (that was the reported running time of the first cut), his contractual obligation to deliver a two-hour film is one of the fateful “legalities” that yielded the Blue Velvet we know today. And bravo for that, as the inclusion of the deleted material would definitely have chipped away at the film’s enveloping mystery and overall ambiguousness. Lynch must have sensed that when he sat down at the editing table.

A theory: The 50 minutes is hyped as newly found, but maybe Lynch had it tucked away safely with every intention of releasing it years later for all to see? That would be as “Lynchian” as the movie itself, wouldn’t it?


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.