David Lynch peeks behind the picket fences of small-town America to reveal a corrupt shadow world of malevolence, sadism, and madness. From the opening shots Lynch turns the Technicolor picture postcard images of middle cl... more »ass homes and tree-lined lanes into a dreamy vision on the edge of nightmare. After his father collapses in a preternaturally eerie sequence, college boy Kyle MacLachlan returns home and stumbles across a severed human ear in a vacant lot. With the help of sweetly innocent high school girl (Laura Dern), he turns junior detective and uncovers a frightening yet darkly compelling world of voyeurism and sex. Drawn deeper into the brutal world of drug dealer and blackmailer Frank, played with raving mania by an obscenity-shouting Dennis Hopper in a career-reviving performance, he loses his innocence and his moral bearings when confronted with pure, unexplainable evil. Isabella Rossellini is terrifyingly desperate as Hopper's sexual slave who becomes MacLachlan's illicit lover, and Dean Stockwell purrs through his role as Hopper's oh-so-suave buddy. Lynch strips his surreally mundane sets to a ghostly austerity, which composer Angelo Badalamenti encourages with the smooth, spooky strains of a lush score. Blue Velvet is a disturbing film that delves into the darkest reaches of psycho-sexual brutality and simply isn't for everyone. But for a viewer who wants to see the cinematic world rocked off its foundations, David Lynch delivers a nightmarish masterpiece. --Sean Axmaker« less
"I just recently saw David Lynch's "Blue Velvet" on the big screen (and in widescreen) for the first time. Having seen it now in its original aspect ratio, I can't bear to go back to my pan-and-scan videotape. Thank goodness that it's coming out on DVD. "Blue Velvet," quite simply, is the best film of the 1980's; the only film that comes close to it is Scorsese's "Raging Bull." "Blue Velvet" was so ahead of its time when it was first released back in 1986. In fact, it remains so today, judging by the bewildered faces of people who were at the revival showing I attended. The film precedes "American Beauty" in blowing the doors off of the closet that Suburbia keeps its skeletons in, telling the story of a young college kid who, after finding a severed human ear, gets caught up in murder and mayhem in his hometown of "Lumberton USA." Lynch goes to great lengths to set up his picture-book depiction of small-town American life (complete with bright red fire trucks, white picket fences, and blue skies) before taking a wrecking ball to it. Like he did in his debut, "Eraserhead," Lynch shows us what we look like (tedium and all) but purposely twists our view of it, like a mad optometrist giving us the wrong eyeglass prescription. Apart from the fine directing, "Blue Velvet" boasts an excellent cast that delivers each line with patented Lynch-quirkiness. Kyle MacLachlan plays Jeffrey Beaumont like a modern-day Dante, travelling through the Inferno he never knew his hometown was. Isabella Rosselini is spectacularly disturbing as Dorothy Vallens, a lounge singer whose husband and son have been abducted. Her character is a first: a femme fatale who is more dangerous to herself than anyone else. And in what may be one of the top ten tour-de-force performances of all time, Dennis Hopper, as oxygen-huffing crime boss/hedonist Frank Booth, makes you laugh one minute, and cringe with fear the next after realizing that such a person probably does exist. You may not agree that "Blue Velvet" is the best film of the 80's but you'll have to do some digging to find one more original. It is a contemporary film noir classic that deserves to withstand the test of time like older noir classics such as "Double Indemnity" and "The Big Sleep." So far, it appears to be holding up. It's a strange world and "Blue Velvet" (both the film itself and the fact that it was made) is solid proof of just how strange it can be."
Mr. N. Carnegie | Kirkcaldy, Scotland, UK. | 02/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Set in the quiet picture postcard logging community of Lumbertown, Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan), a somewhat naive and squeaky clean college boy, finds a severed human ear. Shocked and disturbed he reports it immediately to the police whilst, with the help of his girlfriend (Laura Dern), he begins his own investigation, which soon leads him into stumbling into the seedy and violent world of abused nightclub singer Dorothy (Isabella Rosellini) and drug-sniffing psychopath (Dennis Hopper). This is the first movie in which David Lynch really showed us all his cards and united themes and imagery, now familiar to millions through the likes of Mulholland Drive, Wild At Heart and Twin Peaks. Although 16 years old, David Lynch's Blue Velvet has lost none of its shock value. It is still deeply and uniquely disturbing, at times incredibly surreal and utterly compelling viewing. Beautifully filmed and directed by Lynch, its aesthetic value is often deliberately at odds with the subject matter and it is a work of dark genius. It also features superb acting performances all round. In particular, MacLachlan, Rosselinni, Dean Stockwell and Laura Dern shine, but it is Dennis Hopper's magnificent performance as a drug sniffing twisted psychopath that most people will remember.Bizarre and frequently haunting, beautiful but frequently surreal, this is a movie that will stay with you for a very long time and really is a must see!"
BIZARRE & OFTEN SHOCKING, BUT A DARING EXPOSE..
Shashank Tripathi | Gadabout | 12/07/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I adore the way in which Lynch leads you into his own microcosm, each screen is more intriguing than the previous and you become involved with the characters. Blue Velvet is no exception: a simple town boy is intrigued by a woman, and following his curiosity gets drawn into her web, only to inadvertently uncover dark mysteries. We take this genuinely and often weirdly funny walk with him, a walk that'll cling to your thoughts long after the credits have rolled. I don't idolize Lynch as many reviewers do (although I admired his work in The Straight Story) and I believe he has too often pursued weirdness for the sake of weirdness. But at his best he has produced marvels of film making. Blue Velvet is one of the latter as it doozily exposes the hidden dark underbelly of small towns, and of people that are seldom what they seem on the surface. More than one viewing of this film is probably necessary if you really want to get it. The first time round, I ended up thinking that this was simply a noir-ish attempt at vulgar violence. The second viewing actually made me see some of the things Lynch wanted us to see without the shock factor. Even so, this one may not be for everyone, but a must for Lynch fans."
An unforgettable movie experience.
Anthony Manwell | 12/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Blue Velvet may just be the largest Love/Hate Phenomenon in film history. You will either love it or hate. And after seeing the movie again yesterday, it's not hard to see why. The film has several scenes that reach the barrier of what a lot of viewers are willing to take. The movie never lets it's viewers off easily. It is violent, has several scenes that involve female degradation, and a villian who uses the "F" word more times then any character I have ever seen in any movie.
This may not sound like an incredible film from my review. And I don't want to waste any space decribing the films main plot. David Lynch films are as unique as it gets. You have to see this film for yourself to decide whether or not you like it.
The film does pack some of the most well constructed suspense scenes I have ever seen. It features an incredible performance by Dennis Hopper. But the real reason to see the movie is the look and feel that the dvd version captures perfectly. The colors and imagery of this film will be burned into your retinas for weeks after you've watched it. From things as simple as roses and fire trucks, to underground bugs and construction yards this movie looks beautiful. So my best advice if you've never seen this movie is to rent it first. Like I said, people either love it or hate it, Im part of the former group. Overall Rating:A+"
Things are not always what the seem.
Jenny J.J.I. | That Lives in Carolinas | 01/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"David Lynch's "Blue Velvet" is a symbolically rich, masterfully crafted, icy and compelling. Beneath the normal, kin- and friendship-oriented world of small town America, Lynch delivers a haunting and terrible (but inexplicably fascinating) world of evil and corruption. The complex relationship between these two realms is unified by a rather simple mystery-detective plot, but, like the opening montage, this ultimately gives way to a premise of greater depth and complexity. Without summarizing plot, one could argue that the central characters in this tableau are representative of each world in some way: Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle Maclachlan), the college student and amateur detective whose seemingly innocent curiosities lead him into the complicated underworld where they evolve into voyeurism and compulsion; Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini), the tormented lounge singer whose familial ties to illicit affairs have forced and trapped her in this underworld; Sandy Williams (played in an almost-painful-to-watch-at-times manner by Laura Dern), Beaumont's budding romantic interest who is willing to help her too-curious friend but remains morally and psychologically rooted in the positive "surface" world; Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper), Dorothy's tormentor and blackmailer, and the terrifying, twisted villain who exemplifies the negativity of the underworld. The relations between these characters serve as the foundation for juxtaposing the two worlds, a contrast which is strengthened by the frequent use of symbols and subtleties (e.g. color and lighting, sometimes surreal placement of characters on the screen, the heavy profanity of Frank).
The main underlying idea is certainly a haunting one: behind every facade and every seemingly normal appearance is an existence of a deviant nature. I do not believe that Blue Velvet is a perfect film, though: even though its story is complex and difficult to assemble it often progresses conspicuously slowly and unevenly. The film presents several jarring and somewhat confusing breaks of flow over its 124-minute duration. Several important scenes are depicted in brief shots and, in the spirit of the underworld that the film illustrates, low light. Similarly, many lines are whispered. While some of these effects are essential to the artistic aspirations of the film, it may be difficult for the viewer to perceive all of them. A second viewing is often necessary, but, unless a viewer cannot endure this film, a second viewing is probably inevitable. This is not a film for everyone. It is offbeat, like David Lynch always is. Harsh but wonderful. "