Blue Velvet Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French DTS 5.1, German DTS 5.1, Italian DTS 5.1, Portuguese Dolby 2.0 Surround, Spanish (Castilian) DTS 5.1,
- Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish (Latin American) Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
- Region: ABC (Region-Free)
- Rating: R
- Run Time: 120 Mins.
- Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
- Studio: MGM
- Blu-ray Release Date: November 1, 2011
- List Price: $24.99
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Blue Velvet is David Lynch’s dreamlike 1986 neo-noir crime/thriller that probed the perverse secrets bubbling under the surface of small town America. Kyle Maclachlan stars as Jeffrey Beaumont, a seemingly clean-cut, all-American young man who returns home to his small working class town of Lumberton when his father suffers a stroke. When he finds a human ear in a field, he does the right thing and takes it to the police, but their disinterest in investing any crime leaves him even more curious to discover the secret behind the ear. This leads Jeffrey to the mysterious and sexy lounge singer Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini) and the violent Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper). Booth has kidnapped Dorothy’s young son and is holding him captive so he can use Dorothy to play out his prurient sadomasochistic fantasies. Despite Jeffrey’s attraction to the sweet and innocent Sandy Williams (Laura Dern), daughter of the police detective, he can’t help but be drawn to Dorothy and the world of darkness she represents. He feels an uncontrollable need to comfort her, have sex with her and save her. In typical Lynch-ian fashion, Jeffrey’s investigation of the found ear and Dorothy Vale opens up a whole world of motley characters who would seem equally at home in an asylum as in a carnival sideshow, including Dean Stockwell as Ben the “suave” lip-syncher who is charged with holding Dorothy’s kidnapped son. Blue Velvet is truly a stunning and sexy piece of work from start to finish.
I don’t know that this is a new transfer of Blue Velvet for Blu-ray. It certainly doesn’t look like it to my eyes. It looks remarkably similar to the previous DVD release, and it shows in the softness of the detail, mushiness, if you will, of the grain structure, and source damage that pops up here and there. Compare this to the newly transferred lost scenes overseen by David Lynch that have far more texture and much more high frequency information.
The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is a typical misuse of all those extras channels. There is really nothing going on at all in the surround channels or even with the LFE. It basically sounds like a reprocessed stereo mix with very subtle ambience in the rear. Dialogue is clean and intelligible.
The real treat here is the newly found lost footage, fifty-one-minutes worth of it, newly transferred in high definition and overseen by David Lynch himself, that looks even better than the film itself. There are other odds and ends included, including a brief classic segment from Siskel & Ebert where they offer their opinion on the film,
The supplements provided with this release:
- Documentary: Mysteries of Love:
- The Eagle Scout
- Goin’ Down to Lumberton
- Hey, Neighbor
- Dust Bunnies
- Softer than Satin
- Uncommon Sounds
- Newly Discovered Lost Footage (2.35:1; 1080p/24; Dolby Digital 5.1; 00:51:42)
- A Few Outtakes (2.35:1; 1080p/24; Dolby Digital 5.1; 00:01:33)
- Siskel & Ebert “At the Movies” (1986) (1.33:1; 480i/60; 00:01:30)
- Vignettes (1.33:1; 480i/60):
- I Like Coffee Shops
- The Chicken Walk
- The Robin
- Trailer/TV Spots:
- Theatrical Trailer (2.35:1; 1080p/24)
- TV Spot 1
- TV Spot 2
The Definitive Word
One of many David Lynch masterpieces, Blue Velvet seethes with sexuality and mystery while it plays like an odd drug-induced dream. Sadly, MGM does not put the film forward on Blu-ray in the best possible manner with this middling transfer in high definition that shamefully looks inferior to the newly transferred lost footage. Still, it is competent enough to still warrant purchasing.
Additional Screen Captures