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    "BLUE VELVET" Laserdisc Review.

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    "BLUE VELVET" Laserdisc Review.

    Post  DGTWoodward on Thu Nov 25, 2010 5:32 pm

    BLUE VELVET (1986): Laserdisc Review.

    Format: Laserdisc
    Studio: Warner Home Video
    Year of Release: 1993
    TV Standard: NTSC
    Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 (approx) Letterboxed
    Sound: DOLBY SURROUND on both the analogue and digital tracks
    Running Time: 121mins
    Discs/Sides: 2 Discs, 3 Sides, all CLV

    Replay Equipment:

    PIONEER CLD-D925 Laserdisc Player, connected via the S-Video feed.
    Phillips 47” 1080p HDTV LCD Panel (calibrated using a Video Essentials Laserdisc calibration tool)
    PIONEER SR-609K A/V Receiver
    Ixos Silver Tos-Link audio cable.
    Eltax and Acoustic Solutions Speakers

    Movie Genre: Thriller

    The Plot.

    “Blue Velvet” opens like the traditional 50’s American dream, with flowers in the garden, friendly waving neighbours and a white picket fence. In the small logging town of Lumberton, Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLaughlan) is back from school to work in his father’s hardware store, whilst his father is in hospital.

    During one of his daily walks, Jeffrey notices something strange in the undergrowth. On closer examination, it appears to be an amputated human ear. He picks up the ear and takes it to a local Police officer, Detective Williams. The detective asks him to remain silent about the find and shows him out. As he leaves Jeffrey meets the policeman’s daughter Sandy (Laura Dern). It does not take Jeffrey long to realise that Sandy is one to listen in on her father’s confidential conversations, so they talk about the ear and Sandy agrees to listen for any references to the ‘ear’ case. A friendship starts to develop .

    When they next meet, Sandy has heard of a name that seems to be related to the ‘ear’ case, that of Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossallini), a local nightclub singer who sings songs based on a ‘blue’ theme, her favourite being “Blue Velvet”

    After contriving a plot to check her out, which goes very wrong, Jeffrey ends up getting trapped inside her closet and has no choice but to stay there until the coast is clear, whilst he watches and listens to everything that is about to happen. He see Vallens undress and put on a blue velvet robe. Shortly after, there is a knock at the door and in enters Frank (Dennis Hopper).

    If you are new to “Blue Velvet“, from this point on it is no exaggeration to say that what happens next defies prediction. It is common knowledge that David Lynch’s films are always a little bit odd or surreal. But when one of the running themes of the film is openly stated several time as being that “…life is strange!” You know that something pretty off the wall is about to hit you. This film truly cemented Lynch’s reputation for being the King Of Weird. It also, just as surely, cemented Dennis Hopper’s reputation as one of the edgiest, wild-men in Hollywood.

    Frank is a totally lethal animal, psychologically and physically evil and seemingly incapable for the most part of expressing any emotion that is not sarcastic derision, rage or perverted lust. He is a whole lot more than any regular person, but a whole lot less than ordinary a man. Frank is a malevolent force, an amoral ‘thing’ that is to be, at best….merely survived. From there, Jeffrey is very quickly plunged into a world of frightening possibilities and horrific actions, over which he has no control.

    The film closes as it opened, with flowers and a white picket fence.

    “Blue Velvet” is a bizarre mix of horrible people and situations, together with a (for the most part) top notch cast, made up mainly of Lynch regulars, and Dennis Hopper.

    In this film Hopper is a total acting power house, a real tour de force, as befits the character he plays here. But he is not at any time, anything less that totally believable or less than deadly.

    All in all, “Blue Velvet” is an important film. It shows Lynch at his mad best, with a combination of the bizarre weighed against the coherent, in perfect balance.

    Marks: 80%

    The Disc.

    The Picture:

    This NTSC disc show a picture that appears to be ever so slightly taller than 2.35:1 ratio. Picture quality is very good, though on some scenes can seem a little soft.

    As this is a movie that takes place mostly at night, there are usually strong contrasting elements within the frame. There are many scenes where there are limited light sources, throwing localised pools of light out to frame the action. During these scenes, picture clarity remains good and there is a fair amount of detail still to be seen in the shadows.

    Colour reproduction is a little muted but I believe that to be as Lynch intended it, as this look is evident throughout the whole film. Despite this slight muting, colour reproduction is stable and not subject to any significant bleeding that I could see. Reds and Blues hold their boundaries well and do not stray.

    Marks: 85%

    The Sound.

    Audio is present on both analogue and digital Pro-Logic Surround tracks, representing the film very well. On switching between the two sources at various points, it was really rather difficult to choose between the two. The sound field stays mainly around the front three speakers, but Lynch’s seeming love of almost continuous undertones of sound (something like the industrial undertones heard in Lynch’s ERASERHEAD) mean that the Subwoofer in your system will have a low but almost continuous 121 minutes exercise, whilst the surrounds are used purely to give some realistic depth rather than ‘for the sake of it’ surround effects.

    Marks: 75%

    Overall Movie Rating of 80%

    Last edited by DGTWoodward on Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:26 am; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : Improved the spacing, and a little contextural trimming.)

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    Re: "BLUE VELVET" Laserdisc Review.

    Post  RetroK on Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:53 am

    Excellent review! I've never actually seen this movie. Sounds interesting.

      Current date/time is Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:05 pm