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Blue Velvet


Pabst! Blue! Ribbon!

Rod Lott December 8th, 2011

David Lynch bounced back from the big-scale disaster of 1984's "Dune" by going back to what he knows best: darker-than-ink perversity.

bluevelvet

And thank goodness he did! Otherwise, we'd have a world without "Blue Velvet." Nominated for one Oscar, but deserving of so many more, the 1986 film makes a Blu-ray debut in a 25th-anniversary edition. For once, the "anniversary" label is worth celebrating, including nearly an hour's worth of deleted scenes long thought lost. Lynch's work rarely are bonus-heavy — the man shies away from commentaries — so such a find is even extra-special.

"Blue Velvet" was Lynch's first take on what has become his specialty: peeling back the layers of secrets existing within a seemingly sleepy American town. It's about a young man (Kyle MacLachlan), a young woman (Laura Dern), an older woman (Isabella Rossellini), a true mad man (Dennis Hooper, in his career-best role) and a severed ear covered with ants. It's a strange world, indeed.

A quarter of a century later, the movie's ability both to disturb and delight remains unfettered. Not even multiple viewings of Lynch's later masterpieces — from the "Twin Peaks" pilot to "Mulholland Dr." — have diluted its power. As it did upon first viewing, it unsettles. It bothers. And yet, it leaves you with plenty of lines to quote laughingly long afterward.

As expected, the film looks and sounds awesome in high-definition. The surprise is all in those aforementioned newly discovered scenes, including:
• MacLachlan's character making out with his college girlfriend (played by Megan Mullally!);
• topless women dancing;
• a less memorable mention of Pabst Blue Ribbon;
• a great deal more of Priscilla Pointer; and
• MacLachlan and Dern's characters on a date, where the entertainment includes a stage show with a dog eating food.

In other words, pure Lynch — my favorite kind. —Rod Lott

 
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