When Jeffrey Beaumont (MacLachlan) discovers a severed human ear in the woods just outside his all-American home town, he begins a journey that takes him to the lowest depths of human behavior—a place in which he may find difficult to resist. Blue Velvet also stars Laura Dern as Sandy Williams, the daughter of a police detective (Dickerson) who Jeffrey becomes involved with when he decides to investigate the owner of the ear. What he finds are leads to a disturbed nightclub singer (Rossellini) and a drug-addicted sadist (Hopper). David Lynch has been known to opt out of having chapter stops on some of his movies on DVD, but Blue Velvet is chaptered. (Suzanne Hodges)
Special features include the documentary Mysteries Of Love (SD 70:45); newly discovered lost footage (HD 51:42); outtakes (HD 01:33); Siskel & Ebert "At The Movies" (1986) (SD 01:30); the vignettes "I Like Coffee Shops" (SD 0:22), "The Chicken Walk" (SD 0:55), "The Robin" (SD 01:33), and "Sita" (SD 0:45); and trailer/TV spots.
First reviewed as an anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 DVD in Issue 49, the picture exhibited rich colors, natural fleshtones, and deep blacks. Images were generally sharp, with an '80s appearance. The color palette was fully saturated, and contrast and shadow delineation were nicely rendered. The second anamorphically enhanced DVD, framed at 2.35:1, was reviewed in Issue 62. The picture exhibited similar characteristics, but with a slightly softer, more appealing quality. The hard-edged characteristics of the previous DVD were softened. Colors were more refined and balanced, with accurate fleshtones and deep blacks. Contrast and shadow delineation appeared more natural, leaving a smoother, more film-like appearance. On occasion, however, the picture seemed to be a bit smeared. There was considerable pixilation noticed, but the picture was a definite improvement over the previous DVD. The newly remastered 2.35:1 1080p AVC Blu-ray Disc picture is far better in all respects. The 2.35:1 transfer was personally supervised and color corrected by Writer/Director David Lynch himself. Most striking is the intensity and richness of the colors, with deep hues that are perfectly balanced. Fleshtones are vibrant and natural in hue. Contrast is well balanced, with nicely revealing shadow delineation and deep, solid blacks. Resolution is superb, with revealing fine detail exhibited in facial features, hair, clothing, and object textures. Because the film exhibits numerous dark scenes, viewing in a darkened, preferably black environment on a display capable of excellent native contrast ratio is recommended to fully appreciate the dynamic qualities of Lynch and cinematographer Frederick Elmes' stylized look. This is a totally engaging visual experience that is the best the film has ever looked on home media. Fans will not be disappointed. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack mimics the previously reviewed remastered Dolby Digital soundtrack reviewed in Issue 62. Like other David Lynch films that have been reissued, the music is limited to the left and right screen channels, with extremely modest surround envelopment. The surrounds are just occasionally used very gently for atmosphere and music, but otherwise are essentially silent. Dialogue is reasonably intelligible throughout, with the sonic character reflected in the dated recording and limited in terms of spatial integration. The use of Blue Velvet and In Dreams sounds hauntingly mesmerizing. Overall, this is an undistinguished soundtrack, but the sonics effectively carry the unfolding of the unsettling story. (Gary Reber)