Blue Velvet (1986) Poster

(1986)

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9/10
Unearthed scum of American surbubia
ufo000130 April 2002
Pros: Score, Cinematography, David lynch's directing, Kyle Mclahan Cons: Overacting by Hopper, Dern, and Rosellini

Top critics really hated this movie when it came out but one of the best movies of the eighties. David lynch's bizarre tale of a seemingly normal surburb but actually and underbelly of crime exists. Lynch infests his alter ego into Mclahan and leads him into a strange tale of sadistic men, strange women and wierd encounters. Lynch at his best. Laura dern, Dennis hopper, Kyle Mclahan and Isabella Rosellini add wonderful acting to the film.

Premise: An ear is found by Mclahan and he must find out who has it and how it got there

Blue velvet was nominated for a single oscar (Best Director)

Grade: 9.2/10 (Required viewing for lynch fans)
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9/10
Each frame is a painting of desolation and loniness.
noi933k24 November 2001
Exciting setting of the light in the film that creates mysterious environments and situations. Each frame of the film is like a painting. Desolation and lonliness are dominant feelings in the film. Groovy music and an excellent recreation of the fifties.
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9/10
Masterpiece
r-mcharg29 July 2003
BLUE VELVET is certainly not a film to everyone's tastes but if you are willing to be taken deep into darkest hell and spat back out into a world of love then please watch this masterpiece.

Jeffrey Beaumont is a normal college student who happens to like mysteries and when he finds himself in the middle of one there is no way of comprehending just what he's got himself into.

Isabella Rosselinni is absolutely phenomenal as a tortured night club singer and Dennis Hopper is terrifying as a pyschotic in love.

A dark, moving and sometimes funny classic.
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9/10
Scariest Ever
freeheat1 September 2004
This is the most frightening movie of all I've ever seen -- and I've been watching movies since the 1950s! Nothing tops this.

If you've never been menaced/attacked by a true psychopath, this is as close as you can get without genuine danger. I don't know that I could actually meet Dennis Hopper in person after seeing this performance.

My comments about the movie end here.

Apparently IMDB has vast quantities of unused space on its servers; they require a minimum of "10 lines" of copy before they will publish your "comments." Perhaps if I were a paid reviewer for some slick magazine, I'd go right ahead and delve into the plot issues, imagery, lighting, direction, cuts, acting quality, etc. Since I'm not, I've said what I had to say, and that's all I have to say. Sorry that it happens to be trenchant but insufficient in volume!
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9/10
My Favorite Dennis Hopper Role
ElijahCSkuggs29 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I don't know much about David Lynch. I suppose if I was to describe him, Id call him a somewhat artsy director. A bizarre thinking man with a niche for making mature films. And so far with every movie I've seen of his, this weak description can hold true.

My latest venture into Lynch's world is now with Blue Velvet. I hear many people say "I really liked it, but I don't know why." Not surprisingly, I completely understand that. But I on the other hand, can tell you why I enjoyed it. First off, I love weird movies. And this was a pretty weird film. I could go on a long paragraph summarizing the movie but I'll just simply say it's a bizarre mystery where a young homemade sleuth gets into hot water with an evil pervert who is mentally and physically torturing a woman who the young sleuth believes is connected to his missing ear mystery. How bout that? There's side-stories involving young love and deep emotional issues, but you'll just have to see the film.

To lead the film's bizarre story is Lynch's directing, but not far behind is the acting. You have moments where the acting seems unprofessional, maybe just uninspired. You'll notice these scenes when the tone is lighter. But when the tone becomes serious, all actors change into complete professionals and you really just bask in the amazing acting. Leading the cast is Dennis Hopper. I personally think this is Dennis's best role ever. He was laugh-out-loud funny at moments and then plain disturbing the next. He was ON the entire film, and I really don't think the F word has been spoken so many times with such a few amount of lines. Isabella Rossellini was also really good. She played an incredibly vulnerable and impressionable woman who is doing what she has to do. All the while going almost insane. Dennis Hopper's character Frank rapes and abuses her to extremes where Isabella's character Dorothy has been brain-washed into survival at this point. Even when not being raped by Frank she begs to be hit. I was questioning myself why would she be acting this way if she's not with Frank. But it seems she's so brain-washed into receiving pain that in doing so, she'd be given release because she knew her son would be spared. I think Im right anyways. Lynch's ideas and shots with Isabella's acting were really something else.

Blue Velvet is a bizarre film, but that's no surprise for Lynch fans. It's well-done on every level. It's meaningful with it's imagery, and it's powerful with it's acting. Fans of Lynch and "artsy" films should really get a kick of this.
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9/10
Where the underbelly of The American Dream is a nightmare…
RJBurke19424 November 2007
You never know what you're going to get into when you see a Lynch movie. But, that's always one of the best aspects about him, I think...

On the surface, this is a fairly run-of-the-mill story line: two young people get caught up in trying to solve a real murder mystery and kidnapping in their own hometown. Golly! Why, that could be something right out of Hardy Boys fiction, right? As the two kids sip their soft drinks and crunch their lollipops (almost), making their plans, it's like Lynch has pulled something from his own teen years and has blown it up into something that, maybe, he would've like to have done when he was Jeffrey's (Kyle MacLachlan) age.

Of course, a murder and kidnapping are just the tip of this murderburg, beneath which there are a whole bunch of nasty things and nasty people that expose Jeffrey and his girl friend, Sandy (Laura Dern), to a world that exists, for them, only in their nightmares.

So, hello, Jeffrey, hello Sandy: time to wake up to the real world!

And Lynch serves it up to them – and us - with a mix of deadbeats, small time crooks, prostitutes, drunks and, arguably, the most chilling sociopath to grace the screen until Hannibal Lechter decided to drop in for dinner in Silence of the Lambs (1991). As Frank Booth, Dennis Hopper gives the performance of his career. See this movie just to see how good an actor he is – and thereafter, you'll be even looking at people you know - or think you know - and wondering...

So, what's Frank's problem, anyway? Well, apart from his need for drugs and sex, he's obsessed with a local chanteuse called Dorothy (Isabella Rossellini). To ensure her eternal devotion to him, Frank's kidnapped her husband and son, thus forcing her to succumb to his depravities. The only poop in the soup, however, is Jeffrey (who symbolizes all young guys who want to know…) who decides he wants to know more about Dorothy and bumps into Frank at the wrong moment. Or, maybe it was the right moment because Jeffrey can't stop himself now from finding out even more – about Frank, and Dorothy, and how Dorothy needs Jeffrey and how Jeffrey finds out things about himself that he maybe wishes had remained in his subconscious. Or maybe not?

Because curious Jeffrey persists – the dumb schmuck – just digging himself in deeper and deeper until he discovers the whole truth about poor Dorothy. And, you'll wish he didn't go back to her apartment because the climactic scene when Frank busts into Dorothy's apartment to find and kill Jeffrey ranks as one of the most terrifying sequences on film.

I'll say no more about the story and plot, but I've read that this film has been severely panned by some critics, here and elsewhere, who cannot seem to grasp the point that Lynch is trying to make.

How about this: Nothing Is Ever As It Seems – Even Yourself (and only you know that).

Or what about this: Everybody has the potential for good and evil, and of the best and worst kinds.

Well, being the subversive that Lynch is, my interpretation is that he's satirizing the American Dream, showing how the riches that everybody enjoys has its underpinnings in the dirty and dark underbelly of what everybody thinks is normality. So, what better place to do that than in Small Town America, the backbone of all that's supposed to be good about God's country, the land of the free and the home of the brave? And, everybody's got so used to it, nobody seems to notice – or care, any more...

Maybe some of those critics just didn't like to see such an unpalatable idea on film, if it occurred to them? For my money, Lynch has produced a metaphorical masterpiece that skewers the truth about life in America. But not only in America now, because the American way of life - the good, the bad, and the ugly (just had to use that cliché, didn't I?) - is spreading throughout the world.

So see this movie for that message as well as Lynch's directing, his constant use of extreme closeup and dark darkness, the lyrically moody score by Angelo Badalamenti (mingled with some great standards from yesteryear), and the discordant sounds from Alan Splet; they all combine to produce a film you'll never forget. Promise.

If you like Lynch, this is a must-see. If you haven't seen a Lynch movie yet, start with this one.
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9/10
Great noir subversion
charchuk28 November 2007
I really like the way that Lynch takes all these noir conventions and twists and toys with them until they're nearly unrecognizable. They're all there - the hardboiled hero, the femme fatale, the monstrous villain - but they're hidden under the director's surreal fantasies and post-modern ideas. Jeffrey's transformation from merely idolizing the famous private dicks to full-on becoming one is genuine and supremely satisfying. Combined with Lynch's superb symbolism and some great performances, it's probably one of the best subversions of the noir genre. Still, I was a little disappointed at the end. After all the praise I heard heaped on this, I think I expected something a bit more. The actual story was lacking - certainly not up to the heights of the great noir works - and made the whole film feel a bit shallow. Overall, though, it's pretty great.
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9/10
Intriguing, strange, mysterious thriller about the loss of innocence.
hu67529 November 2007
Cleancut college man Jeffery (Kyle MacLachlan) finds a human ear in the fields from his Mayberry-like hometown. But then he finds himself involved with a beautiful night-club singer Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini) and then it's gets deeper, when Jeffery meets a chemical substance-addicted sadist/murderer Frank Booth (Dennis Hooper). Jeffery sees the world of Frank's depraved existence in life. Which he wants to help Dorothy, who's in deeper trouble than he is. Now Jeffery tries to get out in this dark enigmatic underworld, where it seems to have no point of no return of this ordinary man and he tries to make things right before it's too late.

Directed by David Lynch (Dune, Elephant Man, Eraserhead) made a beautiful, disturbing unique exploration of the dark-side of America's Suburbia. The performances here are excellent by MacLachlan, Rossellini and especially Hopper. Laura Dern is also good as Jeffery's curious friend. This is probably one of Lynch's most unique film and it is probably the easiest movie to follow in his work. Rossellini receive a Best Actress Award at the Independent Spirit Awards. Lynch received an Oscar Nomination for Best Director. Too bad, Hooper didn't received an Oscar Nomination for his superb unforgettable supporting performance and Lynch's Oscar Nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

The Original DVD has an fine anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1) transfer and an good Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround Sound. DVD's only extras are the original theatrical trailer and a collector's booklet.

The latest DVD is a special edition. DVD has an new digitally remastered transfer in Picture Quality and Sound. DVD has an terrific anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1) transfer and an strong Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. DVD has a 73 minute documentary with new interviews with the cast & crew (expect for Lynch, which they used archive footage of his old interviews for the picture), Deleted Scenes Montage (Which Lynch's original cut of the film was about 4 Hours!, but sadly the footage is lost forever), Photo Gallery and more. This is a extremely well done movie is not aimed at everyone but if you could handle the strangeness of this original picture, this is a fascinating film that should be not missed. Expectional Widescreen Cinematography by Frederick Elmes (Hulk, The Ice Storm, Wild at Heart). Joe-Dunton-Camera Scope (J-D-C Scope). (**** ½/*****).
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9/10
Lynch's ode to the suburban world
DavidSim24018312 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
David Lynch is a director who enjoys dissecting smalltown America. This theme crops up in much of his work, but its especially true of Blue Velvet. It sparked a great deal of controversy in 1986 for its graphic depictions of sadomasochism and voyeurism (things not often seen outside of porno theatres), but against the odds, it became a cult classic.

Despite a somewhat disappointing conclusion and maddening plot holes, Blue Velvet is very deserving of its acclaim. Few films settle in with a grip of such compulsive fascination. And that's especially true of the first 40 minutes.

The much remarked upon opening images are quite wonderful the way they set the scene. Glaringly aggressive closeups of white picket fences, beautiful tulips, a blinding blue sky and neatly trimmed lawns. The very epitome of suburban perfection.

But these perfect images are in stark contrast to the sight of a man keeling over with a heart attack. The camera then does something extraordinary by burrowing into the lawn he was watering. It goes past the blades of grass, through the soil, and comes across an insect colony. Crawling over each other. Making as much racket as they like. A miniature microcosm of chaos.

A very subtle message of the American Dream gone sour. Made all the more potent by Bobby Vinton's dreamy Blue Velvet on the soundtrack. The decay hiding beneath the order, waiting to emerge. Corruption that lurks just beneath the shiny surface.

Blue Velvet is one of David Lynch's most excellently directed films, especially coming from someone whose work is usually incoherent and distorted. He uses a possible murder mystery as a framing device to get right inside the world of Lumberton, USA.

Another reason why Blue Velvet is one of Lynch's most accomplished films is its apt cast. Kyle MacLachlan is Jeffrey Beaumont, the cleancut All-American Boy who gets in over his head. Laura Dern as Sandy Williams, the Girl Next Door who sets Jeffrey off on the nightmarishly deceptive road to the real Lumberton. Isabella Rossellini in a wonderfully gutsy performance as nightclub singer Dorothy, and Dennis Hopper pulling out all the stops as the crazed, egomaniacal Frank.

When Jeffrey stumbles across a human ear in a field, it propels him into a journey through the darkest recesses of Lumberton. He sees a side of the town he never knew existed, or even imagined.

The first 40 minutes are absolutely superb the way each piece of the plot slots into place. There's something wonderfully engrossing when Jeffrey discovers Dorothy's apartment, hides in her closet observing (ogling?) her, and than the entrance of Frank completely throws a spanner in the works. What we at first assumed was Dorothy the murder suspect. Only the film turns convention on its head, and it becomes Dorothy the victim.

I don't want to reveal the plot's unfolding rhythms. Its storytelling speaks for itself. But one thing is sure. You will be shocked, amazed and uplifted at all of the right moments.

There are two stories going on in Blue Velvet. The story of Jeffrey's shock and revulsion at the dark side of Lumberton. The second is his seduction by it. By becoming swept up in Dorothy's elegant allure, it brings Jeffrey face to face with the seedy underside of a world he thought he always knew. A world of drugs, violence, rape and S&M. It changes Jeffrey's world forever.

David Lynch's films are frequently bizarre. But in the case of Blue Velvet, this aspect hovers around the narrative in a state of dreamy unease. With the inclusion of Frank's character, this bizarreness begins to punctuate it, taking on a wide variety of bizarre shapes and sizes. None more so than Dean Stockwell's camp queen drug dealer, who delivers an unsettling lip-synced rendition of In Dreams.

Some scenes are deeply disturbing. Frank raping Dorothy. She begging for more. Jeffrey's joyride through the wild side of Lumberton. The way the sick and depraved neighbours with the virtuous is utterly shocking to behold.

Although most people believe the finest performance is from Hopper, I felt that honour goes to Rossellini. The fact that she was willing to put herself through so much humiliation and anguish is truly remarkable. It served to make her plight that all the more horrifying.

But Hopper is excellent too. Frank is a monster. Pure and simple. Hopper knew it, and played the part with zero inhibitions. Its a role that stands just on the cusp of powerful vs hammy. Sometimes Hopper doesn't always recognise the difference, but he intuits Frank perfectly. Its a career making performance.

But despite Blue Velvet's reputation as a classic, I feel it falls a little short of that distinction. Yes its beautifully shot, impeccably choreographed and accompanied to a wonderful brooding score from Angelo Badalamenti. But the kidnapping and murder plot eventually feels intrusive and unnecessary. And Frank is a mystery. Aside from being a psychopath with the bizarre habit of inhaling gas through a mask, we learn little about him. If it weren't for Hopper's brilliant performance, he would fade from memory.

Also the grand finale is not quite as grand as I hoped it would be. Even if its nicely philosophical. Early on Sandy narrates a story about robins putting things to rights. The closing shot of a robin with an insect in its beak seems to reaffirm the status quo. But its an ending of creepy ambiguity. Don't forget. Where there is one insect, there will always be another...and another.
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9/10
Look closer....
iloveraddy10 January 2008
Two of the most well-known neo-noir titles were released in the 1980s, cult flick "Blade Runner" set in a neon-lit, dark future, directed by Alien director Ridley Scott, and David Lynch's suburbia-set "Blue Velvet". The first time I watched Blue Velvet ages ago now, in the early 1990s, my reaction was pretty simple: I really didn't like it all that much. I'd been a huge Twin Peaks fan, loved the funny-quirky characters and stylized-stiff acting, found myself mesmerized by all that weird dialogue and dark beauty. Blue Velvet had all this too, but it also made me deeply, deeply uncomfortable, graphic and Extremely disturbing. Its sadomasochistic, violent sex scenes and bizarre, fragile leading lady (Isabella Rossellini as Dorothy) on the verge of a breakdown -- all that strange freakiness made me squirm and cover my eyes. It took a long time before I could force myself to sit down and watch this supposed classic again. Whether it was just that I was better prepared to be disturbed or just that I'm a little older and no longer demand that all movies deliver barrels of ha-has, this time around, Blue Velvet drew me in. True, its subject matter makes it hard to watch, but its lush aesthetic beauty means you can't take your eyes away no matter how much you might think you want to. And this, of course, is the point: the superficial pleasantness of suburbia has never been stripped away in quite so memorable and vivid a manner.

In Blue Velvet, Lynch makes us look beyond the immaculate green lawns, tidy, cosy homes and apple-cheeked smiling neighbors, and question what all that bland niceness might be hiding - perverted evil. He and his fine cast – notably a positively scary-loony Dennis Hopper (in his most famous role) and a campily wonderful Dean Stockwell – do such a good job of getting us to dig beneath the surface that by film's end, it's those flawless lawns that start to look a little creepy: they're so manicured, so fake, in their perfect prettiness. A lazy popcorn flick this certainly isn't, but there's no question: Blue Velvet offers a truly different take on the same-old tired murder mystery genre, and serves up a thought-provoking skewering of small-town romanticism on the side...something that has spawned a heap of imitators.
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9/10
It will make you burn calories
nickdefazio20 December 2009
There's the suspense of a Hitchock film with the shock of a, well, David Lynch film.

Incredible acting, especially by Dennis Hopper, along with with great cinematography and an intriguing and approachable protagonist, make this film unforgettable. The movie will make you sweat.

Some parts of it seem out of place, but you can always chalk them up to red herrings. The sex that may have been too explicit and gratuitous in 1986 now seems pretty moderate although the sadism could be cause for discomfort. The repeated line of "Don't look at me" fits in perfectly. And the climax won't let you down.
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9/10
Peep This Reviews
newblu9 July 2017
Voyeurism, singing, warm beer and not your standard damsel in distress. Weird for the sake of being weird? Possibly. A dark and twisted take on a small town boy who happens upon a mystery that stems from an ear covered with ants in a field that he subsequently brings to the local police's attention. Arguably David Lynch's best film but no disputing that it has Dennis Hopper's greatest performance ever. He might tell you not too look at him but it's impossible not to
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9/10
FROM THE TWISTED MIND OF DAVID LYNCH...!
Amyth4721 August 2018
My Rating : 9/10

A classic dark suspense-thriller. Blue Velvet was a flop movie that is now one of the most acclaimed films of the 1980's. Watch out for Dennis Hopper's entrance scene.

THE FILM TASTES EVEN BETTER THAN PABST BLUE RIBBON!
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9/10
Now It's Dark
richeysj20 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Dennis Hopper brings Frank despicably to life. You will love hating his character! Isabella Rosselini's character is sad, desperate and sexy! Where was she when I was growing up! Yeah, I know! That sucked! This movie is dark, bizarre, and up for interpretation! You'll love it!!
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9/10
Will people stop taking this movie seriously, already?
funkyfry4 October 2002
Hilarious satire of suburban America, with MacLaughlin and Dern as supposedly young innocent types who become involved in a kidnapping case. The plot is (as usual from writer Lynch) straight out of an 1890s melodrama -- in this case, it involves a woman (Rossellini) whose husband and son have been kidnapped by a sadist (Hopper) who wants her to be his fetish doll. What strikes me as really telling and disturbing is how detatched MacLaughlin and Dern are, emotionally, from some of the events they come across and even the pain of the victims of their crimes, but are erotically charged by coming into contact with them. Frank tells him he's "like me." Hopper provides many memorable moments in an incredibly broad style (if method actors are let loose, the whole movie must support them, as this one does), and Stockwell has a good bit as the laconic host of a Pabst Blue Ribbon party straight out of somebody's dreams or nightmares. "In dreams, I think of you"..... scary and funny
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9/10
It's a strange world
sjorshoukes2 November 2002
I can't understand that someone visiting this site just called this film a piece of garbage. (!) Maybe you should stick to the American Pie film site or at least leave the criticism to people that see a little further. Not that I noticed everything that is special in this film, but I saw it for the first time just a month ago and I was very impressed. The story of a young man who enters a world of violence and misery through his discovery of an ear makes a unique story. The dialogue is absolutely remarkably Lynch's and puts the viewer in a position to wonder over the absurd world all around the characters. After the movie, you might not understand all of it, but just remind yourself that this is a movie that indirectly adresses the underlying fears and anxieties of men and women. You could call it a cult film, as many have, but it's absolutely fun to watch if you're not bored too easily, like many impatient filmgoers. "It's a strange world" Indeed.
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9/10
Awesome
paul2001sw-118 May 2003
Seeing "Blue Velvet" for the first time in 2003, one is struck by the thought of how amazing this film must have seemed when it came out in 1986. Lynch's theme, of a darkness that lies behind a surface of suburban tranquility, has since been regularly regurgitated, not least by Lynch himself who returned to the same territory, at greater length but to considerably less effect, in his self-indulgent television series "Twin Peaks". Why, it is hard to tell, for "Blue Velvet" succeeds in delivering what "Twin Peaks" can only promise.

The story starts by announcing its oddness when Kyle MacLachlan discovers an ear. But the oddness is contained within a remarkable cinematic vision. The skill with which Lynch conjures up atmospheres of wholesomeness and perversion is truly admirable. Of note are his use of music and of silence; the magic quality he somehow imparts to the most banal of dialogue ("What beer is this?" "It's Heinekin". "I've never drunk Heinekin." "You've never drunk Heinekin?" "My Dad drinks Bud." "King of beers." - you really have to watch to understand); the fluorescent quality he imparts to whites of people's eyes. As is his scene composition: in one amazing shot, Isabella Rosselini's cheekbone tesselates exactly with the curl of MaClachlan's bicep: an image of great (and oddly pure) beauty in this tale of squalid fetish. MacLachlan and Laura Dern, playing dead straight, are extraordinarily affecting; Rosselini conveys just the right blend of mystery and helplessness; and while Dennis Hopper plays (intentionally) over-the-top, his screen time is wisely limited, ensuring each appearance conveys a genuine menace.

This is not a deep film, its purpose artistic rather than moral; but it's haunting nonetheless. Genuinely genre-bending (is this a horror flick? a detective story? a teen romance?), "Blue Velvet" is nonetheless Lynch's most coherent film. Less self-consciously clever than "Mullholland Drive", it is arguably also still his best.
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9/10
Strange, strange world.
tomimt28 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Dark side which is in of us all, something we all try to depress deep in side of us, never wanting to show it to anyone. That could be one interpretation from "Blue Velvet".

But then again, it just might be strange, strange world.

But as David Lynch has said, he doesn't like to explain his movies: he wants the viewer to do it himself. That is a rare thing in movies. Not only these days, but it has always been. That makes Davind Lynch an artist he is.

Kyle MacLahlan plays the role of young Jeffrey Beaumont, who one day finds an ear from the field. He brings it to a familiar detective, John Williams (George Dickerson), but as Jeffrey is keen on mysteries, he want's to find out about the ear himself. So he, and daughter of John, Sandy (Laura Dern) begin their own investigation.

Soon they find out, that the ear belongs to a kidnapped husband of a lounge singer Dorothy Valens (Isabella Rosselini), who is harassed by psychotic Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper).

This takes Jeffrey to a ride in the dark and twisted road of Frank Booths sadistic existence.

It's a strange world, as the tag line of the movie says. It's rare thing to hear a tag line, which describes the world of a movie so accurately. "Blue Velvet" goes through every human emotion, from hatred to love, and it does it without pain or struggle. Narrative ways, of course, there is lot's of fear and pain in the plot itself.

But there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Remember that.
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9/10
Creepy Lyncy
MatBrewster3 May 2005
Blue Velvet is dark, scary, freaky, and really good. Which is how you cold describe most of David Lynch's films. His films are often filled with symbolism and it is easy to finish one of his films and have no real idea of what actually happened. They usually take two or three viewings, and a little research to get a good idea what the movie is actually trying to convey. Blue Velvet has a simpler plot that can generally be understood at a basic level upon first viewing, but there is plenty of symbolism and deeper meaning to make it "enjoyable" for further viewings. I put enjoyable in quotation marks because to many watching it is not an enjoyable experience. It is a movie deep seated in horror, with scenes that make you crawl under the covers and lock the doors. For the cinephile it is a type of pleasure to watch a lurid piece of cinema with enough depth to require multiple viewings. For the weekend movie watcher it is probably too much to stomach.

The film starts with an idyllic, picturesque small town. It's a town where every day has blue skies, manicured lawns, pretty flowers, and quiet simple people. Lynch fills the screen with gorgeous pictures straight out of fifties television shows. But this is a David Lynch movie and the pretty pictures don't last long. Quickly a nice old man who is watering his lawn falls down near death. The camera pans down past the convulsing man and deep into the grass. Digging into the earth until the camera is dark with freshly wet dirt and grotesque bugs. The idyllic town is only pretty on the surface. Underneath the top layer of goodness lies a darker, seedier town hidden from the eyes of most of its citizens.

The plot of the film revolves around Kyle MacLachlan and Laura Dern delving deeper and deeper into the darker side of the small town. MacLachlan finds a dismembered ear on his walk home from the hospital one afternoon. Finding such a macabre in his hometown sparks a quest to discover who's head the ear could belong to and why it was removed. He involves the good girl Laura Dern in his quest and they sink into darker waters. To tell more of the plot is to give away too much. I'll just say that it is not for the weak of heart.

Dennis Hopper plays one of cinemas creepiest villains to date. His psychosis is even more terrifying in that it is so real. Here is no Freddy Krueger, or even a Hannibal Lector. This is not some crazed psychopath lurking in the corner. Sure he is psychotic, and maniacal, but versions of him can be found almost nightly in any major city newspaper. He is not a homicidal maniac, but a violent, evil man made even more so by his addiction to unnamed drugs.

Isabella Rossellini plays Dorothy Valens with such beauty and sadness it breaks your heart as it squirms your stomach. Her character has taken such horrible abuse over her life she has come to like and enjoy it. Mixed with heavy amounts masochism her performance is remarkable.

There were several times while watching this with my wife, Amy that she said she couldn't keep watching it. After the credits rolled she said she would never watch it again. I suspect this is the sentiments of many viewers after watching Blue Velvet. But if you can stomach the violence, masochism and overall creepiness there is a lot of pure cinema to study.
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9/10
genuinely disturbing...eerily resonates with audience
Usually when I see a movie that is 'universally hailed as the most controversial film of the decade' they end up having been widely misinterpreted - such as The Silence of the Lambs, which wasn't 'sick' like everybody said, but merely portrayed the hypnotic effect of a consuming nature of evil, by drawing the viewer into it too. But Blue Velvet was the only film I've seen to date that shocked me far more than I thought it would. It's hard to say exactly what it was, but it did such a grotesquely fine job of carving out sickness from beneath an idyllic front that it couldn't help but be disturbing. It's also partly because David Lynch is a genius - some of the camera angles alone are enough to give you nightmares. Jeffrey is a young guy visiting his hometown when his father has a stroke. He finds a human ear in a field, and when he tries to find out more about it independently, he's drawn farther and farther into the world of sado-masochistic violence via Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini in a troubling role) and her tormentor, until he uncovers some unsavory findings about his own soul. Dennis Hopper - from Easy Rider - gives an absolutely disgusting performance as Frank. I mean, really, really disgusting. This from a person who thought Hannibal Lecter was kind of cool - trust me on this. All in all, the satirical film-making and saturated color, together with Rossellini's and Hopper's performances, make it really disturbing. By uncovering the hypocrisy in the idyllic front of a small town, the film uncovers the hypocrisy within everyone's soul. Because, no matter how repulsive some of it is, aren't we, against our own wills, irresistibly drawn to some of this perversion? We'd like to say we're all perfect, that it holds no attraction, but the fact is it does, no matter what we try to do about it. Is it really better to attempt to cover it up? Or is it better to surrender entirely to the dark forces within our natures, and thus release ourselves? And can we ever be one thing, or are we essentially divided? These are only some of the issues approached - it's a great film, but I wouldn't want to watch it again.
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9/10
A must see
rubin_20113 September 2007
A naive college student returns from hospital visiting his father only to discover a human ear in a grass filed. After he becomes unsatisfied with the police's pace of the investigation, he becomes intrigued by the case and begins to investigate. While investigating, our heroic Jeffery is led into a lurid murder mystery were he learns that a nightclub singer is being held captive by a sadistic rapist.

Blue Velvet is a thriller that, quite clearly, Hitchcock would be proud of. It combines surrealism someone as great as Buñuel would be capable of. It is perhaps, along with classics like Psycho, Vertigo or Rear Window one of the greatest thrillers in the history of cinema. Myself, not particularly fond of the genre, was heavily engrossed in this. And it takes a good thriller to entice someone (like me) not even a fan of the genre. David Lynch has created a rich and atmospheric, film-noir world to challenge and ultimately subvert various different notions of innocence, sexuality, and love. Even the casting reflects the director's cleverly conducted agenda: Lynch's fresh young, seemingly innocent heroes, as played by Kyle MacLachlan and Laura Dern, are like leads in a 1950s hygiene film; he pits them against two icons of a lost Hollywood, Isabella Rossellini and Dennis Hopper, the latter turning in a jolting, career-resuscitating performance.

Its impact on cinema has been extremely seminal. It has achieved a mood and tone which would indelibly influence popular culture for even today (the Blue Velvet touch can be seen in films like American Beauty, Disturbia). It's not a totally infallible film (but then again, neither is The Godfather, Jaws or Citizen Kane)…but overall, makes a solid impact and demands attention.
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9/10
The Picket-Fence Neighbourhood Isn't Quite What It Seems
Det_McNulty19 December 2007
David Lynch is a director I am very fond of and have been for a fair number of years. Ever since the '70s (when his debut film Eraserhead was first released) Lynch has been churning out a least one standout achievement for every decade, something few directors can muster and one of the numerous reasons as to why I consider Lynch an auteur of the modern surrealist scene. Over the years the director has received continually mixed reviews, with renowned film critic Roger Ebert developing a frustrated distaste for the man's work, while other film critics have hailed many of his pictures as "modern masterpieces." In the '80s, Lynch wrote and directed Blue Velvet; he was at the prime of his career, after crafting the unexpected, Oscar-winning The Elephant Man and the big-budget flop, Dune. Six years after his Oscar-winner, Lynch found his mojo and released Blue Velvet, to mostly unanimous approval.

Explaining the general premise, themes and filming techniques used throughout Blue Velvet is reasonably tricky (sorry to sound informal, but it is). At least, in simple terms, Blue Velvet is a film set in the picket-fence town of Lumberton, North Carolina; a place where everything "seems" perfect, until one day the illusion is shattered when a young college student stumbles upon a severed ear (the "bodily hole" is a persistent metaphor). Sound peculiar? Well, it is relatively normal when compared to other Lynch films, and ranks among the "three accessible features" (a.k.a. The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet and The Straight Story). Such a piece was crafted long before depictions of the inner struggles, nightmarish realities and dishonesty behind suburban life became a generic and clichéd premise, and so such an image has persistently influenced film-makers from all generations. The underlying perversions conveyed during the film is what makes it all the more intriguing, showing that the seemingly good-natured, yet dangerously inquisitive protagonist is lured by a battling sense of danger and sexual discovery.

Lynch was once quoted to have said "the home is a place where things go wrong"; this is a recurring theme which plagiarises a fair few of the director's projects. The constant battle of good vs. evil in modern socialisation is also commonly found, repeatedly displaying a clear winner, while keeping a lurking sense of the prevailing force in close proximity, but with the objector merely concealing itself. The dysfunctional lifestyle found in today's culture echoes through a heavy use of symbolisation and meticulously-weaved narrative. Our anxieties in life are hinted through our mannerisms; Jeffrey Beamount (the central character) is not simply out to solve his curiosities, but to awaken his sexual desires, as shown via his avoidance to become reluctant and the fulfilling of sexual instincts. Many individuals are oblivious to the troubles of life and choose to treat severed ears as normal, rather than a case for fearfulness. Is this an example of desensitisation, or a sheer longing to shy away from the bitter truth? Personally, I will opt for the latter interpretation, but with the additional idea that innocence and curiosity are two emotions that can be easily confused and preferably warped.

The infamous opening, whereby Jeffrey's father is seen collapsing from a seizure on a clear summer's day, in the postcard-perfect environment speaks so much. I think Lynch pinpoints the naïve lives led by those who exist in close-knitted, all-too-perfect communities, saying how danger is always present and volatile. Accusations of Blue Velvet being misogynistic can be endlessly discussed and all I can say for the matter is that Blue Velvet is allegory for domestic violence, particularly the violence women face in the supposed "safety net" of the home. Violence is everywhere and even if we are not apart of it, the threat is still ongoing, meaning that a true level of contentment cannot be reached. At least, this is what Lynch seems to boldly implicate. The dualities of the themes are open to discussion, but the opportunity to freely interpret is available to. Upon viewing please note the use of reversing roles, shown through the depiction of one character dominating the other when faced with varying situations of dilemma.

Told in a way that closely establishes a tone of film-noir, Blue Velvet uses the reoccurring features found in the genre, enabling the piece to become a neo-noir. Components include femme fatale and a case of mixed morals directed towards the viewer from the dubious outlook of the central protagonist. His deep-seated desires remain unspoken, but physically visible. This beautifully hypnotic, dangerously perverse and infuriatingly honest take on life will forever be foreseeable (like the foreshadowing shown through repeated imagery). Are we all in search of a distant and implausible normality? Many of us are, particularly when living in a blurred reality fuelled by its own false ideologies. If more truth be told, it is a strange world.
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9/10
Suburbia will never be the same...
cady23023 December 2007
The term post modernism is used so loosely these days, David Lynch however secures the winning title of a post modern piece of film. A mixture of narcotic fuelled graphic sex and violence, drugs and alcohol abuse contrasted with the aesthetics of a 1940/1950's exterior. The stranger would think nothing of this little, picturesque town within America but look through the voyeuristic eyes of Jeffrey and you will be sucked into a world not even you could imagine. So horrifying you'll have difficulty believing your own eyes. This perfectly describes how you will probably react to this genuine masterpiece that caused a major sensation back in 1986 and is still doing so today. Surely, this is a testament to the films power and influence.

I'm pretty comfortable in saying that Blue Velvet stands as one of the most influential, greatest and original films of the 1980s. The cast is superb, the lush visuals are stunning, the score is exhilarating, and Dennis Hopper alone is brilliant (perhaps a little too brilliant...) as the deranged, mentally impaired psychopath Frank Booth. An electrifying film that I'd have no trouble recommending.
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9/10
Lets toast to Frank's Pabst Blue Ribbon....
shazzy_razzy11 February 2008
Blue Velvet sure scared and repulsed me on my initial viewing. I was so absorbed by it, I had to give it a re-watching. So what is it about, I hear you ask? Blue Velvet is a gritty film about the dichotomy of everyday life. You have your tranquil, suburban existence full of normal folk. And then you have your deranged, violent, and perverted neighbors who like to terrorize the others. Let's get to know both groups a bit better through the course of this unsettling but wonderful film.

Blue Velvet is set in a town that closely resembles the town at the centre of his cult television series 'Twin Peaks'. Its a woodsy, amiable close-knit town associated with the logging industry. Jeffrey Beaumont has returned from college due to his father's sudden illness. While walking home from the hospital, Jeffrey discovers a severed human ear in the thick grass of a field. He brings it to the police, where he meets his neighbor, Detective Williams, and later visits him at home to find out more about his gruesome discovery. Jeffrey is told to keep quiet about the ear & then he meets the detective's pretty high school senior daughter, Sandy (Laura Dern), on his way out of the house. She tips Jeffrey about an ongoing investigation into a woman singer who lives in an apartment building near the field where the ear was found. Soon, Jeffrey and Sandy are conspiring to investigate the woman singer, Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini) by having Jeffrey pretend to be a bug exterminator & sneak into her apartment to have a look around. What Jeffrey discovers is something that seems totally out of place in there amiable, friendly hometown. Dorothy is being held captive by the sadistic drug-addicted pervert Frank Booth -- he also has a knack for blue velvet and beer, namely, Pabst Blue Ribbon. And so begins a timeless tale of good vs. evil. However, Blue Velvet is set apart from being just one of those films.

Blue Velvet is the thoughtful and controversial work of several creative people at the top of their game. David Lynch has masterfully directed a film that is both compelling and repulsive at times. Dennis Hopper brought to life the evil and sadistic Frank Booth without going over the top, as top-notch actors portraying screen villains often do. Kyle MacLachlan and Laura Dern make an engaging pair of would-be detectives and believably naïve counterpoints to all the darker elements of the film. And then there's the wonderfully lush cinematography of Frederick Elmes coupled with the atmospheric soundtrack by Angelo Badalamenti that make this a film experience not to be missed. Lets toast to a nice Heineken, err, sorry Frank, a Pabst Blue Ribbon.
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9/10
quite brilliant and stylish
axile00729 June 2008
It's enigmatic that's I have to say about David Lynch's Blue Velvet.To describe it,seems rather difficult because surrounding a simple looking storyline is quite stunning cinematography,powerful camera work & deep music in which you just want to lost a while... But that wont happen,because you would rather try to question the strangeness of movie.Well,its quite interesting to know what makes Lynch,a director different from others in Hollywood?? Anyone who has followed Lynch's work regularly can answer it and few of those comments are like ambiguous,genius,stupid,strange and so on. Even the critics or movie connoisseur fails to explain the weirdness behind his stories. So its only Mr.lynch,who know what he is presenting in front his audience.May be he wants to bring his nightmare live on screen or he just likes to fool around his viewers,as after dedicating 100-120 minutes they don't get anything.....at least in terms of story!!!

But then those who hates David Lynch's films will be most satisfied by BLUE VELVET,because it is least ambiguous among others.Its much better than Mullholland Dr. and Lost Highway because it don't let its viewer gets diverted in between.....

Story basically deals with two teenagers who in their excitement get involved in the mystery surrounding the night club singer Isabella. Well whatever be the storyline but the matter is presented in a very stunning manner which is quite appreciable.

No wonder its among the best of David Lynch's movie and very nearly a masterpiece.
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