Blue Velvet (1986)

DVD Cover (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Special Edition)
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Overall Rating 76%
Overall Rating
Ranked #882
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Connections: Blue Velvet

The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child. --IMDb
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Review by Ginose
Added: September 15, 2007
As long as he’s been directing I still find it hard to understand how anyone can dislike David Lynch. Sure, many people hate his “modern surrealistic” style, but, if that’s the case, how could you possibly hate “The Elephant Man” or “The Straight Story”? All in all he’s done nothing but good for the world of film. I’ve loved damn near every movie he’s directed, the only one that I think didn’t live up to his potential was “Dune” (and after reading Lynch’s book, I can understand why). Right now we’re going to take a look at a film he did that got plenty of cover given its… unique style.

Our film opens on a pretty joyful note, a sunny suburban town named Lumberton (see if you can guess why) as we see an older gentleman watering his lawn. He then (apparently) has a stroke and falls to the ground. Lovely, no? Anyhow, his son, Jeffery (Kyle MacLachlan), pays him a short visit in the hospital (after going back to Lumberton during his off-season at college) in which, upon returning home, he finds a rotting severed human ear in a nearby field. After taking it to the police he tries to look further into the situation and ends up befriending the lead detective’s daughter, Sandy (Laura Dern). Sandy soon reveals to Jeffery that this crime may be linked (like several others) to a local singer named Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini). Dying to find out more about the case that he’s not suppose to be looking into, he devises a plan to sneak into Dorothy’s apartment and discover some kind of clues as to the recently discovered ear. This investigation only makes things a whole lot more complicated and much, much more disturbing.

This movie is amazing. The art direction in any Lynch film is normally exquisite, but this one was just masterful. The appearance of the Lumberton as we watch its once seemingly perfect existence shatter into the hideous underworld that lives and breaths beneath it is just as disturbing as if you were truly there. The performances were stand out, ESPECIALLY Isabella Rossellini… the fact that she could completely immerse herself into such a believable character really showcases her incredible talent. This, however, is almost completely overtaken by Dennis Hopper’s performance as Frank Booth. Never in my life have I been more terrified of a fictional character… never.

To go on explaining the plot to “Blue Velvet” would completely destroy the atmosphere, plot, and overall point of the movie. As you watch a film like this you’re supposed to enjoy it as you see it, interpret it your own way, that’s one of the things I’ve always admired about Lynch’s movies, he leaves you to view them as you wish to view them, this is an amazing feat for a director whose normally VERY visual with his work. Almost never being direct with the meanings of his film may be the only thing that has kept Lynch from growing out of being a cult-favorite, the man has the potential to become a huge Hollywood director (most would argue that he already is one), but he (almost purposely it seems) dodges every one of these chances by making the movie the way he wants to make it. That’s the number one thing I love about him. He makes movies for himself that he HOPES other people will enjoy as much as he does, as he is an artist.

Wow… that really turned into one huge Lynch worshiping speech, didn’t it? Oh well, I stand by it.

Anyhow, while reviewing this movie I was approached with a problem most reviewers seem to face, I needed to find a way to give an unbiased opinion on one of my all-time favorite movies. Ouch, am I right? Well, after several hours of deliberation, I decided to say “Fuck it, I’m going to tell these people how much I loved the film and just leave a disclaimer.” Well, here’s the disclaimer: “This review is, more or less, an opinion. You may like this movie, you may not. See it if it sounds like you’ll enjoy it, ignore it if it doesn’t.”

Now, with that final note, this movie gets a 10/10. One of the handful of films in cinematic history that I have thought to be absolutely flawless.
bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added September 16, 2007 at 4:31pm
This is a true David Lynch masterpiece. Shocking in a way that only David Lynch can deliver. Isabella Rossellini does things in this film that still make me cringe and when has Dennis Hopper been better? This is a nightmare fairy tale for the ages. 10/10.
grain of sand #2: grain of sand - added September 29, 2007 at 9:40pm
my favorite lynch movie
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