Blue Velvet

WSR Score5
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The Criterion Collection
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David Lynch
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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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). (Suzanne Hodges)

Special features include the alternate original 2.0 surround soundtrack, The Lost Footage deleted scenes and alternate takes assembled by Director David Lynch (HD 51:13); the featurettes "Blue Velvet Revisited" (SD 01:28:54), "Mysteries Of Love documentary" (SD 01:10:45),"2017 Interview With Composer Angelo Badalamenti" (HD 15:41) and "Lynch (Audio) Reading From Room To Dream" (18:17); a 32-page booklet about the film and the transfer and calibration test charts.

The 2.35:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed on Eastman film stock with the Arriflex 35 BL3 and Arriflex 35-III camera systems in anamorphic J-D-C Scope and sourced from a 4K restoration master Digital Intermediate format supervised by Director David Lynch. While film grain is an element of the picture quality, it never detracts from the filmic imagery. It is not clear whether this newly remastered 2.35:1 1080p AVC Blu-ray Disc picture from a new 16-bit 4K digital restoration is related to the previous Blu-ray Disc in which the 2.35:1 transfer was personally supervised and color corrected by Lynch himself. The credits indicated that this transfer is from the original-source 35 mm A/B original camera negative. In any event this latest release exhibits a color palette that renders saturated and rich colors, with deep hues that are perfectly balanced. Fleshtones are exacting, vibrant and natural in hue. Contrast is well balanced, with nicely revealing shadow delineation and deep, solid blacks along with natural lighting. Resolution is superb and reveals fine detail exhibited in facial features, hair, clothing, and object textures. At times the imagery is softly focused, 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 exhibits improvements over the previous Blu-ray Disc reviewed in Issue 162, December 2011. There is no denying that this new 4K-sourced edition 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 other David Lynch films that have been reissued with the frontal music limited to the left and right screen channels. The music is extended but surround envelopment is extremely modest. The surrounds are occasionally used subtlety for atmosphere, in addition to the 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. Some dialogue actually bursts out and is distorted. Sound effects, particularly gunshots, sound realistic. Overall, this is a dated soundtrack, but the sonics effectively carry the unfolding of the unsettling story. (Gary Reber)