Blue Velvet 4K Ultra HD

WSR Score5
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The Criterion Collection
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-100)
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David Lynch
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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In "Blue Velvet," when Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle 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 behavioróa place in which he may find difficult to resist. "Blue Velvet" also stars Laura Dern as Sandy Williams, the daughter of a police detective (George 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 (Isabella Rossellini) and a drug-addicted sadist (Dennis Hopper). (Gary Reber)

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), "It's A Strange World: The Filming Of Blue Velvet" (sSD ) and "Lynch (Audio) Reading From Room To Dream" (18:17); a 32-page booklet about the film and the transfer and calibration test charts.

In 2019, Criterion released an unconverted 4K 2160p restoration of "Blue Velvet" on Blu-ray with the restoration supervised by David Lynch This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray offers a native 4K HDR Dolby Vision presentation of the restoration. The 2.35:1 picture 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 native 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, which appears spotless. There have been past remastered 2.35:1 disc releases personally supervised and color corrected by Lynch. The credits indicated that this transfer is from the original-source 35 mm A/B original camera negative. This latest edition exhibits a vibrant color palette that renders saturated and rich colors with deep hues and nuanced shadings that are perfectly balanced. Flesh tones are exacting, vibrant and natural in hue. HDR contrast is well balanced, with nicely revealing dark shadow delineation and deep, solid blacks along with natural white levels. The imagery is sharp and clear throughout. One incredibly striking scene that especially stands out is where Isabella Rossellini performs on the stage in a night club. Resolution is superb and reveals fine detail exhibited in facial features, body features, hair, clothing, and object textures, especially during closeups. 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 an impressively engaging visual experience that exhibits improvements over the previous unconverted 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc. There is no denying that this new native 4K-sourced edition is the best the film has ever looked on home media. The picture is an impressive cinematic visual experience. Fans will not be disappointed. Of course one may ask whether to upgrade to this native 4K Ultra HD edition if they already own the unconverted 2160 edition. The answer is this new native 4K Ultra HD edition is the new reference version of "Blue Velvet". The picture is extremely attractive. (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. 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)