Under the Radar

Blue Velvet Ray



David Lynch's Blue Velvet really freaked people out when it was released in 1986. If you weren't around back then (before streaming video, pre-Internet), it's hard to imagine now what a big debate that a movie showing in big-city art houses inspired in the culture at large. The furor was on a level that rivaled The Graduate in the '60s or The Godfather in the '70s.

MGM has put together a 25th Anniversary Blu-ray and the digital transfer and audio are spectacular, something far better than the old DVD and much better than the print I saw in the theater back in the day. 

Here's the deal with Blue Velvet: if you're the kind of person who'll enjoy it, you've probably already heard of it. If you love Hoosiers and want to see some more Dennis Hopper movies, please stay very far away.

The most interesting part of this package is the fifty minutes of previously unseen footage, scenes that David Lynch thought were lost forever. Lynch's original version of the film was 3 1/2 hours and he cut it down to 120 minutes before its release and the director's fans have long obsessed over what the original film might have looked like.

After the missing footage turned up for this new release, Lynch declined a chance to make a Director's Cut that restored the missing scenes. That's probably a good call, as those missing scenes are the kind of meandering "character development" that marred the second season of Twin Peaks and not anything that ups the weirdness quotient.


Give Dennis Hopper some credit for PBR's eventual 21st century revival.

Blue Velvet is David Lynch's best movie, it revived Dennis Hopper's career after he spent a decade in exile and it made Kyle MacLachlan a star. This release also includes all the making-of documentary from the last DVD release and even includes a Siskel & Ebert review where Roger gets all worked up about the terrible things Lynch does to Isabella Rossellini  in this movie. It's sure to be the definitive version of the movie and you're cheating yourself if you stream it on Amazon Instant or just watch it on cable.

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