De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (DEG) | Release Date: September 19, 1986
7.9
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Generally favorable reviews based on 167 Ratings
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Positive:
140
Mixed:
9
Negative:
18
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CorbeySep 14, 2016
This movie is the worst I've seen in a very long time. No sense comes from it and the acting is awkward and down right bad. The plot is undeveloped with obvious holes. If the score had a minus value it would be used here. Do not waste youThis movie is the worst I've seen in a very long time. No sense comes from it and the acting is awkward and down right bad. The plot is undeveloped with obvious holes. If the score had a minus value it would be used here. Do not waste you time or life watching this utter drivel. Expand
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8
MovieMasterEddyApr 3, 2016
Blue Velvet finds David Lynch back on familiar, strange, territory. Picture takes a disturbing and at times devastating look at the ugly underside of Middle American life.

The modest proportions of the film are just right for the
Blue Velvet finds David Lynch back on familiar, strange, territory. Picture takes a disturbing and at times devastating look at the ugly underside of Middle American life.

The modest proportions of the film are just right for the writer-director’s desire to investigate the inexplicable demons that drive people to deviate from expected norms of behavior and thought.

The setting, a small town called Lumberton, seems on the surface to be utterly conventional, placid, comforting and serene. The bland perfection is disrupted when a man collapses in Kyle MacLachlan’s yard and is further upset when he discovers a disembodied human ear in an empty lot.

He begins investigating whose ear he might have found, and ends up spying on local roadhouse chanteuse and prostie Isabella Rossellini. Peeping through a closet keyhole, what he sees violent client Dennis Hopper do to sweet Rossellini launches MacLachlan into another world, into an unfamiliar, dangerously provocative state of mind.

Rossellini, dressed in lingerie or less much of the time, throws herself into this mad role with complete abandon. Hopper creates a flabbergasting portrait of unrepentent, irredeemable evil.
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10
FilmBuff94Mar 31, 2016
Young Jefffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) is on the brink of manhood in Lumberton 1986—David Lynch's mise-en-scène is also readying to leave its Leave it to Beaver façade behind. In a town overwhelmed by bright white picket fences, blood redYoung Jefffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) is on the brink of manhood in Lumberton 1986—David Lynch's mise-en-scène is also readying to leave its Leave it to Beaver façade behind. In a town overwhelmed by bright white picket fences, blood red fire trucks, and carefully pruned roses, there's something especially grotesque about a man having a heart attack on his front lawn while his cocker spaniel laps spraying water from the hose still clinging to his hand.

Blue Velvet is a film about the reality and streams of subconscious desire seething beneath a preposterously idealistic vision of America. Jeffrey discovers a severed, ant-infested human ear near a grassy trail (Lynch's homage to Buñuel's Un Chien Andalou), bringing it to the attention of the local police chief. With the help of Sandy (Laura Dern), a voyeuristic girl-next-door who emerges hauntingly from the shadows and promises her devotion to his mission, Jeffrey breaks into the apartment owned by an emotionally frayed chanteuse, Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rosselini, doing her best impersonation of a living china doll). Forget for a moment that MacLachlan is Lynch's doppelganger here.

Lynch is less concerned with self-reference than he is with charting the uncomfortable crawlspace between boyhood and manhood. The many rooms of Blue Velvet are fascinatingly representative of internal moods: the white walls of the virginal Sandy's home; the garish blues and vaginal pinks of Dorothy's kitschy modern apartment; and the cluttered, homely look of the Beaumont home. Jeffrey innocently woes Sandy with an okey-dokey “chicken walk” before the officer's daughter speaks of a dream where darkness fell upon the face of the earth because there were no robins. It's all set to the sounds of Angelo Badalmenti's brilliant TV-noir score, which evokes everything from the wide-eyed glee of '50s pop (Roy Orbison and Bobby Devlin, whose “Blue Velvet” was the inspiration for the film) to divine religious hymnals. In a town where Awake magazines are readily associated with Jehovah's Witnesses, Dennis Hopper's Frank becomes a kind of satanic assault on normalcy. He's a rapist and kidnapper and if Dorothy's desire to be physically hit by Jeffrey is any indication, Frank's perversion easily spreads. But, then again, Lynch seems to suggest that love is as potent in Frank's fetishistic strange world as it is in Sandy's happy-go-lucky one.

Even when the robins do return to Lumberton, Lynch still forces his characters to acknowledge the grotesque backside of their idyllic worldviews.
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10
smartmartFeb 29, 2016
"Blue Velvet certainly is one amazing film! With elements of surreality, satire, and dark humor, this is an unforgettable mystery thriller that has some truly haunting and memorable moments throughout. The sequence where Frank Booth beats up"Blue Velvet certainly is one amazing film! With elements of surreality, satire, and dark humor, this is an unforgettable mystery thriller that has some truly haunting and memorable moments throughout. The sequence where Frank Booth beats up and screams Jeffery while the song "In Dreams" continues to play in the background is truly terrifying. This film manages to be funny, depressing, and horrific all at the same time. Expand
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8
RobertBroganSep 28, 2015
Blue Velvet is a film you should definitely see if you are a fan of filmmaking or noir or the surreal, but it is a hard film to recommend. That is mainly because the acclaim it got from when it first came out does not really translate toBlue Velvet is a film you should definitely see if you are a fan of filmmaking or noir or the surreal, but it is a hard film to recommend. That is mainly because the acclaim it got from when it first came out does not really translate to present day, and so one would tend to get an impression and have expectations that the film is not going to match. It has been so many years and nowadays the vibe of the film is different. At the same time, it really is a good film and perhaps can be better appreciated not for being outrageous or frightening, but rather for some fine filmmaking and acting. In particular, loved the set for the female lead's apartment the performance by the actress playing her was quite good. The film has many memorable bits and pieces, but the overall vibe is about half as intense as watching an accident involving two vehicles with the highest safety rating and everyone has on their seatbelts. This sounds like it is bad, but it is not. Like I said, it is hard to write a review for. This is really a very good, a very theatrical film; and it is good to see, not so much for shocks and frights, but to appreciate a nice piece of work. Expand
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9
JLeighJun 25, 2015
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A brilliant film in every possible way, it still has the power to shock the spectator. Dark in a way few directors can barely even dream of, Frank will haunt your nightmares. Expand
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8
SpangleJun 6, 2015
A combination of neo-noir, mystery, Lynch, and surrealism, Blue Velvet is an incredible work that is as great as it is odd. In David Lynch films, if something can be weird, it will be weird. This is very much the case in Blue Velvet,A combination of neo-noir, mystery, Lynch, and surrealism, Blue Velvet is an incredible work that is as great as it is odd. In David Lynch films, if something can be weird, it will be weird. This is very much the case in Blue Velvet, especially in scenes with Dennis Hopper, who is incredible here in an entirely unhinged performance. Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, and Laura Dern, are also all really good. Honestly, though this one is weird, I found it to be one of the more straight forward David Lynch films. Sure, there is a lot beneath the surface here that I cannot even begin to understand, but unlike in his other works I have seen, there is a plotline I can follow and understand without having to dive too deep to derive meaning here, which I liked. Though, this one certainly could be a fun one to analyze upon further viewings. Incredibly symbolic (robins, anyone?), Blue Velvet is a brilliantly written and directed piece of work that is incredibly unsettling, but entirely gripping throughout. Expand
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10
FranzHcriticJul 3, 2014
A true mystery, a thrilling adventure with a disturbing yet surreal David Lynch twist, a stylistic cinematography and convincing performances from Isabella Rossellini and a frightening Hopper.
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6
tomfleet94Jun 26, 2013
Having absolutely loved Mulholland Dr., I was keen to see more of Lynch's films. This predecessor, while exhibiting a lot of the filmmaking chops that in part made the former so enjoyable, is unrewarding and at times grotesque. On paper itHaving absolutely loved Mulholland Dr., I was keen to see more of Lynch's films. This predecessor, while exhibiting a lot of the filmmaking chops that in part made the former so enjoyable, is unrewarding and at times grotesque. On paper it sounds great: an innocent young man gets tangled in the hidden criminal and erotic underworld that you'd never guess was there in his picturesque town. Some of the representations of this latent darkness are great (the shot zooming into the well-trimmed lawn to reveal a sea of gnashing bugs is inspired and very creepy), and indeed these two halves to the film are in themselves believable (Hopper's villain is nightmarish and feral, the ordinary citizens quaint and unassuming; which is unsettling in its own way). But whereas Mulholland Dr. took me through all the emotional reactions I can think of, the scenes here where these contrasting sides met only made me feel nauseous and uncomfortable (a naked and bruised woman lingering awkwardly in a family's front room, for example). Lynch's talents were evident here, and overall I admired it for its hard-hitting and challenging mission statement, but while I really wanted to love this movie I feel that, with its garish and even repulsive confrontations, it did its best to put me off. Expand
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8
Nesbitt10Feb 20, 2013
"Blue Velvet" opens with images from the American Dream: perfect little houses with white picket fences, and impeccably manicured yards. A man collapses while watering his lawn, and the camera, after following him to the ground, burrows into"Blue Velvet" opens with images from the American Dream: perfect little houses with white picket fences, and impeccably manicured yards. A man collapses while watering his lawn, and the camera, after following him to the ground, burrows into it--parting the blades of grass to reveal a colony of swarming bugs. The message is clear perfection often hides deeply-rooted rot. Dreams can easily turn into nightmares. Corruption is everywhere, even in places that seem immune to it. These themes, and others about the pernicious influence of evil, are explored in some depth throughout "Blue Velvet".

Returning home to visit his father who is in intensive care at the hospital, Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan), stumbles upon a human ear he finds in a field. With local police detective Williams showing little interest to investigate, Jeffrey and Sandy (Laura Dern), Detective Williams's daughter, decide to do their own investigation. But what Jeffrey and Sandy's investigation leads them to discover that a dark underworld exists in their hometown. Jeffrey becomes suspicious of nightclub singer Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini), who is involved with Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper), an unstable violent man. Dennis delivers a genuinely disturbing performance. There is a dark obsessiveness to "Blue Velvet" one that lingers long after the details of the film's mundane drug and kidnapping plot fade away. One is absorbed in the way that David Lynch draws Ivy League college kid Kyle MacLachlan down into a web of voyeurism, rape, sadomasochism and erotic tension. Perhaps the most fascinating thing about "Blue Velvet" is how it literally becomes a journey into darkness how as Kyle MacLachlan becomes drawn into the web.

A truly eccentric and unsettling observation of the underlining, unspoken aspects behind the facade of any town, USA. "Blue Velvet" isn't a film for everyone. It has such an ominous, erotic nuance that disturbs, which has come to define his critically acclaimed work over the years. People who like straight forward storytelling where the journey from point A to point B is laid out for them won't be fans of "Blue Velvet". Much like Jeffrey, it's up to you to decide whether you fall into the former or the latter group.
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3
YoursTrulyNov 9, 2012
I give Blue Velvet a 3 because it does manage to invest its audience from the other side of the screen. But I really didn't like this. It was weird for the sake of being weird. It seemed to be riddled with lazy attempts at symbolism whichI give Blue Velvet a 3 because it does manage to invest its audience from the other side of the screen. But I really didn't like this. It was weird for the sake of being weird. It seemed to be riddled with lazy attempts at symbolism which were far from translated to the viewer (or at least this viewer). And at times it was unsettling for no reason. Not like the kind of unsettling that invigorates your insides and leaves you amazed. But the type of unsettling that just gives you a very unpleasant experience that you simply want to end. I found it to be a film that tried too hard and was even a bit pretentious. Not for moi. Expand
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10
SherwoodReviewsApr 4, 2012
Disturbing, bizarre, funny, moving.... "Blue Velvet" is, perhaps, Lynch's finest hour. The imagery is as powerful and the story as frightening as it was in '86.
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10
AlienSpaceBatsOct 11, 2011
Rich symbolism, artistic cinematography and excellent Lynchian surrealism. I don't want to say more, words fall short of describing this film - a masterpiece.
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9
horrorboyJan 1, 2011
Blue Velvet is a tough film to approach. Its surrealism aspects may swiftly guide some away, but the others that stay are truly in for a surprising film. The plot focuses on Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle McLachlan) a young man that ventures down toBlue Velvet is a tough film to approach. Its surrealism aspects may swiftly guide some away, but the others that stay are truly in for a surprising film. The plot focuses on Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle McLachlan) a young man that ventures down to his hometown of Lumberton after his father suffers a severe stroke. After visiting him in the hospital he ventures his way home, taking a shortcut through an abandoned field. There he finds the remains of a human ear and takes it to the police. After some investigating, Jeffrey finds his way into the grasp of a strange woman named Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini) who develops an unusual attraction towards Jeffrey. He then begins to stalk her a little, and the story kicks off from there. Jeffrey comes to a close encounter with the main antagonist of the story, Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper). He is a violent sociopath that snorts amyl nitrite through a gas mask, which triggers him to experience constant amounts of pleasure and rage and inflict mass amounts of sexual anger towards Dorothy. Frank has kidnapped Dorothy's son and husband in exchange for her to be his sexual servant. Jeffrey discovers this and tries to help her get them back. While this plot sounds strange and complex, it's actually supposed to be. That's what makes this film so brilliant. It's emotionally charged atmosphere and characters pulls you in to experience the surrealism that is inflicted upon these characters. Directed by David Lynch, who is a master himself at surrealism, presents the film in such a strange and bizarre film that it's completely hard to imagine what's going on. The film itself is beautiful because of this as I have truly never seen a movie as original and as creative as this. While Blue Velvet is criticized due to the fact of the sexual aspects of Rossellini and how awful she's treated during the span of the film, it actually shows how broken she is and the amount of pain and suffering she would go through in order to maintain her peace and to make her way back to her son and husband. A lot of people tend to spew hate on the film because they tend to think that it's trying to go for a realistic approach. In any means it is NOT. The acting is great from the 3 main leads and the strongest role definitely goes to Hopper. Frank Booth is indeed a creepy, creepy villain. It's one of the late Dennis Hopper's best performances in a film as he is both haunting and hilarious. All in all Blue Velvet is a tough film to swallow, its contents are both graphic and surreal. Its a brilliant film that makes you think of the inevitable, that makes you think of what is real, and what is the surreal. Expand
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7
ERG1008Sep 1, 2010
Man returns home after his father becomes ill. He finds an ear in a field whilst walking home & decides to find out more.
Dennis Hopper is brilliant as the brutal Frank Booth & Kyle MacLachlan & Laura Dern are also good. However, Isabella
Man returns home after his father becomes ill. He finds an ear in a field whilst walking home & decides to find out more.
Dennis Hopper is brilliant as the brutal Frank Booth & Kyle MacLachlan & Laura Dern are also good. However, Isabella Rossellini is plain awful & looks like Tim Curry in The Rocky Horror Show!
Lynch weirdness as expected but not as good as some of his other work
Don't you f**king look at me!!!!
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10
ryancarroll88Aug 27, 2010
A film that shows, in an American-surrealist context, that life and love are the biggest mysteries of all. It's unfortunate that it wasn't until "Mulholland Dr." that David Lynch hit such a great height again.
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0
DJHobbyJul 6, 2008
Public Service Announcement: David Lynch Sucks I'm watching Blue Velvet right now and I want to know how did this movie garner any accolades. Congress should pass a law declaring that if David Lynch ever tries to make another movie he Public Service Announcement: David Lynch Sucks I'm watching Blue Velvet right now and I want to know how did this movie garner any accolades. Congress should pass a law declaring that if David Lynch ever tries to make another movie he should be drawn and quartered. I decided to watch this movie after seeing that it was one of the American Film Institutes top 100 movies of all time. AFI even said it was even one of the top 10 mystery films of all times. The big mystery is who supports this crap. I'll give you the play by play of this movie as I watch it. It has the worst sound track of any "serious" movie ever made. Some of the songs are good songs, I love Roy Orbison etc.. But they are all out of place. The acting in this movie is horrible. The dork main character chews up the scenery. And then there is Dennis Hopper. Hopper is the worst actor of all time. He ruins ever movie he has ever made. Think about it. Apocalypse Now was awesome until Hopper shows up. Hoosiers might have been a good movie if he had not been cast. This movie is definitely no exception. It has one of the worst/weirdest scene ever in any movie. Dennis Hopper (have I told you how much I hate this asshole?) starts sniffing something, (oxygen?, glue?, his underwear?) and rapes Isabella Rossellini while he yells for his mommy. Damn, I need a shower. This movie is just full of unnecessary sexual violence. Why does that damn curtain keep flapping? And what is with the 25 times the actors say or drink a Heineken? "Heineken? Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!" That is a line delivered ham fisted, straight from the movie. This ranks right down there with Muhalland Drive, another David Lynch movie, that is the worst movie ever made. Is that guy dancing with a snake? More underwear sniffing, and then Hopper puts on lipstick? Man this movie is bad? Roy Orbison's estate should sue for slander. To quote an Orbison song played during this movie, "I can't help it if I cry," at how bad this movie is. Oh shit, the man in the yellow coat is a cop! I didn't see that coming. Also, what year did this take place? Most of the cars are from the late 50's, and a few from the 60's. The main dork dresses like it's 1982, but everyone else dresses like it's 1962. The dork sure does heal well. First he's stabbed in the face, (and that appears and reappears trough out) and then he is nearly beaten to death and then the next day he is fully healed. WTF? I didn't see that coming. David Lynch convinced Isabella to get naked and beat up one more time. Wouldn't you just take her to the hospital, not to your girlfriends house? What the hell?!? Now the guy with the yellow coat is standing there, and he's dead, standing? What in the world is Dennis Hopper sniffing? Sorry about the long rant but I can't say enough about how bad this movie is. Don't just take my word for it. From wikipedia: Roger Ebert, noted film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times, supports my view, although he praised Isabella Rossellini's performance as being "convincing and courageous". Ebert criticized how she was depicted in the film, even accusing David Lynch of misogyny: "degraded, slapped around, humiliated and undressed in front of the camera. And when you ask an actress to endure those experiences, you should keep your side of the bargain by putting her in an important film" David Lynch you put your disease in me. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful
10
RickM.Jan 23, 2008
Excellent, well-constructed movie. People who say this film lacks depth are completely wrong. There is so much symbolism in this film its almost exhausting.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
10
DanielR.Dec 26, 2007
David Lynch's magnum opus, a masterpiece not to be missed!
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10
JasonMDec 22, 2007
One of the few American films to make a difference in the medium, and one of the greatest. Its an undeniably brilliant movie.
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9
KateG.Dec 22, 2007
Brilliant movie, and extremely well-done by one of the greatest directors in America. We are lured into this false sense of security, and then eventually presented with dark, depraved and extremely disturbing underworld.
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9
MichaelP.Dec 22, 2007
Dark, menacing, sexual, beautiful, and hauntingly dreamlike. David Lynch, your a genius!
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6
KateODec 22, 2007
Bizarre movie...would've been more enjoyable if the sex and violence wasn't as pretentious as it seemed. Dennis Hopper was great, though.
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10
LukeJDec 22, 2007
A beautiful film, never seen anything like it in the history of cinema...and I don't think I ever will again. 10/10.
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9
RD.Nov 3, 2007
Shocking, repulsive yet ultimately is oddly fascinating. Isabella Rossenlini is amazing and courageous in her role. But the best performance is by Dennis Hopper as the sick disgusting "human being" Frank Booth. Kyle Machlachlan AND Laura Shocking, repulsive yet ultimately is oddly fascinating. Isabella Rossenlini is amazing and courageous in her role. But the best performance is by Dennis Hopper as the sick disgusting "human being" Frank Booth. Kyle Machlachlan AND Laura Dern are nice. But Hopper rules. Lynch's very weird but at least comprehensible movie. Makes you feel as if you are having a nightmare and a very sick one at that. Expand
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10
JoesephLSep 3, 2007
A flat-out masterpiece. Everything about this film is amazing, people who don't like it seem to be prudish morons. I must have watched the opening, like, 100 times.
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10
DLJan 5, 2007
Wow... unbelievable! It has a vibe unlike any other film. Classic.
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10
KrisA.Jan 4, 2007
Stone-cold classic. Just as potent after 20 years. I have yet to see a dismissal of this film that didn't entirely miss the point.
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10
MCJCJul 21, 2006
One of the best films ever made. In any genre. In any time. Performances- amazing Dialogue- mind-blowing Visuals- dreamily devastating Music- heartbreakinglu beautiful The opening sequence is unsurpassed. Here's to Ben!
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2
SteveO.Jul 19, 2006
Dull. Unpleasant. Muddled narrative. Ludicrous dialogue. Talented actors giving the worst performances of their careers. I'll never understand how this film became a critical darling. Whatever Lynch was trying to do, the result is a Dull. Unpleasant. Muddled narrative. Ludicrous dialogue. Talented actors giving the worst performances of their careers. I'll never understand how this film became a critical darling. Whatever Lynch was trying to do, the result is a boring, embarrassing mess. I remember reading one review that actually claimed the bad acting was a deliberate "Brechtian distancing device". I guess you could apply that to GLITTER and GIGLI as well. I think this was one of those films which middle-class critics hyped to prove they were too sophisticated to be shocked by its gross-out elements. For some viewers, it seems to be a Rorshach test or an Emperor's New Clothes experience, allowing them to read all sorts of "postmodern irony" into its ineptitude. It's weird, certainly, VERY weird. But for some of us weird isn't enough. A film has to be good, too. Expand
1 of 5 users found this helpful
1
MonistJul 15, 2006
I'll keep it short: weirdness in film can be fun and challenging. Weirdness without brains is very, very, difficult to sit through.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
10
AJJul 15, 2006
It's hard to find the words to describe the experience of watching Blue Velvet. The film is simply a masterpiece.
2 of 3 users found this helpful
10
TyC.Mar 13, 2006
The criticisms of BV almost always miss the point of this film. It is most certainly not meant to be a straight-up thriller, that's just an absurd idea. Also, you can't properly judge it by seeing it only once, I've seen it The criticisms of BV almost always miss the point of this film. It is most certainly not meant to be a straight-up thriller, that's just an absurd idea. Also, you can't properly judge it by seeing it only once, I've seen it maybe 5 times now (going to see the new 35mm print tonight at Film Forum! Ohhhhh yeah!), and am only now beginnign to be able to get a handle on its full dimensions. On the issue of its aging well or not, the NY Times and I agree it has held up amazingly well. It's probably the best thing Hoppers' done. Rossellini is astonishing. Also, one must never forget that it contains one of the most talked about, memorable scenes in all of cinema, not just American: Rossellini's totally unexpected nude appearance, which shocks on about 3 or 4 levels. Most people don't see how absolutely hilarious it is. It's really a dark comedy. The idea (if you can call it that) seems to be simplistic (there's good and bad in the world going on simultaneously), but there are layers to it that can be penetrated and yeld much more complex meanings and suggestions. The young characters enter the dark world that's always been there, next to their light one. They emerge, changed forever, but manage not to be seduced into the underworld. This is modern, American mythology. And it's damn well made, stupendously entertaining stuff to boot! Lynch hasn't really matched it, though Wild at Heart came close, and I am amazed at how few people saw and appreciated Fire Walk with Me. Only Kubrick, Allen and Welles surpass Lynch in importance among American filmmakers. Not enough people agree with this, but time will correct that error. Expand
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7
TwelvefieldMar 6, 2006
Although a strong movie for David Lynch, and with truly ground-breaking performances by the main actors, it's not a film that has stood the test of time entirely well. Either too edgy for conservative viewers, or not over-the-top enough Although a strong movie for David Lynch, and with truly ground-breaking performances by the main actors, it's not a film that has stood the test of time entirely well. Either too edgy for conservative viewers, or not over-the-top enough for those whose tastes have been jaded by modern ultraviolence, it sits in the middle as an homage to early Lynch at his most marketable. As the fictional Lumberton evokes a time and place gone past and best left behind, so too does Blue Velvet remain in a category of films that are to be watched and appreciated, but not emulated, and that should be relegated to the previous millenium, and not brought forth into contemporary cinema. In short, it's the kind of film that would have shocked your parents, but will leave the next generation bored and unimpressed. Expand
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2
GaborA.Mar 3, 2006
Lynch's absolute worst(yes, that includes Dune). One of the biggest dissapointments in film history. Overall themes are trumped by a story that has no sense of flow and actors as confused as we are giving their worst performances ever.
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