Blue Velvet makes its Blu-Ray debut today, in a special 25th anniversary edition. The mystery of a college boy (Kyle MacLachlan) and the severed ear he discovers has aged well, and remains the perfect entry to the weird world of David Lynch films. It’s probably the director’s most straight forward story aside from… well, aside from The Straight Story. The film retains its power after all this time, but it’s hard to believe it was considered so shocking and controversial at the time of its release. Even so, Blue Velvet earned Lynch the second of his three Oscar nominations.
How does it look and sound on Blu-Ray? Superb. The picture is sharp and clear, but not as artificially bright as many Blu-Ray transfers of older films seem to be. The end result reminds you that you are watching something on film, with the rich color textures that film should provide. The sound is very good. On a good sound system, Isabella Rossellini’s song will still stun you, and Dean Stockwell’s song will still make you want to hide under your bed.
The extras are solid, but many of them are reused from the 2005 Special Edition DVD. This includes a documentary, and a clip from Siskel & Ebert‘s original review of the film. The clip is notable as Roger Ebert did not like Blue Velvet, and was vocal about his disdain for it. Gene Siskel defended the film, but it was interesting to see a negative review included in a film’s home video edition, and it demonstrates the confidence Lynch has in his work.
The main draw in the extras is a whopping 50 minutes of lost footage that has been restored, edited and scored for this package. The footage is fascinating. You can see why it was left out of the movie, but any fan Blue Velvet or Lynch will still want to soak it in. The extra scenes are presented out of context, one after another, which still makes them more coherent than about half of Lynch’s other films.
Blue Velvet’s 25th Anniversary Blu-Ray is released Tuesday, November 8th, with a SRP on 24.99. It’s worth upgrading for the new picture, and certainly for the newly released footage.