Blue Velvet - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Blue Velvet Reviews

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½ September 7, 2017
Excellent film by Mr. Lynch. The movie tell us how big bastards people are (including the audience) in a very entertaining way!
August 11, 2017
This is art by definition, a film that not only portrays the darkest sides of the human mind with great clarity, but is among the most beautiful and disturbing pieces of cinematic poetry. It's incredible what Lynch did with a fairly straightforward genre picture.
½ August 9, 2017
my favorite movie by lynch was Dune, I also enjoyed the elephant man and eraserhead. this one I found a bit dumb but it was alright. I cant believe people think this is better than dune
August 7, 2017
If the Maltese Falcon was the stuff dreams are made of, then this is definitely the stuff nightmares are made of. Haunting, beautiful, creepy, and wildly funny. A master-work of highly stylized discomfort...
½ August 6, 2017
A very captivating movie by Lynch. Truly whimsical and emotional expiereince.
July 22, 2017
David Lynch movies are repeatable. I have seen Blue Velvet three times. Each time I saw it, more ideas came to me. It's like being a detective or a redundantly curious voyeur. Sure, being a movie goer is obviously a voyeuristic activity, but is the movie itself particularly self-conscious of its scenes? Detective questions abound.

I visited Roger Ebert to see what he thought. He reviewed the movie in 1986 and didn't seem to ever revisit it like he has done with other movies to subsequently recant his first review. He gave Blue Velvet one star and thought Lynch was laughing with contempt. He also felt Lynch robbed Isabella Rossellini's raw and risk-taking performance of its full-blown potential to reveal deeper "emotional discoveries".

I disagree. In fact, I find Ebert's criticism ironic in that Kyle MacLachlin's character also was inspired to defend Rossellini's character. It astounds me that Ebert slipped, but I forgive him. He grew since the '80's.

My take might be on a level of cliche. Ebert found the cheap shot middle class suburban satire disappointing. But, I found there to be layers within the cliche which was what was/is repeatable about the movie. They were not always immediately available due to the other events occurring. The movie is about (and I try hard to avoid saying, "The movie is about..." when it comes to layered stories; nevertheless,) the senses and how things are not always what they seem. Ebert caught on to the idea of what is on the surface is not necessarily what lies beneath, or, rather, he should have said, "What's on the surface betrays the obviousness of something more going on, more deeply." This is perhaps because Ebert missed it, yet it was always there in full view or sound or taste or touch or odor -- depending how much one is curious (or compelled).

This movie is compelling.

Kyle MacLachlin's character, Jeffrey Beaumont, plays detective. He does not play a detective. The real detective is one whose integrity is in question when he winds up associating with the corrupt. Doesn't a detective in some sense associate with the suspects?

Jeffrey's father, a businessman, represents the innocence of having made it through life and winding up in the middle class representation of mundane success -- watering his garden. The proverbial garden. The movie illustrates how everyone's garden differs, and how each one struggles against an impotence of losing control. Losing his or her garden.

Playing detective, after being told to lay off, allows Jeffrey a sense of control in another direction. It's about discovery and no longer being innocent or, rather, ignorant. While at the same time Jeffrey's father becomes incapacitated and can no longer care for his garden (he does have workers to mind the shop -- a neighborhood hardware store -- including his son who works the hours he wants), Jeffrey empowers himself. Perhaps both characters struggle to recover a sense of strength against a straight jacket of literal and figurative body casts tying one down -- useless -- (suburban repetition or that which keeps one from his curiosity). There is a knowledge to be explored and ironically, once discovered, the knowledge of innocence cannot be regained.

Or, can it? After all, maybe we are all innocent or ignorant of something at some point or another. There is an excellent mirror scene, placing us in a voyeuristic position, and as the camera pulls away, the objects in the room come into view as well as the image in the mirror. The image faces the camera. What is the objectified, now?

The first sense might indeed be control and curiosity is what makes a good detective. Using one's senses to discover is what's in a detective's toolbox. Seeing an ear lying on the ground starts it. The ear hears. The ear is the first clue. There is the blind hardware worker who sees sight without vision suggesting we don't have to have all the tools to get it. There is a brief mention of a big tongue and later, tastes -- like Heineken, Pabst Blue Ribbon (before it became "hipster") and the sucking down of drugs. There is smell. This movie expertly conveys odor to the audience through the use of sex, a dingy apartment, a rotting ear. And, of course -- Blue Velvet. The velvet has an odor of coolness with the scent of hidden sex a woman holds beneath the cover-up.

Texture. Touch. Good touches and bad touches. Black and white and even layers of blue velvet fabric that do not reveal all out evil or all out innocence.

Dennis Hopper's character is the closest to black and white, psychopathic evil, but maybe he simply doesn't want anyone nosing around /his/ garden. Is he justified? Is any of this justified? Are we as audience members who dare judge the good and evil just as guilty of voyeurism as Jeffrey was guilty of breaking and entering and possibly erection while watching Rossellini's character appear to be raped?

Rossellini later goes mad and screams, "His disease is inside me!"

Laura Dern's character is just about as black and white good as good gets, yet she borderline cheats on her boyfriend, gossips, and enables illegal acts. She dreams. The robins in her dreams represent love. In reality, rather, the suburban reality, a robin greets her. The robin chomps on a bug. Grandma puts a bite of meatball or cake (who knows?) in her mouth horrified. "How could he eat that bug?" The robin watches them. Jeffrey laughs.

None of it really beats the viewer over the head with moralizing. Sure, it's disturbingly funny. One can sense what might be contempt. Life runs its course like the grubs beneath the soil automatically going about their activities. Their activities enrich the soil -- the soil of suburbia no one wants disturbed. No one wants bugs crawling around their home, but no one wants the odor of pesticide, either.

Rossellini's motivation was for her child. Her child is happiness. He has been kidnapped. She pursues avenues to get him back. To see him safe. Maybe it's maddeningly cliche to use this as a metaphor for regaining lost innocence or stolen innocence. The innocence was used to coerce Rossellini. "You will never have it back, but I will let you see him, again, briefly." She does what it takes to glimpse her own garden, bearing apparent torture, maybe even growing to like it as she is fed her reward of seeing her son.

Jeffrey is afraid of being caught. He does nothing and everything to help. He may even enjoy the "show". In the end, he expresses empathy. Or is it sympathy? Maybe neither. Maybe he simply wants to impose his values. He wants Rossellini's character to experience sensuality. She wants him to experience sadism. He already did, at a distance. He may even feel guilty. He will never lose that vision. That memory. Therefore, he might be able to make a difference by helping her enjoy a kind touch. She might be telling him, Don't feel guilty. Enjoy it.

No spoilers, here. Not exactly. Not everyone lives happily ever after. Jeffrey appears to have listened. He finds himself content on a lawn chair in his dad's yard about to enjoy a meal when the women call him in to dine.

I have no doubt I'll watch this movie again. And enjoy it.
July 21, 2017
What is the fantasy on display? Is it the virginal pleasantry of small town America, with its promise of happy couplings and parental blessing? Is it the dark erotic violence that seems always just beneath the surface of day-to-day life? For Lynch, the fantasies of good and evil are ineluctably related, distinguishable but impossible to disentangle. This is so in part because, as Todd McGowan has argued, these reflections belong to the fantasmic structure of masculinity and the American patriarchy, of epistemic closure and totality-and so both are threatened by (and end up threatening horribly) a woman's uncertain desire, her refusal to fit neatly into the world of man's dominance. The film is exceptionally abusive towards Rossellini's character, Dorothy, and it is small wonder the shock those scenes of misogyny caused when the film was released, and still today; yet the most violent and subversive aspect of the film is not what the male characters do to her (which she often invites), but what they can't (because she resists)-the failure of men to master her, to understand her, to satisfy her, therefore their constitutive inability to master, understand, or satisfy themselves.
July 13, 2017
David Lynch had the unsurpassed joy of flatulating in a room full of self-congratulatory minded, rich, Jewish and Christian studio heads who ghettoized everything profane and godless from mingling with the crowd pleasing 1980s fluff. Blue Velvet, with its audacious Frank Booth character, as well as Kyle MacLachlan's own trippy and self-conscious prelude to Twin Peaks performance, seemed to be the 1970s clawing back at the pretentious Reagenesque culture - as if to remind us that Evil never dies, Pain is constant, and Perversity is freeing. Lynch's most linear film is still his most brilliant.

You have to internally fear any cinema villain who loudly proclaims his will to rape any living thing in existence. Frank Booth was the human equivalent of a rabid pit bull, spewing nonsense and obscenities while glaring at protagonist Jeffrey Beaumont with arguably the most insane expression in movie history. While I love Jack Nicholson's theatrics as The Joker, and Heath Ledger's grunge doomsday interpretation of the madman, those clowns couldn't hold a twisted grin to this demon. Frank Booth insisted on leaving his victims with dread and confusion, a far crueler fate. This is David Lynch's true contribution to cinema, discounting his pot party shenanigans of Eraser Head and Mulholland Drive; a devious, mentally-disturbed man who hates you for no apparent reason.
July 10, 2017
Blue Velvet (1986) C-120m. ?? D: David Lynch. Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern, Dean Stockwell. Lynch's weird, powerful, invasive, wholly original tale of young man's decent into maddening hell. In "picture-perfect" town, college student loses interest in his girlfriend, lusts for mysterious nightclub singer, who has ties with dangerous, psychopathic criminals, led by an excellent Hopper. Has some kind of raw, fearless potential for greatness, but writer-director Lynch constantly reminds viewer (and his engrossing story) it's all in campy fun. One particularly rotten scene exploits a humiliated, bare-naked Rossellini as some kind of a joke! Exceptional performances and lurid photography are among film's virtues. It is also undeniably distinctive.
July 4, 2017
College student Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) returns home after his father has a stroke. When he discovers a severed ear in an abandoned field, Beaumont teams up with detective's daughter Sandy Williams (Laura Dern) to solve the mystery. They believe beautiful lounge singer Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini) may be connected with the case, and Beaumont finds himself becoming drawn into her dark, twisted world, where he encounters sexually depraved psychopath Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper).
June 25, 2017
What is the value of "a deeper perception of the potential of film storytelling" of the story is completely debased and evil?
June 22, 2017
One of the greatest movies ever made, and may be my personal favorite film. Blue Velvet is almost TOO good, with being unrelentingly haunting, intriguing, beautiful, and shocking, and extremely re-watchable.
June 12, 2017
This disturbing and twisted story is surprisingly realistic for a Lynch. It is perverse and dark causing discomfort and making you want to turn it off, but the fascinating characters and mystery keep you captivated. The deeper meaning through analysis of the film is well told throughout and reflects much of Lynch's ideology. This uncomfortable display of humanity is worth a watch and rewatch.
½ June 3, 2017
Dark and very disturbing, "Blue Velvet" is an erotic thriller with David Lynch's signature use of imagery, and has an excellent taste in music.
June 3, 2017
The least bizarre of the Lynch films I've seen, in terms of story structure and the way information is given through imagery. But, "Blue Velvet" still manages to be incredibly strange and disturbing in the best possible ways. It's scary, mostly in an atmospheric sense, largely due to Lynch's incomparable sound design, and the creepy visuals help a tremendous amount too. And Kyle MacLachlan is, as always, fantastic. The cast surrounding him is very good as well, including Dennis Hopper as one of the most despicable characters I've ever seen in film.
½ May 21, 2017
David Lynch's Blue Velvet is deeply unsettling and disturbing for all the right reasons.
May 13, 2017
Blue Velvet is strange, disturbing, mysterious and one of the most rewarding films ever. You aren't likely to understand just what it is that you've seen the first time you watch, but, with every subsequent viewing, you'll notice something new. It's the twisted masterpiece that keeps on giving; the film that cemented in my mind what a true genius David Lynch is.
He can give you a beautiful, but also horrifying set of images and scenarios that will also get you thinking. He truly is an artist of the highest quality.
½ April 13, 2017
The story of a struggling detective and his super-smart daughter who solves his cases.
Horrible dialogue and poor acting mask King Koopa's (Dennis Hopper) great performance - he is the only reason to watch this.
April 12, 2017
David Lynch tells a weird story about a young guy caught up in a world he finds both fascinating and dangerous. I liked Dennis Hopper. Isabella Rosselleni is hot. But the movie needed more cohesion.
½ April 2, 2017
Un villano sensible a las delicadas emociones de la música justamente por ser incapaz de sentirlas en su vida personal: un niño resentido, ansioso por demostrar su poder. Una víctima que encuentra placer en las prácticas sádicas de quien la gobierna, esclava que necesita ser golpeada para olvidarse de la abominable realidad, y que por la misma razón acepta la relación con el extraño que se metió a su ropero para verla desnudarse; un muchacho limpio que busca experiencias más fuertes de lo que puede soportar, con el potencial de convertirse en aquello que odia, pero al que la vida por fortuna está siendo benévola, dándole una novia que lo ama y perdona luego de que se la hizo. Dos mundos inmiscibles después de todo, que colisionan cuando las dos mujeres, una alterada y la otra desnuda y semi-inconsciente, se encuentran en el mismo vestíbulo.

8.5/10: Fascinante.
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