Blue Velvet - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Blue Velvet Reviews

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October 22, 2016
Wtf did I just watch? Remind me not to see another david lynch movie
Super Reviewer
September 29, 2016
The debacle of adapting Frank Herbert's Dune in 1984, is now pretty much common knowledge among film enthusiasts. To put it plainly, it didn't do well at the box office and was even tagged with the moniker of being the Heaven's Gate of science fiction films. So upset was David Lynch with studio interference and losing final cut of the film that he vowed never to work with a big budget again. He regrouped, however, and two years later he delivered one of his own original scripts in the form of Blue Velvet. Not only did it put him back on the map but it's still widely regarded as one the best films from the 1980's.

Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) is an impressionable young man who return's back to his home town to care for his ill father. After a visit at the hospital he takes a short cut through an abandoned field and finds a severed human ear. He takes it to the police before embarking on his own investigation. This leads him to nightclub singer Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini) and a criminal underworld that he had no idea existed.

The opening of the film has such a striking beauty to it with crisp and colourful cinematography by Frederick Elmes while Lynch doesn't mince his words on his message. White picket fences with vibrant red roses, a fire truck strolls by with a waving fireman while a man hoses down his manicured garden. It's quaint and calming imagery. Suddenly, the hose gets stuck on a branch, the water splutters and the infuriated gardener suffers a stroke. He falls to the ground while a toddler looks on and a dog's only interest is in catching the water from the hose which is still in the grasp of the fallen gardener. It's here that Lynch turns his camera to the grass and the dark underbelly of this picture-perfect, suburban lifestyle is exposed in a colony of insects. We then cut to a billboard saying "Welcome to Lumberton" - where it is later described as "a town where the people really know how much wood a woodchuck chucks". There's a playfulness on show and Lynch imbues the whole affair with satire and a deep cynicism.

From here, Lynch takes his time with his narrative - which, when you look at it now, is deceptively simple. He uses a very linear approach throughout the beginning of the film. Lumberton is a middle class suburbia where seemingly everyone is pleasant and there's a feeling of safety. It has an air of mystery to it, though, after the discovery of the severed ear.

It's from the investigations and uncovering the truth that the film gets more bizarre by the minute and the Lynchian weirdness begins to creep in. This is predominantly with the arrival of Dennis Hopper's Frank Booth. From the plethora of Lynch's obscure and unhinged characters, Frank is the one that seems to get the most attention. It's not hard to see why, though, as this deranged, amyl-nitrate huffing psychopath is a character that lingers long in the memory. It's an Oscar worthy performance from Hopper but, strangely, the academy choose to nominate him in the supporting category for Hoosiers. As good as he was in that film, Frank Booth has become one of, if not, the most iconic performance of his career.


For all it's strangeness, though, effectively Blue Velvet is a film-noir. It has all the hallmarks of the sub-genre but, as is usually the case, Lynch puts his own spin on the proceedings. It's dark, gloomy and hugely atmospheric. It's also not without its disturbing elements as it delves into the darkest recesses of the psyche and explores the psychosexual motivations of its characters - which is hinted at with a quote from Laura Dern's angelic Sandy - "I can't figure out if you're a detective or a pervert".
This line perfectly sums up the juxtaposition that courses throughout the film. Lynch is interested in capturing the different extremes; in society, human relationships and Freudian and Oedipal subconscious desires. All the while, he keeps us reminded that dreams can so easily lead to nightmares.

If there's one moment that showcases Lynch's ability to project mood and capture the extremes it's with a cameo from Dean Stockwell as the suave, glad-handling dandy, Ben. His miming rendition of Roy Orbison's In Dreams using a worklight is simply one of the best scenes Lynch has ever put onscreen. It's at once hilariously comical yet also surreal and deeply fuckin' creepy.

A startlingly beautiful yet genuinely horrific tale and proof that Lynch is probably the most subversive of filmmakers working today. This erotic and perversely self indulgent piece of work remains one his best films. To think that this came out in the mid 80's is proof of Lynch's untamed brilliance and majesty.

Mark Walker
September 11, 2016
I thought it was a little slow, but its an interesting and disturbing little crime thriller.
½ September 7, 2016
"Blue Velvet" is a film of the eighties, with all the features of this decade, pop music, scenes through music video, features clothes, gray photography ... But it's a film that also has the face of Lynch, and what he wants to tell you is very simple: Nothing is perfect. The film begins by showing a beautiful and perfect neighborhood in a suburban city of the United States, and then the camera shows an anthill, making this analogy perfection, that throughout the film is much more detailed, full of scenes that make us question the sanity of it being shown, Lynch challenges us to understand a mystery that involves police, sex maniacs, psychopaths, drug dealers and crazy, the film has no misteriozinho, because halfway through the movie you already understand the "mystery", but still you want to continue watching the movie because you question why this happens, the script is brilliant, with suspense doses, comedy and romance, as the technical details I do not have much to talk about, because as I said before, is a typical 80s movie, nothing is very good or very noticeable, others more like the viewer, the acting is good, nothing great. Well, the movie is great, one of my favorite Lynch, and worth much apena gives a given.
½ August 27, 2016
Twisted crime noir that, like all of David Lynch's films, is an acquired taste, but for his fans, this a feast. The cast is superb across the board, with Kyle MacLachlan excellent as a young man who quickly finds himself in over his head, while Isabella Rossalina makes a fine femme fatale. The highlight is Dennis Hopper, who's Frank is one of the most twisted villains in cinema, yet you find moments of sympathy even when he is doing horrible things. Behind the camera, Lynch brings his version of a crime mystery to the big screen and is not really critical of American suburban life (based on the ending, Lynch seems to endorse it) but mainly of ignoring the dark underbelly underneath. It is full of classic Lynch eccentricities (Dean Stockell's impromptu karaoke comes to mind) but for his fans, this is a good as it gets.
August 10, 2016
This is a beautifully shot black comedy. Highlights include the wonderfully deranged and violent Frank Booth and the menacing "suave" Ben (who reminded me of the creepy emcee in Cabaret.) The soundtrack is great too
July 30, 2016
A gripping and gritty mystery thriller that can appeal to the fans of the weird and everybody else with a strong stomach.
July 20, 2016
A masterpiece of crime and mystery, with pretty interesting characters and story. I was at the edge of my sit during all the final act. A David Lynch classic.
July 10, 2016
after watching a few of Lynch's films, i kept hearing/reading about Blue Velvet -- this film still had the weird qualities his usually do, but i feel like they were a bit muted; and that the story was a little easier to follow than most. so maybe that's why it's so popular. however, he has quite a few popular films. this one would probably be a great introductory film to the world of David Lynch.
July 2, 2016
Erotic, disturbing, and fascinating. Lynch makes another fantastic film featuring a solid suspense story backed up with a stellar cast.
June 30, 2016
Lynch strikes gold with this psychological thriller about a man who returns home to care for his sick father and is intrigued by a mysterious ear he finds.
½ June 11, 2016
Overrated and not very good
½ May 26, 2016
The art and direction may be top of the line, but the substance it's somewhere out of the audience reach.
May 15, 2016
Not sure why so highly rated. To much weird stuff, to slow, it didn't really tie well together.
May 9, 2016
A film masterpiece that cannot be explained, only experienced.
April 30, 2016
Expect some Jeff-related art in the near future.
½ April 27, 2016
Finally got to see this one -- quite the bizarre movie, not sure what to make of it.
April 15, 2016
A neo noir masterpiece from Lynch!
½ April 13, 2016
Thirty years after having been somewhat traumatised by this movie, watching it again, whilst I was not quite so shocked by it, it still packs a nasty punch. David Lynch is most definitely one of the great directors and here, he is at his best.
April 6, 2016
One of the most disturbing, interesting every filmgoer should see with an ensemble cast and David Lynch......being David Lynch
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