Blue Velvet appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Though not an exceptional transfer, Velvet nonetheless provided a picture that generally seemed very positive.
Sharpness seemed very good for the most part. A few interiors betrayed slight softness, but those issues appeared quite minor. Most of the film appeared nicely detailed and distinct, with good levels of clarity and detail. Jagged edges and moirť effects caused no concerns, and I saw no signs of edge enhancement.
Print flaws led to the most significant issues here, though they didnít seem terrible. Some light grain appeared at times, and I saw a few small marks and speckles. These stayed insignificant most of the time, though, and they didnít create any large problems.
Colors appeared terrific, which was important for a film with such a wide and bright palette such as this. From the bright reds of the roses at the start to the blues of the titular velvet, all the hues looked quite rich and vivid. Black levels seemed appropriately dark and deep, and shadow detail was fine; the movie exhibited a nice balance within dark scenes. Ultimately, Blue Velvet offered a positive viewing experience.
I found the film's Dolby Surround 2.0 soundtrack to be surprisingly strong. The mix holds up quite well, as the audio of Blue Velvet doesn't appear to come from a 16-year-old movie. The soundfield was nicely broad and well localized. As one might expect, the center channel dominated but a strong variety of sounds emanated from the front side speakers as well,
and the audio seemed well-integrated, with some solid panning at times. The rears largely bolstered the front soundfield but they did so convincingly and clearly, with audio that matched the forward channels well and that added a nice dimensionality to the effect.
Audio quality also seemed better than I'd expect of a film from this era. Dialogue was generally natural and warm despite a heavy level of dubbed lines. A little distortion appeared when lines were shouted - this particularly affected some of Dennis Hopper's dialogue - but this wasn't much of an issue. Effects were full-bodied and realistic, with some surprising heft behind them; the audio offered good low end and the effects came across as clean and powerful.
The music came from a variety of sources - the original score plus a number of period songs - and appears clear and bright, also with solid bass when appropriate. (Older songs aren't going to pack much of a punch in that way, so it's not a disappointment the low end only seemed mildly defined for them.) The audio for Blue Velvet occasionally showed its age, but it usually provided a very satisfying piece of work.
Less positive are the DVD's supplements, as we find little on Blue Velvet. The film's theatrical trailer appears, as does an odd montage called "Strange World" that comes as an Easter egg. From the top icon of the main menu, press your remote's "left" button and it'll highlight the phrase "Strange World". Click it and you get this brief piece. It ain't much, but I suppose it beats the proverbial kick in the head.
I also suspect this DVD includes a booklet, since most MGM DVDs from this oneís era did so. MGM created excellent booklets in that period, so if it's there, it's probably good. Unfortunately, I rented the disc from Netflix, and they do not forward such materials with their rental DVDs,
so I can't say for certain.
Many regard Blue Velvet as a perverse and unsettling classic. I, however, do not, largely because little in it seemed genuinely creepy or scary to me. At least the DVD provides fairly positive picture and sound, though it almost completely omits supplements. Blue Velvet maintains a strong enough position in film history to merit at least a rental; even though I don't like it, I still recommend it on those grounds. Anything more than a rental is best left to those who already know they really like the movie; it's too unusual a film for others to risk more than a few dollars on it.
To rate this film visit the review of the Special Edition DVD.