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Blue Velvet

Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)
; Cult Rating:

Lynch's audacious telling of the soft, wet underbelly of Reagan America is a real headscratcher of a movie, at least for me. The setup is wonderful, the cinematography is broodingly-beautiful, the supporting characters are played by actors (Dennis Hopper, Dean Stockwell, Isabella Rossellini) who give brave performances, at least in the fact that they trust Lynch to keep them from coming across as moronic caricatures. The problem is that those characters are truly moronic caricatures, so most the brave acting goes down the tubes for me. The film's political and social satire also seems to get jettisoned the longer it goes on and tries to just make people feel uncomfortable for the hell of it. I find no connection between what's going on in this movie and any legit commentary on 1986 America, and God knows that 1986 America was ripe for a slap in the face. My problem seems to be that Lynch came up with a set-up and some characters and then just fell in love with their absurdity and went out of his way to highlight it. Most critics disagree with me, and Woody Allen said that it was the best film of the year, but that was probably because he was dealing with his own guilt issues at the time. Anyway, I do give Blue Velvet credit for leading Lynch to create the "Twin Peaks" TV series, something which does what Blue Velvet attempted, but does it far more entertainingly as well as scarier. It's really hard to be scared of the villains [in Blue Velvet] when they act like idiot Looney Tunes who swear