DVDs & Blu-rays: The Cinephile Edition -- Blue Velvet and Vintage Alfred Hitchcock

Blue Velvet

stars Dennis Hopper, Isabella Rossellini, Laura Dern and Kyle MacLachlan; David Lynch directs.

The Setup: It's been 25 years since David Lynch's tale of sadism and evil, Blue Velvet, hit the big screen. It was a scandalous bit of great filmmaking then; it's an only slightly less scandalous bit of great filmmaking now. Set in a seemingly normal small town, Blue Velvet uncovers a world of sex slaves, sadomasochism and madness. Kyle MacLachlan is a college boy who returns home and steps into the melee; Laura Dern plays the innocent high-school girl who tags along. Isabella Rossellini plays a nightclub singer who's at the beck and call of a brutal, barely sane drug dealer and blackmailer. Seeing the singer's horrible existence, the college boy tries to rescue her, only to be drawn into her dark and dirty world instead.

The Execution: The sexual acts and brutality were shocking in 1986 when the film was released. Those scenes still have impact not so much because of the acts themselves (we've seen lots of sex and cruelty in films since then), but the raw desperation and naked emotion of the actors. Dennis Hopper, in particular, gives a career-making performance as Frank, the drug dealer.

The Extras: The 25th Anniversary Edition features a new digital Anamorphic transfer supervised by David Lynch, the documentary Mysteries of Love featuring new interviews with Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan and other members of the cast and crew, an archival interview with David Lynch, Are You A Pervert? deleted scenes montage, a review by Siskel and Ebert and a photo gallery.

Make the jump for the Great Alfred Hitchcock Movie Box set ...

The Great Alfred Hitchcock Movie Box set features The Pleasure Garden, The Farmer's Wife and Easy Virtue. The films star Jameson Thomas, Lillian Hall-Davis, Franklin Dyall and Isabel Jeans; Hitchcock directs.

The Setup: The Pleasure Garden was actually Hitchcock's second film project, but the first to be completed. A thriller about showgirls and the world they live in, The Pleasure Garden was first shown in Munich, in 1925.

The Farmer's Wife, about a widowed farmer who asks his housekeeper for advice on how to find a new wife. Hitchcock took on most of the filming duties himself.

Easy Virtue, no surprise here, follows a loose woman as she works her way through a string of men, a shocking tale for the time.

The Execution: These are Hitchcock's earliest films, so you don't see the master at the peak of his talent, but that's as much about the mechanics of filmmaking at the time as about his young talent. These are musts for Hitchcock fans.

The Extras: Each film has been remastered from original studio negatives.

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