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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (Blu-ray)
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (Blu-ray)
Criterion // R // October 17, 2017 // Region A
List Price: $39.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ian Jane | posted October 31, 2017 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
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A U D I O
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The Movie

While it wasn't with us long having originally lasted only two seasons, Twin Peaks would span a theatrical follow up (technically a prequel) in the form of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me directed by David Lynch in 1992. The film would actually tie up quite a few loose ends, though it was hardly a commercial success when it first played theaters roughly twenty-five years ago (at the time of this writing). With series' creators David Lynch and Mark Frost having recently completed the third series that aired earlier this year on Showtime, what better time than now to revisit the film? Particularly now that The Criterion Collection has added it to their roster of titles.

The (very) basic premise of the film is that a pair of FBI agents named Agent Chet Desmond (Chris Isaak) and Agent Sam Stanley (Kiefer Sutherland) have vanished. This occurred while they were working on a case involving the murder of a waitress named Theresa Banks (Pamela Gidley) that happened not too far from the town of Twin Peaks. As details about all of this emerge, it seems that these events would tie into the (yet to happen) death of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). From here, we see just what exactly happened to her in that week leading up to her murder. Along the way we learn about Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook), Shelly Johnson (Madchen Amick), James Hurley (James Marshall) and Leland Palmer (Ray Wise) and just how deeply involved they were or were not in the case. And of course, Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) is involved in all of this as well…, Bob (Frank Silva) too.

No spoilers here, but Lynch takes all of the bizarre elements of the series and brings them into even more bizarre, and considerably darker territory. Not all of the cast members returned for the film but Chris Isaak is great as the male lead. He's charismatic and likeable, in many ways almost a doppelganger to Kyle McLaughlin's Special Agent Dale Cooper from the TV series. He and Keifer Sutherland make a good team, each one delivering fine work and suiting their respective roles quite well. It's also great to see David Lynch reprise the role of Gordon Cole, again from the TV series that preceded the film. On the other side of the spectrum, Sheryl Lee is never less than radiant as Laura even when the character is at her most troubled. Ray Wise is once again perfect and Ashbrook and Marshall do fine work here as well. It's also nice to see Heather Graham, Moira Kelly, Peggy Lipton, Miguel Ferrer and plenty of other familiar faces pop up in the picture. We're also treated to an interesting cameo from the late, great David Bowie in the film as Phillip Jeffries.

It's a remarkably stylish film and like the best of Lynch's work it blends horror and drama and mystery with heavy doses of surrealism and a fantastic use of music. Angelo Badalamenti's score couldn't be more perfect, more suitable, for the horror and the drama that unfolds in the picture. This is a challenging film to be sure. Lynch takes us into some extremely dark territory in this picture and at times it is quite disturbing. Everything is cranked up in this picture, the sex and the violence are (not surprisingly) much stronger in this R-rated feature film than they were in the prime time major network television series. This will alienate some, but for those willing to accept that Lynch often times excels when combining the beautiful with the grotesque, there's certainly a lot to love about Fire Walk With Me. There are images here that are quite haunting, images here that you can't soon forgot, and they're not always pretty. But sometimes they are. The compositions are impressive, the use of color frequently striking (particularly in the sequences that take place in the Red Room). The locations suit the strange, alien tone of the story perfectly and the pacing is pretty solid as well. The film dose feel choppy in spots, no doubt a result of the fact that so much was trimmed (see the extras section for more on that) and if it leaves a lot of questions unanswered, well, it's Lynch, you have to expect that. Those accustomed to his work, his penchant for unorthodox storytelling techniques and surrealist tropes, should absolutely appreciate what he was able to accomplish with this picture.

Video:

Fire Walk With Me is framed in the film's original aspect ratio of 1.85.1 widescreen and presented in AVC encoded 1080p high definition. Aside from a few instances of crush, the transfer is excellent. The image shows excellent detail in pretty much every frame, while color reproduction is generally outstanding. Skin tones are perfect, texture is impressive and there's great contrast and clarity here to appreciate. The transfer was supervised by Lynch and is taken from a 4k scan of the original 35mm negative.

Audio

Audio options are provided in English language DTS-HD 7.1 and 2.0 Stereo tracks with removable subtitles in English SDH. Quality of the 7.1 track is excellent. Surround usage is present but never overdone and you really get a feel for just how lush and open the music used throughout the series sounds. Dialogue is crystal clear and there are no problems with any hiss or distortion to note. Range is excellent throughout and there's a solid lower end anchoring some of the more intense effects like the engine of a motorbike or a gunshot. Hiss and distortion are never an issue and really, there's nothing to complain about here, the audio is top notch.

Extras:

The main extra here is the inclusion of the so-called Missing Pieces (which were originally included on the complete series boxed set that came out a few years ago), which accounts to over ninety minutes of material shot but excised from the theatrical cut of the feature. They appear here, all in high definition, as deleted/extended scenes:

Desmond's Mo / Say Hello To Jack / Good Morning Irene / This One's Coming From J. Edgar / Cooper And Diane / Stanley's Apartment / Buenos Aires / Above The Convenience Store / Mike Is The Man / Sharing A Cigarette / School Books / The Palmers / Laura's Party / 2x4 / Kind Of Quiet / Best Friends / I'm The Muffin / The Ring / Bob Speaks Through Laura / Blue Sweater / Sunday At The Johnson's / Smash Up / The Power And The Glory / Fire Walk With Me / Party Girl / Don't Forget / Laura's Secret Stash / Bernie The Mule / I Killed Someone / Baby Laxative / Send Me A Kiss / Asparagus / Bobby And Laura In The Basement / Goodnight Lucy / Waiting For James / Distant Screams / Lonesome Foghorn Blows / Epilogue

In a perfect world we've have been given the option to watch the feature with The Missing Pieces edited back into it. That didn't happen here.

New to this Criterion release is a twenty-three minute long interview with Sheryl Lee. Here the actress speaks about how she got to meet lynch, what it was like working with him on the series and the feature film, her thoughts on Fire Walk With Me and quite a bit more. Also exclusive to this disc is a twenty-one minute long interview with composer Angelo Badalamenti who talks about his collaborations with Lynch in the Twin Peaks universe, how the music tends to reflect the changing moods of the film, different subtleties that work their way into his efforts on this picture that you might not immediately pick up on and more. Criterion has also included thirty minutes of Actors Interviews originally included on the 2014 release wherein we hear from David Lynch, Sheryl Lee, Grace Zabriskie and Ray Wise in regards to their efforts on the feature.

There are also roughly five minutes of archival interviews with Ray Wise, Sheryl Lee, Moira Kelly and Madchen Amick included on the Fire Walk With Me disc in which they talk rather briefly about their work on the picture.

Rounding out the extras on the disc are two theatrical trailers, a Missing Pieces trailer and menus. There are no chapter stops as per the director's request. Included inside the slipcover packaging alongside the disc is an insert booklet that contains credits for the feature and the Blu-ray disc, technical information about the presentation and an archival interview with Lynch conducted in 2005 for Filmmaker magazine.

Final Thoughts:

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me remains a high point in David Lynch's career, a brilliant film that both precludes and simultaneously expands upon the Twin Peaks story in fascinating ways. It's a beautiful, horrifying mesmerizing work of surrealist mystery that leaves quite an impression! Criterion's Blu-ray release looks and sounds great and includes some nice extras as well. If you've already got the boxed set release you'll really have to think on whether or not the exclusive interviews make this worth the double dip. If you don't? Highly recommended.

Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.

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