Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me [VHS]
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Cinematic prequel to the 'Twin Peaks' television series, tracing the events leading up to the death of troubled teen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). The saga begins when local police discover the corpse of a young woman named Teresa Banks. The FBI arrive to investigate and turn up a set of unusual circumstances, only to have two of their agents disappear without trace. Yet while the federal investigation continues under the leadership of the newly-assigned Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), Banks' friend Laura Palmer sinks deeper and deeper into a personal hell involving nightmare visions, cocaine abuse and doomed relationships. Her friends Donna (Moira Kelly) and James (James Marshall) try to help, but nothing they do seems to be able to avert Laura from the bizarre, self-destructive path she is travelling.
Fire Walk With Me is a rare spin-off that refuses to repeat what worked on TV. Despite mannerisms and "draggy" spots, Twin Peaks emerged as one of the wonders of American TV: scary and funny, erotic and serious, offensive and freakish. It meandered in an always interesting but sometimes frustrating way through two seasons, then signed off with a cliff-hanger upon cancellation. When Lynch announced he would continue the saga with a theatrical movie, fans assumed he would: (a) pull out the stops to show what evils really lurked behind the pretty façade of that small town, and (b) wrap up a storyline which tailed off with Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) possessed by the evil spirit "Bob". As it happens, Lynch delivered on (a) but refrained from fulfilling clause (b), opting to do a prequel--adapted in part from The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, a tie-in novel by Jennifer (Boxing Helena) Lynch--which sets up the series by following the last week in the life of the "prom queen from Hell".
Fire Walk With Me assumes you will be familiar with the series (some bits are incomprehensible unless you paid attention while other bits are just incomprehensible), making it most accessible to Twin Peaks initiates though sometimes deliberately offensive to them. It then omits several of the show's stars (Michael Ontkean, Richard Beymer, Joan Chen, Sherilyn Fenn) and a great many of the "lovable" aspects (wry jokes, damn fine coffee), relegating MacLachlan to a walk-on since the story happens before Cooper was assigned to Twin Peaks. Some instances of joyless sex and violence exceed anything Lynch could do on television, but for the most part he creates an atmosphere of dread through edgy performances, unsettling lighting and sound effects and sheer grimness. Without the catchphrases and the quirky charm, the film never feels cuddly in the way the TV show did, but it is one of Lynch's finest works and, though deeply uncomfortable, a TV spin-off which ranks with the best in both media.
On the DVD: The DVD is Region 0 with a widescreen print, augmented for 16x9 televisions. It holds a better-looking transfer than previous video or laserdisc releases and offers an eerie red room/blue rose menu. However the disc offers absolutely no notes, trailers, crib sheets, bios, or other extra features. --Kim Newman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
For those, however, how have traversed the awesome TV series this film is a must. Even though it is set up 7 days prior to the TV series it reveals mysteries and depths behind the characters of the show and answers some of the questions that you may have had (although as always with a Lynch film, it raises equally as many questions). Much more dark in atmosphere than the episodes, the film goes much into the depth of Laura's psyche and the horrors she has to face (The ending along with the haunting sound of "Requiem in C Minor" will almost have you in tears). Although some may find the lack of humour (deeply prevalant in the TV shows) somewhat un-nerving, it does add a tremendous weight to the characters and story so much so it'll make you want to re-watch the episodes again to see them in a new frame of reference.
To conclude, a fantastic film that completes the whole Twin Peaks series but only if you've watched the regular shows first.
DVD: Anyone aware of David Lynch's adamant refusal to discuss his own films or any previous DVDs by the director will not be suprised by the lack of a director's commentary. However this DVD features the film in a beautiful new anamorphic widescreen transfer and 5.1 or DTS sound, a huge booklet with some interesting thoughts and analysis on the film and a making of featurette from 1992. This is as close to a SPECIAL EDITION of Lynch's film as one could get and I would say it is the best DVD presentation available of any of David Lynch's films anywhere, on any region (Though Sanctuary Entertainment's Special Editions of DUNE and BLUE VELVET are fantastic, too.)
This is a genuinely disturbing film, shot through with Lynch's customary bizzare brilliance. If you loved the TV show, you may not like the film (it bombed when originally released), but keep an open mind and its plot, acting and imagery will haunt you.
The dialogue is so quiet it is impossible to watch this disk in a domestic environment without subtitles.
The original film was Dolby Stereo, also known as Pro-Logic in home cinema systems, when decoded Dolby Stereo routes the dialogue to the centre speaker. It sounds like the Dolby Stereo was decoded to Left Centre Right & Surround, but only the Left & Right being transferred to the 2.0 Linear PCM on the disk.
For two reasons: 1) On the US release there is a 30 minute feature not on the R2 version, catching up with the cast and crew from the series and the film, in 2000. 2) The US release has the option of subtitles throughout, which are essential for some scenes in the film where it's just not possible to understand the dialogue. I am not thinking of the Paradise Club scene, where subtitles are provided anyway, but the scene where the One Armed Man confronts Leland Palmer when he's driving with Laura and the scene where Laura meets up with James at the school early on in the movie.
I hope one day there will be a release with all the deleted scenes I have heard so much about, particularly those featuring characters from the TV series that were cut from the final version of the film.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
good movie, necessary addition to the original series, great cast.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Recommended if you're a fan of the series. If not do watch the series first, one of the best surreal and well cast/directed shows ever made.Published 5 months ago by Bluejam