Sunday, November 4, 2007

DVD Review: Twin Peaks Definitive Gold Box Edition

I'll come right out and say it: I haven't watched most of this DVD box set, as it is huge. The Twin Peaks Definitive Gold Box Edition includes all 29 episodes from the show plus two different versions of the feature-length pilot, the domestic (U.S.) version and the international version, which wraps things up a little more.

"Wraps things up a little more" is all relative when it comes to David Lynch, however, as the international version ends just the way you'd expect from Lynch: with a confusing ending that makes absolutely no sense. Unlike in the regular pilot, which essentially just ends with a cliffhanger, the international version introduces us to a couple men who aren't quite men and then jumps ahead 25 years to where star Kyle Maclachlan is found sitting in a room with Michael J. Anderson (the short person most recently seen in HBO's Carnivale), who talks backwards in a strange alien-like voice, and the murdered Laura Palmer. The ending is intriguing, of course, but I have no clue what it means. Like most Lynch productions, I have stopped even trying to understand.

Amazingly, this pilot is the first time I've ever watched Twin Peaks. Yes, the show was a bit before my time, but I have lived in Washington State, the place where the show was filmed, since I was five. In fact, I even ate in the Twin Peaks Diner just yesterday (called Twede's) and drove past the Salish Lodge that is shown quite frequently in the show. So, I'm quite happy that Paramount sent me this DVD box set so I finally have no excuse not to watch this show.

Based on the preview, I am in love. The production values are incredible, and aside from some early 90's hair and clothing, the show stands up beautifully. The film has been remastered for this DVD box set, and looks as sharp as ever. The acting and writing are incredible, equivalent to anything that Hollywood offers today. One of my favorite scenes in the pilot is the one where the teacher is informed of Laura's death and even with no words spoken, a couple of the students, realizing Laura is not in the classroom, instantly know what happened. The unspoken moments are as important as the dialogue-driven ones, and this scene is pitch perfect.

I haven't watched most of the features on the DVD because I try not to watch these things before completely watch the actual episodes (these often include spoilers). Aside from the entire series in one set, the DVDs include deleted scenes, interviews with the cast and creator David Lynch, an interactive map that reveals where the show's locations are connected, both fictionally and in real life, a featurette about cast members and Twin Peaks fans coming together to go to a festival, the Kyle MacLachlan episode from SNL and so on and so forth.

Basically, everything about Twin Peaks is included in one box. Fans of the show should not hesitate to purchase this DVD box set.

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