Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review: “Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery” Blu-Ray: Part 3

As I mentioned in my previous post in this series, I’m having trouble with my “Entire Mystery”. Although I have ordered a replacement set, the fact that I’m having issues with multiple discs makes me think there is a problem with the way it is interacting with my otherwise fine blu-ray player (an Orei BDP-M2) rather than the preferable possibility I’ve received a defective box set. If I'm correct this could be the final installment of this series.

Update: My replacement discs arrived, and the new discs were having the same problem on my Orei. So I updated my player's firmware, and tried again. Well, things were working fine until I got cocky and tried playing the extra that kicked off my problems in the first place: the Season Two photo gallery (and I was just doing it to test the player...I don't even really give a damn about photo galleries). As soon as I did that, all the problems returned. So a word of advice to Orei owners...steer clear of the photo galleries on "The Entire Mystery"! They apparently have some sort of virus effect.

(now back to our original feature)

Meanwhile, I continue to muddle through the workable discs. The extras I was able to review for today’s post are the Deleted Scenes and Outtakes, Cast and Crew Interviews, Fire Walk with Me Archival Interviews, Reflections on the Phenomenon of Twin Peaks, and Moving Through Time: Fire Walk with Me Memories.

Deleted Scenes and Outtakes

The deleted scenes are 14 really brief clips cut from the series that are hardly as revelatory as “The Missing Pieces” of Fire Walk with Me. A few of these were previously released in fuzzy SD on the “Gold Box”, but most are newly unearthed and presented in HD. They are:

"Cooper and Donna Talk About Picnic": Unbelievably brief clip of Coop telling Donna its time for her interview in the pilot.

"Picnic": Another mere whisper of an outtake, this finds Laura and Donna dancing at their mysterious picnic.

 "Cooper and Truman at Gazebo": An amusing extra taste of Coop taking in the sumptuous sights of Twin Peaks at the Easter Park Gazebo. A Douglas fir bear catches his eye.

"Mayor's Speech": More microphone fumbling from Mayor Milford before a sincere elegy to Laura Palmer and an introduction for Sheriff Truman.

"Lucy and Raccoons": Despite the title, this short clip is mostly an alternate take of Coop asking Truman if there’s a clean, reasonably priced hotel in the area.

"16mm Period Piece": An extra snatch of the old 16mm footage of little Ben and Jerry Horne at the Great Northern groundbreaking ceremony.

"Bobby Coaches Shelly": An interesting alternate version of Bobby’s apology to Shelley and his presentation of her Miss Twin Peaks speech. This takes place at the set of the beauty pageant instead of a booth in the Double R.

"Lucy and Deputy Andy": Slightly extended take of Lucy and Andy’s declaration of love that begins the final episode.

"Jerry's Wandering Eye": Now we’re in poor SD with clips that first appeared on the “Gold Box”. Jerry woos Hepa while eyeballing hookers at One-Eyed Jacks.

"27 Going on 6": Jerry Horne practices his suction-cup bow and arrow while Dr. Jacoby makes light of his condition to Agent Cooper.

"Lucy, Andy and Donuts": Lucy and Andy purchase that sumptuous array of donuts I wish was laid out on my table every night.

"Something About Johnny": The most fascinating deleted scene in the bunch finds Sylvia Horne blaming Audrey for Johnny’s condition only to be immediately contradicted by Dr. Jacoby.

Outtakes: Here we’re back in HD to see Kyle MacLachlan and Michael Ontkean trading alternate lines and cracking up while filming the squad car scene in the pilot before a brief, silent clip from the penultimate episode that is sure to launch a thousand slash-fiction ships.

Cast and Crew Interviews

This 66-minute series of interviews was the bulk of the bonuses on the 2007 Season Two DVD set. Only miniscule bits of it were included as part of Secrets from Another Place doc on the “Gold Box” set released six-months later, so it’s great to have it all gathered together again. Moodily shot with a nice assortment of main characters (Kyle MacLachlan, Sherilyn Fenn, Kimmy Robertson, Dana Ashbrook), supporting players (Charlotte Stewart, Mary Jo Deschanel, Lenny Von Dohlen, the flatulent Don Davis), special guests (Robyn Lively, David Duchovny!), and behind-the-scenes wizards (Tim Hunter, Stephen Gyllenhaal, Todd Holland), these cast and crew interviews provide a deeper slide into the “Twin Peaks” universe.

Fire Walk with Me Archival Interviews

From 1992 comes a series of choppy, “watch my new movie!” interviews with Ray Wise, Sheryl Lee (dressed as Blossom), Moira Kelly, and Madchen Amick (in a hat that looks like it’s swallowing her head). These are straight-up promo sessions without much insight into the film other than “it’s great!” It’s all over in little more than five minutes, so this extra does not outstay its welcome.

Reflections on the Phenomenon of Twin Peaks / Moving Through Time: Fire Walk with Me Memories

Released on the 2002 Fire Walk with Me DVD, the 30 minute “Reflections on the Phenomenon of Twin Peaks” was a very disappointing featurette disjointedly edited, often off-topic regarding the film it supplemented, and generally negative about it when on topic. Much, much more satisfying is the new half-hour doc “Moving Through Time: Fire Walk with Me Memories”. Though much shorter, this is a fine companion piece to the essential Secrets from Another Place. Striking is the number of interviews with cast members who’d been mum about FWWM in previous documentaries: Pamela Gidley (Teresa Banks), Sandra Kinder (Irene), Gary Bullock (Sheriff Cable), Phoebe Augustine (Ronette Polaski), Victor Rivers (Buck), Walter Olkewicz (Jacques Renault), and Lorna MacMillan (Laura’s Angel). Rivers discusses how the realism of the famous Canadian bar scene was achieved. Olkewicz explains the origins of “The Great Went”. Assistant director Deepak Nayar tells the crazy story of how the “Hot water, Carl!” actress was cast. This is a very good short documentary marred only by the decision to shoot the interviews on video even though the film is presented in unforgiving HD. 
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