“ Genre: Comedy / Theatrical Release: 1997 / Director: Paul Thomas Anderson / Actors: Mark Wahlberg, Burt Reynolds ... / DVD released 07 April, 1998 at New Line Home Video / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC „
* Prices may differ from that shown
Boogie Nights is essentially a comedy film featuring the porn industry in the 70s and 80s, and centres on one main character who catches a lucky break when picked up by a director who notices how well endowed he is! What is effectively a film that pokes fun at the industry somehow also manages to provide a stark and satirical viewpoint of porn and its stereotypes. Mark Wahlberg plays Eddie, the dishwasher who catches the lucky and becomes Dirk Diggler when they realise he needs a screen name. Burt Reynolds plays director Jack Horner, in one of his better performances since his heyday. The two actors combine very well on screen in an unlikely pairing that I honestly didn't think would work. Wahlberg is sufficiently subdued as Eddie to start with, and manages to develop the character as the film develops, giving him more confidence, experiencing highs and lows as director Paul Thomas Anderson fully exploits the depression of the late 70s and early 80s. He also brings in a number of sideline characters and develops them alongside the various events of the 70s and 80s as we see time pass, hairstyles change, politics alter and also the technological side of the porn industry alter severely. It's very much a character driven film with the focus firmly on our lead male but with large parts of the proceedings focusing just enough on the lives of the others; whether it be William H Macy whose wife seems to want to have sex with just about everyone, using porn as an excuse; or or Don Cheadle's smooth salesman whose porn involvement is more about earning money to settle down than anything else; or even Julianne Moore as Amber, the coke and sex addicted experienced porn actress who just wants to have and look after her daughter. Everyone is explored in the right amounts, with Anderson making sure to keep Eddie as Dirk at the forefront of it all, mentored through his career by Jack, keen to get him continuing to rise up the porn echelons. Supreme highs lead to supreme lows though, and Anderson is just as keen to make sure these moments are given as much credence as the successful ones. The cast come right to the fore, and as one recognisable name fades, another takes its place. Heather Graham, John C Reilly, Luis Guzman and Philip Seymour Hoffman all step up to the mark, and the director's way of giving us short but effective scenes is done expertly to tell the tale and make it seam effortlessly from day to day, week to weekl, month to month, etc. Before you know it, we're years on and everything's different, from people's levels of acceptance, prejudices and how money and fame don't buy you happiness all being recurring themes to take notice of. Overall, this is a very maturely presented film that pokes fun in a comedic way at the porn industry. I wouldn't say it's a comedy where there are laugh out loud moments, but the cringeworthy way the cast go about some of the scenes will raise a smile for sure. Very cleverly done indeed, and a film well worth watching.
This film was released originally back in 1997 and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. If features Burt Reynolds in what for me was one of his best performances ever on screen. 'Boogie Nights' is a fascinating insight into the pornography industry during the late 1970's and early 1980's. Mark Wahlberg is the lead character. He stars as a teenager from Southern California who decides he wants to use his asset to good use and become a star in the pornography business. So he transforms into porn icon 'Dirk Diggler'! The movie itself brilliantly creates the actual era when it is set with bellbottoms, discos and wonderful hairstyles and fashion. The film is set right when celluloid, artificial pornography was just beginning to give way to new, cheaper video formats so there was a realy change in technology. However, when I saw this film I felt they were trying to place more that just emphasic on the technology changing, but more so that now that there is video it took away some of the authenticity almost and became somewhat false and fabricated. Before the changes pornographic films drew large audiences and looked like becoming a genre of movie in their own right, but things have changed now that the new dawn of video has arrived and things are not original any more. Burt Reynolds stars as the filmaker and director of a sex movie called 'family' that includes Julianne Moore to name but a few. This is definately a completely different role to the ones he played as Smokey and the Bandit and the Canonball run for example, but he does play the character very well and the whole movie doesn't come across as being sleazy in any way but instead portrays the whole business with a great deal of compassion.
note: also appears in part on The Student Room Boogie Nights is the first major film (ignoring his debut, Sydney) from Paul Thomas Anderson, and what a debut it is! It established him as a filmmaker to watch, and allowed him to make the films Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love, and There Will Be Blood subsequently. The film revolves around a nightclub dishwasher named Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg), who has no career goals and is pretty much coasting through life, until he is scouted by a porn director who happened to notice that he appeared rather well endowed. Seeing a way out of a boring life where he is frequently castigated by his rude, alcoholic mother, he joins the porn industry and starts creating waves. As much as this is a funny, tragic, and thoroughly engaging "epic" much like his better film Magnolia, it's also a pungent portrait of the late 1970s through to the mid 1980s, with plenty of cultural milestones hinted at, and the general fallout and depression of the 80s is depicted with a savage, desperate brutality as characters murder and steal. This is a film touted and advertised mostly as a comedy, but in fact it crosses the whole gamut of genres, and is altogether simply an expertly crafted character piece that has a very astute sense of mood, time and place. What's more, it delivers Mark Wahlberg's very best performance by a long shot, and the supporting cast, including Burt Reynolds and William H. Macy, are splendid. Boogie Nights is the first of the three "epic" films Paul Thomas Anderson has presently directed, and whilst not as resonant as Magnolia or as focused as There Will Be Blood, it is a well-crafted sprawling tale with a wealth of memorable characters.
What's your special skill, mine is being able to eat roast potatoes without chewing them, its not big and its not clever but its something that I consider a skill. Well this film is about somebody else with an incredible god given talent. Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) is a guy who has dropped out of school and gets a job working at the notoriously decadent Studio 54 nightclub in 70's New York as a bus boy, he is a good looking kid and takes a shine to a pretty lady who asks if he will come home with her, strangely an older guy, Rick Horner (Burt Reynolds) comes with them and asks if he can watch them having sex as he is a porn director, he is astounded when he realises just what a natural talent Eddie possesses and transforms this kid into the biggest star in 70's Adult Entertainment as 'Dirk Diggler'. This film follows the exploits of Diggler and other people working in the adult entertainment industry, it is directed by the excellent Paul Thomas Anderson who recreates the era perfectly, in lesser hands this film could have been a parody and a real mess, but in his hands we have a wonderful film which really looks at its characters and draws disillusionment and damaged people out of this glamorous landscape. Diggler is based on the seventies porn star John Holmes a tragic character who was looked up to by men and women but had a tragic end as a drug addicted prostitute. Heather Graham is excellent as Rollergirl a young porn star who looks to her director as a father figure. Burt Reynolds gets a second chance as Rick Horner, a director quite prepared to exploit others to get what he wants, although he does realise too late the damage done to some of his actors. Julianne Moore is superb as an older porn star, well aware that her best years are behind her, she offers sage advice but has sad doleful eyes as she knows her time in the spotlight is almost up. John C Reilly is excellent as the wide eyed Reed Rothchild, Dirk's best friend, a porn star who loves what he does and is nothing more or less than a porn star. William H Macy plays an assistant director whose porn star wife is an exhibitionist and porn star, we see her embarrass him publicly with her affairs with tragic consequences. Don Cheadle also plays a porn star. For me the star of the film is Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Scottie, a gay boom man who is in love with Dirk, he hero worships him and is incredibly creepy and sad. For me the film touches on addiction and we see most of the characters develop and collapse inwardly as their own weaknesses and addictions take them over. The film is well shot, looks amazing and shows off Anderson's wonderful attention to detail. Wahlberg is good as the innocent Eddie and we see his confidence and ego explode and implode. The other actors are great, the story is interesting if not a tad long, the characterisations superb, overall it's a much more thoughtful film than it might appear and well worth a watch. The DVD is available for £4.99 on Play.com and includes interviews.
Burt Reynolds makes a triumphant return to form (a long time coming!) in a movie he never wanted to make, indeed turned down at one stage and ends up with a host of award nominations and critical praise. ‘Boogie Nights’ is about sex or at least the sex industry but it is also about much more. THE PLOT In mid 70’s California a young man Eddie Adams decides to make the most of his attributes, a particularly large ‘organ’ and an ability to quickly ‘recover’ and perform again. He dreams of becoming a actor and fancies himself as martial arts expert like his idol Bruce Lee but we all know that there is only place where Eddie’s talents will truly be appreciated, the sleazy world of Porn. At a nightclub Eddie meets Jack Horner a veteran porn filmmaker who immediately realises Eddie’s potential. Eddie becomes Dirk Diggler (what a great porn name!) and he becomes the new star of Horner’s porn films. He soon meets ageing porn star Amber Waves (another great porn star name) who desperately want s to be reunited with her child but is prevented by the nature of her work and new star ‘Rollergirl’, the princess of Porn and roller disco. Dirk is an instant success and soon he and Jack decide to expand the genre by including an element of ‘cop thriller’ type action into the films. These new action/porn flicks become hugely popular And Dirk becomes a superstar in the world of adult films. Unfortunately the industry is not only about sex but also about drugs and soon through a combination of cocaine fuelling an already inflated ego Dirk begins a slippery slide from favour and eventually a fall out with his true friends. The film details this rise and fall to a background of disco/70’s soft rock and sex but the story doesn’t end there…. CAST, PERFORMANCES AND OPINION Mark Wahlberg .... Eddie Adams/Dirk Diggler Burt Reynolds .... Ja ck Horner Luis Guzmán .... Maurice T. Rodriguez Julianne Moore .... Amber Waves/Maggie Don Cheadle .... Buck Swope Philip Baker Hall .... Floyd Gondolli Heather Graham .... Rollergirl/Brandy Philip Seymour Hoffman .... Scotty J. Thomas Jane .... Todd Parker William H. Macy .... Little Bill Ricky Jay .... Kurt Longjohn John C. Reilly .... Reed Rothchild Robert Ridgely .... Colonel James Alfred Molina .... Rahad Jackson Nicole Ari Parker .... Becky Barnett Directed and written by Paul Thomas Anderson On the surface Boogie Nights is a movie about the porn film industry and it manages to give us a seemingly realist view of the halcyon days of porn films in the 70’s. At this time in society in general sexual barriers were rapidly breaking down and a general more progressive morality was being adopted leading to a popularisation of sex films…or so they tell me! Just like in the San Francisco gay scene described in books such as ‘Tales of the City’ music and in particular the disco club culture of the time was the backdrop for a 24 h excess of sex and drugs. These are days before AIDS and before the more exploitative commercial ‘straight to video’ porn came to be. The film is not saying that porn was ever art but it is illustrating that with the advent of video the industry was opened up and it became possible for anyone with a relatively small amount of money and actor willing to do it to make these films, this also less to less and less control over the industry. ‘Filmmakers’ like Horner became dispirited as they saw even their low standards being set aside. However this mild critique of the porn industry is really only a backdrop to examine the relationships between the main characters. In fact the movie is really about a dysfunctional family. The story essentially revolves around a family made up of Jack and Amber a re the parental figures and Eddie and Rollergirl as the children. Despite the nature of the lives they live and the damage this has done to them, beyond the sex and the drug abuse there is love and true affection between all them and in the end they finally all come to realise this. The view that we get of the sex film industry is quite a benign one, even sympathetic, the people involved although often damaged are not seen as exploited and generally a healthy feeling of camaraderie existed amongst them. The film highlights a period in the evolving porn industry before the advent of video, which many attribute the excesses and exploitation within the industry of more recent years. You almost feel that the 70’s were a sort of ‘Golden Age of Porn’; I think this is an exaggeration but probably does have an element of truth to it. The film always adopts a dark almost comical approach to the subject matter and there are moments of genuine (albeit very dark) humour in the film. There are also some shocking moments of extreme violence but these do not jar the flow of the story, they are in fact inevitable seeing the steady decline that most of the characters go through in the film. Without giving away to much I was glad the ending wasn’t the predictable tragedy that we all seem to expect from serious dramas these days and a mildly ‘feel good’ resolution to the story is quite welcomed. Some outstanding performances by Reynolds easily his best since ‘Deliverance’ and by one of my personal favourites Julianne Moore (Oscar nominated for this role) who manages to bring to her character a great measure of dignity and sympathy not always easily associated with drug abusing porn stars. The film is also notable for some excellently observed performances by the supporting cast. William H Macy as the unhappy assistant director as usual distinguishes himself and Heather Graham is good as Rollergirl. Both manag e to flesh out their characters well especially Graham towards the end of the movie when things start going wrong for her. A wonderful cameo can also by Alfred Molina as a psychotic gun toting drug dealer. The film as a whole is peppered with fine acting and in fact the weakest link is probably Mark Wahlberg himself. That’s not to say that he gives a bad performance but at some key moments in the film he fails to impress as much as some of his co-stars. Much of the credit for the success of the film must go to the writer director Paul Thomas Anderson who creates a perfect blend of stylish visuals, dark humour and powerful themes. At well over two and a half-hours long the film naturally divides into two halves; the rise of Dirk and then the inevitable fall followed by a partial redemption. The main plot and various subplots (including an ex porn’s star wish to open up a hi-fi shop and the unrequited gay love by one of the film crew for one of the porn stars) are woven together well and overall the script is intelligent, insightful and at times very funny. It is due to the quality of the script and the pacing of the direction that despite its length the film seems to fly by. This is certainly an adult film but despite its subject matter the sex is not that explicit and an audience might have more of a problem with the violence and drug abuse in some of the scenes. Visually the film is believable, the style (or lack of) and feel of the 70’sm is recreated well and the transition to the early 80’s is smoothly done. One further aspect that seems to add to the retro feel of the film is the soundtrack. As the title suggests the musical backdrop for the film is the vibrant 70’s dance music scene and the hedonism that went with it. THE SOUNDTRACK 1. Intro (Feel the Heat) - John Reilly 2. Best of My Love - The Emotions 3. Jungle Fever - Chakachas 4. Brand New Key - Melanie 5. Spill the Wine - Eric Burdon 6. Got to Give It Up, Pt. 1 - Marvin Gaye 7. Machine Gun - The Commodores 8. Magnet and Steel - Walter Egan 9. Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now - McFadden & Whitehead 10. Sister Christian - Night Ranger 11. Livin' Thing - Electric Light Orchestra 12. God Only Knows - The Beach Boys 13. Big Top - Michael Penn The film is set in the 70’s and the soundtrack obviously reflects this although it doesn’t simply highlight the ‘usual suspects’ of the era. There is surprisingly less disco that one might have expected and overall the music is a fair summary of the period and the culture dealt within the movie, worth a listen to on its own merits. THE DVD (There has been controversy over the quality of one of the DVD releases of this film; I’m going to be describing the Special Edition DVD brought out in 2001.) The picture quality and definition of the 2.35.1 anamorphic widescreen version I saw was excellent. The soundtrack in Dolby digital 5.1 was clear and sharp both with the music or spoken word. There are a number of extras offered including a very interesting audio commentary by Anderson, which does for once provide an interesting insight into the making of the movie. He comments on every aspect of the film from the casting to details about the idea he tried out in the direction and personal anecdotes relating to the cast. The music of the film, which does so much to complement the visuals and sets the atmosphere, is highlighted by providing the choice of skipping from track to track and listing information about them on screen. A music video for a Michael Penn composed song (that does not appear on the soundtrack) is also included and some members of the cast can be seen helping out. A final feature worth noting is the inclusion of the cast’s biographies as well as the spoof biographies of the film’s char acters. In general the DVD has just about enough on it to make the purchase worthwhile. It’s a pity no outtake footage was included as I’m sure there must have been some great example considering the subject matter and Reynolds notorious ability to ‘crack up’ with laughter during filming. I would also have liked to see the spoof trailers they used in the film to promote the Action/porn films that Dirk becomes famous for and maybe some extra footage is available. Boogie Nights can be bought from Amazon.co.uk for £18.99 (+p&p) or £16.99 from DVD.co.uk (including p&p) Thanks for reading and rating this opinion. © Mauri 2003
Boogie Nights is the second feature film from Paul Thomas Anderson who is fast emerging as one of the original talents on Hollywood who actually makes films with a bit of substance and manages to pull together excellent ensemble casts. The film is set in the 70's and Californias adule entertainment industry. A renowed director Jack Horner (Burt reynolds) is on the look out for the next big star and he finds that in a young man who takes on the name of Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg). The film goes through the years and follows the lives of everyone associated with the business. We have a female porn star (Julianne Moore) who's lifestyle and career has stopped her from seeing her son. We have the assistant director (William H Macy) whose wife seems to have sex with every man but him. Drugs get involved and livs fall into a downwards spiral. We get some truly amazing scenes and performances right down to the smallest roles. What comes through is Anderson's ability to handle so many characters and never shortchange the audience. Once again in dvd land, the choice of whihc version to get all comes down to wether or not you have a multi region player. The R2 version is awful and not even worth metioning. Much better are the R1 versions, there are single and double disc versions on the market. My copy is the single version so I can only base my opinion on that. The film is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. Boogie Nights is a very colurful film and New Lines reputation as being at the forefront of dvd is justified by this transfer. It's solid in every aspect with only a few signs of belemish and slight edge enhancement. Overall though you can't fault it. Same goes with the sound. The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix maintains a solid dialougue channel to suit the film's main drive but whenever musical sequence kick in then speakers are used to full effect. it's not an all whistles and bells type track but then agai n this isn't The Matrix. This dvd isn't packed with extras but like the Magnolia dvd what you get is quality not quantity. PT Anderson contributes an audio commentary that is very solid. This film runs for 2 1/2 hours and Anderson talks for most of it. He speaks about casting, swears, praises his cast and highlights moments and ideas as well as general information about making the film. Also included are 9 deleted scenes that feature some great stuff that you can watch with or without commentary. The highlight is a scene that features Rollergirl and the king Luiz Guzman discussing the size of something that is generally needed in the porn industry. Next is a music video directed by PT Anderson for Micheal Penn's 'Try'. Penn did the score for the film and is actually the brother of Chris and Sean Penn. The song is decent and features some of the boogie nights cast members. Anderson also contributes commentary to the video and you find out that it was shot in the longest corridor in america. The film features a great deal of music track that you can actually jump to via a menu that tells you the name and artist. It's not an amazing feature but nice to have. Finally you have the cast and crew biographies but sadly no trailer. However what sets these aside from the normale dvd listings is the fact that the movie's characters also have biographies as well. It's a nice touch. Boogie Nights is another worthy New Line dvd to have in your collection. R2 owners can only hoe that EIV get their act together and actually re-release their initial poor version.
When a film opens with an ambitious, uninterrupted three-minute tracking shot, you just know the director will throw on the style, and hopefully produce a great film too. While not quite the masterpiece some claim it is, Boogie Nights is nevertheless a very impressive movie, especially considering it was only Paul Thomas Anderson's second feature-length film. Although it could be argued that Anderson is just being flamboyant with this stunning opening shot, the flip side is that he's simply introducing a large cast of characters as quickly as possible. Weaving its way through a vibrant 70's nightclub, the camera introduces us to Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds), a pornographic film director, and his troupe of performers, before finally settling on busboy Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg). Having dropped out of high school, Eddie now works two jobs, but still holds dreams of becoming a star. At first glance, Boogie Nights seems entirely different to Anderson's first feature film, Sydney. While his debut essentially focussed on two principal characters, this movie presents us with seven or eight in just the opening scene. Both films, however, are led by strong individuals, and this is clearly Anderson's strength as a writer/director - the attention he gives to his characters. Additionally, he appears to have a gift for drawing out great performances from a large ensemble cast, as can also be seen in his third movie, Magnolia. Perhaps this is the reason for Anderson's continued collaboration with many of the actors that appear here, or maybe it's precisely this familiarity that produces the performances. Either way, it works well. Boogie Nights is filled with superior acting, most notably from Burt Reynolds and Julianne Moore, although there's also great support from Philip Seymour Hoffman, Heather Graham and the ever-reliable William H. Macy. The story of Boogie Nights is the clichéd 'rise and fall' of t he central character, Eddie Adams, as he experiences the highs and lows of the pornographic film industry in the late 70's and early 80's. Well endowed in what Horner refers to as the 'torpedo area', it isn't long before Eddie takes the name Dirk Diggler, and embarks on a successful porno career. After hearing Jack's idea of making porn films with a story, we see the filming of a series of movies starring Dirk as action star Brock Landers. As well as showing off his 'talent', these films also give Dirk a chance to emulate the kung fu skills of his hero Bruce Lee to hilarious effect. As Dirk reaches the peak of his stardom, however, his dependence on cocaine, combined with a swelling ego, soon contributes to his spectacular downfall. All this culminates in a botched drug deal that has more than a hint of Tarantino about it. One of the criticisms levelled at Boogie Nights in particular is the strong influence of Robert Altman, Quentin Tarantino and, most noticeably, Martin Scorsese on Anderson's directing style. Indeed, the film's final scene is almost identical to the end of Raging Bull, and there are also elements of Goodfellas and Casino in much of the movie. Having said this though, if Anderson is going to borrow from other directors, who better than those mentioned? On the DVD commentary track, Anderson openly admits to using scenes from some of his favourite movies in Boogie Nights. One in particular is a splendid swimming pool sequence, in which the camera pans past several characters around the edge of the pool, before finally following someone underwater. All of this is impressively achieved in just one shot, and the original can be seen in the film 'I Am Cuba'. Anderson also describes his admiration for director Jonathan Demme, and confesses to including many of his scenes in Boogie Nights. Technically, the film is excellent. The Steadicam sequences, one particularly effectiv e dolly-in, and a nice spinning camera technique are all impressive. My favourite shot of the whole movie is a steady close-up of Dirk's face that lasts for almost a minute, as we listen to everything going on in the background. Wahlberg's expressions in this scene are simply excellent, as we gradually see the realisation of just how screwed up his life has become. Wahlberg is effective enough in his role, and is certainly believable in the early parts of the film. Strangely enough though, the best acting from the cast comes when their characters are also performing. It must be a tradition for the acting in porn movies to be incredibly bad, and therefore we see Wahlberg and, best of all, Moore, doing a tremendous job of acting poorly! The dialogue is cheesy all right, but the delivery of these lines is hilarious - almost as funny, in fact, as Dirk's attempt at kung fu. Another of Boogie Nights' highlights, and something else that Scorsese is renowned for, is the superb use of music throughout. In the early parts of the film, there are the classic 70's disco hits, which, incidentally, are accompanied by some well-choreographed dance routines. As the film progresses, the music changes to suit both the time and the current mood of the story. Oh, and if you thought Marky Mark could sing, your opinion might just change after watching this! While it's true that the setting of the film won't be to everyone's tastes, I really do recommend watching this movie. For those interested in filmmaking, this is a showcase for what a talented young writer/director can achieve, if given the backing. And for those who are just after an evening's entertainment, you could do a lot worse than watch Boogie Nights. Although it does drag a bit towards the end, there's enough here to make it a very good movie, and I'm sure Anderson has a bright future ahead of him. Oh yeah, and Heather Graham gets her kit off. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ I bought the Region 1 Platinum Series DVD of Boogie Nights, which is available for £17.99 from www.play247.com
The film had received so much hype that I did not believe the movie could possible live up to its press clippings. I now understand what all the hype is about. 1. Acting Burt Reynolds turns in perhaps his greatest performance and definitely at least one of his top three as a producer of pornographic movies. His character is portrayed as seedy, but also as very human. From my point of view the movie really revolves around his character. Mark Wahlberg turns in a surprisingly strong performance as porn star "Durk Diggler". Heather Graham (Rollergirl) and Julianne Moore (academy award nomination) turned in phenomenal performances as well. The finished product shows the cast and crew were very dedicated through the filming of this production. 2. Plot "Boogie Nights" has a story line that I found to be extremely absorbing. I don't think I've ever had a movie reel me in and make me forget about the real world for 3 hours the way "Boogie Nights" did. The plot is unpredictable yet generally plausible, and over the course of nearly three hours I don't remember there being any real lulls. 3. Cinematography This movie is simply extremely well-shot and well-edited. The way each scene unfolds into the next is a work of beauty. I have never seen a movie where the question "What's going to happen next?" has run through my mind so consistently throughout the film. The direction in this film is of an otherworldly quality. 4. Music With a title like "Boogie Nights" I expected nothing but disco music. What I got was disco music but also a lot of non-disco music that was popular in the period. Hearing songs from Walter Egan, Pablo Cruise, and Steven Bishop that I have not even thought about in over 20 years really threw me back into that period in a way that frequently played disco classics would not have. Obviously, this film has a lot of profanity, sexual situ ations, nudity, violence etc. that makes it unsuitable viewing for children, and even many squeamish adults. For open-minded adults, however, I don't know of many movies more entertaining than "Boogie Nights", that's why it is my all time favorite.
"Boogie Nights" is an arresting study of the porn industry that is fueled by an array of searing performances and direction which resonates with a sense of compassion and zeal. Like all the other P.T. Anderson films, it's ideas and themes couldn't be anymore richer, but the overall result is slightly marred by a somewhat lack of discipline in regards to storytelling. But still, this is the kind of film-making that doesn't come around very often, it keeps you intellectually and emotionally gripped throughout it's entire duration. "Boogie Nights" delves into the lives of certain people involved with porn, and examines the deteriorating morals, social isolation and lost identity that lies behind their garish facade of fame. I was impressed with the movie's chronicle of the adult film industry's rise and fall, it depicts the escalating sordidness at a real gut level. One thing that really drives the story is how the characters and their actions challenge us, we may object to what they do, but we also in some way understand why they're doing it. Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore and Burt Reynolds are potent in their roles, but it is the supporting cast of Heather Graham and Don Cheadle that really steals the show. The only thing that bothered me about this movie was how it sort of spun out of control during the climax, and suddenly wrapped up neatly in the denoument, it just didn't feel "right". But overall, "Boogie Nights" is still an exceptional picture, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to be enthralled and provoked at the same time. Oh, and the visual re-creation of the 70's is an eye-popper
I consider this to be PTA's best film, it is funny, dramatic, nostalgic and very well written and directed. The characters - Dirk Diggler, Rollergirl, etc. - are all well developed (pun intended). PTA's journey into the 70's porn industry is always fun to watch on repeat viewings, and his traditional cast of John C Reilly, William H Macy, Julliane Moore and Philip Setmour Hoffman work very well under the best young director in hollywood today. PTA has kept up his 100% record of outstanding films!
As I write this, I see that everyine has given this film ***** as a rating, and I will be suprised if this changes. Boogie Nights is a raunchy, hysterical view of the 70's porn industry, from the inside. The main charactor of "Dirk Digler" is played by Mark Whalburg (formerly Marky Mark, for those who remember him!), as a young man working in a night club, and is discovered by Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds), a big time pornography director, and rises (excuse the punn!) to be the top porn star, and then battles with cocaine and a failing career. Convincing sets, and well planned and executed story line make this one of lifes must see movies, even if it is just for the massive soundtrack. Being two and a half hours long you think you would get bored, but HELL NO! you can't beleive it is all over when the credits roll. With a film about pornography, you expect steamy sex scenes, and it is all very tastefully done, without cramming it down your throat (!), and is just wicked fun. This movie will have you laughing, crying, shocked, and more importantly entertained for the full 148 minutes!
Boogie Nights is that kindo f film you dont want to watch when you see it listed, but your interested by the sound of it, so one night your flicking through the channels and there nothing on but you spot this so you watch it for a bit and the next thing you know is your totally engrossed. Boogie Nights was 1997’s sleeper hit, a movie that caught the industry by surprise, It is director Paul Thomas Anderson’s second feature movie (after the good Hard Eight and before the brilliant Magnolia). Boogie Nights is about a seventeen year old boy called Eddie (Wahlberg) who is working as a glasswasher in a nightclub, he seems very nervous but for some reason catches the eye of top porn maker Jack Horner (Reynolds). Jack invites Eddie along to his house where he invites him to perform a kind of test, he has to sleep with Rollergirl (Graham), Jack then invites him to be in his movie. At the movie shoot Eddie has to sleep with Amber Waves (Moore), the queen of porn, he gives her just pleasure with his large 'gift' that he instantly becomes a star. He then changes his name to 'Dirk Diggler' and becomes the new king of porn winnig multiple awards and successfully starts up a series of movies based on a 'James Bond' style character. But with the success and fame comes the down side, he becomes addicted to drugs and drink, He loses all self control and eventually becomes too big for his boots. He ends up falling out with Jack and he leaves the porn industry for good and starts a fast decline into the gutters of prostitution and crime is imminent. The acting in this movie is brilliant and Burt Reynolds and Wahlbergs performances are the real show stealers, The amount of good actors in the film is also worth a mention, appearing is Julianne Moore and William H. Macy, to mention two who are both great character actors. While its a great movie all round, movies always have flaws and Boogie Night as its fare share, the leng th of over 2 hours is a big one. From a tight and racy story the movie entirely changes pace and takes on a more visual and extroverted form towards the end. Better editing would probably have helped tightening the story there, keeping the audience’s attention all the way, creating a more cohesive film. It perfectly displays the broken personalities of this industry, addicted to sex, drugs, and alcohol, completely meshed into their own world. Every attempt to escape this "family" eventually results in disappointment, embarrassment, and the person’s suicide or return to porn movies. A circle that doesn’t seem to have changed much even to this day.
Better than any movie about the porn industry has any right to be, 'Boogie Nights' is a big, sprawling drama with numerous characters, situations and themes, woven together by an inspired writer / director, Paul Thomas Anderson. Mark Wahlberg is porn star Dirk Diggler, endowed with a massive penis, and thus plunged into the semi-glamorous world of the porn industry in the late seventies. Loosely based on the life of John Holmes, the film does airbrush some of porn's less savoury aspects; there are references to drugs and violence, and the film-maker's backer turns out to be a paedophile, but there's no real consideration of Aids (which killed Holmes), or the criminal activity that sometimes dovetails with porn movie making. But nevertheless, the film never demonises people just trying to make a living, and features a host of brilliant performances (Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, William H. Macy, even Burt Reynolds as the porn auteur Harry Horner). It's frequently very funny, and some of the set-pieces are masterly (Don Cheadle caught in a robbery, Wahlberg and Reilly attempting to rip-off drugs baron Alfred Molina). Moreover, the verve and confidence exhibited here, and in Anderson's subsequent film 'Magnolia', another epic with many of the same actors, show Anderson as a far more talented and intelligent film-maker than the more famous and lauded Quentin Tarantino.
Boogie nights is more than just a film (about porn), it is two hours, twenty minutes of total brilliance and one of the geatest films made in the 1990's. Paul Thomas Anderson (the Director) has used the most original idea yet, for a film (the rise, and fall of a well-endowed male), and produced an excellent script, with some of the most interesting and bizare chracters ever to be seen in a film. Everybody over the age of eighteen (or 18) should go and see this film.
Even if the notorious 1970s porn-filmmaking milieu doesn't exactly turn you on, don't let it turn you off to this movie's extraordinary virtues, either. Boogie Nights is one of the key movies of the 1990s and among the most ambitious and exuberantly alive American movies in years. It's also the breakthrough for an amazing new director, whose dazzling kaleidoscopic style here recalls the Robert Altman of Nashville and the Martin Scorsese of Good Fellas. Although loosely based on the sleazy life and times of real-life porn legend John Holmes, at heart it's a classic Hollywood rise-and-fall fable: a naive, good-looking young busboy is discovered in a San Fernando Valley disco by a famous motion picture producer, becomes a hotshot movie star, lives the high life and then loses everything when he gets too big for his britches, succumbs to insobriety and is left behind by new times and new technology. Of course, it isn't exactly A Star Is Born or Singin' in the Rain. Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson (in only his second feature) puts his own affectionately sardonic twist on the old showbiz biopic formula: the ambitious upstart changes his name and achieves stardom in porno films as "Dirk Diggler". Instead of drinking to excess, he snorts cocaine (the classic drug of 70s hedonism); and it's the coming of home video (rather than talkies) that helps to dash his big-screen dreams. As for the britches, well, the controversial "money shot" explains everything. And the cast is one of the great ensembles of the 90s, including Oscar nominees Burt Reynolds and Julianne Moore, Mark Wahlberg (who really can act--from the waist up, too!), Heather Graham (as Rollergirl), William H Macy, John C Reilly and Ricky Jay. --Jim Emerson