on October 16, 2000
What can i say about this film that hasn't been said? ...You already know that its a great film, wonderful directing and cast. Mark Wahlberg is exceptional and well Burt, well lets just say this is his best performance EVER. But you heard it before...blah, blah, blah.
Now for the DVD fan, this is important, if you already have the single disc release, there is no need to buy the double disc set, because they are the same, oh..but wait the single disc has more. Don't be dooped by New Line's marketing strategies. You get the same extra features, but on 2 discs instead of one and a nifty new packaging, which is what you are paying for. In fact the single disc release has one extra feature that the 2 disc set doesn't, the "song jump" feature, which alows you to skip to selected songs throughout the film.
Sprawling, messy, and relentlessly entertaining, Boogie Bights was, in my book, one of the two or three best films of the 1990s. Its themes include the innocence of an era, the relentless march of time, and the attempts of people caught in this march to create a family structure - whether it be a traditional family or a non-traditional one. Like many of Writer/Director Paul Thomas Anderson's films, this is a real actors' showcase, with Julianne Moore, William H. Macy, Don Cheadle, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, among many others, turning in bravura performances. But it is, of course, Mark Wahlberg who sells this film. I haven't liked everything he's ever done, but his unpretentious style really fits the character here.
This is the best this film has looked on home video. The New Line DVD, which was one of the best DVD discs in its day, was very good. This is better in every way. Blacks are darker and more solid, film grain is more evident, color is richer, and detail is much stronger. That said, this isn't a disc that will blow away some of the more CGI-heavy modern action material you can throw at your HD setup on Blu-Ray. Part of this is due to the way Anderson shoots scenes, with naturalistic lighting, focus, and different film stocks. When we're in a brightly lit scene with close ups, detail is very strong. I am glad that they didn't overdo this transfer and try to make it "overly" HD. There is little to no visible edge enhancement, and definitely no visible noise reduction.
Sound is very strong, with a 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD that excels in almost every way. The music, so important to this film, is separated throughout the sound field with lots of detail.Dialogue is clear and never drowned out.
In terms of extras, we get almost all of the material from the New Line Platinum Series DVD. Two very entertaining commentaries, 30 minutes of deleted scenes (also with commentaries), extra improv footage, a music video, and the theatrical trailer are given to us. Unfortunately, all of these features are in standard definition, directly lifted from the DVD. We are also not given the "color bars" from the original DVD, which contained a blooper outtake of the prosthesis Wahlberg wore. I also would have liked to see the "Exhausted" documentary about John Holmes that Anderson used (and references frequently) as the inspiration for the documentary sequence in the film. It's not terribly long, and having it as a point of comparison to the filmed scenes would have been really good.
One final note - this disc has NO commercials. You pop it in, get an FBI warning, a brief New Line logo, and then the movie starts up. No fuss, no muss. I LOVE IT.
Anyone who is a fan of great cinema should get this movie. If, somehow, you've avoided seeing this and you have a Blu-Ray player, this is a must-buy. It's by one of the great young filmmakers of our era, and it may be his best movie. If you love Scorsese, Kubrick, Robert Altman, Oliver Stone, and the like, you'll love this.
If you have the DVD set already, I would say this is a still a recommendation. The picture and sound are quite a bit stronger, without a doubt, and you get almost everything from the original DVD extras.
on July 12, 2000
"Boogie Nights" is one of those movies that defies categorization. It's about the porno industry, and has its fair share of sexual content, but never titillates. It's often funny but the humor is usually of the dark variety. Much of the content shouldn't be entertaining, but the movie succeeds grandly as entertainment.
It's the oblique nature of "Boogie Nights" that makes it so special. It's not a film that will give you pat answers; rather, it'll challenge you in a way few films do. What other movie in recent memory was able to take an explicit sex scene and make it sexually unexciting? "Boogie Nights" has just such a scene, and it serves one purpose: to de-glamorize the world of porno and portray it for what it doubtless is: a business where people do nothing but try to make a living.
"Boogie Nights" centers around the life and times (the late 1970's and early 1980's) of Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg, who's dynamite), who is discovered by porno impresario Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds, in another dynamite performance) and soon changes his name to Dirk Diggler and becomes a porno star.
Dirk's story is intertwined with the stories of others who share his world: coked-up porn queen Amber Waves (Julianne Moore), who plays surrogate mother to Dirk because she is legally barred from seeing her own child; Reed Rothschild (John C. Reilly), his best buddy and co-star; Rollergirl (Heather Graham), a porn performer who insists on "acting" with her rollerskates on; Buck Swope (Don Cheadle), a black porn bit player who dresses like Gene Autry and dreams of owning a stereo store; and Little Bill (William H. Macy), Horner's quietly enraged right hand man, whose wife literally does it with everyone and anyone and doesn't care if her husband sees her doing it.
Director Paul Thomas Anderson tells the characters' stories vignette-style, much as Robert Altman would.
In particular, Dirk's rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-riches story is alternately funny, horrifying, sad and uplifting. In particular, there is a scene in which a strung-out Dirk tries to make a drug deal with a crackhead dealer. Problem is, the cocaine he's trying to sell is fake, the dealer's house is full of armed thugs, and his friend keeps lighting firecrackers as the whacked-out dealer listens to Night Ranger's "Sister Christian". Anderson directs this scene so beautifully that the tension and fear is absolutely unbearable after a while, but the whole setup is so bizarre that you can't help but smirk your way through it. That's great directing, folks.
The performances are all standouts, but Reynolds' and Moore's are especially fine. In addition, the period feel (down to the Cheryl Tiegs poster on Dirk's bedroom wall) and music is right on target.
This is a brilliant film, and though it's too in love with its own brilliance from time to time, the flaws are greatly outweighed by the film's tremendous energy and superb performances.
on October 23, 2000
This Platinum series is a noticeable improvement over the last release. Paul Anderson, the director, says this is the "definitve version" of Boogie Nights. While I agree with him in many ways, I STILL had the need for MORE supplemental material. The packaging is really nice. It opens like a book, revealing 2 attractive discs, one with the film, the other with supplemental material. Trying to release these discs with your fingers may be the hardest thing you ever did. They are VERY difficult to release from the case. This edition does not come with a booklet, but gives you plenty to read on the inner sleeves. Once you pop the DVD's into your player, you'll see that the menu's are simple and very easy to navigate. You can set-up your monitor with a simple 'color bars' set-up. The picture quality is beautiful. Color saturation is noticeably improved over the previous release, and overall the widescreen image is attractive and clean. The sound is also greatly improved over the previous release. It is cleaner and more vibrant and the stereo separation seems to be much more precise. The music sounds incredible and the vocals are clear and sharp. The firecracker scene at the drug dealers house sounds wonderful! The audio commentary is reason enough to get this DVD. Paul Anderson has almost every person you'd ever want to listen to on this DVD. They are all talking in their own vulgar and natural ways throughout the film, and most of the time, it is quite amusing and informative. This version has an additional few minutes of a deleted scene that is great to watch including Becky, Jerome and a car crash with Mark Whalberg driving! John C. Reilly is a really funny guy, and his scenes in this DVD, (The John C. Reilly Files), are a pleasure to watch. The DVD also includes the "Try" video, a nice little addition. In conclusion, I love this film, and anyone else who does should get this DVD. I recommend it highly, I just really wanted to see more supplemental footage, (probably because I love this film so much). Besides that, this DVD is excellent, great picture and wonderful sound, and the supplemental footage is incredibly entertaining. **By the way, go to the 'color bars' and let it play for about 30 seconds....something shocking will appear on your screen** Enjoy this DVD!
on August 9, 2011
This review explains how this movie made me feel:
I saw this great movie when it first came out in the 90's. In the 70's, being single and about the same age as the characters, I hardly noticed how well Boogie Nights depicts that era. But revisiting the movie in 2011, I can fully appreciate how well it portrayed the culture & times. And this movie is the 70's and 80's on steroids. So if you are curious about that era, THIS movie will really interest you!
So genuine is Boogie Nights that I felt I'd gone back in time and simply popped in on the wild pool parties... the acting so good that I felt like "Didn't I know Amber?"
All through the 70's, porn was popular among young adults, the singles crowd... Behind the Green Door, Deep Throat, The Devil in Miss Jones, etc... we singles talked about them and some of us even got to see a few. But back then you had to see the porn flicks in the theater, and frankly, there weren't a lot of them that dared show XXX especially where I lived in the Atlanta suburbs. Even though they were popular, it wasn't exactly a movie you'd go see on a date, and my girlfriends and I didn't go either. So after I was married in '77, I did go see a few with my husband - mainly out of curiosity after all I heard. I remember wondering "Who ARE these people? Are they turned on by what they're doing? What were the cameramen thinking?" Later when the movies came out on video, they got passed around to view in the privacy of your own home... something so fantastic to be able to see without going to an X rated theater.
What I love about Boogie Nights is that it answers my questions and more like: "What was their lifestyle like outside the filming? Weren't these people concerned about ruining their acting reputations? How much money did they make? What ever became of them?"
And now it seems entirely logical that these people were probably high on drugs especially cocaine which was all the rage.
There are unanswered questions about several episodes in the movie: what happened to the girl who over dosed on cocaine at the party? what happened to "the Colonel" - did he remain in prison for child molestation? But you see, these characters didn't really exist and yet they feel as if they did!
I viewed this on Amazon's new instant view which is in stereo. The quality is good, but I honestly recommend purchasing this movie because you'll want to see it at least several times.
on October 7, 2000
Boogie Nights may not only be the best movie in the best year for film since 1976 but the best of it's decade. Mark Wahlberg sheds his Marky Mark persona by play Dirk Diggler, an up and cuming porn star who finds a family in his co-stars. Director Jack Horner, played by a resurgant Burt Reynolds, is the father figure to Dirk while Amber Waves (Julianne Moore) assumes the role of mother. It's a dysfuncial family at that but maybe the most stable a young man in the 1970's San Fernado Valley could have. Dirk starts out a wide-eyed kid from Torance who gets swept up by Horner and co. after a blow-up with his emotionally abusive, acholic mother. Paul Thomas Anderson directs with such skillful hand that we come to understand the decisions he makes but realize where it's going to lead. The assemble cast includes a lintany of names too long to metion all of them but particularly good is John C. Reilly, collaberating again with Anderson who'd given him his best role yet in Hard Eight. The reissued DVD is absolutely worthwhile even for those of you who already have the previous. The most notable inclusion is a Scorsese-esque scene in which Dirk attempts to come to Becky's aid after her marriage turns sour. In his voice over commentary PTA explains he wanted somebody in the film to get away clean thus decided to make the difficult cut. The other nine deleteds are just as good, nothing new but still as entertaining as they were when the DVD was first released. I hate to turn people off to such a fabulous film but I've found most people have a very strong reaction to it, you'll either love it or hate it, there's no middle ground here. And while I hate to discard great films such as Goodfellas and Pulp Fiction into a runners-up catogory I can't help but think this was the best film of the 90's and it's reach could easily span two decades if not for Raging Bull (which is given proper credit for inspiring the film's final scene). It's not to be missed!
on June 1, 2005
When I first saw this movie, I didn't know what to expect. There was a lot of hype and that tends to be a sign of a bad movie, almost like a curse. I was in for a ride. This movie is worthy of an Oscar in my opinion. I feel it is way underrated due to its topic. The film is based on John Holmes, The legendary adult film star. When I say based I mean just that, its not a biopic, its just very similar to his life. In fact, there are actual lines that Holmes has said in movies and interviews throughout the film. What I really like about this movie is the feeling I get afterwards, like I really knew the characters. They each have such great personalities, you tend to forget they are the actors portraying these people. Mark Wahlberg is superb in the role of Dirk Diggler. Like John Holmes, his claim to fame was his endowment. The mystery of his said endowment is finally revealed at the end of the flick. The atmosphere of the movie is very authentic. The soundtrack is awesome. There is a lot of drama, comedy, satire and sadness sprinkled all through this movie. An emotional rollercoaster that rides smoothly. Its a long movie, but considering the original screenplay was 300 pages long and called for a 5 hour epic, its not too bad. I can not recommend this movie enough. If you are not one for nudity and are against the porn industry, this movie is definitely not for you. There are also a few violent scenes, one of which is quite graphic. Buy this movie.
on June 5, 2005
One tends to think of adult entertainment as a bastion of scumbags and perverts, but Boogie Nights presents a loving glimpse of the unacknowledged human face behind it all. It's a fun film, no doubt, but its morality play on human frailties is heartwarming.
The tail end of the 70s saw a small cadre of porn directors who honestly believed they could combine realistic raunch with an engaging plot. Lofty goal, and one that sure enough proved impossible to realize, with VHS forcing movies to be made cheaper and faster.
Boogie Nights chronicles the quick rise and demise of this so-called "artistic porn" business and the unusual people who participated in it.
To the extent that the film is a reflection of reality, its strengths lie not in its accuracy but in its warmth in relaying the hopes and dreams within this makeshift family.
As we follow a regular well-endowed Joe's rise to (and inevitable fall from) stardom, a handful of subplots seep in -- the allure of stardom and the price some are willing to pay to attain it, the difficulty of rehabilitating after one's name has been tainted by association with porn, the compelling urge to belong.
There's much to be seen, literally. Thankfully genuine comedy lurks in the crevices. Characters are well-sketched, and we feel for most of them. Clocking just over 2.5 hours the film is not for the faint of heart, but the sheer vitality of bravura performances keeps us spellbound.
A word for the energetic camerawork. The movie opens with a five-minute unbroken crane shot that swirls around the streets of LA, then enters a club and circles the dance floor introducing us to almost every major character. This fabulous shot sets the standard for the rest of the film, a delight for anyone interested in this sort of thing.
In a nut, the film excels on many levels. As unabashed as it is touching, this is a film you have to see.
on August 12, 2006
Given that pornography is a multi-jillion-dollar-a-year business, it's sort of surprising that it hasn't received the cinematic treatment more often, but Boogie Nights provides it with the sort of skewed, darkly comic treatment that it almost certainly deserves, and becomes a certifiable classic in the process. Following the story of Eddie Adams, a simple-minded, almost impossibly well-endowed teenager from suburban California who achieves porn stardom as Dirk Diggler before turning 20, Boogie Nights is both a time-tested star-is-born-and-almost-blows-it-all story and a loving tribute to a time and place that will probably never be replicated and the individuals who made it what it was.
Paul Thomas Anderson's directing is as excessive and stylish as you'd expect from a movie centered on the porno industry, with Anderson pulling out every trick in the book--long tracking shots, underwater closeups, montages, movie-within-a-movie views, and some moments that approach stream-of-consciousness (Dirk's vision of his professional name literally exploding off a neon sign being a prominent example). Naturally, Anderson also loads the movie up with period details, right down to the Farah Fawcett poster in teenage Dirk's room, the platform shoes, and the obligatory disco sequences. Its visual flair aside, though, Boogie Nights is also the sort of insanely quotable, watch-it-until-you've-memorized-it movie that seemed to come out in droves in the nineties (Trainspotting, Fargo, Goodfellas, Swingers, True Romance, etc. etc. etc.) but has been in disturbingly short supply this decade. This movie simply seems to have everything you can think of going for it, especially its murderer's row of a cast--Burt Reynolds (Jack Horner), Don Cheadle (Buck Swope), John C. Reilly (Reed Rothchild), Julianne Moore (Amber Waves), William H. Macy (Little Bill), Luis Guzman (Maurice Rodriguez), Tom Jane (Todd Parker), Philip Baker Hall (Floyd Gondolli), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Scotty Jay), and Alfred Molina (Rahad Jackson) all figure prominently--and even Wahlberg (Dirk himself) and Heather Graham (Rollergirl) have roles that are perfectly suited to their relative limitations as actors.
That said, what really gives the movie its resonance is the obvious sympathy with which it treats its characters, who are generally easy to laugh at but equally easy to like. The main characters almost entirely have hopes, aspirations, and attachments beyond the rather closed world of their profession--Jack's desire to be a serious filmmaker; Dirk's ridiculous pseudo-Karate and Reed's equally ridiculous poetry; Buck's goal of opening his own stereo store; Amber's attempts to get back in touch with her son, which she blatantly compensates for by mothering her co-stars--helping us see them as fleshed-out characters, not just plot devices in the story.
Since there isn't really a plot to speak of, the movie is told as a series of episodes, Goodfellas-style, with several extended pieces--the pool party at Jack's House where Eddie/Dirk gets introduced to the whole crew; the New Year's Eve party celebrating the start of the '80's; the fake drug deal gone bad at a Rahad's house--serving to turn the narrative in new directions. This last set piece--when Dirk, Reed, and Todd head over to Rahad's house to sell him some baking soda disguised as cocaine and it quickly degenerates into a laughably misguided robbery attempt--deserves special mention, as it's easily one of the most fascinating single scenes in recent film memory. It starts off almost surreal, with a skinny Chinese guy walking around randomly lighting firecrackers and Rahad (clad only in underwear, a bathrobe and slippers) discoursing semi-coherently as he sings along to not-so-classic 80's songs on a mixtape. From there it just gets progressively darker and tenser, with the lighting, acting, and direction all perfectly serving to ratchet up the feeling of desperation and horror as Todd kicks his ill-conceived robbery plot into motion and things spin way out of control. Molina's over-the-top performance, more than anything else, makes the scene, as he turns Rahad into a manic ball of drug-fuelled energy and, later, a shotgun-toting avenging angel determined to take his revenge. I wouldn't say Molina turns in the best performance I've ever seen in a movie, but it it probably the best performance I've seen from someone who only got one scene in the whole movie.
The '80's are, of course, the hangover from the joys of the previous decade, as the emergence of video downgrades the quality of the product, cocaine suddenly becomes addictive, and Dirk starts to become too big for his britches in more ways than one. Fittingly, as the disco era gives way to tougher times in the eighties, the movie takes a darker turn, becoming grittier, more downcast and a lot more violent, but no less compelling. All the unbridled energy and creativity of the first half is still present, just in a decidedly less sunny form. Even when people are getting beaten up and shot left and right, the movie's pedal-to-the-metal pacing makes it all but impossible to look away. Well, except maybe for the notorious money shot at the end, but by then I for one didn't care.
The first time I saw Director/Writer, Paul Thomas Anderson's "Boogie Nights", I was just totally bowled over by the sights & sounds and bold scope of this brilliant comedy/drama. Against the vast tapestry of the late 1970's/early '80s, he gives a 'behind-the-scenes' tour of the porn movie industry and at the same time shows a number of intimate, personal portraits of the people, who make up this world. The film begins in the late 1970's, where we meet Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) in a glitzy, disco night club. Eddie is a lowly dishwasher, who has been thrown out of his house by his own mother (Joanna Gleason) for being "such a loser". But Eddie has a mantra "that everyone has something, that makes them special". Indeed Eddie is "special", because he has been blessed with a sexual appendage of enormously huge proportions. He is discovered by porn movie director, Jack Horner (a wonderful Burt Reynolds) who like a proud father, presides over a large stock company of both actors and technical people, who form an almost make-shift 'family' of sorts. We watch as in an almost "Alice in Wonderland" fashion, Eddie is introduced and soon becomes a major star (under the neon name, Dirk Diggler!) in the world of the 1970's movie porn. The film shows how Dirk,(as he is now known) and his friends & co-workers get caught up in the hard partying life-style of the "Me Decade". As the decade rolls over and the '80s begin, a price eventually is paid. The industry experiences major changes and the excesses of cocaine, sex and even violence leads to dark, ominous places in the lives of many of these people. We watch as the characters eventually get on with their lives (marriages, children, new careers ETC.) for both good & bad. Paul Thomas Anderson has created a marvelous film! He portrays a short but significant time in the '70s, when porn filmmakers actually had pretensions to make 'artistic' movies (bigger budgets, actual stories). He shows us how these pretensions went to the way side with the introduction of the home video recorder and the huge amounts of money that could be made with cheaply made videos. It's ironic, that against this background, Anderson presents us a script (with well drawn characters), that gives a number of personal stories of people trying to secure their lives by making a family. The casting and performances in this movie are spectacular! It resucitated the moribund career of veteran actor/sex symbol, Burt Reynolds and made stars out of fine actors like Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle, William H. Macy, Mark Wahlberg ETC. What a cast! I particularly love the amazing performance from Julianne Moore as the "mothering" porn actress, Amber Waves. Finally,I also wish to mention the wonderful soundtract to this movie, which uses a vast array of '70s/'80s pop, rock and disco music to not only set the time period, but also to help propel the emotions and actions of the film. Who can forget the use of Eric Anderson & War's "Spill the Wine" at Jack Horner's wild swim party or the whimsical use of Melanie's "Brand New Key" during the 'on the couch' audition between Dirk and Rollergirl? Of course the most unforgettable use of music in the movie are'80's anthems, "Sister Christian" & "Jessie's Girl" which are ironically played in the film's climax, when Dirk and his friends get caught up in a horribly botched robbery of a crazed drug dealer's home. You have to see and hear it, to believe it! "Boogie Nights" has now been released in a remastered DVD 'Platinum Special Edition'. The picture and sound are crystal clear! There are two commentary tracks, that feature PT Anderson and a variety of the film's actors. The disc is also chock full of deleted scenes, that should please any "Boogie Nights" fan. This is just a vast, sprawling, wonderfully moving film, that should be in any film fanatic's DVD collection! Highly recommended!