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Boogie Nights is perhaps one of the greatest examples any would-be
should take a long hard look at. Sure, you could spend loads of quality
time reviewing the clasics from Hitchcock to Scorsese; but lets follow suit
for the modern generation and study half-heartedly.
Where to begin, I suppose one could look at the film as simply a story, perhaps even docudrama which focuses on the late 1970's porn industry-and what an industry it was! The other half could focus on the incredible detail one brillant filmmaker can achieve simply by using polyester and *ahem* rubber. But honestly, Boogie Nights brings back the pure, no-bul!shi$, in your face kind of cinema I haven't experienced since the film greats of the 1970's...ironic...or stroke of genius. The story is full of richly detailed characters, all of which you either can relate too, love, or hate; but the impact is clear-you are feeling something for them. Among the characters the two performances which stand out are: Burt Reynolds as Director Jack Horner, and Mark Wahlberg as Eddie Adams/Dirk Diggler. Julianne Moore is also brillant, as is Heather Graham...but if I focus on any one actor it would have to be John C. Reilly. John's performance is a perfect balance of comedic timing and character driven emotion...I'm a sucker for the line "Ever see the movie Star Wars?...People say I look like Han Solo." Anyway, the look of the film is incredible, the Director of Photography and Director/Writer/Producer, have come up with a vibrant colour, and flashy style that compares to Martin Scorsese, and Stanley Kubrick(in terms of his perfection of his craft); but with creating his own unique look, and pushing the edge with the longest single shot I'ver ever seen...that being the New Year's party sequence.
The music, like in any great film, is a character of its own. At times, it consumes oneself with sorrow or grief...but mainly its all about fun, dancing, and having a good time; the spirit of the 1970's. OK, back to the performances.
Burt Reynolds plays the character of Jack Horner, a porn director who feels the burden of what the future of "film" means to his genre. The awful transition from shooting on film to recording on magnetic tape. The lose of his art, as it were...and the changes in mentality to the people he works with. Walhberg adds the perfect blend of innocense and sexual bravado needed for the character. For all those individuals who have seen Burton's Planet of the Apes, pay no attention to the performance of Wahlberg in that film...rent boogie nights and see what a difference a good script can make!
Julianne Moore plays the would-be mother to all, and with that comes the torment and anguish she feels, as life imitates art; and she loses all those close to her. Heather Graham is the eye-candy, but later holds her own, and steals some of the scenes from even the great Mr. Reynolds himself. Each character is multidimensional, rich with life, and performed by actors that seem to be picture perfect for the part.
The film itself is often funny, tragic, exciting, and provides a uncompromising look into the turblulant lifestyle of the fast-pace 1970's. It makes no excuses, and tells no lies; and offers the audience a trip back. But even more importantly, the movie gives us a grand example of how films should be made; and a new director whose bold visions bring back art in film.
Paul Thomas Anderson's stylish and compelling take on the 70s porn
industry follows Eddie Adams, aka Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg), through
six years of sex, drugs and disco. His chance meeting with pornography
director Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds) starts his career as one of the
greatest adult actors of the time. Dirk's character is based on
real-life porn actor John Holmes, who, like Dirk, was renowned for
being extremely "well-endowed". This is where Dirk finds initial
The main themes in Boogie Nights are the obvious ones relating to a film of this genre; pornography, drugs, sex, betrayal, violence and music. Boogie Nights deals with the pornography theme with some control. It is not overplayed and the sex scenes are surprisingly minimal, but mentally explicit when they take place on screen.
Throughout the film cocaine is abused enormously, and the film's setting, Los Angeles 1977-1983, reflects the popularity of the drug at that time, which the film captures perfectly. However, Boogie Nights does not promote cocaine, as there are some scenes involving addiction and overdoses. For example at Jack's party, they find a girl who has recently, and graphically, overdosed; blood pours from her nose and she begins an unconscious fit. The film, before this scenes, has been fairly upbeat and comic, but from this point it foreshadows the darkness that it will occur.
The music scenes are executed brilliantly, from superbly-staged disco scenes to a down-and-out Dirk singing terribly in his new music career. The soundtrack too is excellent, featuring tunes from The Emotions, ELO, The Beach Boys and the unforgettable Sound Experience. The standout scene in the whole film comes down to the music; Dirk, Redd Rothchild (John C. Reilly) and Todd Parker (Thomas Jane) visit drug dealer Rahad Jackson's (Alfred Molina) house in order to make some quick cash from selling phoney drugs, but Night Ranger's Sister Christian, which is playing in the background, increases the intensity of the scene incredibly, proving that music can bring so much more depth to a scene. Boogie Nights is filled with those kind of scenes, which makes the film even more fantastic.
The standout performance in Boogie Nights is Burt Reynolds as the enigmatic, yet moody, film director. In the scene where he attacks a young guy for slating his movies, it is a complete shock for the audience, because before this point he has been pretty mellow and content. Other notable performances are Julianne Moore, Heather Graham as the beautiful Rollergirl, John C. Reilly, and Mark Wahlberg, who delivers the performance of his career.
Boogie Nights is also a surprisingly original film, using common themes but filmed in its own sharp and realistic way. Anderson's approach has been fully captures these characters in a time when nothing seemed to be going wrong, or at least until the 80s arrive. From then on, things turn very dark indeed, and all signs of the recognisable characters and situations from the first part of the film have gone. This does not, however, reduce the high level of engaging entertainment that this film offers.
Boogie Nights was not a box-office success, earning only £2 million at cinemas in the UK. But this is not the film's, or the director's concern. Anderson recognises quality, not popularity, which is evident in his three other films, Hard Eight, Magnolia and Punch-Drunk Love. I would recommend this film to anyone who enjoys a simple parable filled with excellent and variable situations, because at the end of this film you will realize that Boogie Nights is a simple morality tale, but one which will stay in the mind days after you watch it. Boogie Nights is at once shocking, hilarious, devastating and both visually and audibly outstanding.
This is not so much of a review as it is a testament that it has been proven, yet again, that the Academy rewards money, not artistic accomplishment. And I must say I am saddened that this usually artistic and intelligent band of imbd members have left this off the top 250. Boogie Nights is powerful, raw, and gutsy through script, direction and acting. Very few movies can claim this triple crown.
Director Paul Thomas Anderson has created a fascinating account of a family of pornographers in the late 1970s. It is a frank, compelling, and disturbing vignette of unforgettable characters. Mark Whalberg (in his best performance to date) plays a well-endowed 17 year old who begins working in the porn industry under porn director Burt Reynolds (in an Oscar nominated performance). John C. Reilly plays a fellow porn star, Julianne Moore (never better) as a famous porn queen, Philip Seymour Hoffman as a timid homosexual porn crew member, William H. Macy as a fatalistic loser who's wife is always cheating on him, and Heather Graham (Reynolds daughter) as a rising porn star. Everybody does a fine job. The best scenes belong to former porn star couple Don Cheadle and Nicole Parker who add some of the comic relief to the film. What's intriguing is the way the actors interact with each other and the way they struggle to find their self-identity, plus a bravura script, colorful and startling cinematography, and a rousing rocking 70s soundtrack that make Boogie Nights one of the best films of 1997. It is a touching, humorous, and shocking film bursting with originality with an overall message of: redemption and forgiveness.
Boogie Nights is an excellent picture. You don't have to have be a part of the whole 70's scene either to appreciate it. The title is very misleading to some who do not generally read reviews beforehand. This movie is an exhilerating piece on a late 70's-early 80's porn star. Yes, it sounds like a very simple plot and much gratutious sex. But it's so much more. While you may be thrown off by the violence and the sexuality Boogie Nights is nowhere near pointless. It features great acting all across the board-even Reynolds is very sympathetic. Some advice though, seeing this movie more than once is a good idea. It grows on you. This movie takes you to the deep down threshold of your heart. It shows you the rise of a porn star and the downhill spiral that follows it. Even in some of the sleaziest of characters can a human being be reached out to. Rent this one tonight - and who cares about all that talk about the use of prosthetics anyway. This is the pulp fiction of the 70's porn industry, "a low class subject made in a high class way".
One of the things that I like about PT Anderson, is that he has the
guts to take talent that most people push to the side or have pushed to the
side and makes them stars. Case in point, a washed-up... Burt Reynolds
delivers a great performance in this film. And if proving Adam Sander can be
a great actor (Punch Drunk Love) wasn't enough... here comes Mark
Whalburg... like you've never seen before.
I think many people pass up "Boogie Nights" cause they are anti-porn, or just flat out hate the adult industry and can't overlook that aspect of this film. But underneath that is a great story about characters losing everything and battle to regain themselves. There is a beautiful film... and it's too bad that enough people see that.
Boogie Nights is full of surprises, nothing quite prepares one for it its
soul. Yes, it does have soul, whilst tackling the tackiest of subject
matter, with both a wry smile and respect. Brillantly cast and wonderful
character development, the performances somehow combine the best of stage
acting with improvisation within a cinema verite style.
The plot proved richer than I expected and the underlying themes are teased out quite profoundly as each "B grade" human being is brought, through crisis, into perspective.
A sociologist's dream case study, the film resonates the raw truth of what we all know about self-esteem, parental love and lack of it, attention/love deficit and its manifestation in adulthood, the desperate need to belong. Something for everyone here.. almost camouflaged as issues of untouchables and their separate milieu but of course they are universal.
The film works on a number of levels. The ironic loop is that the milieu portrayed exists only because of the voyeur, who happens to be watching the film...
Boogie Nights is non judgmental of its subject matter and characters, a rarity. It deserves every accolade it has achieved and more.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Boogie Nights is one of the best films to come out of the 90's and I'd
go so far as to say it should be in the IMDb top 250. I can actually
understand why many would dislike it, due to the subject matter. I
personally feel however as many do, judging from the aclaim this film's
received by viewers and critics that it's topnotch film making.
The direction and acting in this film surpass good and reach the level of brilliance.There is not one scene in this movie that isn't amazing. The individual characters reach out and touch you. Given that this is a movie about the porn industry, one wouldn't imagine the sex scenes could be handled with such sensitivity but they are. The direction is among the best I've ever seen-and I've seen a lot of films.
The film isn't about one particular personal individual's story, it's about many.It's a character study about people who have many layers to them and who maybe in an industry most would find alien but who still dream the same dreams and have both bad and good to them. Boogie Nights draws you into their story from the beginning, and though the film is long(I believe almost 3 hours) you honestly don't even notice. And when it ends you kind of don't want it to....
I'm not easy to impress, meaning there aren't many movies I'd give a 10 of 10 rating to but this is one. Beyond the multiple character study, is the use of music in the film. I have never, in all my years of seeing movies seen music tell a story as well as in this movie.There was such flawlessness to it, you know it's not something your gonna see everyday.
Burt reynold's performance was perhaps the best I've ever seen him do, and Mark Wahlberg is incredible(I'm astounded there are still people saying he doesn't act well. I don't know how anyone viewing this could possibly think that)but the person who really surprised me was Heather Grahem(Rollergirl) who is absolutely fantastic in her role, in particular the one memorable scene with Burt Reynolds in the Limo, towards the end.
Again, I'll echo other IMDb reviewers in saying this movie is not for everybody. But I still think this was topnotch.10 of 10.
The brilliance of this story delivers at least one skillfully crafted message to each viewer in the audience. This story is about success, it's about failure. It's about the choices you make in life and the choices others make for you. The story deals with self realization and determination on a scale so large, no camera angle could cover it. Within the grasp of each scene is resides an element marked for depiction within your imagination. Keep this in mind as you watch the movie; it's more than eye candy. The sexually suggestive, rarely explicit scenes serve only to distract and entertain you during the tedious process of character development.
This is an excellent movie that is vibrant, colourful and powerful. The
performances are all very good, but the big surprise is the return of Burt
Reynolds. His performance is the most notable, and he duly rewarded with a
Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination. Boogie Nights is about the
pornography industry in the 70's, and how it all fell apart in the 80's.
first half, revolving around the 70's, is plausible and believable;
entertaining and informative. Although the film falls apart in the second
half, and descends into a lot of unnecessary, graphic violence.
Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) is the protagonist of the movie. He is spotted one night at a club by porn king Jack Warner (Reynolds), and is offered a deal to star in a movie. Warner remarks that, "I just know there's somethin' wonderful under those jeans just waitin' to get out." And that marks the entrance for Eddie into the sleazy, slutty, though human world of porn and sex. Boogie Nights follows his first appearance as a naive young actor to a drug hampered, egomaniacal lunatic who spirals down into the world of crime and Cocaine. Along the way, it deals with sub plots dealing with pornography and the surrogate families that establish themselves amidst the echelons; the prejudice that society carries to porn stars and the dirty, utterly disgraceful life they lead.
Although the film deals with sex and porn, there is not an obscene amount of it, and the director censors these scenes so it is not explicit. The viewers gather that Eddie Adams (or Dirk Diggler, the pseudonym he assumes for acting) has a prodigious member lurking under his jeans. But, until the final scene, all we see to indicate that is the stunned reactions by peers and onlookers.
The script is very good, but the film is overly long. It could be called an epic at a length of 155 minutes, but the time passes quickly. Despite Boogie Nights' flaws and shortfalls, it is a very good movie worthy of the acclaim it received.
Nine out of ten.
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