Boogie Nights

"Extraordinary"

Boogie Nights Review


Now this is some production. I'm lucky enough to live in one of the "selected cities" for Boogie Nights's limited opening (it goes wide on Oct. 31), and in all my years as a moviegoer, I think this is the first time I've seen a mirrorball in the theater put to use during a film. Outside of that, Boogie Nights may have generated the most enthusiastic audience response I've heard in ages.

The premise is simple and well-known. Young "Dirk Diggler" ("Marky" Mark Wahlberg) is a busboy discovered in a Receda nightclub by a big-time porn flick producer (Burt Reynolds, in perhaps his best role ever). Mingling with the likes of Amber Waves (Julianne Moore, my fave actress), the innocent Rollergirl (Heather Graham, who doesn't have nearly enough screen time), and other bigshots of the biz, Diggler rises (so to speak) and falls as the porn industry ruptures during the dawn of the 1980s.

One of the more frightening portrayals of life in the '70s to hit screens recently, Boogie Nights is full of kitsch and sprawls over a full decade of excess. Writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson, who hit-and-missed with Hard Eight, takes a dozen characters through 2 1/2 hours of meandering storylines, supporting players, drug/sex binges, and more costume changes than you can fathom. Because he has so much to say, and because everyone's story goes in a different direction, a lot of this film gets lost in the margins. Too many characters are too much alike, and most of them are too shallow to merit any screen time at all.

The result is a sloppy, scattered feature that, surprisingly, completely engaged me from the opening shot. I don't exactly know why Boogie Nights is so enjoyable, but it's probably because it's just so much fun to watch. Porn has never been handled with such style and irony before, and watching Anderson serve up slice after slice of the industry's excess and self-defeat is hysterical, despite the obvious problems with the script. (Note that the film's sex scenes are very inexplicit.)

There's probably not much of a message to take away from the film (Don't Do Drugs has been done before), but it doesn't suffer much from it. You'll need to swallow your preconceived notions, but I would not hesitate to recommend the film to just about anyone.

This ain't no disco.



Boogie Nights

Facts and Figures

Run time: 155 mins

In Theaters: Friday 31st October 1997

Box Office Worldwide: $43.1M

Budget: $15M

Distributed by: New Line Cinema

Production compaines: New Line Cinema, Lawrence Gordon Productions, Ghoulardi Film Company

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Fresh: 60 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 7.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Eddie Adams alias Dirk Diggler, as Jack Horner, John C. Reilly as Reed Rothchild, as Amber Waves - Maggie, as Todd Parker, as Brandy alias Rollergirl, as Scotty J., William H. Macy as Little Bill, as Buck Swope, as Maurice TT Rodriguez, as Rahad Jackson, Robert Ridgely as The Colonel James, as Floyd Gondoli, Robert Downey Sr. as Studio owner, as Becky Barnett, as Kurt Longjohn

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.