Academy Award® Nominee
A dark comedy following the rise and fall of Eddie Adams, a handsome, uneducated teenager who works in the kitchen of a popular San Fernando Valley nightclub. Back at home, Eddie has to face the... View more >
strong sex scenes with explicit dialogue, nudity, drug use, language and violence
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore... View more >
Academy Award Nominations: Best Supporting Actor (Burt Reynolds), Best Supporting Actress (Julianne Moore)
Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.
When we first see young, 17 year old Eddie Adams (Mark Walhberg), he is in a swingin night club. It's 1977, and little does he know he is being looked at by a filmmaker named Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds). In the back of the club is where they first meet, although not offically at the first minute. Eddie thinks that this old looking man wants to see him masturbate for ten bucks. Until he walks up to him to shake his hand. "Jack Horner, filmmaker. I make, uh, exotic pictures." The story behind this guy is he likes to make pictures that will make the customers stay after they have done their business. Eddie seems to refuse at first, but then eventually he is kicked out of his houseand he decides to become an adult film star. Little does he know what is in store for him.
"Boogie Nights" is not 100 percent about the porn industry, from its poorly-acted-shot-on-film-in-a-garage style to a nasty, cold video market (that makes billions of dollars a year). It is really about a young boy who is destined to become a star. And that's exactly how Mark Walhberg plays him: his Eddie is completely destined, as he does Bruce Lee kicks in his underwear infront of a mirror, and he has posters from Serpico to Cheryl Tiegs. There's a certain passion and flair in Eddie, which Jack seemed to have picked up. He's sexy, he's got great hair, and he will do anything to make a buck.
Eddie decends into this world, changing his name to Dirk Diggler and being consumed into the industry, meeting a certain amount of people who will change his life. The first is Amber Weaves (Julianne Moore), Jack's wife, who plays mother to all the porn stars, and has sex with them, Rollergirl (Heather Graham), a teen drop out star the same age as Eddie, Buck (Don Cheadle), a hi-fi expert who is also in the business, the technical director (William H. Macy) who has a corrupt wife (who has sex with another man on a driveway) and Scotty (Phil Seymour Hoffmann), who takes particular liking to Eddie. Then there are the suits, those ugly and scary financers that foot the bill to Jack.
Then there is the most heartbreaking scene in the movie, ten minutes before 1980, the moment that destroys every life in this family. One of the suits tells Jack about the invention of the video cassette, and how the video is the key to the future porn market (the reason: charge 25 bucks a tape and every customer will buy one, instead of having them pay five bucks to sit in a theater. Plus they can have all the repeat viewings they want). Five minutes later, the technical director shoots his wife and his estranged lover and then himself. Welcome to the 80's, a downward spiral of cocaine, rock music, and different style.
"Boogie Nights" is directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the new Martin Scorcese for the millenium. He has created a masterpiece at the age of 27, just like Orson Welles did for Citizen Kane. For 156 minutes, Anderson takes you into a world that is truly evil, violent and smutty, but you can't look away. You would be damned to look away. He directs at such a feverent pace, the whole movie one big engrossing trip, that you are sucked out of your theater seat and right into their lives.
I haven't even brushed the edges of this miraculous film, from the Oscar worthy acting (particularily Walhberg) to the great music score. But why bother? Films like this have to be seen to be believed.
Picture: 4. Occasionaly grainy, but good colors and solid blacks. Contrast is OK.
Sound: 4.5 I saw an SDDS mix, and it was wonderful. Dialouge was loud and surrounds were very powerful. I did notice a lot of hissing, though.
Photography: 5. Shot in Panavision, the camera angles are fast and furious here, suggesting Robert Altman, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodrieguz, and Jonathan Demme. But there is an alluring originality to all of this, and that's how Anderson works so well.
The first half isn't very good, but the second half really shows the porno world and what happens to all the characters.
CLEAR="ALL"></TH> <TD VALIGN=TOP><A HREF="HOMEDIR/cgi/FindReviewer?Peter+Tillema">by <B>Peter Tillema</B></A>
Very suggestive. There is frontal nudity. I think it should have been rated X
Boogie Nights is one of those rare movies that makes you feel that you are in the middle of the action instead of just looking at it.
To say that I was impressed by the acting abilities of Mark Wahlberg (Dirk Digler) and Burt Reynolds (Jack Horner) would be the understatement of the year. The last time I saw Burt was in the interesting, but smutty character of the Senator in Striptease. You've come a long way Burt. He was decidingly smutty, and interesting in this movie also, but convincingly so this time. He played a character that was fully developed, and was so realistic, that by the end of the movie, you could almost predict what his reactions would be to situations. He was the perfect Porn producer, seductive, cutting edge, and serious about his work without letting his life be consumed by it.
Mark Wahlberg as Dirk Digler was fascinating. He played his character a little too slowly in the begining for my liking, but by the end of the movie, I was left raw with emotional feeling for him. You wanted to hate him, to despise everything he stood for, but in the end, you just couldn't.
One of the most interesting aspects of this movie was the creative way that the decades were introduced. The director let the clothes, music and even the drug choices of the characters describe the era, instead of a long drawn out history of what each decade was like. It was enjoyable to see the cliche's of the decades drawn onto the screen.
There wasn't a second during the movie that I wasn't glued to the screen, it is a powerful first time production for a new director. I highly recommend this movie to people who want to flung into the high energy, though sometimes disgusting world of pornograhpy film making.
This movie started off looking like it may actually go somewhere. The plot begins rolling quickly, and continues that way for about the first hour. The plot develops quick when the young "Dirk Diggler" is discovered at a local disco club. His recruitment into the Porn business gives a real insiders look at how the industry foliced in the late 70's and early 80's. Unfortunately it should have stopped there.
The movie continues on to show the downfall and demise of all it's characters. This is about where my interest ends. The plot comes to almost a complete standstill, and I found myself questioning my wife, "when is this thing gonna end? How long is it?". It was then that I began to realize how poor the picture and sound really were, characteristics I overlooked due to my intrest in the first half of the movie. I suffered through to the end where my wife got her only satisfaction out of the whole ordeal. Women, if you haven't heard you'll have to wait to see for yourself what I mean.
Overall, I recommend you wait on this one. Get it on video where the fast forward button can save you the agony of watching the second half of the movie, and you can adjust the picture and sound settings to make up for what the producers forgot.
Somehow, I missed out on the hype about this movie before I saw it, so unfortunately, I wasn't aware that it was a "masterpiece" when I entered the theatre. Therefore, what I saw was an extremely long, boring "Pulp Fiction" wanna-be, that had no apparent point, except perhaps to inform us that people in the porn industry aren't as entirely squared-away individuals as the rest of society. Both myself and the person I was with (both avid movie buffs), were surprised and disppointed to see the movie that we almost walked out of(!!!!), was declared a masterpiece when we checked the reviews the next day.
Burt Reynolds plays Burt Reynolds, which, to me, isn't worthy of an Oscar nomination (but then again, as much as I love Jack Nicholson, I don't believe he should get an Oscar for playing Jack Nicholson either). Julianne Moore is very good, as is Heather Graham as "Roller Girl", and suprisingly, Mark (or is it Donnie?) Wahlberg does well as the protagonist, Dirk Diggler. The sex and nudity are done well, and are as graphic as the story would require. What the movie suffers from is a storyline which is pedantic and banal, with none of the humor or style of "Pulp Fiction", or the action and plotting of "L.A. Confidential".
Please note that I did like "Titanic" and "The Full Monty" and "Star Wars", so I really *do* like movies other people like, but for me "Boogie Nights" is a film that is good solely due to the hype and hip "cache" of seeing a movie about porn, plus perhaps a little bit of the "has-been-philia" that is so in vogue these days.
Bottom line is to see this movie as a rental, keeping in mind that if everyone didn't tell you this movie was great, would you really like it? Or you can skip it, and just rent a porn movie, which has a plot as equally as interesting, and you don't have to fast-forward as often to skip the boring dialogue (just a thought).
Boogie Nights (1997). Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, William H. Macy. (***1/2 out of ****)
Boogie Nights is not just a film about the 1970's porn industry, but a classic look into the characters behind the screen. Mark Wahlberg's portrayal of Eddie Adams, a loser who wants to hit it really big is an excellent character study. Also, there is Burt Reynolds' character, who I felt did a great job of playing a big time porn film maker.
"Boogie Nights" paid homerage to the world of the pron industry at it's golden age (around the 1970's), just like we see the movies of the 1930 as a golden period.
The movie which is directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, featured some the people behind the pron business. Mark Walhlberg as a up and coming pron star who is befriended by pron director Jack Horner, played by Bert Reynolds.
But the stand out performance is Heather Graham as "Rollergirl," a pron actress.
The film worked very well as a commentary on the cultural movement of the 1970's. "Boogie Nights" is a must see.
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