Director Paul Thomas Anderson
is a fascinating guy. He’s an incredibly gifted filmmaker, a still developing and evolving filmmaker who grows significantly as a talent with each new project. And yet, out of the starting gate with his first feature “Hard Eight”
(which would be nice to have a blu-ray copy of released as well, studio folks) he’s been attracting attention. Still, his second outing, 1997’s “Boogie Nights”
remains my favorite of all his creations so far. There's only so many big release films that have been made about the porn industry and only this one features a young and naked Heather Graham
on rollerskates. Hey, whattyagonnado? I gots me a skate fetish. Goes way back. You don't want to know. Just wait till my review for "Whip It"
never would have made it past being merely a footnote in entertainment history if not for his breakout role as Dirk Diggler
(kind of a nicer version of porno’s famous John Holmes
). He’s a naive high school dropout in the late 70‘s in Southern California with one big thing going for him. One BIG thing. Come on, put it together folks. Here's a clue: Carlyle
does NOT share this quality with him (so I'm told). Anyway
’s discovered and rescued from service industry hell by porn director Jack Horner
in an impressive Oscar-nominated comeback) who turns him into an instant super-star. He’s flush with success and takes his best friend and fellow porn actor Reed Rothchild
(John C Reilly
) along for the ride but, as they tend to be in these sorts of success stories, it's an incredibly bumpy one.
"Boogie Nights" is actually a rich ensemble piece with many character arcs in it other than just Diggler
's. There’s a wealth of characters here, played daringly by Julianne Moore
, Heather Graham
, Don Cheadle
, William H Macy
, Philip Seymour Hoffman
, Philip Baker Hall
, Alfred Molina
, Luiz Guzman
, Ricky Jay
and more that give the film the scope of a, yes I’m saying this referring to a film about porn, EPIC
movie and not just another rise and fall story.
is gloriously sinful yet all too human. Anderson
gets down to the core of all these people and their stories which range from the unbelievably tragic and shocking to exploring the marvelous possibilities of happenstance. Even with his affection for ‘coincidence’
, to be explored later in much more detail with his next film, “Magnolia”
, “Boogie Nights”
remains an entirely down to earth film. It’s impossible not to feel genuine affection for and identify with all of its characters, even those who make spectacularly bad decisions. Plus, excessive amounts of sex and nudity. Well, it is about porn, you know! Maybe that's why I identified with it so much, having once previously myself had a moderately successful career as...um, you know what, never mind. LOOK! WHAT'S THAT OVER THERE?
The new Blu-Ray release looks and sounds glorious (the amazing soundtrack, easily one of the best party collections of songs ever made, really kicks it up a notch) but it suffers from the most unexpected flaw....there's absolutely nothing new here. The extras from the DVD are ported over: two commentary tracks, some funny John C Reilly
outtakes, a LOT of deleted scenes, and an Anderson
-directed music video, but you’d expect something with a bit more fanfare and some new bonuses after all this time. Still, this is a fantastic film that should be seen and heard in the highest possible quality. HD naked Heather Graham
scores this at the very least a BUY
. I don’t have the multi-tiered system set up for these home releases the way we do with the theatrical ones. If I did, “Boogie Nights”
wouldn’t necessarily be a “Better than Sex”
but certainly at least “Sex”
. Only seems appropriate.
Click Here to Buy Boogie Nights [Blu-ray]