HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
Can You Keep a Secret?
Women in Revolt
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Boogie Nights It's A Gift
Year: 1997
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Heather Graham, Don Cheadle, Luis Guzmán, William H. Macy, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robert Ridgely, Philip Baker Hall, Nicole Ari Parker, Melora Walters, Ricky Jay, Thomas Jane, Alfred Molina
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Back in 1977, Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) was seventeen years old, hadn't finished high school, and was working two jobs, one at a car wash and the other at a nightclub serving drinks. But word had gotten around about his remarkable manhood, which he would earn extra cash with by charging people to see it or for a bit more money watch him masturbate, and as one of the nightclub regulars was pornographic movie producer Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds), it was not long before Eddie was being offered a proposition. He could continue being a nobody, or he could enter the adult film industry - and stardom.

Although Paul Thomas Anderson had made a film prior to this, he was not happy about the way it turned out and it was not a hit. However, he truly arrived when Boogie Nights was released and impressed both the critical community and moviegoers alike, in spite of its length and a subject matter which many found unsavoury. Yet while the characters get up to some sordid behaviour, you could tell that Anderson was not judging them and never allowed their essential humanity to drift out of sight, even as their chosen profession begins to slide their lives into degradation and even endangers their existences. In its own way, it was a weird tale of camaraderie in unlikely circumstances.

However, there may have been a measure of goodwill towards these people, and Anderson fully admitted feeling nostalgic for what he saw as a golden age of porn, but somehow we never get too close to them - or indeed all that close at all. It's as if the film keeps them at arm's length, almost objectifying them emotionally in the same way that porn actors would be objectified sexually by their consumers, with the result that you're quite often in the position of looking down on them and their increasingly pathetic attempts to make a go of things. Some of the characters are more intelligent than others, but they all end up acting foolishly eventually, and the inference is that if they had not chosen this vocation then they might not have had so many options closed off to them.

Or so many dubious options opened up to them, for that matter. There was a great, one of a kind cast who brought this to the screen. Backing up Mark Wahlberg and his innocent gradually corrupted performance was a group of actors who had followings of their own of one kind or another, from Julianne Moore as the "mother" of the group both in her own mind and in those around her to John C. Reilly as a nice but dim star Reed Rothchild in Horner's repertory company who gets a prime dialogue exchange with Eddie when they're introduced, one of many pitch perfect character moments in the film. There's also Don Cheadle as the nice guy country music hi-fi enthusiast/porn star, Heather Graham as the actress who never takes off her rollerboots, and William H. Macy whose porn participant wife makes him snap.

That snapping scene is significant because it occurs when the seventies turn to the eighties, and the glory days of adult films turn to the cheap and nasty days of video. Now, it could be that Anderson was fooling himself into thinking that the video era was far more sleazy and degrading than the film era before it, but it's true that a fair few porn stars of that period found themselves in reduced situations, with John Holmes the most obvious casualty, the most notable influence on the story of Eddie Adams who takes the stage name Dirk Diggler. If this is the whole rags to riches and back again tale that any number of showbiz movies have charted, then Boogie Nights remains fresh through a management of standout individual scenes - Philip Seymour Hoffman's gay assistant and his bungled seduction of Eddie, Cheadle finding himself in a life-threatening hold-up, the whole scam at Alfred Molina's drug dealer's place among them - and a sense that you want these characters to overcome their setbacks and flaws. Yet there's still something oddly remote about its sundrenched melodrama. Music by Michael Penn along with a load of well-chosen oldies.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2614 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: