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Boogie Nights

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Boogie Nights

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Rated: R
RunTime: 152 Minutes
Release Date: October 1997
Genres: Drama, Music

*Also starring: Burt Reynolds, Don Cheadle, Alfred Molina, John C. Reilly, William H. Macy, Robert Ridgely, Melora Walters, Luis Guzman

Review by David Wilcock
3½ stars out of 4

One way of telling if a film is good or not is by the length. If a film is only 90 minutes, but feels like 300 minutes, then it's crap. But if a film last 2 1/2 hours, and feels like 90 minutes, then it's excellent. Boogie Nights falls into the latter catagory. The director, Anderson, delivers a funny, hip, yet sometimes violent film, which flies along.

Mark Whalberg, a.k.a Marky Mark, plays Eddie Adams, a seventeen year old with a certain 'gift' in the midriff area. Jack Horner (Reynolds) is a adult film director, who decides that Eddie would be great in the adult movie business. After running away from home, Eddie joins Jack, changes his name to Dirk Diggler, and starts making erotic movies.

In the movie business, Dirk meets a whole load of characters (which the film introduces very quickly and slickly) such as Scotty (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), Rollergirl (Graham) Amber (Moore) and Floyd (Phillip Baker Hall), and Little Bill (William H. Macy) All the characters are well written, well played, and the audience gets to know them pretty well, thanks to the excellent script. We learn about Ambers grief about not being able to see her child due to a divorce, Rollergirls hard time at school, and Little Bills wife, who sleeps with everyone except her husband.

But the best thing about the excellent Boogie Nights is Paul Andersons direction and writing. The direction is fast, thrilling, and never holds up. There are some great shots, some lovely steadiocam and handheld camera sequences, and lots of other neat directional touches. The writing is fabulous, with some intelligent dialogue, some funny dialogue, but none of the dialogue is crap, like most Hollywood films (such as The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), or Tommorow Never Dies (1997).) Boogie Nights really is a spectacular feat of direction and writing, on par (and sometimes betters) Quentin Tarantino's films Resevoir Dogs (1992) and Pulp Fiction (1994)

The soundtrack is also excellent. Like American Graffiti (1973), the film features some great old songs on the soundtrack, which heightens the atmosphere, and gives the film an extra lift. Also, the costumes are great. The clothes really do look like what people wore in the seventies and eighties.

The film, although excellent, does have some flaws. Firstly, Wahlberg, although excellent, cannot do highly scenes which require him to be angry. In both scenes where he has to act angry, his acting is so 'off', the scenes tension and anger is lost. But the rest of the cast are excellent. Burt Reynolds is brilliant, Julianne Moore shows real emotion, and William H. Macy is great aswell (but he always is.) Another flaw with the film, though, is that the ending seems a bit tacked on. It seems Anderson saw the film was going on a bit, and needed to wrap up quickly. It's a shame, really, as the rest of the film is perfectly paced.

But they're small niggles really. Boogie Nights is an excellent film. Superb directing, writing, acting and music, all combine to make one spectacular film. Whatever you do, do not miss out on Boogie Nights.

Copyright 1998 David Wilcock

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