Boogie Nights movie poster
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Boogie Nights movie poster

Boogie Nights Movie Review

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Having just watched Auto Focus, I figured I should review Boogie Nights, a movie I failed to remark on when I watched it a few months earlier.

Boogie Nights details the adventures of one young man as he is recruited from a night club to become a porn star, and what a porn star he becomes! With one of the largest dicks in the world, he becomes an instant star, and his fame carries him for a long time - that is, until he begins arrogant and a drug addict. The film follows him through his ups and downs, as he goes through the tortures of drug addiction, prostitution, robbery and a fading fifteen minutes, yet for some reason we still root for him in the end...

Mark Wahlberg stars in the lead as Dirk Diggler, and does a perfect job of portraying a flawed yet likable character. Despite his shortcomings (and one very long thing), he is a good protagonist, though one that your grandparents would probably not look too kindly upon. Supported by a cast that includes Luis Guzman, Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle, Heather Graham, William H. Macy and Philip Seymore Hoffman, acting is definitely not a problem. In fact, this is one of the best casts to be assembled in a long, long time.

Furthermore, Paul Thomas Anderson, the man behind the intriguing character film Magnolia (which featured some of the same actors), writes and directs Boogie Nights with extreme confidence. Though I am not familiar with his earlier work, this movie is based off of his 1988 film The Dirk Diggler Story. Regardless, Anderson is more than qualified to create a powerful character drama in just about any setting; the porn industry just happens to be the place here.

The only flaw with Boogie Nights is its length. By the time we reach the last half hour, we have seen so many drug scenes, sex scenes and other disturbing images that the film begins to feel a bit forced. I almost fell asleep near the end.

Boogie Nights is a great film that just stretches itself a little too thin in parts, but with the terrific performances by all those involved, it is a movie that should not be overlooked.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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