Omar: 5 out of 5

Before I start this review I gotta give a shout-out to Liz because in less than an hour from now we’ll have been dating for 2 years and 2 months. Time flies! Even if it weren’t a special occasion I would have to give her some recognition for recommending this EXCELLENT movie from one of my all-time favorite directors. Paul Thomas-Anderson’s Boogie Nights took my breath away repeatedly and dealt with a subject that I haven’t seen all that much about in film.

P.T. Anderson is an American screenwriter, producer, and director from Studio City, California, known most recently for his adaptation of Inherent Vice (2014). I originally found out about him back in high school when he released the oscar-winning There Will Be Blood (2007). After falling madly in love with the guy’s clear talent, originality, and attention to detail I went on to closely follow his career and watch some of his older works. Despite not liking some of his works (Punch-Drunk Love) and not entirely understanding others (The Master), I’ve continued to admire his vision and ambition. The dude has talent! I always felt that it would take a great effort for him to top There Will Be Blood as my favorite movie of his but the whole time Boogie Nights lingered in the shadows. Boogie Nights, a movie I hadn’t watched that really makes it hard now for me to say what my favorite PT Anderson movie is.

Hey! Here's a pic I snapped of P.T. Anderson and Amy Adams at the 2013 Santa Barbara Film Festival!

Hey! Here’s a pic I snapped of P.T. Anderson and Amy Adams at the 2013 Santa Barbara Film Festival! Sorry for the potato quality, phones weren’t as advanced way back then.

On to the review you’re all hopefully dying to read! BN is the story of the 1970’s Golden Era of Porn, following the lives of porn’s biggest director, Jack Horner, along with many of porn’s biggest stars. This is definitely up there as one of the most star-studded casts I’ve ever seen! Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, Don Cheadle, John C. Reilly, William H. Macy, Heather Graham, and more all star in this film with a young looking Marky Mark taking center stage. Like I said, so star-studded it’s basically a self-sustaining galaxy. And I have to pause here for a second to mention a “joke” I have about Julianne Moore. Is it just me or is sweet Julianne naked and/or making luurrve in almost all her movies? Seriously! The Kids Are Alright, Boogie Nights, Chloe, The Big Lebowski and those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head. If a movie these days calls for a more mature woman in a nude or sexual position I automatically assume its Julianne Moore and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

But back to the review. As I was saying, this movie is about the Golden Age of Porn. The basic setup is that Eddie Adams (Wahlberg) is an energetic 17-year old with an unusual gift (a giant penis), working at an L.A. nightclub. One night, big-time porn director Jack Horner (Reynolds) spots Eddie and is immediately taken by him. After some convincing and aiding from Eddie’s family woes, Eddie decides to take up Horner on his offer and begin his transition into…DIRK DIGGLER! Biggest porn star on the planet! The rest of the decade flies with Diggler, Horner, and the rest of the cast on the up and up. This level of success can only be sustained for so long before something bad happens and when the First Family of Porn rings in the new decade, things start to go sour. The cool thing about this is that while Dirk and Jack are the clear focus of the film, all the other characters have their own things going on at the same time and it all feels real and interesting. This is of course aided by the all-around stellar acting from all involved. I always thought Wahlberg was a good actor but rarely does he truly wow me, his acting in this film was one of those special occasions in which he did.

Another small break to pour one out for the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman. It’s a real tragedy that he passed so young and this movie is just another on his long list of impressive achievements. His character didn’t have much screen time but his acting was some of the most impressive in the entire film.

So the story was fantastic as I’ve already stated. It was a long film at near 2 hours and 30 minutes but it didn’t feel TOO long. It felt like a fully fledged journey. In many ways the story reminded me of Goodfellas (one of my favorite movies ever) but with an entirely different topic. The story has some really great themes as well! Some of the discussions addressed that I can remember are violence against women in the media (specifically porn), celebrity drug usage and dependence, and how the rest of the world views pornography and its stars.

Besides the acting and story there is no way this review would be complete without mentioning the phenomenal cinematography work by Robert Elswit. In this movie he often uses very long and wide tracking shots that are visually beautiful and technically impressive. I really liked the tracking shots of roller girl and other club-goers in the opening, Dirk Diggler’s first Horner pool party, and William H. Macy walking through the house on New Year’s.

Without going into too much detail, the script was just as good as every other element of the film. The dialogue was very funny, original, and convincing. I laughed out loud repeatedly! This review is getting a little long so I’ll leave it at that for the script.

I have one last thing to mention in closing this review. Maybe I’m just reading into it too much but I noticed repeated Star Wars references and I don’t know why they were there but I loved them. In one scene John C. Reilly claims people say he looks like Han Solo, Don Cheadle is tries to sell the TK-421 sound system modification (TK-421 being a clonetrooper on the death Star), and Burt Reynolds looked STRAIGHT UP like George Lucas! Again, maybe this is just me but I thought these were cool. BUT ANYWAY, this movie was ridiculously good and I’m extremely happy that I finally saw it.

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