28 May 1999 | Stu-5
A very well told story; "Short Cuts" with lots of sex.
This is an excellent movie that is vibrant, colourful and powerful. The performances are all very good, but the big surprise is the return of Burt Reynolds. His performance is the most notable, and he duly rewarded with a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination. Boogie Nights is about the pornography industry in the 70's, and how it all fell apart in the 80's. The first half, revolving around the 70's, is plausible and believable; entertaining and informative. Although the film falls apart in the second half, and descends into a lot of unnecessary, graphic violence.
Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) is the protagonist of the movie. He is spotted one night at a club by porn king Jack Warner (Reynolds), and is offered a deal to star in a movie. Warner remarks that, "I just know there's somethin' wonderful under those jeans just waitin' to get out." And that marks the entrance for Eddie into the sleazy, slutty, though human world of porn and sex. Boogie Nights follows his first appearance as a naive young actor to a drug hampered, egomaniacal lunatic who spirals down into the world of crime and Cocaine. Along the way, it deals with sub plots dealing with pornography and the surrogate families that establish themselves amidst the echelons; the prejudice that society carries to porn stars and the dirty, utterly disgraceful life they lead.
Although the film deals with sex and porn, there is not an obscene amount of it, and the director censors these scenes so it is not explicit. The viewers gather that Eddie Adams (or Dirk Diggler, the pseudonym he assumes for acting) has a prodigious member lurking under his jeans. But, until the final scene, all we see to indicate that is the stunned reactions by peers and onlookers.
The script is very good, but the film is overly long. It could be called an epic at a length of 155 minutes, but the time passes quickly. Despite Boogie Nights' flaws and shortfalls, it is a very good movie worthy of the acclaim it received.
Nine out of ten.