Boogie Nights

Search Movies

A movie that needed, that cried out, to be made: a hefty slice of heretofore unsampled cultural history, carved out of the San Fernando Valley, cradle of the porn-film industry. The precise snippet of the timeline -- sufficiently lengthy to qualify as "epic," especially at a two-and-a-half-hour running time -- could hardly have been more strategically selected. It spans from the salad days of the late Seventies, after these glorified stag films had gained a foothold in public places in the light of day, to the early Eighties, when the arrival of video drove them back underground and into the privacy of the home. At its best, the movie encroaches on the territory Tim Burton staked out in Ed Wood, a cheerful spectacle of people doing the best they can, however abysmal their level of ability. But writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson, who appears to regard himself as doing well to be nonjudgmental, cannot match Burton's affection for his people and cannot mask his own condescension. To be sure, we would not want Anderson to give us exactly the same thing we got from Burton. We want something new, something else. We get something less. We are expected, evidently, to congratulate Anderson on his nonjudgmentalism toward people he views as -- people he, after all, created as -- uniformly simple-minded, guileless, unaware, unreflecting, inarticulate, materialistic, acquisitive, myopic, childish, defenseless. How very big of him. How very superior. Neutrality is always a more interesting, a more difficult, a more artful, position to maintain in the face of more interesting people. Anderson's version of it is at bottom a self-imposed handicap that gets in the way equally of the potential parody and the potential poignance. The movie is dull-edged all around. A certain triteness of imagination -- an inclination to pull out guns and start blasting -- is a handicap, too. But an even bigger handicap than those is the hybridized visual style that compels us to think of other filmmakers when we ought to be thinking about Anderson: primarily of Scorsese, secondarily of Schrader; of the baroque operatic floridness of the one, and the puritanical glacial austerity of the other. They do not go together, those two, except as figureheads of scholastic cinema. And they do not both go -- Scorsese, at any rate, does not go -- with an attitude of neutrality. Mark Wahlberg, Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle, William H. Macy. (1997) — Duncan Shepherd

Rated R | 2 hours, 35 minutes
View Trailer "<em>Boogie Nights, The Shining</em>"


This movie is not currently in theaters.


Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs