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Yojimbo's Movie Reviews (2306)

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Boogie Nights 
"Boogie Nights" by Yojimbo
3.5/4 stars

Boogie Nights charts the rise and fall of a fresh-faced young bus boy with a "gift" who is discovered by an adult film maker in the 70s. P. T. Anderson's comic valentine to 70s porn obviously has a similar format to the likes of Goodfellas, but its much lighter tone leaves room for a lot of laughs as well as the inevitable drug-fuelled downward spiral to degradation. Initially, it's all outrageous fashions, parties, pretty girls and fast cars, and the naivety of these times is brought through really well; the extended family is like an "adult" Brady Bunch, and Wahlberg's innocent charm is infectious as they are little more than children playing at dress-up. While screwing, of course. There is also a lot of Spinal Tap in the mock documentary and Dirk's hilarious attempt at pop stardom, and Anderson has fun recreating the amusingly shoddy production values of 70s porn (think the video to "Sabotage" with innuendo!) . There are deeper themes in amongst the excess of course; the impact of technology on all their lives as well as the inherent dysfunctionality of relationships based in an environment where physical intimacy is so prevalent it loses all meaning; Julianne Moore's dual role as mother/lover is particularly ambiguous. The fun and games contrast with the particularly grim violence of their lowest ebb when their masks begin to slip, but your affection for this gang of emotional misfits makes for a nicely ironic upbeat ending. It obviously owes a lot to Scorsese and Tarantino, but it is a very worthy addition to their tradition.


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