Boogie Nights   1 Disembodied Jet Wolf Head out of Five
"I just really didn't think they were allowed to show that."
Thursday, 12 February 1998
NOTE: Review salvaged from the original HoF. Contents may have shifted during takeoff and landing.



Jet Wolf Says ...
See Boogie Nights only if you'd like your brain to experience a similar sensation as Dirk's greatest asset under the influence of cocaine.


Finally, after a month long hiatus from the movie theater, Mike and I were able to arrange our schedules and manage our time correctly for a triumphant return to the wild world o' film! The big question on everyone's mind, no doubt, is "Which movie ushered you into the next year's block of cinematic wonder?" Or, well, it might have if I hadn't put the title up at the top of the page already. Hm. Well, hypothetically speaking, I imagine you're asking this question. My answer to you? A very bad choice.

It doesn't happen often, but you know, I made a mistake, an error in judgment. I don't remember where or in which movie I saw this, but the few trailers that had popped up for Boogie Nights really didn't look that bad. Its surrounding world was the pornographic film industry, true, but the trailers made it quite obvious that this was a character driven film, and I have a horrible weakness for character driven films. Two other points in favour of going to see this verses, say, As Good As It Gets, were (1) It had just received at least one Oscar nomination and (2) This was its last night on the screen. Video rentals being so ridiculously overpriced, odds are that if I didn't see it now, I wouldn't see it at all.

Sadly, I would have missed precious little.

It's hard to say when I became disenchanted with the movie, but I think it was right around the time the movie's star, whose name I've blocked out, told Burt Reynolds that it would be $10 to watch him jack off. That would place us at approximately seven minutes after the movie began. Hell, even Starship Troopers kept me interested longer than that.

I'd like to blame my dislike for the movie on its overly gratuitous use of sex, but hell, it was about the pornographic film industry, what did I expect? No, it wasn't the sex or the drugs (which I found myself becoming completely jaded to before long ... I'd like to attribute this as a technique of the movie creators, letting the viewers experience how inconsequential it is to the people who are actually a part of this world, but I honestly believe I'd be giving them too much credit). It was the utter lack of anyone truly LIKEABLE in this movie.

Let's take a moment to reflect on the characters that we meet in the course of the film, shall we?

Such a charming cast, wouldn't you agree? Delightful characters. And you know that I've really left myself precious little to expound on in terms of a plot. Because it WASN'T really a plot, it was more a series of snippits out of several people's lives who all kinda sorta new each other and loosely stiched them together. I got the feeling throughout that the editing crew got drunk one night and cut bits out at random from the finished product for a laugh.

It could have been good, you know. The title character was likable enough in the beginning, I suppose. And there were several side stories that peaked my interest. But in the end, I felt as though the writers and director of this movie were much like Jack Horner. They were out to make a meaningful movie and fell horribly short of their ideals.

Almost finished now, but I wanted to make just a few more brief comments.

And so I leave with my parting comments on Boogie Nights: Don't waste your time. If you want a look at the movie industry and the toll it takes on a person see Postcards From the Edge. If you want an overview of how the nation changes over the decades, see Forest Gump. And if you want pornography, then come visit New Orleans and you'll have your pick of flicks. See Boogie Nights only if you'd like your brain to experience a similar sensation as Dirk's greatest asset under the influence of cocaine.




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