Tag: Paul Thomas Anderson (Page 1 of 2)

Looking back at the wild and sexy “Boogie Nights” (1997)

Boogie Nights” is Paul Thomas Anderson’s masterpiece, and it’s not a close call when compared to the rest of his catalogue. Critics loved “There Will Be Blood,” but that film is too long, painfully boring and grossly overrated, saved partly by Daniel Day-Lewis’s typically memorable performance.

On the other hand, “Boogie Nights” is even more ambitious and provides a much more enjoyable experience as PTA explores the seedy world of the porn industry in the late 70s and early 80s. Like all his movies, the film is visually spectacular as PTA recreates the tacky world of the period, while introducing us to a series of memorable characters caught up in the wild world of porn. Unlike many of PTA’s other films, however, “Boogie Nights” also tells a coherent story that skillfully weaves together the lives of his characters and holds the audience’s attention through the end.

I recently re-watched the film for the umpteenth time and came away with several impressions:

Comeback Role for Burt Reynolds

The casting decisions here are flawless, and it all starts with Burt Reynolds as Jack Horner, the porn director who wants to be taken seriously as a filmmaker. Jack lives in a large, mid-century modern house with a large pool and bar in the back. It’s perfect for parties and porn shoots and just big enough for some of his regular actors and actresses to live there. Burt was 61 when he shot this film, sporting a salt & pepper hair piece and beard. He’s older and looks distinguished but still has sex appeal and loads of charisma. Jack serves as a sort of father-figure to the younger actors and actresses and Burt’s understated and nuanced portrayal of Jack is critical to this film. With that context, it was quite shocking to learn that Burt hated working with PTM and disliked the film.

Burt Reynolds and Julianne Moore in Boogie Nights

The plot follows the rise and fall of a young, well-endowed kid who dreams of being a star. Mark Wahlberg does a fine job playing Eddie. He’s a sweet and friendly kid working as a dishwasher in a club in the Valley when Jack discovers him. He then takes on the stage name of Dirk Diggler, joining the band of misfits starring in Jack’s films.

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Quentin Tarantino points out a flaw in ‘Boogie Nights’

It’s rare to hear a director be honest and point out a flaw in another director’s work. But Quentin Tarantino isn’t your average director.

Here’s a clip of Tarantino discussing “Bookie Nights,” a film he says he loves, directed by his friend Paul Thomas Anderson.

Tarantino discusses the Burt Reynold’s character, the obvious inspiration for his character and a line from the movie. What Tarantino says makes a lot of sense, and it’s a fair criticism of one small part of an otherwise great movie. And it’s refreshing to hear him be honest about it.

The 5 Best Casino Movies

Casinos and Hollywood have a lot in common — bright lights, glamorous people, and the allure of fame and fortune. It makes sense, then, that some of Hollywood’s most memorable and well-received releases center on the world of casinos. Take a look at 5 of the best casino movies ever made and the characters that brought them to life:

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Is ‘The Master’ overrated?

“The Master” is getting a ton of buzz. It has a phenomenal cast with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix, and director Paul Thomas Anderson is the new darling of Hollywood. As you can see from the photo is has a very cool movie poster as well, so you can see people grabbing movie poster frames to showcase this poster on their walls.

The critics love the film as well, as you can see from the 85% rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Yet the audience rating is only 62%, so this is one of those films that impresses the critics with its artistic achievement but doesn’t entertain as many fans.

Perhaps the film is misunderstood by some, but after having seen it, it strikes me as grossly overrated. Frankly the film is boring as hell. The acting is superb, particularly the performance of Joaquin Phoenix, but Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s talent is wasted here. His character, Lancaster Dodd, is supposed to be the master, yet his appeal as a cult leader isn’t convincing. It’s not because Hoffman can’t pull off the role. It’s just that Anderson gives him absolutely nothing interesting to say. It’s all gibberish, and thus the entire premise of the film falls apart.

You have to see it for yourself to make up your mind, but I suggest you save your self the money. Save your money on the poster as well. Perhaps you can watch the film later on HBO. At least you won’t feel like you got ripped off.

Hidden Netflix Gems – Everything Must Go

Hollywood has a rich history of well-known comic actors taking on more serious and weighty roles, from Robin Williams to Ben Stiller to Jim Carrey, and now Will Ferrell, in what is probably his very best performance to date. Everything Must Go bears a strong resemblance to Stiller’s work in Noah Baumbach‘s Greenberg, or Adam Sandler‘s in Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Punch-Drunk Love, in its portrayal of a flawed but basically good-hearted man going through difficult times and coming out better for it. The difference between Ferrell and Sandler, of course, is that Ferrell’s comedies generally don’t suck.

Ferrell plays Nick Halsey, an alcoholic who loses his job at the beginning of the film and, after an ill-advised revenge against his boss, Gary (Glenn Howerton), returns home to discover that his wife has left him. Not only that, she has locked him out of the house, frozen their joint bank account, and left all of his possessions out on the front lawn. Nick is understandably upset, and reacts in the defeated way that has apparently become his life’s standard recourse: he buys a lot of beer and camps out in his La-Z-Boy on the lawn for the night. In the morning, having exhausted his beer supply and unable to find his car keys, he borrows a bicycle from his twelve-year-old neighbor, Kenny Loftus (Christopher Jordan Wallace), and heads down to the convenience store for more beer while Kenny keeps an eye on his stuff.

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