Tag Archives: Burt Reynolds

Boogie Nights (1997) Review

BOOGIE NIGHTS, Burt Reynolds, Mark Wahlberg, 1997

Boogie Nights

Time:  155 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] Violence, offensive language and sex scenes
Cast:
Mark Wahlberg as Eddie Adams/”Dirk Diggler”
Julianne Moore as Maggie/”Amber Waves”
Burt Reynolds as Jack Horner
Don Cheadle as Buck Swope
John C. Reilly as Reed Rothchild
William H. Macy as “Little” Bill Thompson
Heather Graham as Brandy/”Rollergirl”
Nicole Ari Parker as Becky Barnett
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Scotty J.
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

In the San Fernando Valley in 1977, teenage busboy Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) gets discovered by porn director Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds), who transforms him into adult-film sensation Dirk Diggler. Brought into a supportive circle of friends, including fellow actors Amber Waves (Julianne Moore), Rollergirl (Heather Graham) and Reed Rothchild (John C. Reilly), Dirk fulfills all his ambitions, but a toxic combination of drugs and egotism threatens to take him back down.

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I remembered going into Boogie Nights for the first time only knowing it as “that one movie about 70s porn” and being quite surprised at how great it actually turned out to be. Having watched it a second time, I can very much say that it is one of director Paul Thomas Anderson’s best movies.

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First of all, the script from PTA is fantastic. The story is set against the backdrop of the low-rent machinery of the adult film industry, and it was quite interesting to watch. Boogie Nights is known as that one movie about porn, and while porn that plays a notable part in the plot and the characters are involved with it, it’s not essentially at the core what the film is about. Essentially it is a story about fame, its highlights but also the downsides of fame, and how it doesn’t last. The story starts off in the 70s, in which you see the more extravagant and outlandish side of the business. However halfway through, it moves to the 80s, and there’s a distinct tonal shift. Everyone’s depressed and drugged up, and it’s a much darker look at life. The characters are trying to make normal livings for themselves, but their pasts are lingering over them and makes things difficult for them. The transition from the light hearted high on life and fast paced comedy to the emotional, serious and dark drama is done greatly, and doesn’t feel tonally inconsistent, you can tell it is still very much the same movie. Something that benefits this movie is the memorable and well-developed characters, who really shine. It’s also a very entertaining movie, there’s some good humour throughout much of it, there’s a lot of quotable dialogue, and it’s quite fun to watch. Despite the very long length of 2 hours and 30 minutes long, the script is very tight and not a single scene is wasted.

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This movie contains a strong ensemble cast, and each of them deliver masterful performances. First of all, Mark Wahlberg gives a career best performance as the lead character of Eddie Adams/Dirk Diggler. Wahlberg did great at portraying the up and coming star in this movie, over the top when he needed to be, and also grounded in the more serious moments. The supporting cast are fantastic too, with the standouts being Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Even some of the actors who are only in a few scenes make an impression, Alfred Molina for example is very memorable in his scene later in the movie. All the actors had great and believable chemistry together, with Wahlberg and Reynolds really sticking out for me.

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Paul Thomas Anderson already showed himself a confident director with his debut film Hard Eight, and his work here is even stronger, it is astonishing on a technical level. The cinematography is amazing, the camera movement is quick and feels alive in this movie, especially during its numerous long tracking shots. Every scene is shot to perfection, feeling so electric it was hard to not be engaged. That paired with the exceptional editing really made it quite an experience to watch. The 70s and 80s were captured perfectly in this film from the environments and costumes to the music. Speaking of which, the soundtrack was phenomenal and the songs were utilised very well in the scenes.

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Boogie Nights is an incredibly well made movie on just about every level. The story was engaging and entertaining, the characters were memorable and well acted, and the direction was phenomenal. If you haven’t seen it already, it’s definitely worth checking out.

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Tale (2007) Review

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In the Name of the King 1; A Dungeon Siege Tale

Time: 127 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1]
Cast:
Jason Statham as Farmer
Leelee Sobieski as Muriella
John Rhys-Davies as Merick
Ron Perlman as Norick
Claire Forlani as Solana
Kristanna Loken as Elora
Matthew Lillard as Duke Fallow
Ray Liotta as Gallian
Burt Reynolds as King Konreid
Brian White as Commander Tarish
Mike Dopud as General Backler
Will Sanderson as Basstian
Tania Saulnier as Talwyn
Gabrielle Rose as Delinda
Terence Kelly as Trumaine
Colin Ford as Zeph
Director: Uwe Boll

A farmer (Jason Statham) sets out to rescue his kidnapped wife (Claire Forlani) and avenge the death of his son — two acts committed by the Krugs, a race of animal-warriors who are controlled by the evil Gallian (Ray Liotta).

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I wasn’t expecting anything when I was going into this movie, Uwe Boll’s first two Bloodrayne movies caused me to have this feeling. For an Uwe Boll movie though, it isn’t as bad as Bloodrayne 2; the movie does have at times decent action scenes. However this movie still wasn’t good on its own, it still has a bad story, average to terrible acting along with having a lot of things from Lord of the Rings which did bother me from time to time.

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The story doesn’t have anything interesting to offer, made worse with the movie being 2 hours long, it should’ve been shorter. The first act was set up poorly with characters that I didn’t feel attached to, not helping this is the dialogue which is poorly written, uninteresting and doesn’t further develop the characters. This may be an aside but Statham’s character is literally called Farmer. The most boring part of the movie was the second act, there wasn’t much going on. The third act was the most entertaining and had a whole lot of action scenes which were done okay but they didn’t have much story to link them together to make them interesting. The film has many plot holes, like in one of the final fights with Jason Statham and Ray Liotta, Liotta doesn’t use his magic at the beginning, despite being able to get rid of him in an instant. This movie also took a lot of things from Lord of the Rings, for example the last big battle scene was very similar to the Helms Deep scene from The Two Towers. Even the Krugs seemed very much like the Orcs. The writer of this movie actually rewrote 80% of the script because it felt too much like Lord of the Rings, it’s not just me finding it familiar.

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This film has a good cast, none of whom brings much to the movie. Jason Statham doesn’t make much of an impression here, he’s much better in other movies but I will say that he does well in the action scenes, as he usually does. Ron Perlman gives the best performance in the movie, he’s one of those actors who can bring anything to a movie but unfortunately his character still wasn’t given any depth or attention. Burt Reynolds is for some reason in this movie but he just didn’t bring anything to the movie; he looks like he doesn’t want to be there and is quite underwhelming and boring. On the complete other end from acting bored is Ray Liotta who plays the villain and is completely over the top. If you’ve seen the two Bloodrayne movies, you know that Uwe Boll doesn’t know how to direct actors in playing villains. A prime example is when Liotta shares a scene with Matthew Lillard, it’s like they are competing in a ‘worst performance’ competition.

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The action scenes in the first act of the movie are done poorly, the camera shook and cut often and they aren’t filmed well. Later on the action scenes improved, the camera didn’t cut and it was steady, however they weren’t very interesting or entertaining, they were just okay.

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I will say that this movie is better than some of Uwe Boll’s other movies but this is still a bad movie. It has the many things that Uwe Boll movies have, bad acting, poor writing, average cinematography and has many plot holes, on top of feeling too much like Lord of the Rings. In short, the movie is a poor man’s Lord of the Rings, it’s the best way to describe it. I heard that Uwe Boll made a good movie, Rampage, I would really like to see it sometime; I need to take a break from his movies.