Boogie Nights (Blu-ray Review)

Boogie Nights Blu-rayMost of my movie-loving friends have already seen Boogie Nights while I had not.  Considering the film had as much popularity as it did and it’s well over a decade old now, it was high time I sat down for a watch of this flick.  I heard fragments of the content here and there so being the red-blooded male that I am, of course my interest was peaked.  But even a hot, scantly clad (or no clad) woman is not enough in and of itself to make a film good.  How is the acting, the plot, the climax, the believability?  You will find the answers to all these questions in this review of Boogie Nights.


Porn.  Drugs.  Money.  Life in the fast lane.  This concludes our description of the movie’s story.  Hey, I’m kidding, of course, but those are the underlying aspects of this vividly real production starring a very impressive roster of actors; Mark Wahlberg, Burt Reynolds, Don Cheadle, John C. Reilly, Julianne Moore, William H. Macy, Heather Graham and Philip Seymour Hoffman.  If someone walked onto that set and didn’t know a movie was being shot, they’d probably think they were at an awards ceremony. 

The story begins with the spotlight on 17-year old Eddie Adams.  He’s a California kid growing up in the 1970’s with higher aspirations, bussing tables night club.  Enter Jack Horner; exotic film director and general well-known of the pornography industry.  Horner and Adams cross paths at the Cali hot spot and a star is made…kind of.  Eddie Adams eagerly enters the world of adult films under the moniker Dirk Diggler, but after a time, the very ‘gifted’ Diggler has his run-in with coke (and I don’t mean the stuff in a red can) and his downward spiral begins. 

Certainly enough substantial content in its own right, the story isn’t limited to Diggler as we also live the experiences of the characters played by Moore, Cheadle and Graham in dramatic fashion.  Boogie Nights is solid (no pun intended) with an eye-opening look at the porn industry of the 70’s into a hint of the 80’s.  Burt Reynolds is great as porn director Horner, as is the rest of the cast, Wahlberg included, in their respective roles.  The film runs about two and a half hours long but it went by with such fluidity that I didn’t find myself watching the clock. 

Boogie Nights


Impressive to the end, the video quality does well to highlight the various obnoxious shades that donned the 70’s fashion.  Also brought to the optical forefront are the health-revealing skin tones of those characters strung out on nose candy.  Wahlberg’s buff tan early on alters to a bleached pastiness in the latter half of the film.  The 1080p, VC-1 encode doesn’t make you a pore-counter in this film but the clarity is beautiful nonetheless.  The 1.77:1 aspect ration is equally enjoyable, though I raised an eyebrow during one scene in particular, wondering if too much was being revealed.

Scotty (Hoffman) sits weeping in his new car during a night shot.  Pay close attention to the car door’s side mirror and watch as a shadow hovers over it, then disappears, then appears again.  Hey boom guy, get out of the shot!  Maybe it was a tree branch or a hanging vine.  Yeah, let’s go with that.  

Boogie Nights


This disc does a great job in highlighting the musical tracks delivered during the film.  Bass is born through the wonderful sub-woofer and you’ll find your ears touched through the rear channels behind you in this Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround track.  Dialogue is sometimes satisfyingly sent through the front speakers as is usually the case.  I say ‘satisfyingly’ because I found the music drowning out the conversations at times.  I must stress though, this was not an ongoing concern and only happened on a couple occasions.  Overall, it’s a decent mix that will make a well-rounded use of your speaker system.

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Special Features 

There is one disappointing facet of this disc and it is the extras.  Everything is in standard definition and outside from the music video, I didn’t find anything else worthy of a second look.  In other words, there is little to no replay value of these bulletpoints.  The material here is unimpressive.

  • Behind the Story
    • Commentary by Director Paul Thomas Anderson
    • Commentary by Don Cheadle, Heather Graham, Luis Guzman, William H. Macy, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Mark Wahlberg and Melora Walter
  • Additional Footage: The John C. Reilly Files – There are 3 scenes in that are outtakes and/or longer versions of existing scenes.  The quality of the footage is deplorable and unwatchable.  Nothing is gained from this footage (15:10).
  • Deleted Scenes – These 10 scenes can be viewed with optional commentary by Paul Thomas Anderson (29:28).
  • Music Videos – Let me disspell the false advertising.  This is a music video, as in singular, not plural.  The lone video to watch here is called “Try” by Michael Penn and features an appearance by Philip Seymour Hoffman.  It’s worth a watch, but after one or two times, there’s not much to do with this one (3:11).
  • Trailer – The theatrical trailer of Boogie Nights (2:24).

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Final Thoughts 

Now that I can finally say I watched Boogie Nights, I have satisfied my curiosity of this movie and check it off on my film-to-do list.  It’s certainly not a production for everybody due to the content, violence and nudity.  Still, if you want real life, here it is, or at least was, at some point in that lifestyle. 


Bring home Boogie Nights on Blu-ray today!



Boogie Nights Blu-ray Cover Art




5 Responses to “Boogie Nights (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Brian White

    This movie is a classic!

  2. Sandy

    Marky Mark and his appendage in BluRay – I’m there!

  3. Bob Ignizio

    Kind of disappointing to see the bonus features are all the exact same ones that were on the DVD. Still missing in action: ‘The Dirk Diggler Story’, the original short film Anderson made prior to ‘Boogie Nights’. I think it was included as an extra on the Laser Disc of this movie, but it hasn’t surfaced in a legitimate release since. A retrospective documentary with cast and crew interviews and discussion of the film’s impact would be welcomed, too. Hopefully when we get to a significant anniversary year (15 is coming up) we’ll get an upgrade. Until then, I think I’ll just stick with my DVD.

  4. Brian White

    And I totally forgot Julianne Moore was in this too!

    I might pick this one up when the price is right.

    I hear what you are saying Bob about the extras, although I hardly pay attention to them unless I am reviewing the disc or extremely interested in the film. I never heard of that short film you are referring to. I need to investigate.

  5. Bob Ignizio

    I don’t normally worry about extras much, either, but ‘Boogie Nights’ is probably my favorite movie of the nineties.