40. Boogie Nights (A+)
I saw There Will Be Blood
when it came out, but other then that I never got around to the rest of Paul Thomas Anderson's filmography. But he's got a new film out this year, after a five-year gap, so I figured it was time to get on that. In this case, there was a three-pack of this, Magnolia
and (for whatever reason) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
on Blu-ray for $35. I'd seen that last one already, but I wouldn't mind seeing it again.
This sprawling story set in the 70s/80s porn industry (I kept waiting for AIDS to come up, but it never did) features by far the best Mark Wahlberg performance I've seen to date, and a bevy of prominent supporting roles (the film made me realize that it's been years since I saw a new film with William H. Macy in it), with special honours going to Julianne Moore. I liked Anderson's story approach, which becomes dark as it goes on, but never descends into utter nihilism, and he has a great sense for black humour in places.
In some ways this feels like a weird companion piece to Ed Wood
, which also featured a close-knit filmmaking crew pursuing artistic dreams in spite of circumstance and serious delusions about their talent.
Home Video: 25 (+1)