Movies used to be the premier form of Hollywood entertainment. They were the pinnacle. They had the best actors, the best directors, the best stories, and the best effects. But then HBO started making their own shows. They had the budget to hire quality actors to portray quality characters. Characters are the most important part of storytelling. If you don’t care about the character, then you don’t care about what happens to them. And a TV series allows a character to get developed over multiple episodes and seasons. You get to know their personality, their quirks, their pet peeves, and you feel like you truly know them.
AMC has a lot of amazing character based dramas, like Mad Men and Breaking Bad, with interesting characters and intriguing storylines. The Walking Dead not only has great characters but also feels like a zombie movie that never ends. And it has more graphic and creative zombie deaths than anything in the movies. There are shows like True Blood that are extremely sexual and violent and Spartacus (which makes True Blood seem like a family show). The quality writing on television is extended to Cartoon Network. Even the worst season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is better than anything the prequel trilogy has to offer.
In the old days, any actor could be on TV but only a few actors could transition to the big screen and be a box office draw. Now movie stars want to be on television. The Simpsons and Scrubs are famous for their celebrity cameos and guest roles. Former Hollywood heavyweights like Keifer Sutherland got a career boost by turning to TV. Dustin Hoffman, Steve Buscemi, and Sean Bean put aside film opportunities to star in HBO shows. Kevin Spacey, Christian Slater, William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin, Kathy Bates, Zooey Deschanel, Danny DeVito, Christina Ricci, Laura Linney, Don Cheadle, and Glenn Close have all chosen television over film. Who needs to go to the theater with that kind of star power available on a weekly basis?
With HBO hits like The Sopranos and Sex in the City, other networks started paying more attention to quality programming. Premium cable channels like Starz and Showtime stepped up their game. Basic cable networks like FX and AMC had to keep up and they did. And the major networks took note and started taking more risks. We get shows as diverse as Lost and Community and everybody wins. The production quality and star power of television shows is only going to increase. It’s a good time to be a couch potato with a Netflix subscription.
Critically Rated at 16/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young
Paul Thomas Anderson directs Mark Wahlberg and a great supporting cast in Boogie Nights. This tells the tale of Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) who enters the adult film industry and becomes the legendary and fictional Dirk Diggler. A great supporting cast and a great soundtrack help to carry this film from being a cult classic to a cinematic necessity
Mark Wahlberg is a legitimate actor. This role cements his legacy. Dirk Diggler could have been portrayed by a dozen or more actors. Mark Wahlberg takes control of the flick and makes Dirk Diggler a real person. Stupid as fuck, but real. His only goal in life is to make use of what he was given. He was given a large cock. And he embraces it.
Every character in this movie views sex in different ways. Sex is the theme, but it destroys people. Heather Graham plays Roller Girl, and she is always down to fuck. She doesn’t consider herself a whore or a slut thought. She has pride and respects herself even if others don’t. Julianne Moore plays Amber Waves, an aging porn star that is protective of Mark Wahlberg and desperately wants to regain custody of her kid. She’s a bad mom, knows it, and hates herself for it. Burt Reynolds plays Jack Horner, a director with delusions of grandeur. He considers himself an actual director, involved with story and plot but he’s a porn director and not much more.
Don Cheadle and John C. Reilly join the cast as washed up porn stars. Don Cheadle wants to be a cowboy and wants to start his own electronics business. John C. Reilly is constantly trying to prove himself and acts tougher than he is. He wants to be a magician, but he’s a straight up mimbo. William H. Macy plays the assistant Little Bill. He’s married to a porn star/swinger who is constantly cheating on him. It becomes a running gag. Sex isn’t casual for everyone, and he reaches the breaking point. There are a lot of other great supporting cast members. Philip Seymour Hoffman has a bizarre man crush on Dirk Diggler. Luis Guzman plays a sleazy nightclub owner who is always trying to break into the industry.
If you’re a dude you probably feel inadequate after watching this movie. You aren’t the only one. I’m sure there are support groups available. Just remind yourself that Mark Wahlberg had to use a prosthetic.
Boogie Nights is less about the porn industry and more about the amazing time that was the 1970s and ‘80s. Porn just happened to be a hot topic at that point. All the people involved in the porn industry are trying to make themselves appear legitimate. They want to be presentable to society. They are all trying to be something else. Only Mark Wahlberg as Eddie Adams wants to fully embrace the lifestyle. He wants the glory and infamy that comes with the territory; sex is the only thing that sets him apart from the crowd. He wants to be the best at the only thing he is good at… it just happens to be a taboo subject.
The industry seems exciting and glamorous at first, but it gets darker and darker as the film goes on. It destroys careers and lives, and only a few people are able to escape it. Sex is awesome, but sometimes it is a curse. This movie shows both sides of the coin.
Critically Rated at 15/17