Boogie Nights Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Video Codec: VC-1
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English TrueHD 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH, German, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin American)
- Region: A
- Rating: R
- Discs: 1
- Studio: New Line
- Release Date: January 19, 2010
- List Price: $28.99
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
A film about the porn industry may seem shocking or offensive to some, but Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights is more than merely an exposé on the exploits of porn. Boogie Nights is a colorful, emotional drama about the halcyon days of the industry and the real people within it. High school dropout “Dirk Diggler” (Mark Wahlberg) makes it big through his “gift” in the films of Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds) and is taken under the wing of a sort of porn den mother Amber Waves (Julianne Moore).
Writer/director Anderson, only 26 when he made Boogie Nights, artfully handled the film’s situations with an intelligent script that never pandered to audience expectations about what a film about the porn industry should be. Instead, Boogie Nights delivers an emotional drama about real-life and memorable characters all brought together in one big family of sorts and coping with troubles together.
The musical soundtrack, made up of recognizable numbers from the 70s, helps drive the drama. In lesser hands that may have been a distraction, but in the capable hands of Anderson, who uses the songs thematically this works. When Rollergirl (Heather Graham) and Dirk do it to “Brand New Key,” it’s just cinematic perfection unfolding.
Anderson’s film is a slick mix of Tarantino, Scorsese, perhaps even some Coppola and a little Hitchcock in his use of camera angles. Now, some years and films later, we see that Boogie Nights was more than just an anomaly from Anderson and Boogie Nights is still a glowing example that the filmmaker deserves to be proud of.
Boogie Nights arrives on Blu-ray from New Line in a 2.35:1 1080p/24 VC-1 high definition encoding. Flesh tones are accurate, shadow delineation is strong, and color production is solid overall. Film grain is consistent throughout the presentation, though detail is a bit soft, particularly in backgrounds. Foreground detail is strong, but not quite as sharp as I normally like to see it. There is no evidence of macroblocking, posterization, or any thing like edge enhancement that I could detect.
Boogie Nights comes with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack as its sole option. The mix is very front-heavy and the surrounds are used only for some very low-level ambient effects. With that being said, the mix does effectively convey the film’s nearly nonstop period soundtrack with deep bass and smooth high frequencies. Dialogue is intelligible, but sometimes has some crackle. There is good dynamic range, but ultimately Boogie Nights’ soundtrack is competent, but lackluster.
The supplements from the previous DVD release of Boogie Nights arrive on the Boogie Nights Blu-ray intact and still in standard definition. There are two audio commentaries, one from write/director Paul Thomas Anderson and one from the all-star cast. These will be the most compelling extras to check out.
The supplements provided on this release are:
Behind the Story:
- Commentary by director Paul Thomas Anderson
- Commentary by Cast Members Mark Wahlberg, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle, Julianne Moore, William H. Macy, and Heather Graham
- The John C. Reilly Files (1.33:1; 480i/60) — Outtakes and longer cuts of existing scenes
- Deleted Scenes w/ optional commentary by director Paul Thomas Anderson (2.35:1; 480i/60)
- “Try” by Michael Penn w/ optional commentary by Paul Thomas Anderson (1.33:1; 480i/60)
- Theatrical Trailer (2.35:1; 480i/60)
The Definitive Word
It’s hip, sleek and emotional perfection — it’s Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights and this more than solid Blu-ray effort from New Line means that this comes as a recommendation, despite its lack of high definition supplements.