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BURT REYNOLDS IN 'BOOGIE NIGHTS' STARRING MARK WAHLBERG

Burt Reynolds & Mark Wahlberg from BOOGIE NIGHTS Year: 1997 Rating: ****1/2

Basically the GOODFELLAS of the 1970's porn industry, Paul Thomas Anderson's BOOGIE NIGHTS mirrors Martin Scorsese's mob classic from similarities such as wall-to-wall groovy tunes to deliberate homages like an end-of-the-second-act death (Joe Pesci to William H. Macy) that leads to a morbidly cascading downfall of all remaining characters, suddenly thrust and exposed into the bright-lit 1980's...

Of course NIGHTS is a classic all its own — both the celebration of a porn star's life and a cautionary tale of the decadent lifestyle to get and remain there: with budding star Mark Wahlberg as porn climber Dirk Diggler... 

Julianne Moore and Mark Wahlberg in BOOGIE NIGHTS with Philip Seymour Hoffman

Based on John Holmes with a giant... schlong, Dirk weaves in and out of parties, drugs, family and friends, including shrieking mother Joanna Gleason, faithful sidekick-actor John C. Reilly and female co-stars Julianne Moore as the older, wiser starlet and younger Heather Graham as the deliciously cute Rollergirl...

While all the performances are pretty fantastic, including Wahlberg's cocaine highs to meth-induced meltdowns (yet still neatly downplaying the central pawn role), it's Moore that really shines... not only her actual acting for the part but her character Amber Waves' bad porno acting...

Burt Reynolds and Ricky Jay in BOOGIE NIGHTS

And last but not least the comeback of Burt Reynolds, who actually ruled this glittery decade as a mainstream superstar, finally able to push himself into a worthy character role (without trying too hard) — as the director corralling both cast and crew he remains a kind of fatherly mentor (also surrounded by hopeless black guy Don Cheadle, nightclub owner Luis Guzman, quirky boom operator Seymour Phillip Hoffman while answering to main boss Robert Ridgely)...

Burt's Jack Horner wields both power and patience... yet it's his ultimately futile determination to keep shooting on film rather than settling for video that fuels both the performance and the movie's overall tribute to maverick, super-low-budget film-making — and somehow without looking or feeling either cheap or exploitative. 

Burt Reynolds in BOOGIE NIGHTS
Burt Reynolds in BOOGIE NIGHTS with Julianne Moore
Mark Wahlberg and John C. Reilly in BOOGIE NIGHTS
Burt Reynolds in BOOGIE NIGHTS with William H. Macy
Burt Reynolds in BOOGIE NIGHTS with Julianne Moore
John C. Reilly and Don Cheadle in BOOGIE NIGHTS
Heather Graham in BOOGIE NIGHTS
Mark Wahlberg and Philip Seymour Hoffman in BOOGIE NIGHTS
Mark Wahlberg, John C. Reilly and Thomas Jane in BOOGIE NIGHTS
Burt Reynolds in BOOGIE NIGHTS with Mark Wahlberg
Burt Reynolds in BOOGIE NIGHTS
Mark Wahlberg in BOOGIE NIGHTS with Julianne Moore
Mark Wahlberg in BOOGIE NIGHTS with Julianne Moore
Mark Wahlberg in BOOGIE NIGHTS with Julianne Moore
Heather Graham in BOOGIE NIGHTS with Julianne Moore
Don Cheadle in BOOGIE NIGHTS
Mark Wahlberg in BOOGIE NIGHTS
Julianne Moore in BOOGIE NIGHTS
Foreign VHS for BOOGIE NIGHTS
Campy Dirk Painting from BOOGIE NIGHTS
Original Dirk Diggler short film actor Michael Stein cameo for BOOGIE NIGHTS
Mark Wahlberg and Burt Reynolds with Heather Graham in BOOGIE NIGHTS
Luis Guzman with Heather Graham in BOOGIE NIGHTS
Jason Andrews and Robert Ridgely in BOOGIE NIGHTS
Burt Reynolds & Mark Wahlberg from BOOGIE NIGHTS
John C Reilly & Mark Wahlberg from BOOGIE NIGHTS "You Got the Touch"
Heather Graham & Mark Wahlberg from BOOGIE NIGHTS
Mark Wahlberg from BOOGIE NIGHTS
Burt Reynolds from BOOGIE NIGHTS

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