Boogie Nights (Blu-ray)
Young director Paul Thomas Anderson weaves a fascinating tale about transformation of the porn industry in the 1970s with an all-star ensemble cast including Julianne Moore, Heather Graham, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle, William H. Macy, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Luis Guzman,. The performances are outstanding, particularly by Wahlberg and Reynolds, but at 155 minutes the films pacing is a little tedious.
One of my biggest gripes with Warner/New Line Blu-ray transfers is the majority of them look more like video versus film, but that certainly isn’t the case here. Facial textures are highly detailed without any smearing and film grain is kept intact. Black levels waver from inky to dark gray although the vivid 70s color palette jumps off the screen.
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack rocks to the sounds of the decade with memorable tunes from the Beach Boys, Three Dog Night, Marvin Gaye, and other classic artists, which sounds pretty damn good due to ample bass and a solid midrange. Dialog is intelligible although the track is a little too front-heavy with the surround speakers relegated to minor ambience and score bleed.
Supplements include two separate commentaries; one with director Paul Thomas Anderson and the second with some of the all-star cast. Other standard-definition features include nearly 30 minutes of deleted scenes, some funny extended scenes with John C. Reilly, a music video, and theatrical trailer.
Paul Thomas Anderson is considered one of the better young directors in Hollywood and of his four feature films, I certainly like Boogie Nights the best despite its extended runtime. The technical merits of the Blu-ray presentation are strong although the standard-definition supplements don’t add much value. If you haven’t had a chance to see the film it’s definitely worth a rental.
Release Date: January 19, 2010
Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray player
JVC DLA-RS1 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)
Onkyo Pro PR-SC885 pre/pro
Anthem PVA-7 power amplifier
Belkin PF60 power conditioner
M&K S-150s (L, C, R)
M&K SS-150s (LS, RS, SBL, SBR)
SVS PC-Ultra subwoofer
Monoprice HDMI cables (source to pre/pro)
Best Deal analog-audio cables
PureLink HDC Fiber Optic HDMI Cable System (15 meters) from pre/pro to projector
Acoustical treatments from GIK Acoustics