I'm gonna be a great big shining star. With a huge prosthetic tool.I was skeptical that a movie with so much hype, so much good word of mouth, would actually live up to its credentials. For months prior to its release, we'd been hearing about how it was going to turn Mark Wahlberg a star and revive Burt Reynolds stagnant career (Cop And A Half, anyone?). But this movie delivers.
Forget the story of Marky Mark and the "is it real or isn't it?" question. From the first time Wahlberg meets Reynolds as a busboy, to near the end when he's seemingly a washed up junkie, we're drawn to the character of Eddie Adams, later Dirk Diggler. Wahlberg's performance is surprisingly believable: he goes from naive, cautious youngster to major adult film star to megalomaniacal coke fiend. He's certainly redeemed himself after a psycho turn in the foregttable Fear. When we finally do get to see the...uh..."unit"...we care more about the character than we do his gift.
The movie is loaded with pure nostalgia. The music is rarely muted, filled with more 70's (and in the final reel, early 80's) music than I'd care to remember. The costumes are authentic (and scary, at least to me), and the feel of the movie seems to be completely faithful to the time and place.
Despite what some naysayers have to say about the movie, it's not about porn, although porn obviously is featured. No, it's not glorifying porn; it's really just about family, and Eddie's acceptance into an extended family when his own wouldn't have him. It's just that the extended family just happens to be deeply (pun intended) involved in the porn industry.
Nice dialogue, strong performances (especially from Julianne Moore and Don Cheadle), nicely shot, and on the whole, a great film.Director Paul Thomas Anderson has proven to me that Hard Eight was no fluke.