Boogie Nights appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 monitors. This was a good but not great SD-DVD presentation.
Sharpness seemed acceptable and often pretty strong, as close-ups looked fairly well-defined. Wider shots came across as iffier, though, a factor exacerbated by minor edge haloes. Still, the image was usually reasonably concise.
Only minor signs of jaggies or shimmering occurred. Some mild digital artifacts popped up, but print flaws were essentially non-existent.
With its 1970s setting, the flick opted for loud, borderline garish tones, and the DVD reproduced them in an adequate manner. Sometimes the colors looked pretty peppy, but some tones could seem too heavy – especially reds. Still, the hues mainly appeared reasonably good. Blacks were moderately deep, and shadows showed decent smoothness, though a few interiors looked a bit murky. Again, this never became a memorable presentation, but within the confines of SD-DVD, it worked acceptably well.
Though not as good, the film’s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack worked fine. The movie featured a soundfield oriented heavily toward the forward channels, where I heard excellent stereo separation for music, but general ambiance seemed less exciting. The mix used the rear speakers mainly for some minor reinforcement of the front channels - such as light applause during the award banquets – but that was about it.
That said, I won’t complain about the mix because it fit the film. The soundscape probably could have benefited from a little extra breadth, but this wasn't a movie that required an explosive surround track.
Audio quality appeared strong. Dialogue always came across as crisp and well-defined, with no edginess or concerns related to intelligibility. Effects appeared clear and realistic, and I noted no signs of distortion.
Although speech offered a major aspect of the film, I think music may actually be most important, as the mix of pop tunes and Michael Penn's score added tremendously to the mood and pacing of the movie. Happily, the track reproduced the music cleanly and strongly, with clear highs and some solid bass. The track as a whole worked well for the movie.
When we head to extras, we get an audio commentary from director Paul Thomas Anderson. He delivers a running, screen-specific look at the project’s origins and development, inspirations, influences and research, story/characters, cast and performances, music, editing, studio/ratings issues, and a mix of other domains.
When I first heard this commentary in the 90s, I loved it. Years later, it seems less winning, but it still becomes a good chat.
The main problem stems from its looseness, as Anderson can be more than a little “stream of consciousness”. However, I enjoy his frankness and his willingness to avoid the usual commentary BS. We learn quite a lot about the film, so this become a very good discussion – it’s just not as amazing as I used to believe.
Nine Deleted Scenes occupy a total of 23 minutes, 15 seconds. The vast majority of these offer extended versions of existing segments. For example, we see more of the van ride early in the movie, and there's also more "coke talk" among Reed, Dirk and Todd. The cut sequences didn’t offer anything stunning, but they presented some interesting material.
All of these snippets can be screened with their original audio or with commentary from Anderson, and they're fun either way. Anderson gives us details about the scenes as well as why they got the boot.
We find Michael Penn's Anderson-directed music video for "Try". It’s a solid piece and some cameos from Nights cast members add to the fun. Anderson also discusses the video during an optional commentary track.
Cast and Crew presents info for 16 actors and Anderson. These also add “biographies” for the movie’s characters, and that factor makes “C&C” more interesting than usual.
Boogie Nights remains a flawed masterpiece, but it's a gem nonetheless. I like this movie more every time I see it, although its problems seem impossible to ignore. The DVD provides generally positive picture and audio with a decent mix of supplements. Boogie Nights remains a highly entertaining film.
To rate this film visit the Blu-ray review of BOOGIE NIGHTS