We review discs of 'Boogie Nights,' 'Magnolia,' and 'Stand By Me: Special Edition'

By Steve Daly
September 08, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

Boogie Nights and Magnolia
Imagine Quentin Tarantino hopped up on 10 frappuccinos doing a satirical impression of Quentin Tarantino at his most flea-scratchingly intense. That should give you a sense of auteur Paul Thomas Anderson’s beyond-bubbly presence as ringmeister of these new double-disc DVD sets. The Boogie Nights package collates two earlier deluxe editions, a Criterion laserdisc and a New Line DVD. So, you get Anderson’s one-stop-film-school audio commentary on one track plus him conducting a wiggy actors’ roundtable chat on another (”We can just wax each other’s cars all day,” he keeps enthusing about his stellar ensemble, including Mark Wahlberg as fictional ’70s porn star Dirk Diggler and John C. Reilly as his dopey partner). New bonus outtakes: Wahlberg crashing a car in lieu of a stuntman and Reilly brilliantly improvising a paranoid fit and a recording-room snit (all of which make up for New Line dropping clips of real-life porn actor John Holmes that were on the Criterion laserdisc).

On the Magnolia ”Platinum Series” set, you’ve got to see the inspired he-man woman-hating Frank T.J. Mackey (Tom Cruise) diatribe that was cut from Anderson’s three-hour mosaic about L.A. losers (”Oh my God, I’m goin’ to hell!” he tells his seminar audience after some very nasty advice). Marvel, too, at Anderson’s borderline nervous-breakdown behavior in a 90-minute making-of video journal that chronicles just how over-budget, overwhelmed, and over-wired he was on his Boogie Nights follow-up. Try some decaf, P.T. Anybody who tells you that you’re not dangerously overstimulated is just waxing your car.
Both discs: A-

Stand By Me: Special Edition
Director Rob Reiner’s tender adaptation of the Stephen King novella is one of the better films named after a ’60s soul classic. Features: Commentary by Reiner, production notes, isolated film-score audio track, theatrical trailer, anamorphic wide-screen, Dolby Digital mono.