There are a lot of things I love about Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights (the sight of Don Cheadle in a Stevie Wonder wig is worth the price of admission alone), but if I simply had to choose, the scene of a botched drug deal with Rahad Jackson (Alfred Molina) probably ranks as one of my favorite movie moments of all time. Why? Between the Night Ranger soundtrack and the sounds of Cosmo's cherry bombs going off in the background, I was right there with Reed Rothchild (John C. Reilly) on the couch wanting to get the hell out of that living room. I get film geek goose pimples all over as the camera settles on Dirk (Mark Wahlberg), watching his face gradually realize how far he'd fallen. At the time, it even managed to convince me that Wahlberg might be an honest to goodness actor -- a notion he's been working hard to dissuade me from ever since.
Boogie Nights fun facts:
- Paul Thomas Anderson intended for further scenes involving Rahad Jackson (Molina) that would have had him going out in a blaze of gunfire when the cops arrived on the scene.
- There are numerous references to John Holmes in the film, but this sequence is loosely based on the infamous Wonderland murders that centered on Holmes and gangster Eddie Nash in real life.