Last week in my "Making the (Up) Grade" column, I featured Boogie Nights, and confessed my longtime love for the films of Paul Thomas Anderson. The Blu-ray for Boogie Nights looks glorious, and although its bonus materials don't add anything to the slate that existed on standard-definition editions, it's a must-have for almost any film fan, much less an Anderson acolyte. This week, Magnolia is being released alongside its predecessor, and rather than devote more time to saying that all that extra stuff is the same if not purely secondary, I figured I'd see if the film still fares as well as it did a decade ago, when the contact-high of Boogie Nights kept audiences intoxicated enough to ingest anything that Anderson might offer.
Mind you, I've seen Magnolia almost as many times as Boogie Nights, although its sheer girth – not to mention emotional impact has kept me from quite immersing myself in it as often. But with There Will Be Blood looming large as one of the best (if not the best) films of the '00s as people hash out their favorites from the last decade, and the post-coital glow of a recent Boogie Nights screening lingering in my immediate memory, it seemed only appropriate to make Magnolia the subject of this week's "Shelf Life."