Discs Are Rated
Magnolia: New Line Platinum Series
review by Zach B.
Running Time: 180 Minutes
Starring Jeremy Blackman, Tom Cruise, Melinda Dillon,
Philip Baker Hall, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ricky Jay,
William H. Macy, Alfred Molina, Julianne Moore, John C.
Reily, Jason Robards,Melora Walters
Studio: New Line
Written and Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Retail Price: 29.99
Features: Theatrical Trailer, Teaser Trailer, "Save
Me" Aimee Mann Music Video, Frankey T.J. Mackey Seminar,
Mackey Infomercial, TV Spots, "Magnolia Diary" by Mark
Specs: 2.40:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, Dolby Digital
English 5.1, English Dolby Surround, English Captions,
Chapter Search (12 Chapters)
There is simply no way to describe "Magnolia". Paul
Thomas Anderson showed major promise as a filmmaker after
the Indie "Hard Eight" (or "Sydney") and the porn epic
"Boogie Nights". "Magnolia" further proves his talent and
how great of a storyteller he is.
"Magnolia" follows the day in a life of assorted
individuals with their own stories, and how they clash in
some way or another. The main way in which things follow
through and have connections are with Earl Partridge (Jason
Robards), an dying elderly man who's last wish is to see his
son. Partridge's second wife, Linda (Julianne Moore), is an
icy and wrecked woman, who doesn't have any substance within
her. There's the lonely police officer Jim Kurring (John C.
Reily), who's looking for some love and attention. Frank
T.J. Mackey (Tom Cruise), a sex guru who teaches seminars on
how to seduce and destroy woman. Donnie Smith (William H.
Macy) is a former child game show winner with a lot of love
to give off, and is a bit upset about past events. Sort of a
pre-Donnie Smith is Stanley Spector (Jeremy Blackman),
basically, a child genius with a demanding father who puts
pressure on him. Jeremy is currently on a game show winning
big money, which is hosted by Jimmy Gator (Phillip Baker
Hall), a screwed up, depressed man with a drug using
daughter and a really caring wife. That rounds out most of
I know a lot of people are going to be turned off by the
three hour running time of "Magnolia", but when I sat down
to watch it, it really only felt like it was an hour. I
didn't want this movie to end. Paul Thomas Anderson
masterfully tells his story and really pulls it off.
Character development is incredibly rich, and it's all
Each and every performance here is simply brilliant,
bringing each and every character to life. Though Tom Cruise
was the only one rewarded for an Oscar® nod (and Golden
Globe win), I really think every performance, no matter how
big or small, should have been nominated (and "Magnolia"
should have won the SAG award for Outstanding Performance by
a Cast). Everyone plays their roles to the max here, making
them incredibly lifelike. The performances are flawless and
My only real complaint in the movie is the last hour or
so. Not that it's bad or anything, but it slows down a
little. However, the last fifteen minutes are really
unexpected, and the movie doesn't wrap things up with
everyone, and when they do wrap things up you could have
wished that it was a bit. The movie pretty much forces you
to write your own ending.
Despite those thoughts, "Magnolia" is a masterpiece. The
editing and camera work is really nice, and this film shows
how much of a career Anderson has ahead of him, as well as
establishing him as a great, worthy director.
Another excellent and superior New Line transfer. The
flaws in it are only really, really tiny. I saw a minimum
amount of dirt, a scratch flashed across the screen once and
at about two points in the film for a brief time, there was
some unsaturation in the colors. Also, I noticed the layer
change (right around the start of Chapter 8). Still, these
flaws are really small. Other than that, this transfer
shines. Colors are deep and pretty much perfect, hues are
great and blacks are really solid. This transfer accuratley
shows off the film's detailed look. P.T. Anderson even
co-supervised the transfer.
I was pretty surprised and happy how aggressive the 5.1
Dolby Digital English can be. Especially during the whole
"raining" ending, it's packs a really good punch. Surrounds
are good, and Aimee Mann's beautiful song are brought to
full life here. Truly a superior audio track, another fine
job done by New Line.
Now, a lot of people are going to be disappointed with
the fact that P.T. Anderson didn't want to do a commentary
track (I was really disappointed). Still, his descion is
respectable, wanting the film "to stand for itself". You
won't be disappointed though, this disc has some nice
features sure to please fans of the film.
First off, there is the Frank T.J. Mackey Seminar.
I heard these were actual deleted scenes from the film, and
go deeper (plus show) a little into the "Seduce and Destroy"
segment. This is a fun watch, and really nice.
Aimee Mann's Save Me music video is on the disc.
The video is in widescreen, and it looks and sounds great.
This Oscar® nominated song is a beautiful songs, and
features some of the actors in the film on the video. Great
song, great video.
The really interesting Theatrical Trailer and
Teaser Trailer are included, plus the various TV
spots, including one which never aired. Also, there is the
Mackey Infomercial. This infomercial actually did air
late at night in some cities around the movie's opening, and
features Tom Cruise. Of course the product trying to be sold
("Sedudce and Destroy") isn't real, and it's just a
marketing scam. Heh, I think "Extra" aired a segment about
this being a fake...
To top it off is the wonderful, lengthy documentary
"The Moment", a video diary by Mark Rance. This is
the best feature on the disc, and gives behind the scenes
footage, rehearsals, interviews. It's really nice, and has
chapter stops. It doesn't make up for the lack of a
commentary, but it is something and really interesting. Fans
of the movie are sure going to enjoy it (I really did
"Magnolia" is a masterpiece, and is an excellent portrait
of life and love. This DVD packs a great transfer and
wonderful audio, with some nice features. "Magnolia" is
(4.5/5, NOT included in
NOT an average)