News and Notes
Director Paul Thomas Anderson has released two movies this year. His latest, Boogie Nights, is getting a lot of critical and popular acclaim, but his debut feature film, Hard Eight, is the far superior product. If you've seen Nights, then you'll recognize many of the same actors, themes, shots, and music in Hard Eight. The main difference is in the quality of the characters and their dialogue. Sure, some of the speeches fall a little flat, but the people that populate this tale of crime and redemption among the craps tables of Reno are a far more appealing bunch than Boogie Nights' stable of coked-out airheads. Philip Baker Hall's performance alone is worth the price of the video rental.