[box cover]

Magnolia: Platinum Series

Boogie Nights auteur Paul Thomas Anderson spins this difficult carousel of hurt and regret with such bold emotional nakedness that it borders on miraculous. Magnolia's aggressive, yet precious, narrative approach is sure to appeal only to selective tastes, but those who follow its brazen empathies and inventive conceits will feel well rewarded. Maybe even changed. The cast is good, too. Great anamorphic widescreen transfer (2.35:1) with both DD 5.1 and Dolby 2.0 Surround mixes, but the overall package fails to meet up to the standard of previous Anderson discs. While Magnolia comes as a two-disc set, the second disc of supplemental materials contains only teasers, trailers, two partially deleted sequences featuring Cruise, and a slight and rarely insightful video diary by Anderson, which hints at an entire deleted subplot with no elaboration. We think Anderson's reluctance to record a commentary track for this personal film will haunt him, and we're laying heavy wagers we'll see a second, feature-packed Magnolia sometime in the future. Nevertheless, it's one of the best films of the 1990s.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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