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Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story(2007)
America loves Cox! Behind the music is the up-and-down-and-up-again story of a legend whose songs would change a nation. On his rock 'n' roll spiral, Cox sleeps with 411 women, marries three times, has 22 kids and 14 stepkids, stars in his own '70s TV variety show, collects friends ranging from Elvis to the Beatles to a chimp, and gets addicted to — and then kicks — every drug known to man... but despite it all, Cox grows into a national icon and eventually earns the love of a good woman — longtime backup singer Darlene. This Blu-ray release includes both the Theatrical Version and the Director's Cut of the movie.
For more about Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and the Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Blu-ray release, see Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Blu-ray Review published by Ben Williams on April 18, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer, Raymond J. Barry, Kristen Wiig, Tim Meadows, Jack McBrayer
Director: Jake Kasdan
» See full cast & crew
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Blu-ray Review
Can a box-office failure find new life on Blu-ray?
Reviewed by Ben Williams, April 18, 2008
From the minds of Hollywood comedy masterminds Judd Apatow and Jake Kasdan comes Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, another parody in a seemingly endless sea of parodies. Fortunately, Walk Hard is a much better film than most of what passes for spoof on movie screens these days. By not relying on silliness and sight gags and, instead, focusing on good performances and solid comedy, Walk Hard is fresh and full of life.
Dewey Cox (John C. Reilly) is your prototypical rock icon. He had a harsh childhood, suffered tragedy and overcame his checkered past to rise to prominence in the musical world. His story is cribbed right from the plot of Ray and Walk the Line and follows the same basic structure of those films to the letter. For example, much like a young Ray Charles is stricken blind by the shocking death of his brother, a young Dewey Cox is similarly rendered "smell blind" when his brother is killed. The film spans approximately 60 years as Dewey encounters other famous musicians (including Jack White as a hilariously indecipherable Elvis), experiments with every drug known to man and has flings with almost every woman he encounters. If you've seen Ray or Walk the Line you'll have a pretty good idea where Walk Hard is going, but chances are, you'll love the trip.
Walk Hard is about as clever as they come. John C. Reilly completely carries the movie with his spot on comedic delivery. Reilly succeeds as Dewey Cox by simply playing the role straight and not trying to camp it up too much. Additionally, his vocal performances in the movie's many musical numbers are, to say the least, very impressive. Speaking of music, Walk Hard really shines brightest in it's musical parodies. The songs are all well written with clever and chuckle-inducing lyrics written in the style of whatever musical ear the film is portraying. I particularly enjoyed Dewey Cox's "Pet Sounds" period. Anyone familiar with the Theremin will find themselves rolling on the floor in laughter. Jenna Fischer (Darlene Madison) also fits nicely into the film and manages to shed her popular "Pam" persona from "The Office." Special credit has to be given to Dewey's backing band as Tim Meadows, Chris Parnell and Matt Besser have some of the funniest lines in the film.
If there is a single negative to impart on Walk Hard, it would be that the film probably doesn't off up much to appeal to folks who aren't fans of the music of the period. If you aren't familiar with or interested in Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys and other musicians from the 50s and 60s, there probably isn't much about Walk Hard that will be of interest. On the other hand, those who cherish these artists and their music will find a whole slew of inside jokes and clever references. Walk Hard is a film made for music fans and for those that fall into this category, you will find yourself on a beautiful and hilarious ride.
It's worth noting that the Blu-ray edition of Walk Hard includes both the theatrical cut of the film as well as a special director's cut. I wholeheartedly recommend the director's cut for its many additional and worthwhile scenes.
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Blu-ray, Video Quality
Walk Hard arrives on Blu-ray sporting a very nice 1080p transfer in the movie's original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The movie will just about instantly leap off of your screen during the opening scenes in Springberry, Alabama. It's clear that this scene has been tweaked in post production to give it a colorful and idyllic feel. Fortunately, this is entirely consistent with the film's theatrical presentation. Of course, Walk Hard was "filmed" digitally, so one would expect a pristine source free of any dirt or other print-related anomalies - - and that's exactly what is presented. Much of Walk Hard is extremely colorful and vibrant. The film has a nice polish to it with pumped up color saturation and plenty of rich hues to keep your display busy.
Walk Hard also scores high with it's total lack of any edge enhancement, noise or any kind of digital interference or compression artifacts that might otherwise distract from the viewing experience. Much has been made of the vibrant look of the film and that it, at times, seems too artificial. My take on that is that this Blu-ray looks exactly like the film looked in the theater, so this disc is as accurate a rendering of Walk Hard as could ever be expected. Walk Hard might not look like a Pixar film visually, but it looks exactly like Walk Hard is supposed to look. Recommended.
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Blu-ray, Audio Quality
I can't imagine that there would be any controversy over the audio section of Walk Hard. Presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround (48kHz/24-bit), the film sounds terrific. Additionally, Sony has provided a French TrueHD track as well as Dolby Digital tracks in both Spanish and Portuguese. The TrueHD track does a fantastic job of effectively portraying the film's many live concert sequences with abundant surround usage and crystal clear vocals. In a film where the joke is often-times the song itself, this is critical. If I can't understand what Dewey Cox is singing, then what's the point? Fortunately, this is never a problem and the sound does its part to move the story along.
Being that there aren't more than a couple of mildly action oriented scenes in Walk Hard, the remainder of the film is a bit more on the dialogue driven side. This is, after all, a comedy and it needs to succeed on the strength of its jokes. In that respect, the TrueHD track again superbly does it's job. Ultimately, Walk Hard sounds great on Blu-ray. This is hardly the audio track from Independence Day, but it is still a very pleasing and appropriate track.
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The folks at Sony have done an amazing job with the supplemental presentation of Walk Hard. This Blu-ray 2-disc set is completely loaded with extras. Here's what's included:
- Audio Commentary with Judd Apatow, Jake Kasdan, John C. Reilly and Lew Morton - This hilarious track is like a Cliff's Notes for all of the pop-culture references in Walk Hard. The four participants are all having a great time here and it makes for a thoroughly enjoyable track.
- "The Real Dewey Cox" (17 Minutes) - Featuring pop stars Jewel Kilcher, Ghostface Killah, John Mayer and Sheryl Crow, this spoof of a "Behind the Music"-like show is a nice companion piece to the movie that effectively adds to the comedic "mystique" of Dewey Cox.
- "The Making of Walk Hard" (15 Minutes) - Not one of the better featurettes on this disc, "The Making of Walk Hard" comes across as more of a soft promotional piece of fluff.
- "The Last Word with John Hodgman" (19 Minutes) - Another phony documentary on the life of Dewey Cox. This is worth watching simply for the air of seriousness that the entire cast brings to the table. I particularly love this type of satire as it pokes fun at how each and every one of us elevate musicians and artists to almost biblical stature. Funny stuff!
- "The Music of Walk Hard" (17 Minutes) - Another entertaining featurette that shows the tremendous amount of skill that went into crafting the great music from Walk Hard. John C. Reilly impresses, yet again, with his stellar singing voice.
- "Tyler Nilson: A Coxumentary" (6 Minutes) - Everything you always wanted to know about the full-frontal male nudity in Walk Hard, but were afraid to ask.
- Song Demos (39 Minutes) - Featuring musicians marshall Crenshaw, Charlie Wadham, Antonio Ortiz, Mike Viola and Dan Bern along with John C. Reilly, this excellent supplement features all of the above in a full demonstration performance of 12 of the songs written for the film. This is an amazing featurette that I highly recommend for any fan of the movie.
- Full Song Performances (44 Minutes) - If you are a fan of the music from Walk Hard, then you will love this extra. Featuring: "Walk Hard," "Billy Don't be a Hero," "Dear Mr. President," "Guilty as Charged," "Gamblin' Man," "(I Hate You) Big Daddy," "A Life Without You," "Let's Duet," "The Mulatto Song," "Royal Jelly," "Star Man," "Hey Mr. Old Guy," "Farmer Glickstein," "My Girl" and "(You Make Me So) Hard." Each song is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and HD.
- "Bull on the Loose" (4 Minutes) - This short featurette focuses on safely filming a scene where a child actor is chased by a bill.
- Deleted Scenes (20 Minutes) - There's nothing of any real substance here - - move along!
- Line-O-Rama (6 Minutes) - This is essentially a quick editing together of missed line readings and other crack-ups on the set. Line-O-Rama seems to be a standard feature on Judd Apatow films.
- Cox Sausage Commercial (6 Minutes) - You might remember scenes from this commercial in the original trailer for Walk Hard. Well, here it is in all of its glory.
In addition to the huge list of supplements in this set, this Blu-ray release is also Blu-ray Live compatible. Those with the appropriate Blu-ray hardware will have access to an online portal featuring more deleted scenes, theatrical trailers and featurettes.
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
In case you haven't been able to tell so far, I'm a big fan of Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. The film works for me as a straight comedy, a deft parody of music dramatizations and as a satire on how society elevates artists. Music fans will find a lot to like here as well with the film's amazing musical numbers and it's keen pop culture sensibility.
In addition to all the great story elements of this Blu-ray release, the disc features an accurate visual representation of the film that is completely true to its theatrical presentation. The stellar Dolby TrueHD track also provides a wonderful accompaniment to this video presentation. The included supplement section also serves up plenty of laughs and about as much additional material as I've ever seen on a Blu-ray release.
Walk Hard is absolutely worthy of your time and attention. This is a hysterical movie that belongs in the collection of any fan of well-written comedy. Walk Hard didn't do so well at the box-office, so there is clearly a segment of the population that isn't interested. I hope this Blu-ray release will present them with the opportunity to reconsider the film. Highly Recommended!
Blu-ray bundles with Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (1 bundle)
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Initial Impressions: BD-Live on Walk Hard - April 2, 2008
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment was kind enough to send us a screener copy of the upcoming Blu-ray release of 'Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story', due to hit store shelves on April 8th, day-and-date with the DVD release. After updating my PlayStation 3 to be BD-Live ...
• Walk Hard BD-Live Menu Screenshot - March 27, 2008
As we reported earlier, the upcoming Blu-ray release of 'Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story' will be one of the first titles from Sony Pictures to feature BD-Live interactivity. One benefit of BD-Live, and one that has been included in this upcoming release, is the ...
• Walk Hard BD-Live Features Revealed - March 21, 2008
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has revealed the BD-Live features for the upcoming Blu-ray release of 'Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story', due to hit store shelves on April 8th, day-and-date with the DVD release. In addition to having access to numerous theatrical ...
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Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
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