Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Tuesday, 11.25.2014
Classifieds
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1
 2  3  4  5  6  7  8
 9  10  11  12  13  14  15
 16  17  18  19  20  21  22
 23  24  25  26  27  28  29
 30  31
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local




Members Of



Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

Dec 21,2007
Movie Review: 'Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story'
by James Hebert

Johnny Cash once got the stuffing knocked out of him by an enraged ostrich named Waldo, breaking five ribs. Now a counterfeit Cash comes along to throttle the singer a bit more.

 
'WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY' - Dewey (John C. Reilly, center) is a rock 'n' roll animal hanging with some wild pals in the comedy 'Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.' CNS Photo courtesy of Gemma La Mana. 

RATINGS

4 STARS - Excellent.

3 STARS - Worthy.

2 STARS - Mixed.

1 STAR - Poor.

0 - Forget It (a dog.) 
Not so nice to kick a fella while he's down (or, actually, dead), but in all fairness "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" isn't meant as a slap at the Man in Black. It's intended as a sendup of all those smarmy, formula-addicted flicks about tortured artists who find success, then calamity, then redemption through the graces of a good woman/higher power/agent.

There's no ostrich in "Walk Hard," but there is a pet giraffe, and the movie itself is like a zoo tour of primal, rock 'n' roll wildlife, with Dewey (John C. Reilly) the guitar-strumming schlub who becomes king of the jungle.

The laughs hit like a case of the hiccups - erratic and occasionally a little uncomfortable. One inspired sequence has Dewey meeting a bickering, blithering version of The Beatles, and winding up on an LSD-sponsored trip through the "Yellow Submarine" cartoon gone loco.

Since this is partly a Judd Apatow movie (the "Knocked Up" mastermind co-produced it and wrote the script with director Jake Kasdan), there's also an extended shot of a character's naked man-parts hovering over Dewey's shoulder as he talks. Just because.

All that aside, there's still the fact that "Walk Hard" - especially early on - is a nearly scene-by-scene sendup of "Walk the Line," the 2005 film about Cash's life and times.

The new movie opens with a gleefully graphic depiction of young Dewey accidentally hacking his brother in two with a machete. ("Dewey, I'm cut in half real bad," the stoic kid observes.)

In real life, Cash's brother was sliced almost in half by a table saw when the two were boys and took a week to die. The tragedy haunted Cash the rest of his days. "Walk the Line" failed to play that for laughs.

In that light, "Walk Hard" defies a fundamental rule of spoofs: It's actually better if you're not too familiar with what's being lampooned.

The movie's kooky, freewheeling feel makes it a kind of raunchier cousin to the "Cannonball Run" movies of the early '80s, an impression reinforced by the whimsical mix of performers who show up in key roles and cameos.

Jenna Fischer of TV's "The Office" revs it up as hot-blooded but high-principled Darlene, the June Carter Cash stand-in; she's joined briefly by sometime castmate and "Daily Show" alum Ed Helms.

"Saturday Night Live" contributes Kristen Wiig, Chris Parnell and ex-member Tim Meadows; Jack McBrayer from "30 Rock" pops up; and John Michael Higgins and Jane Lynch, fixtures of Christopher Guest's great mockumentaries, cruise through as a record producer and a demented TV host, respectively. (Their presence underlines the contrast between "Walk Hard" and the subtly funny style of Guest's own music-world spoof, "A Mighty Wind.")

Someone had the genius notion to cast Jack Black as a fatuous Paul McCartney, and Eddie Vedder, Jewel, Ghostface Killah and the Temptations all play themselves.

As for Reilly: His schnauzer looks and gonzo attitude lend plenty of comic zip, although he sometimes seems to be playing Will Ferrell playing Dewey Cox (there are two separate scenes of him running through the streets in underwear or less, shades of "Old School").

Reilly does have a way with a mike. And in the area of tearing plumbing fixtures out of walls, he way outpaces Joaquin Phoenix's work in "Walk the Line."

It's that kind of comedy. Everything plus the bathroom sink. Or a dozen of them.

A Columbia Pictures release. Director: Jake Kasdan. Writers: Jake Kasdan, Judd Apatow. Cast: John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer, Kristen Wiig, Tim Meadows, Chris Parnell. Running time: 1 hour, 36 minutes. Rated R. 2 stars.
1155 times read

Related news

Film Close-Up: John C. Reilly by Joey_Berlin posted on Jan 04,2008

Films in Focus: New and recent releases by David Elliott and others posted on Jan 11,2008

Films in Focus: New and recent releases by David Elliott and others posted on Jan 04,2008

Movie Review: 'Drillbit Taylor' by James Hebert posted on Mar 28,2008

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 76 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County
Fairgrounds

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum

Advertisements



Deschutes County

Google  
  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
Advertisement
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?