Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Poohs OscarWatch Blues: Walk the Line


No, make that Meh. I suppose if it wasn't the exact same film as Ray, which I liked but thought was overrated (though Jamie Foxx was not), I might be more impressed. Indeed the parts of "Ray" which made that movie for me, the musical numbers, are just not as well done in Walk the Line. Big ups to Commodus and Elle Woods for learning to sing and all, but it's not the same - Foxx is legitimately musically talented, and Hackford made the right choice by using mostly Charles's actual vocals. Plus, I probably could have done with approximately 95% fewer Phoenix nostril-cam close-ups. But that's just me.

QUITE FRANKLY, I'm a little tired of the Behind the Music biopic. Rise, fall, redemption, happily-even-after-postscipt, fade-to-black (with optional performance footage coda).

That being said, Reese is quite good, and I found myself liking her despite the fact that I hate her (Elle Woods did better than I did on the LSATs, which certain people still bring up from time to time despite the fact that she's a fictional character), and her signing was more evocative of June Carter's than Phoenix's was of Cash. And the rest of the musical acts were more distracting than anything else. That was supposed to be Elvis? And I didn't know that Jerry Lee Lewis looked just like Dawson with a bad red perm. (Yeah, I know, different actor, but I was sidetracked by having to ask myself "is that the Beek" every time he was onscreen.)

Pooh's View: Not to beat a dead drum-machine, but even sticking within the genre to a degree, this is a better film than Hustle & Flow? Piffle, I say. That being said, I'm still listening to "Live from Folsom Prison" on the iPod today.


Fletch said...

I apologize for this not being tied into this post, but:

D-U-K-E! Sucks! Sucks! Sucks!

In case you are still working in Alaska, Duke just lost to FSU. In an all-time classy move, Coach K had his starters go to the locker room with 1.7 seconds left. Because he was afraid for their safety. What, JJ can't defend himself against a happy crowd?

Kaiser said...

I have yet to see Ray, so I can't make that comparison, but I have read Cash by Johnny Cash ("It's about girls. Right?") and having that background does make you appreciate the movie more. Johnny Cash is the ultimate, ULTIMATE symbol of redemption in our generation. And our parents, for that matter. And unless you buy into that, or unless you buy too much into the natural cynical and suspicious bent that comes with watching anything out of Hollywood (of which I am certainly guilty too), I think it is hard to appreciate this movie. I also thought the musical aspects of the movie were more impressive than you did, apparently. Go listen to June Carter sing, and you realize that Reese actually has a much better voice. June was more of an entertainer in real life...a better joke teller than a musician. And as much as I hate Hah-queen, I thought he did an incredible job considering Cash's voice is one of the most distinctive in music. Much more difficult to emulate than Ray's.

Pooh said...

I have very little doubt that Cash's story is fantastic. My complaint is more about the structural limitations of the 'biopic'.

Agreed re: Reese. Thought her performance was great, even though I have to hate her. (Though is it really a 'leading role?' Hrm.)

Yes, Cash's voice is distinctive, but that's what makes the 'not Cashness' stand out so much. I know the Folsom "Cocaine Blues" performance so well that it just sounded wrong. See 'Ray' and tell me which musical scenes were better.