Walk the Line


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"If Jamie Foxx can win an Oscar(tm) and never sing a note, Joaquin Phoenix should definitely win an Oscar(tm)."










Walk the Line
The Masked Reviewer

If you're a big fan of the late Johnny Cash (he was never very punctual, that guy), then Walk the Line will be for you.  It's his life story, in case you didn't know.  If you're a big fan of the late Johnny Carson, and you go to see Walk the Line because you think it's his biopic, you'll be sadly disappointed.  Johnny Carson isn't referred to even once.  You figure the two would've met at some point.

The film is directed by James Mangold (no relation to Luther Mangold, the famous porn star).  James Mangold previously directed the films Identity, Kate & Leopold, Girl Interrupted, and Cop LandCop Land is just like Disney Land, only in New Jersey and with more crime.  Beverages are less expensive in the former, though.

Anyhoo...Joaquin Phoenix (no relation to the Phoenix Suns basketball team) stars as Johnny Cash and Reese Witherspoon (no relation to Reese's Peanutbutter cups) stars as June Carter Cash.  Oh!  Is that a spoiler?  Disregard that last bit if you don't know that they got married in the end.  And the last sentence, too. 

The Masked Reviewer was confused throughout the movie if June Carter was the same June Carter that did the voice for Rocky, the flying squirrel, star of "Bullwinkle."  So, he listened hard to her voice as she sang, trying to determine if that was the same voice.  Right time period.  June Carter in the movie was fond of comedic bits too.  But then, the Masked Reviewer realized that it wasn't June Carter singing...Reese Witherfork wasn't just lip synching, she was doing her own songs!  Singing!  With her own voice!  Not only that, Joaquin Sacramento was doing his own singing too!  Wow!  That's unheard of. 

As it turns out, the Masked Reviewer was confused.  June Foray did the voice of Rocky (and Tweety's owner, the little old lady).  But, nevertheless, Joaquin and Reese were singing not some of the songs, but all of the songs.  And they did a darn fine job. 

If Jamie Foxx can win an Oscar(tm) and never sing a note, Joaquin Phoenix should definitely win an Oscar(tm).  Not only did he act like Johnny Cash, but he sang like him.  And it wasn't just passable...it was convincing.  So was the performance.  So were all of the performances.  Everyone was good. 

Most of the movie is carried by Reese Witherknife and Joaquin Houston.  They give moving, realistic, interesting performances.  The only problem to speak of is that the movie does drag a little...some points are repeated a bit too much (we get it, Johnny Cash liked to pop pills) and don't move things forward enough.  The two-hour-plus run time is a bit too long. 

Still, it's an interesting film about an interesting guy.  You'll find out why he wore black all the time.  You'll find out why he doesn't like power saws.  You'll see him get drunk and fall down.  What's nice is that the film portrays him in a way that his music did...real life.  Sure, not all of his songs were real.  He probably never killed a man, just to watch him die.  But...oh...what was the point?  Joaquin Phoenix did his own songs!

That's about all there is to say.  It's filled with good performances and, if you're like the Masked Reviewer and can't sing a single Johnny Cash song, it's still interesting to learn about a guy who made his mark on the music world.

Watch out, Oscar(tm)-givers!  There are three sure-fire ways to win an Oscar(tm) -- play an epic ancient warrior, play a dead musician, or play a physically or mentally disabled person.  Ka-ching!  Oscar(tm) gold awaits.  Just look at Jamie Foxx in Ray.  Or that guy from Amadeus.  Or Sissy Spacek for Coal Miner's Daughter.  Okay, the guy from Amadeus didn't win...and Loretta Lynn isn't dead...but her career is.  The person who will really clean up is the guy who plays Ricky Martin, once he kicks the bucket...dead musician and mental retard.  The Masked Reviewer smells a sweep.


Expectation from the Title: After robbing a bank to get money for his sick son's operation, Bob is pulled over for reckless driving.  The cop suspects that Bob has been drinking, so he has to pass the field sobriety test.  His getaway depends on it.  And so does his son's life.

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):  Johnny Cash should've worn brighter colors.  Black is so drab.

The Pros: Excellent lead performances, amazing that the actors sang all of the songs themselves.

The Cons: A bit too long, but interesting nonetheless.

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