Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

2007

Comedy / Music

10
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 74%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 57%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 60882

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Paul Rudd as John Lennon
Kristen Wiig as Edith
Skyler Gisondo as Dewdrop
Jonah Hill as Older Nate
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
809.3 MB
1280*534
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 36 min
P/S 3 / 23
1.53 GB
1920*800
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 36 min
P/S 5 / 24

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by SourGreenapple42 8 / 10

Hysterical and Clever movie!

"Walk Hard" is a clever parody of the life of a rock-star, and bio-pics such as "Walk the line", "Ray" and "La Bamba". It follows the formula nearly perfectly, and follows fake rock-star legend Dewey Cox (and yes, they do have plenty of puns with his name, but this is to be expected) through his life in the 50's, 60's, 70's and into today.

The surprise of "Walk Hard" is that although it was written by the guys who made "Superbad" and "Knocked Up", and has the "formula spoof" similar to "Scary Movie" and "Epic Movie", this film manages to be quite intelligent, and manages to avoid overly gross out humor. While it has its share of gross out and slapstick gags, it isn't completely idiotic, while movies such as "Epic Movie" or "Talladega Nights" tend to be totally moronic and disgusting. The humor here is very observational, self-parodying, ironic, surreal, dark and often hysterical.

The reason why "Walk Hard" works well is because of its somewhat wicked sense of humor. It manages to ironically "overdue" the jokes to the point that you can see the actual funny part is that it is being overdone and over-the-top. It self implies that something is going to go bad, and makes the audience clearly see what path the scene is heading towards, which is also another part of its sense of humor.

The performances are very good as well. John Reilly plays Dewey very well, and his naive but good natured persona often plays out hysterically in contrast to a society often attempting to harm him. His character does lack some substance and emotional depth, though this is to be expected in the humorous nature of the film, and is the writing, not the acting. He plays the role from ages 14 to 71, and the goofy age difference between Reilly and how old of a character he is playing is another one of the film's ironic self-aware quirky jokes, in which he constantly reminds us of his age throughout the film so we can see this, as well as the purposely awkward looking make-up.

Jenna Fischer is great as his love interest and duet partner, a parody of Reese Witherspoon in "Walk the Line", who falls on and off for Dewey throughout the movie based on his life decisions, another movie formula cliché. Tim Meadows is hysterical as Cox' drug-addict drummer and long time friend, with all of his lines being in a tongue-in-cheek and smart-ass manner, and a hysterical repetition of scenes where he introduces Cox to drugs.

All in all, the only problem with this movie is that it is quite uneven. The movie seems to spend a large time dealing with Dewey's life in the 50's, not spending much time in the 60's, 70's or 90's, and spending no time in the 80's. It jumps into his problem a bit fast and doesn't go into depth into some areas of his life as much as others.

However, despite being somewhat uneven, "Walk Hard" remains a very entertaining, very funny, and witty movie. It is quite tragic that this opening weekend went up against the liking of nearly 4 very popular movies, resulting in a box office failure of this film. Hopefully next week, or in the future to come, this gem of a comedy (A rare thing in 2007), can be seen and gain a reputation among others.

Reviewed by DaveTheNovelist (WriterDave) 8 / 10

The Wrong Movie Bombed

When young Dewey Cox accidentally cuts his brother in half with a machete, it sets him on a long, hard, and winding road that traverses the most profoundly important moments in modern music history spanning the 1950's to today. "Walk Hard" was erroneously advertised as yet another comedic romp from Judd Apatow. While as the co-screenwriter here many of Apatow's trademarks can be found including the usual sophomoric sexual humor and ironic pop-culture references, "The Dewey Cox Story" is actually closer in spirit to the mocumentaries of Christopher Guest ("This is Spinal Tap!" and "Best in Show") as channeled through the spastic colon of the "Naked Gun" films.

This is a parody played hilariously straight. The target of its mockery is so succinct and sharply pointed--the recent Oscar-winning musical biopics "Ray" and "Walk the Line"--that the film's true comedic genius may be lost on people who didn't really pay attention to those films or thought this would just be another "Superbad." The film's mimesis of its source materials is so spot-on, that it even follows their same cadence and nearly falls apart midway as it glosses over many points in history and aspects of the musician's life while covering every cliché possible from the temptations of life on the road with drugs and groupies to bouts in rehab and bitter divorces to long dry periods that suddenly make way for life-altering inspiration.

At the center of "Walk Hard" is John C. Reilly who sings and acts his heart out to hilarious effect. A former Oscar nominee for "Chicago", Reilly has since cut a niche for himself as the second banana to bigger comedy stars like Will Ferrell in "Talladega Nights" and for the first time gets a film to call his own. Tim Meadows is shockingly funny as the friend who ushers in Cox's decent into drug use (his overly accentuated but still deadpan line deliveries are priceless), while Jenna Fishcher is sprite and lovely as the June Carter cutie to Cox's Johnny Cash wannabee. Other SNL players including Kristin Wiig and Chris Parnell and Apatow alumni like Paul Rudd (as John Lennon!) and Jonah Hill pop in and out of the film amidst an onslaught of funny sight-gags and one-liners. Also in on the fun is a cavalcade of current music stars including the lead singer of the White Stipes as Elvis and Eddie Vedder as himself doing a nonsensical quasi-spiritual riff on Cox's legacy while presenting a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The heart of "Walk Hard" is in the music. If you were to not listen so closely, you might be fooled into thinking these were actual hit songs from their respective time periods. Of course, listening to the lyrics is part of the fun. The ridiculously silly double-entendres in Cox's duet with his honey-to-be Darlene are especially funny, while I personally found their spoof of a Bob Dylan song to be downright brilliant. Since the writers took the time to be so verbose and intricate with their nonsensical free-form versing, they allowed the bit to work on multiple levels as both an homage and a biting jab at Dylan's alleged lyrical genius.

Utimately "Walk Hard", in ways both monumentally stupid and unfathomably smart, proves to be almost too clever for its own good. It may have bombed in it's first-run at the box office, but I would imagine it will eventually find its audience. In one pivotal early scene Cox begs his wife to believe in him and his dreams of becoming a successful singer. She replies something to the effect of, "Oh, baby, I do. I just believe you're gonna fail." I couldn't have said it better myself, and it still has me laughing.

Reviewed by Terry Meehan 7 / 10

Dewey Cox: Riley makes him real

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (rated R). Directed by Jake Kasden. Written by Judd Apatow and Jake Kasden. Starring John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer, Raymond J. Berry, Kristen Wiig, Tim Meadows, Harold Ramis & Chris Parnell. Running Time: 96 minutes. Originally appeared in LakewoodBuzz.com.

OVERVIEW:

Like the film Ray (2004), a young boy and his brother frolic in the bucolic wonderland of the American South of the 1930s. Like Walk the Line (2005), a young man leaves his loving mother and hateful father to find solace in his music. Like... well, you get the idea. This film is primarily a send-up of the musical bio-pic, as Dewey Cox (Riley) channels nearly every rock icon that ever took the stage... from Dylan, Cash, Orbison, and Presley to Brian Wilson. Like his fellow rock stars, Dewey is often tempted by drugs and sex. In a hilarious motif, he is constantly opening a door and finding his drummer, Sam (Meadows), behind it with sexy backup singers and the latest drug of choice. "You don't want any part of this s**t," Sam says, and proceeds to tell Dewey all of the drug's benefits. Despite their wayward ways, Dewey and his band are discovered by a trio of Hasidic Jews and begin to record a remarkable string of number-one hits. As he cruises the decades like Forrest Gump with a guitar, Dewey meets all of his legendary contemporaries, played by uncredited actors you are likely to recognize. Watch especially for Lennon, McCartney and Buddy Holly.

REVIEW: 3 out of 4 Java Mugs

What is remarkable about this movie is the way we feel about the main character, Dewey Cox. It's easy to find sympathy for the likes of Johnny Cash and Ray Charles because we knew them as real people. But why do we feel so strongly about a singer we know does not really exist? Some of the credit goes to the filmmakers, who know which emotional buttons to push, but mostly we have Riley to thank. In an amazing portrayal, he takes what could have been a spoof-worthy sap and turns him into a fully developed character we really care about. Riley actually becomes Dewey Cox, by singing his heart out and even helping to write many of the film's songs.

Other performances are also worthy of note, particularly Fischer's sultry Darlene, Wiig's ever-pregnant Edith and Meadows' drug-addled drummer.

Though Riley's singing is quite good, it is still nice to have the likes of Lyle Lovett, Jackson Browne, Jewel, Ghostface Killah and Eddie Vedder playing themselves and singing those Dewey Cox originals. But none of the music was as brilliant as an early scene with Honeyboy Edwards singing the blues.

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