Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story is a parody of recent musical biopics, such as Ray and Walk the Line. There are plenty of references to those films in areas such as drug use, family interactions, and groupies. The script is well done, especially Dewey's character development, his humble beginnings, and his strained relationship with his father. As with many parodies, the jokes are less frequent toward the end of the movie, but I was still entertained by the production.
Sony has consistently delivered outstanding picture quality on Blu-ray, and Walk Hard is no exception. The AVC encode is free from any compression issues, with inky blacks and excellent shadow delineation. However, the color palette is manipulated in such a way that some unnatural flesh tones and banding sneak into the picture on occasion.
As you would expect with a music biopic, the Dolby TrueHD 5.1-channel mix sounds very good, bringing the legend of Dewey Cox to life. The use of the surround channels is a bit sparse, except during the concert sequences, but the dialog is always clean and clear.
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story is loaded with bonus features—so many, in fact, that a second disc was required to present them! The main disc is a BD50 that contains the theatrical version and American Cox: The Unbearably Long, Self-Indulgent Director's Cut with an optional commentary track that features Jake Kasdan, Judd Apatow, John C. Reilly, and Lew Morton. Rounding out the features on disc 1 are some BD-Live downloads that include three movie-specific files and trailers for other Sony titles in both standard- and high-definition.
Disc 2 offers over two hours of features that build on the back story of Dewey Cox. Highlights include full song performances from the movie, song demos, "faux" commercials, production featurettes, and many more. Rest assured, if you are a fan of this film, there are enough goodies to give you a Walk Hard overdose.
The film has its moments, but the pacing is slow through the second and third acts. John C. Reilly deserves some props for his portrayal of Dewey Cox and was rewarded with a Golden Globe nomination for best Actor (Comedy/Musical). The presentation on Blu-ray is very good and definitely worth checking out, especially for fans of parodies.
Release Date: April 8, 2008
Film: 6.5 out of 10
Picture: 9.0 out of 10
Sound: 8.0 out of 10
Sony PlayStation 3
JVC DLA-RS1 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)
Onkyo Pro PR-SC885 pre/pro
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