Thursday, January 10, 2008

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

Coming off of recent movies such as The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up and the past cult-hit television show Freaks and Geeks, Judd Apatow has become one of the biggest comedic writers in Hollywood today. After two amazingly funny and successful movies, it seemed that whatever he touched next would be gold. He began working on Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox story. The movie began to take off and was able to nab John C. Reilly (Chicago, Talladega Nights) as his leading man and Jenna Fischer (The Office’s Pam) as his leading lady. The movie is a parody of music bio-pics like Walk the Line and Ray. The movie follows Dewey Cox (Reilly) and his constant desire to live up to his brother’s expectations. The audience gets to see Cox’s entire life, from his years as a poor youth to his final days. Along the way, he meets music legend after music legend, including Elvis (Jack White), Buddy Holly (Frankie Muniz), the Beatles (Jack Black, Justin Long, Paul Rudd, and Jason Schwartzman) and more. Packing an acclaimed writer and two comedy veterans (not to mention an unbelievable list of celebrity cameos), Walk Hard was shaping up to be the comedy hit of the year.

However, a powerful team alone does not a good comedy make. Walk Hard, simply put, disappoints those who came in wanting the next laugh-til-it-hurts movie. By no means is the movie terrible, or even bad. It just wasn’t able to live up to its hype. The jokes are hit and miss. When some hit, they hit hard (the “dream” line towards the beginning of the movie was a personal favorite) and are gut-busting enough to keep the audience chuckling through the stinkers (of which there is no short supply). Most fall into the miss category, however, so be prepared to sit through dud after dud waiting for a big, or even decent, payoff.

The same is somewhat true about the music. Hit and miss, but with more being hit than miss. Some of the music in this movie is really incredible. It’s obvious that a lot of hard work went into the soundtrack for the movie, but it paid off. For being a fake artist who’s supposed to be one big joke, Dewey Cox is made all the more believable by his mostly stellar music catalogue. John C. Reilly really shows what he’s made of here, as every song uses the actors own voice for Dewey’s. While some aren’t exactly grade-A material, one, two, or maybe even most of these songs will somehow find a way into your own music library. The songs find a way to, for the most part, seamlessly flow into the movie and will have you tapping along with them, up until the surprisingly epic end song, “Beautiful Ride”. Again, while the movie is not exactly the best or funniest movie of the year, it is still far from the worst. Accessible to both fans of humor, fans of music, and especially those fans of humorous music, Dewey Cox will, at the very least, amuse you by the end of it. Hopefully Judd Apatow will find a way to bounce back to such sure-fire comedic hits, but the future is sketchy. For his next movie, he teams up writing with Adam Sandler for the movie “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan”, starring Sandler as a Middle-Eastern agent (Sandler’s attempt at a “Borat”) who moves to New York to become a hair-stylist. Oh, and Rob Schneider’s in it, so hopes aren’t exactly high. Take this chance, don’t go in expecting too much, and enjoy “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story”, perhaps one of Apatow’s last, at least humorous movies before he totally jumps the shark.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the soundtrack to the 2007 film Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.

It was almost like a Manhattan Project for songwriters,” says Bern. “It was the most fun thing I’ve ever done.
Dan Bern, 2007

The cast and crew recorded 40 original songs;[2] 33 are featured in the movie.[3] Singer-songwriter Dan Bern and Mike Viola (of the Candy Butchers) wrote most of the film’s songs, including “There’s a Change a Happenin’”, “Mulatto” and “Hole in My Pants”. Marshall Crenshaw wrote the title tune and Van Dyke Parks penned one of the 1960-styled psychedelic jams, “Black Sheep”.

Track listing

iTunes exclusive extended edition

1. “Take My Hand”
2. “Jump Little Children”
3. “(Mama) You Got to Love Your Negro Man”
4. “That’s Amore”
5. “Walk Hard”
6. “A Life Without You (Is No Life At All)”
7. “(I Hate You) Big Daddy”
8. “Walk Hard (Punk Version)”
9. “Let’s Duet”
10. “Darling”
11. “Guilty As Charged”
12. “There’s a Change A’ Happening (I Can Feel It)”
13. “Dear Mr. President”
14. “Hey Mr. Old Guy”
15. “Ladies First”
16. “The Mulatto Song”
17. “Let Me Hold You (Little Man)”
18. “Hole In My Pants”
19. “Royal Jelly”
20. “Farmer Glickstein”
21. “Black Sheep”
22. “Walk Hard (70’s TV Show Theme)”
23. “Who Wants to Party”
24. “Weeping On the Inside”
25. “Billy, Don’t Be a Hero”
26. “Walk Hard (All-Star Version)”
27. “Beautiful Ride”
28. “(Have You Heard the News) Dewey Cox Died”
29. “Cut My Brother In Half Blues”
30. “(You Make Me So) Hard”