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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Biopic > Music > Biography > Country > Rock > Pop > Gospel > Walk The Line – Extended Cut (Two-Disc DVD-Video Set/20th Century Fox)

Walk The Line – Extended Cut (Two-Disc DVD-Video/20th Century Fox)


Picture: B-     Sound: B     Extras: B     Film: B



Though it followed Ray a year later, James Mangold’s Walk The Line (2005) was still a hit that landed Academy Awards and did justice to the tale of Johnny Cash in a go-for-broke performance by Joaquin Phoenix.  Both are the story of legendary music performers, groundbreakers and innovators who had a tough life growing up in poverty, had guilt complexes, drug addictions and made comebacks before their death.


The new longer version is smoother and less choppy, bringing to life a singer the likes of which (playing for people down and out, criticizing poverty, being religious without shoving it down anyone’s throat) we will never see again.  Everyone is very good here, but when Phoenix becomes the singer Cash, he is amazing and it is one of those performances that almost becomes haunting.  Not a fan of Reese Witherspoon, I found her June Carter Cash to be a breakthrough and tougher since she was quieter in real life.


The only other shortcoming with the film is that the way the songs are introduced are awkward at times and some false notes also result throughout.  They are minor, but there.  The good news is that the longer cut has a flow that helps to overcome that makes one feel like the real cut was hidden because the studio was concerned about similarities to Ray.  However, in a few years, that shadow will dissipate and this film will be seen as one of the better biopics despite not being able to escape some of the Hollywood conventions.



The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image has its softness and detail issues, but looks good more often than not, though it is too bad a Blu-ray was not issued at the same time, though Fox may have had counter-releasing against the silly Walk Hard, a partial spoof which ram out of ideas early and threw in everything else it could.  I will say that Director of Photography Phedon Papamichael, A.S.C., delivered richer images than you might remember.  The DTS 5.1 mix is a nice bonus, sounding great and superior to the Dolby Digital tracks here.  It especially pays off on the songs, reminding one that Cash’s recordings have had limited high-fidelity digital format (Super Audio CD, for instance) release.  The combination is nice, so the Blu=ray should be even more impressive when it arrives.


Extras are split between the two DVDs.  DVD One includes the Extended Cut at 153 minutes and an audio commentary by Mangold while DVD Two adds 8 Extended Musical Sequences, deleted scenes dubbed More Men in Black, the theatrical trailer and the following featurettes Becoming Cash/Becoming Carter, Sun Records & The Johnny Cash Sound, The Cash Legacy, Folsom: Cash & The Comeback, Ring Of Fire: The Passion of Johnny & June, Cash & and His Faith and Celebrating The Man In Black: The Making Of Walk The Line.


Can’t wait for the Blu-ray, but this DVD set will do until then.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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