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Cinema - Walk The Line, 10/10 - 2005

Feb 19 2006, 11:44 PM (Post #1)
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Title - Walk The Line
Year - 2005
Director - James Mangold
Starring - Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon
Running Time - 136mins
Official Website -

Wow. Just simply 'wow'. This movie is stunning in every sense of the word. In retrospect, the opening scene seems to be one of mainly cliches in this bio-pic, but believe me, when you watch it the whole thing will captivate you. From even before the first glance at Johnny, you know that this is going to be a film of epic preportions.

For those no in the know, Walk The Line is the chronicles of hte life of one Mr. John R. Cash. This film takes you from the man's hard-working childhood, the heart-wrenching death of his brother and the non-acceptance of his father, through his air force days, to finding his first guitar, marrying his first wife, and recording his first album, right on through his troubled and spectacular days leading up to the acceptance of his proposal to marry Miss June Carter.

The story should be reletavly well known to near everybody, as J.R. was the original legend - at a time when Elvis was exploiting sexuality and when Bob Dylan was re-writing the soon-to-be-dead folk scene, Johnny was the embodiment of rebellion in an entirely different manner - honesty.

Throughout the man's entire life, all he sought for was to be honest to himself. When his father looked down upon him for choosing music over religion, he was being honest. When he entered the music business hoping to support his family, he was being honest. When Sam Phillips asked him to play an honest song, he hit out with "Folsom Prison Blues." And when he states that 'I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die' ... you honestly believe the Joaquin himself is a murderer. The intensity in his eyes is undescribable, and it is that intensity that lived in Johnny Cash and all of the other great, honest artists after him. Even his drug troubles where an honest addiction, not one fueled (albeit it was spurred on) by peer pressure, but one fueled by rejection and confusion at living in a world that doesn't apreciate honesty. Every time Joaquin sings another hit of the original man in black's, every time the relatively unknown actor steps into the legend's boots and delivers anotehr stellar scene, every time he proposes to his imaginary June Carter (played awesomelu by Reese Witherspoon, whom I would never in a million years have thought capable of pulling off this tremendous role), you can feel the damn honesty reaching out from the screen and dragging you by the heart and soul into this make-believe past.

I began watching this film not so much as a Johnny Cash fan (I had only heard tow of the great man's songs before hand, I am loathe to admit) but more of a fan of rebels and honest people in general. There was only two times that I realised I was watching a film during this magical adventure - once when 'June Carter' delivered one of 'her' spectacularly sweet and perfectly fitting one-liners, the humourous moments that pepper this film and make it even more believable as a real journey, and I could hear the audience laughing along with me. And the second time was when the real emotion of the picture made me pause momentarily and take heed of my own life, of my own emotions, my own lost loves and my own f*ck-ups.

I believe this is the only time a movie has ever made me reflect, truly reflect, on my own life during the first screening of it.

This is a powerful film. It is completely believable. Every character, from Waylan, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bob Dylan and even Elvis Pressley himself, slip into the background as the real people they were, none of them given extra spotlight as a cameo role. Rather, the music, the settings, the characters, the extras, the emotions, the lighting, the words, the actions - every single piece of this movie feels like real life. And no matter how far special effects and CG animation come along in the coming decades, nothing can compare to this for reality.

There is little else that can sum up my feelings for this move than the fact that I entered the cinema having only heard two of Cash's songs beforehand and read one article that depicted him as a drug-fueled madman - I left feeling like he was my greatest friend and ally.

This is unbelievable, and truly must be seen by all who love music, rebellion, love or have even the slightest aspirations to be famous. The amount of life changes and realisations that can be found both in and as a direct result from this film are unbelievable. Epic, life-changing - cliches, and words in general, simply cannot do this justice. Do yourself a favour - stop whatever you are doing, whatever you had planned to do in the next three hours, and just go. Go and see this movie right this very second. You will not regret it.

Rating - 10/10, but in my mind it deserves infinity.
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Apr 3 2007, 07:52 PM (Post #2)
Here for the cute boys ;)
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Some spelling errors (proportions, Elvis Presley), but overall, it's a very nice review. I like how you incorporate your own after-feelings in it too.
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