Walk the Line (Extended Cut)
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Before Johnny Cash was the Man in Black, he was just another musician struggling to make something of himself. 'Walk the Line' chronicles the extraordinary rise to fame of a musical legend. Overcoming early hardships such as the accidental death of his brother, Cash (Joaquin Phoenix) stormed Nashville with his innovative blend of rock, folk, blues, gospel and country. But even as his creativity blossomed, his heavy drug use took a toll, leading to a period of destructive behavior and the failure of his first marriage. It was June Carter (Reese Witherspoon), daughter of the first family of country music, who lifted Cash out of his emotional chaos and helped him to become the man and the musician he was meant to be.
Top Customer Reviews
Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon are phenomenal as Johnny and June Carter Cash. This unlikely casting yields such outstanding results that I would hand them both the Oscar right now if I could. I read that Reese almost bailed on the project when she found out she had to do her own singing, but you would never know it from the great vocals and spunky performances she delivers.
The film focuses on their love affair, first as friends and then torrid even while he was married to his first wife and the mother of his children. His drug abuse is highlighted but it is Johnny Cash, the complex man and his love for June Carter, darling daughter of the close-knit and totally supportive Carter clan, that comes shining through and makes this a totally enjoyable movie.
Two big thumbs up for a movie that thrills from its opening at the infamous Folsom Prison to its spectatcular closing.
Those going into WALK THE LINE thinking it's a comprehensive film bio of Johnny Cash may perhaps come out slightly disappointed. While there's a relative brief sequence of his early years growing up on an Arkansas cotton farm, an even briefer sequence of his time in the Air Force in the early 50s, the film really begins in 1955 when, failing as a door-to-door salesman and wannabe gospel singer, he cuts a rock 'n' roll record for Sun Studios in Memphis and his career as a CW crooner takes off. The film ends with his marriage to June Carter in 1968. In between, against the backdrop of early hits, it focuses on his failed marriage to first wife Vivian (Ginnifer Goodwin), his self-destructive abuse of amphetamines, and rocky relationship with singer/actress Carter (Reese Witherspoon), a twice-divorced single mother of two.
The real treat of WALK THE LINE is watching Phoenix and Witherspoon amaze with Oscar-caliber dramatic performances. Who would have suspected that the latter was capable of anything other than light comedy?
In case you haven't seen the film and you're wondering, Phoenix and Witherspoon themselves sing the Cash/Carter material; they're surprisingly effective. Mind you, I've never been such a Cash fan that I've possessed any of his albums, and I've only previously downloaded one of his songs ("City of New Orleans"). Indeed, when Phoenix and Witherspoon recreate the Cash/Carter duet of "Jackson", my first thought was: Didn't Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood do that?
Coming out of the screening, my wife remarked that Phoenix sounded very much like Johnny himself. My response was a non-committal but prudent "Mmmm".Read more ›
Extended Cut (153 mins.)
Audio Commentary by James Mangold
Eight Extended Musical Sequences
More Men in Black: Deleted Scenes
Becoming Cash / Becoming Carter featurette
Sun Records & The Johnny Cash Sound featurette
The Cash Legacy featurette
Folsom: Cash & the Comeback featurette
Ring of Fire: The Passion of Johnny & June featurette
Cash and his Faith featurette
Celebrating the Man in Black: The Making of Walk the Line featurette
Walk the Line Theatrical Trailer
As for what is actually new about the Extended Cut, most of the new material is spread throughout. The new scenes range from a few seconds to a minute or two.
The Extended Cut is presented in it's original aspect ratio, 2.39:1. As with most Extended/Director's Cuts, a fullscreen version isn't offered.
Now for the special features, you get quite a helping on this release. They range from featurettes about the movies production such as the music, casting...etc.
Unless you really enjoyed Walk The Line, I seriouslly doubt you will double or even triple dip for this release. But if you really enjoyed it then an upgrade is warranted.
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