Tuesday, February 28, 2006

'Walk the Line' out on DVD

For the many Mid-Southerners who had a minute, or a nanosecond, in "Walk the Line," you can go out today and add that clip to your demo reel. The DVD is being released today (2/28). Here's part of a review by Washington Post columnist Jen Chaney:

In keeping with the now-standard practice of offering consumers more choices than they probably need, Fox has issued "Walk the Line" in two versions: A single disc ($29.99) with 10 deleted scenes and a commentary by writer-director James Mangold, and a two-disc collector's edition ($39.99) with music videos and three featurettes not included on the less expensive version. Staunch fans of Cash may feel compelled to purchase the collector's set, if only because the cover art looks infinitely cooler than the movie still on the regular box. But given the limited quantity of extras on both DVDs, it may be wise to hold off in case Fox puts out something more substantial in the near future. (Did we mention that Cash -- who died in 2004 -- would have celebrated his 75th birthday in 2007?)

Awards show junkies eager to see "Walk the Line" before the Big Oscar Dance won't be disappointed if they rent or purchase the basic DVD. But lifelong devotees of Cash, the man who finally gave the jailbirds at Folsom Prison the freedom to sing, deserve a collection as vast and enduring as the legend himself.

Weirdest Bonus Point: A couple of the deleted scenes -- including one featuring Cash's son, John Carter Cash -- are fun to watch. But most were clearly excised with good reason, including a particularly hokey moment when a drug-addled Cash sees the face of his first wife, Vivian (played by Jennifer Goodwin), morph into the visage of June Carter. The only thing that could have made it stranger? If Vivian/June had broken into a version of "It Ain't Me, Babe."

Bonus Point That Requires the Most Patience: James Mangold deserves some credit for trying to provide insight into his filmmaking choices during the audio commentary. But while some of his anecdotes are fascinating (Johnny Cash's favorite movie was "Frankenstein"?), his repeated references to Joaquin Phoenix as "Joaq" may unintentionally elicit cravings for guacamole among hungry viewers. Worth a listen, but only in controlled, small doses.

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