Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thursday Evening Movie Review

Judd Apatow has been on a roll recently. Since 2004, he has produced Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Knocked Up, and Superbad. All have been very successful, and all have been very funny. (In particular, I thought that Superbad was pure genius.) Now comes Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, a brilliant send-up of music biopics in general and Walk the Line (about Johnny Cash) and Ray (about Ray Charles) specifically. Following the Apatow pattern, the star of Walk Hard (John C. Reilly) had previously appeared in a supporting role in another Apatow film (Talledega Nights).

Apparently, Walk Hard has not been doing particularly well at the box office, and I don't really understand why. It doesn't rise to the level of genius shown in Superbad, but it is very good. In particular, it pokes fun at all of the elements of biopics that ought to be poked fun at (the use of the same actor for a range of ages of a subject from adolescence to old age, even when the actor can't really appear convincing at some of those ages, the standard sex/drugs/rock-an-roll montages, and the stereotyped story arcs, among others), and the actors (in particular John C. Reilly and Tim Meadows) turn in excellent performances. It's raunchy and crude (I didn't realize that prolonged full frontal male nudity could be in an R-rated movie), as are all Apatow movies, but, like Knocked Up and Superbad, the overall message (such as it is) is not what you would expect from a run-of-the-mill raunchy and crude comedy.

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