Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Hello..I'm Johnny Cash

Last night I finally got around to watching Walk the Line. All in all I was pretty happy with the film. I consider myself a little more than a "casual" fan of his work but when he has a catalog as large as he does it can be difficult. Its a decent watch and Reese Witherspoon seems pretty worthy of her Oscar win. She took singing lessons and learned how to play the auto harp for her roll. Jaoquin Phoenix was also pretty good playing the lead roll. He too learned guitar and sang all the tunes, no small feat for sure. With all the "good" I was still left unhappy with the end.

For those that have NOT seen the film I warn you the next section may be spoilers for the film.
SPOILIER ALERT (you have been warned

Okay the film ends "soon after" June and John are married. They were married in 68 and the movie just seems to end. As the movie fades out they mention they were married for 35 years and that they died within four months of each other. My issues that I think could have/should have been covered:

- At some point John found religion and was very very passionate about it, there is little or no mention in the film of how he "found this". I swear reading it as a visit to mountain top or something but a quick bio search I didn't see much.

- One of the original members of Johns band the Tennessee Three Luther Perkins died in a fire a few months after Folsom Prison, there was no mention of his passing, or Johns reaction to it. The band would do 300+ shows a year so you figure it should get at least a mention.

- John had his own TV show from the late 60's to the early 70's that had on artists as diverse (at the time) as Bob Dylan and Ray Charles.

I know the film was based on the biography of his book that was published in 75-76 but I think for this to have been a better overall "biopic" I would have liked to have seen the "lean years" for Cash. After being so huge he did have a low point, yet remained married. Also his resurgence the final years of his life with Rick Rubin would have been nice to cover. After a certain time John was only ever seen not in black two times, one of them for his sons wedding. In a film that was 2hrs and 15 minutes long I think they could have spread it out some. The vast majority of the songs I would have left, but the filler on the tour buses at times seemed a little "fluffy" and you could hardly hear Jaoquin speak at times.

Even with all that I'd still give the film a strong 4 out of 5 stars. I think it will make many a new fan of his work. If you are a new fan grab the extended version of Live at San Quentin (get the full version) and it will set you back MAYBE 8.99. If that doesn't make you a fan, honestly, nothing will.


At Tuesday, March 07, 2006 10:42:00 AM , Blogger Jenny G said...

I don't know much about Johnny Cash, but I didn't think his alcohol and drug problems magically ended when he married June. I don't know if you heard this or not, but Joaquin actually pulled a real sink off the wall; that was unscripted.

At Tuesday, March 07, 2006 7:03:00 PM , Blogger Rusty said...

Hmm....I wonder why he felt the need to rip a sink off the wall. Anger issues?

March, I absolutey love Johnny Cash, and I didn't feel slighted by the movie as a fan. Obviously there's much more to the story than what they told, but isn't that always the case? I mean, Harry Potter books are like 800 pages long, so the whole story can't be put into the movie verbatim. Isn't it even more so when you're putting a LIFE onscreen?

I know he was a deeply religious man, although I didn't know how he came to faith. I've seen a series of CDs at the Christian bookstore that he did of the entire Bible. I can just imagine that beautiful deep voice reading the whole Bible!

I thought Reese was incredible, and Joaquin was as well. She's every deserving of her Oscar.

At Tuesday, March 07, 2006 7:59:00 PM , Blogger Jenni said...

To read more about Johnny Cash's Christian faith, check out Cash: The Autobiography by Johnny Cash (and Patrick Carr). He describes a lot more about his life, too, and it's fascinating. I loved Walk the Line, and I admit I'm a major Johnny Cash fan!


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