Movie Review: Walk the Line (2005)

walk-the-line-guitar

Hello there guys, and welcome back to the “Mangoldathon”! For anyone wondering what the fuck I’m talking about, 2 weeks ago I announced a series of reviews leading up to the release of “Logan” in March. Most people would logically review all of the “X-Men” movies leading up to that, but I chose to go a different direction. I opted to instead review a couple of movie directed by James Mangold, the man directing “Logan”. This started with my review of “Cop Land” two weeks ago, and continues today with… this.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Walk the Line”.

“Walk the Line” tells the story of musician Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix) and his rise from simple salesman to big musician. It also follows Cash as he through many ups and downs develops a relationship with June Carter (Reese Witherspoon). And from this we get an incredibly interesting, entertaining and emotionally powerful drama. It’s not just your typical “rags-to-riches” story, though it does use a few of those elements, but it’s more a general look at a troubled man getting famous and going through some stuff. I was invested throughout the entire runtime and I do think that the plot is pretty great.

The characters here are all interesting and feel very real. Joaquin Phoenix is fantastic as Cash, playing him with so many subtle nuances that makes it endlessly fascinating to watch. Reese Witherspoon is great as June Carter, playing her in an energetic yet very grounded and real way. She’s the order to Cash’s chaos, creating a good balance. We also had Ginnifer Goodwin as Cash’s wife, and she was really good too. And we also had Robert Patrick as Cash’s dad, and he was really good too. All actors in the movie did very well to be quite honest.

The score for the movie was composed by T Bone Burnett and it was really solid. It’s not one of those scores that is meant to be noticed, but more just be in the background to help keep a certain mood in some scenes, and the stuff Burnett composed… yeah, good shit. And of course, since this is a movie about a real life musician we have to talk about how said musician’s music was done in the movie. The songs performed by Phoenix, Witherspoon, and the various other cast members in the movie were great. They all sounded very good and worked well in the movie.

This movie was (as mentioned in the beginning of the review) directed by James Mangold and he really did a fantastic job. The scenes flow very well and the camera work is absolutely gorgeous. Really, it’s a very well directed movie.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 82% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 72/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10. The movie won 1 Oscar in the cateogry of Best actress (Witherspoon). It was also nominated for an additional 4 Oscars in the categories of Best actor (Phoenix), Best film editing, Best costume design, and Best sound mixing. 

“Walk the Line” is a fantastic bio-pic about a great musician. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “Walk the Line” is a 9,89/10. Which means that it of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Walk the Line” is now completed.

Love is a burning thing
And it makes a firery ring
Bound by wild desire
I fell in to a ring of fire
I fell into a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down
And the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns
The ring of fire
The ring of fire

Movie Review: Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

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Folk music, a genre that these days got a pretty mixed reception. Some love it, some hate it and then we have some stuck in the middle type of people. It’s always interesting to know what people think of stuff like that. What are your thoughts? Share ’em in the comments.

Ladies and gentlemen, let us go… “Inside Llewyn Davis”.

It’s the early 1960’s and we follow folk musician Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) as he deals with all kinds of hardships throughout this week of his life. And I have to say that it was a very interesting and entertaining watch. The stroy really makes you feel for Llewyn as he goes through all of these terrible things. And I don’t mean terrible things in the usual Coen brothers’ sense, but more as in he can’t seem to catch a break. It’s a very personal story that I somehow related to despite not being a shit-out-of-luck musician. It was great.

The characters are all very interesting, entertaining and realistic. Oscar Isaac was absolutely phenomenal as this broken man who’s just trying to make a living through his passion for folk music. After seeing Isaac in this movie and a bunch other over the past two(ish) years I think I am justified in saying that he’s become one of my favorite actors. Anyhow, we have a bunch more great people in this movie. Carey Mulligan (Sidenote: whom Isaac played together with in “Drive”) plays a friend of Llewyn’s and she is terrific in this movie. Justin Timberlake plays her boyfriend and he is also really good in this movie. Then we have a ton of other great supporting actors who I will only mention quickly because otherwise we’d be here all day. *DEEP BREATH*. Adam Driver, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, Stark Sands, F. Murray Abraham and a lot more.

Let’s just get this out of the way: If you strongly hate folk music, you’re absolutely gonna hate the soundtrack to this movie. The entire soundtrack is basically folk music. I personally kind of like it. I wouldn’t say that I absolutely lvoe folk music overall, but I do think the songs used in this movie were really good and fit the movie very well. I guess one of the main reasons why I really liked the songs here is because they are terrifically performed by the actors in the movie. Yeah… they do that. Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake,  Adam Driver… they all perform the songs in this movie. Sure, some songs take help from outside sources (such as Marcus Mumford), but for the most part they are performed by the actors in the movie.

Like I said before, this movie was directed by the Coen brothers and as with everything I’ve seen from them, this is very well directed. It’s a little sad though that their regular cinematographer, Roger Deakins, was unavailable at the time. But the guy they got instead still did a fantastic job with it and the movie looks really great and interesting. And as per usual, the Coen’s sharp writing is here and it’s as great as ever. What I do really like about it is not only that it’s quick and witty, but also how it can so easily switch between serious and melancholic to darkly hilarious without fucking everything up. And every piece of dialogue seems so real and genuine which adds to the greatness of it.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 92/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10. The movie was also nominated for 2 Oscars in the categories of Best Cinematography and Best Sound Mixing. 

“Inside Llewyn Davis” is a very funny yet dramatic movie featuring a great story, fantastic performances, great music, excellent directing & cinematography and terrific writing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Inside Llewyn Davis” is a 9,88/10. That means it msot definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Inside Llewyn Davis” is now completed.

Oscar Isaac, you awesome man.