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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth The Wait, Feb. 28 2006
By A Customer
The two-disc set features featurettes that show true love to Johnny and June. The Making Of featurette was a TV special that was broadcast, but had never seen it until now. Hosted by Kristofferson, they go to the beginning: whay it was made, the hassles they had making it and their opinions of the final result. Interviews with Kris, Willie Nelson, Don & Harold Reid of the Statler Brothers, Jack Clement, Marshall Grant and more share a glimpse into John and June's lives and love for one another and their fans. The three musical sequences are Jackson, Rock and Roll Ruby and Cocaine Blues. Anyone who bought the WTL soundtrack would rcognize the first two, but the extended sequence of Cocaine Blues was well worth watching. The movie itself is magic on screen. Some of the deleted scenes should have been left in the movie, as it would make some of the movie's timing more sensible. Overall, great cast, great collection, and one I will watch ver and over again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Y'all can't walk no line.", June 15 2006
Kona (Emerald City) - See all my reviews
Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon give impressive performances in this story of Johnny Cash and his long-time love, June Carter. Johnny grew up poor on a cotton farm, listening to June Carter and her family sing on the radio. He became a singer, met June, and was smitten, but they were both married; they continued to tour together for years, through June's second marriage and Johnny's terrible drug abuse.

I really enjoyed the songs in the movie a lot; I was especially impressed that Phoenix and Witherspoon did their own singing and playing and made it look so easy. Phoenix's Johnny is a tortured and self-destructive soul, and Witherspoon's June is spunky, kind, and mature. This is surely the best movie for both of them to date.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a stunning biography of Johnny Cash, Nov. 22 2007
wow!!!i'd heard this was a great film,so i finally decided to watch
it.i have to say,it exceeded my expectations.the acting was amazing in
this movie,as was the direction.i really liked the fact that it showed
Johnny Cash at his worst,as well as his best.there was a great
back-story to Walk the Line,beginning with Cash as a child and
detailing his growth into adulthood and fame. the supporting
performances were also very good.but it was Joaquin Phoenix(as a grown
up cash, and Reese Witherspoon,as June Carter(who would eventually
agree to marry him and become June Carter Cash),who were both
brilliant.there was great chemistry between the two,and you really
wanted them to get together.i really liked the interplay between the
two.the dialogue was well written.i also loved the old songs,from the
50s and 60's. this film showed Cash as a rockabilly type singer,before
he became famous for his country songs.he was very popular as a
rockabilly singer,much more popular than i think most people realize.he
wasn't a perfect person,by any means.he had his problems,but was deep
down a good man,and really tried hard to turn his life felt
sympathy for him and felt his happiness when June carter finally agreed
to marry him.this is one of the best movies i have ever seen.great
movie all!!!i highly recommend it.even if you are not a
Johnny Cash fan(which i wasn't),you will be an
aside,apparently both Phoenix and Witherspoon did all the singing
themselves,making their performances even more amazing. 5/5
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie!, March 2 2006
Lizzie (Toronto, Ontario) - See all my reviews
Honestly, this movie is absolutely amazing. Pheonix and Witherspoon give great performances as Johnny and June. I would like to see a movie made about the rest of their lives together, it would be great to see as well!
If you're debating getting this movie, there is no question that young and old will agree, this is a brilliant telling of Johnny Cash's amazing life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome movie!, March 31 2006
Kay (B.C. Canada) - See all my reviews
This is the best movie based on a singer to date! Thoroughly enjoyed it! I thought it was going to be boring because I never was a big fan of Johnny Cash but now I am! Loved all the songs and can't believe Mr. Phoenix can sing! He's very very good. I definately recommend this movie. I am going to buy it!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film capable of impressing fans and non-fans alike, Sept. 4 2006
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
I'm always a little hesitant to watch biographical films such as Walk the Line, especially when they are based on someone I consider a personal favorite. Johnny Cash was the man - then, now, and forever. Heck, the one and only album my parents and I both own is Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison. I didn't really want to learn anything that might damage my opinion of the man. Complicating matters, you always have to wonder how much of what you are seeing is accurate and how much is the product of embellishment added to make the story more compelling. Obviously, I already knew Johnny Cash was no angel in his younger days, but I think Walk the Line does succeed in presenting some of his mistakes and problems in a respectful, realistic way.

As good as the movie is, it does have some weaknesses. Naturally, it can't cover Johnny's whole life in detail (nor does it try to), but some aspects of the story could have used more depth and character exploration. I remember hearing that some relatives of Johnny's first wife weren't all that thrilled with her characterization in the film. Frankly, I found it hard to judge her at all because we never really learn much about her. One minute, we see Johnny calling her from overseas, then the next they're married, and then Johnny finally hits it big and goes out on the road. His wife comes across as a rather shrewish sort, and that's unfortunate because she should be a more sympathetic character in this context. As far as Johnny and June Carter go, I would like to have seen their relationship ironed out a little bit more, as well. From the things we see Johnny do in this film, it's difficult for me to understand why June kept coming back to him - as a singer or as a friend. Even as their relationship grew into love, I never really saw any kind of special spark in their eyes for one another.

Joaquin Phoenix does a fairly good job in the title role, but I was never able to look at him and see Johnny Cash the way I could look at Jamie Foxx in Ray and see Ray Charles. The man in black was one-of-a-kind, especially in terms of his voice, and I think Phoenix just tried too hard at times to become the man behind the music. He especially over-emphasizes Cash's mannerisms onstage, and that just kept disconnecting me from the film. Casting Reese Witherspoon as June Carter ended up being the Hollywood coup of the year, as she does turn in a wonderful performance, but somebody was asleep at the wheel when some of the other cast members were selected. Personally, I think terrible mistakes were made in the casting of actors to play Elvis, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and some other well-known musicians. Orbison ended up looking like some chess club geek, while Jerry Lee Lewis looked like he should have been hanging wallpaper somewhere, far away from any stage. It's like they cast some of these parts by pulling random names out of a hat or something.

Despite the questionable casting decisions and some obvious gaps in the chronology of the film, Walk the Line does tell a compelling story about a true icon of the twentieth century. One of the qualities that made Johnny Cash unique was his humanity. No matter how big he got, he always seemed to be one of us, a regular guy who made mistakes just like we all do. That's why the Folsom Prison album seems to stand at the very nexus of Cash's career - even hardened criminals felt like Johnny was one of them. If he could turn his life around after hitting rock bottom, so could any of them - or us. I think this inspirational message could have been communicated a little more effectively in the movie, but it certainly makes the story worth telling. Johnny Cash fan or not, Walk the Line is a movie worth watching.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The love story of Johnny Cash and June Carter, Jan. 16 2006
Lawrance M. Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
"Hey my darlin' hey my sweet

I've waited on the day that I knew we would meet.

Hey my sun, hey my moon

Today's the day that

Johnny met June."

I know that Shelby Lynne wrote "Johnny met June" after the death of Johnny Cash, four months after the passing of June Carter Cash, but it was impossible for me not to think of that song while watching "I Walk the Line," even before I realized that Lynne was playing Cash's mother Carrie. That is because it is clear from the start of this 2005 bio-pic that this is the love story of Johnny (Joaquin Phoenix) and June (Reese Witherspoon). In the last act of the film my wife expressed surprise that the couple were not married yet and I told her that this film was going to be over as soon as she finally said "yes." I was close on that score, because the film includes an important grace note and fade out that says it all. But even if you knew nothing about their legendary love it would be clear from the opening scenes of this movie when a young J.R. Cash and his brother Jack are listening to young June Carter singing on the radio.

What I liked about "Walk the Line" was that even knowing the key threads of the story, all of which are cinematic commonplaces, the screenplay by writer Gill Dennis and director James Mangold delivers memorable scenes. One thread is how Cash became the Man in Black, and when he blows his audition in front of Sam Phillips (Dallas Roberts), the legendary head of Sun Records in Memphis gives him a slim second chance with a dead on speech as to how Cash needs to be singing songs. Cash happens to have been inspired by a film about a prison in California to write a song, and he starts to sing it and changes before our eyes and ears. Cash and his father, Ray (Robert Patrick), have been at odds since a childhood tragedy and we wait for the moment when the son will finally tell the father off. But when it comes Cash is still living in a glass house and the tables do not get turned.

"Walk the Line" saves the best for last. The famous concert at Folsom Prison is the first of two significant payoffs, as it represents Cash finally embodying his songs and not simply singing them. The connection between Cash and his audience changed then and he finally became a man. But that was not enough for June who has been refusing all of his proposals. When his family could do nothing to save Cash from his drug addiction, it is June and her family who step in, however she makes it clear that she will sing with him but she will not marry him. Now, most of us remember the lady as June Carter Cash, so we know that she is going to say yes. What is important is that it clearly will take something special for her to consent, and this film comes up with a moment worthy of their relationship and out anticipation.

Phoenix and Witherspoon do their own singing and what is key is not that they imitate Johnny and June but that they capture their hearts, which is a good thing in a romance, even when it also happens to be a bio-pic. During the final credits we finally hear the real Johnny and June singing as they take their curtain call. But when their voices fade away and we return to the plaintive guitar pickin' of T-Bone Burnett our thoughts return to Lynne's lovely elegy:

"Now were starting over it's the place that we are

You look more than pretty underneath all the stars

Love, love is a burning thing

Oh how I still love to hear you sing

And everything we ever heard about heaven is true

Today's the day that Johnny met June

Today's the day that Johnny met June."
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4.0 out of 5 stars THE GREAT JOHNNY CASH, Feb. 28 2006
peter stark (TORONTO,ONTARIO,CANADA) - See all my reviews
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4.0 out of 5 stars I fell into a burning ring of fire, Feb. 23 2014
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
Johnny Cash was one of those awesome, almost legendary figures that needs no introduction. He was Johnny Cash, the Man in Black. Nuff said.

And you would think that no actor could adequately capture his mystique, but the ever-brilliant Joaquin Phoenix came pretty close in "Walk The Line." The story of the first half of Cash's life runs through a lot of the typical tropes -- drugs, sex, hitting rock bottom, finding love -- but Phoenix's eerily perfect performance elevates it. And yes, he sings.

The story begins in Cash's boyhood, which was marked by A) the open contempt of his alcoholic father, B) the shocking death of his brother, and C) his love of music. When he was grown, Cash (Phoenix) joined the Air Force and married his reluctant girlfriend Vivian (Ginnifer Goodwin).

But his love of music never died. Despite Vivian wanting him to get a "real job," Cash successfully impressed a record executive with his gravelly voice and gritty songs -- and became a megastar with his very first album. While on tour, he encountered June Carter (Reese Witherspoon), and was immediately smitten by her both professionally and personally.

But his growing love for June quickly destroyed his marriage, and his increasing drug use seemed to be doing the same to his career -- even landing him in jail at one point. June stepped in to save him from his downward spiral, inspiring him to clean up his life and go back on the road -- even to Folsom Prison, where he had a lot of fans. But his true goal was her hand in marriage.

"Walk the Line" has a rather rough task -- tell the life story of one of America's most beloved singers, warts and all, without diminishing any of what made him great. So yeah, there's adultery and drug use here, but it never blots out the wounded, romantic soul that walks the line in the center of it, tangled in barbed-wire issues.

And the triumph of the film is Joaquin Phoenix, who gives a scarily perfect performance as Cash. His body language, his expressions, even his VOICE are all altered to be as close as possible to Cash's -- and yes, Phoenix sings Cash's songs. But what makes his performance great is not mere mimicry of Cash -- it's his ability to give a pitch-perfect imitation of Cash while also giving a powerful, heartfelt performance as an artistic soul covered in scars, who had to fight his way past everyone who doubted him.

James Mangold focuses a lot on the shaping influences of Cash's life here, setting up his brother's horrific, bloody death as the place where his life changed. But when June enters the story, it becomes less about Cash by himself, and more about the love story between them -- lots of significant glances on brightly-lit stages, lots of impassioned pleas on tour buses.

Sadly, Reese Witherspoon can't stand up to Phoenix's spellbinding performance. She isn't bad, but her "perky li'l Southern belle" performance just feels immature and shallow when she's standing next to him. It's hard to see what depths Cash saw in this woman.

"Walk the Like" is a movie entirely revolving around the breathtaking performance of Joaquin Phoenix, who practically BECOMES Johnny Cash as few other actors ever could. Witherspoon just can't stand up to it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, April 5 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Line (DVD)
I bought this as a gift for my husband. If you are a Johnny Cash fan. Then this is the dvd for you. I watched it with him and learned more about the man in black
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