Nov 202009

Hey, Townspeople!

Last night the G-friend and I curled up on the sofa to watch a movie and wolf down some primo home-cooked chow. She was in the mood for something highbrow, but I was curious about a flick I’d had in the “not sure about this movie” drawer for a couple of weeks. Because she’s such a sweetheart, she let me watch my movie of choice, even though it gave off the distinct limburger pong of idiocy. The movie in question? Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.

Like the rest of you (I assume), when the trailers for this faux rock biopic came out, I assumed the worst: a couple of decent gags sandwiched between really stupid Legend of Ricky Bobby-caliber scripting. Boy, was I wrong!

Walk Hard ain’t no Citizen Kane, and it would probably fail the Dr. John Elbow Patch Sniff Test — but it’s not a stupid movie at all. The gags (and there are lots of good ones) are scripted and delivered well, the faux rock is actually good, period-correct, and frequently belly-laugh funny, and it’s clever, pretty much from one end to the other. Even the ass/tits/underpants/drugs/poop jokes are funny.

Plus, the writers clearly know their rock, and know just the right way to skewer it. (Wait’ll you see Dewey Cox go through his Dylan and Crazy Brian Wilson periods.)

In short, Townspeople, I strongly recommend this film…for real. It’s a hoot, and I bet it would even tickle the unusually sensitive rock funnybones we seem to have ’round these parts.

Glad to be of service,


  21 Responses to “How on Earth Did This Movie Slip by Us?”

  1. jeangray

    Yes! I thoroughly enjoyed this flick. The rap song at the end (“Hard”) that sampled Dewey’s big hit & started his brief career resurgence was one of my favorites. I think he also did a version of Bowie’s “Star Man” that was hilarious.

    Warning: Yous gotta not take your RAWK too seriously to enjoy this movie.

  2. This is a very funny movie. Much better than I expected it to be when I saw it a couple of years ago. Tim Meadows is great!

  3. Hank Fan

    I want an army of didgeridoos. Fifty thousand didgeridoos!

  4. I really loved the first half-hour or so, but it kinda ran out of juice of me. My absolute favorite visual gag, however, is Frankie Muniz as Buddy Holly.

  5. junkintheyard

    You were absolutely right that I saw the trailer and immediately wrote it off as a gag movie not worth my time. But those clips were excellent. I’ll give it a shot! Thanks, hrrun!

  6. This movie is great! How could it have been missed by many here at the hall?
    latelydavidbass and I have talked about our favorite parts.

    Mine: When Dewey is getting ridden by some girl in a hotel room and she all of a sudden says something to him and he responds..”oh, sorry baby, I didn’t realize you were still here.”

    His: Jack White’s turn as Elvis. “Only two people know karate, me and the Chinese.”

  7. Mr. Moderator

    It’s been on my Netflix list – it may be up to about #5 in the cue now. I wanted to see it when it came out but never got around to it. John C. Reilly and the director’s Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross was great. Reilly always cracks me up in interviews, although I only see about a fifth of his movies. Those Jud Apatow movies go on at least 45 minutes too long. Comedies need to be about 1:30, not 2:15-2:30, as seems to be the Apatow trend.

  8. Those Jud Apatow movies go on at least 45 minutes too long. Comedies need to be about 1:30, not 2:15-2:30, as seems to be the Apatow trend.

    Welcome to Team Truth, Mr. Mod!

    Much better than pretty much any Apatow film was Role Models, which had a fantastic KISS-related sub-sub-plot.

  9. alexmagic

    There were parts I liked, but Jack White’s weird Elvis was the best thing in the movie by a long shot, and I would have enjoyed two hours of him doing that – either as a fake Elvis biopic or in a fake Clambake kind of movie – a lot more.

  10. “Look out, man!”

    White as The Kang kills me. Yes. I love this movie. Although I own it on DVD, I still watch it every single time I’m flipping the channels and see it on one of the movie channels.

    “I’m gonna punch you in the mouth!”

    Reilly is a blast. A great actor and hilarious in this one.

    I’ve been an Apatow fan since Freaks and Geeks. I’ve always found it amusing that that show got cancelled and barely limped through one season before NBC pulled the plug. Now, most of the cast and its creators have gone on to Hollywood greatness. If you had told me that Ted Nugent-loving Ken Miller (Seth Rogen) would have become a leading man, I don’t know that I would have believed it. In a way, it’s sort of like vengeance for the stupid network pulling such a great little show. They just had know idea what they had.

    As far as the length of his features, are you guys watching the special-super-deluxo-unrated cuts that are widely available on DVD, or are you watching the original rated theatrical cuts? I’m probably in the minority, but I almost always prefer the theatrical cuts. They seem to “flow” better. Plus, they don’t last 16 hours, what with all the extra boob jokes thrown in. Usually these scenes are cut for a reason, but the studios feel the need to juice these DVDs up so that folks will have a reason to buy them. “Unrated? Gee, that means more boobies and cussin’!” Instead, they disrupt the film and lessen it.

    “Look out, man!”


  11. Role Models is a funny movie. It was done by David Wain (of MTV’s sketch comedy show The State). I was never a fan of The State, but I have loved David Wain since Wet Hot American Summer. He also did The Ten. These movies are ridiculous, but funny.

    Wet Hot American Summer just escalates into complete absurdity, which makes it great. It begins as a pretty typical summer camp film. By the end, you’re wondering what’s going on.


  12. Mr. Moderator

    TB, I also thought Freaks and Geeks was great. Apatow should keep his films to 1 hour. I’ve never seen extra-long director’s cuts of the few Apatow movies, just the standard ones. You must have more patience than me:) The Last Virgin is one of his movies, right? That was good, but it went on at least 30 minutes too long. Did Apatow also do Pineapple Express, or do I just think that because it had the Rogan and Franco? That movie went on a good hour too long. I don’t know, stoner films of my youth, like Repo Man, never seemed that long.

    Another comedy director who doesn’t know when to wrap his movies is Ben Stiller. That Apocalypse Now/Rambo/etc spoof (blanking on its name) had its moments, but it was way too long.

  13. I’m currently watching Undeclared, Aptow’s college version of Freaks and Geeks. Not quite as good as F&G but still really good so far especially for network tv.

    Speaking of Stoner movies: Anybody seen Grandma’s Boy? Totally juvenile but I thought it was funny and I wasn’t even baked. Bonus: it has the chick who played Lindsey from F&G in it.

  14. This is a comedy-nerd pince nez, but one of the reasons F&G is the best thing Apatow will ever do is that he only produced it. The creator, Paul Feig, is the guy most responsible for the tone of the show. He’s now a producer/director for The Office.

  15. Double reverse Pince Nez! Aptow also wrote and directed some episodes.

  16. Mr. Moderator

    I’ll choose this time to tap my pipe, sniff my elbow patch, and proclaim that the original English version of The Office is much better than the US adaptation, which isn’t bad by any means.

  17. diskojoe

    That Ben Stiller movie you were thinking about Mr. Mod was called Tropic Thunder.

    I saw Pirate Radio this past weekend, I was entertained by it. I didn’t expect it to be a real historical movie & I was right. The scenes in the pirate radio station in Slade in Fame (featuring the late Tommy Vance)were probably more realistic & the soundtrack wasn’t totally 1966, but it was great hearing “You Really Got Me” at stun theatre volume & there was actually a Francoise Hardy song playing in the background of one of the scenes.

  18. Paul Feig was certainly the “heart and soul” of Freaks and Geeks as he wrote the pilot based on actual experiences. It’s what gave the show its tone and its overall feeling. Apatow had alot to do with the show as far as what actually went on the screen. There’s a revolving cast of folks involved with Apatow that makes appearances both off and on screen and watching Apatow’s recent films are almost like a “Where’s Waldo” for Freaks and Geeks. One of my personal favorites was Steve Bannos in 40 Year Old Virgin in the restaurant.

    Alot of those folks, both on and off screen, are involved in most of these newer comedies coming out these days. Many of them directed, wrote, or played in Freaks and Geeks. Some of those folks went on to Undeclared.

    Funny enough, Apatow also worked on Ben Stiller’s short lived Fox show. They’re all connected! Stiller appeared in an episode of Freaks and Geeks, as well. Sandler was on Undeclared. Undeclared also featured Loudon Wainright III, who did the soundtrack for Knocked Up (he appeared in the film…) It just goes on and on….

    The Dewey Cox connections to Freaks and Geeks are these:

    It was written by Apatow and Jake Kasdan. Jake Kasdan directed several episodes of Freaks and Geeks. Martin Starr, David Krumholtz, Steve Bannos, and Jason Schwartzman all appeared in the show.


  19. Mr. Moderator


  20. BigSteve

    Speaking of You Really Got me, did anyone see Ray Davies on Letterman this week? He played You Really Got Me with a choir. I thought it was godawful. Remind me not to buy that choral album he just released.

  21. Mod, I have been a fan of Freaks since it came on. I dare say that it’s my favorite show of all time. It touches some nerve in me, somehow.

    As a result, I delight in the new adventures of these people. It warms my heart that Seth Rogen is a star. That Jason Segel is a mover. It was cool to see James Franco in the Spiderman films. These folks will forever be imbedded in my mind as McKinley High School Norsemen.


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