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The BIG Reason

Music, opinions, and portfolio of Mark Eagleton, musician and web developer in Northern CA.

Oscar Worthy Performance? Some and None.

I saw Walk The Line this weekend with my sweetheart. It was pretty alright—about what I expected as far as performances and story line goes. Obviously, there was a lot of attention to detail paid to getting a good Johnny Cash out of Joaquin Phoenix, and I think it paid off. I also think I prefer Reese Witherspoon’s June Carter Cash to the actual one.

Now that the nice-ness is out of the way, let's move onto the niceties. First of all, I really need to say something about the bass editing. I know it’s probably not the highest editing priority to sync the double bass playing to the sound that’s actually coming out in the music, but making some effort would have been nice. Rhythms were way off, obvious notes were missed do to bass spinning, and to top it off, a few of the performances even had the bass player playing slab, while the sound in the recording was obviously doghouse slapping. Because of this poor editing, the performances just didn’t look real to me.

Larry Bagby (who some of us may remember as Larry the bully from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) plays Johnny Cash’s bass player. I know he’s a musician. I don’t know how much of a double bass player he is, but he obviously knows how to play. My beef isn’t with his performance, it’s with the editing for the most part.

Besides the bass editing inconsistencies, there were other music related things that just didn’t seem real. For instance, little nuances like looks between members that seemed too acted. The portrayal of song writing was also weird. In two separate scenes Johnny and June both seemed to write their hit songs in this bizarre, slow motion melancholy trance. I don’t know, maybe it’s me who has the strange way of writing songs, but the whole movie seemed to be filled with that rookie “Saved By The Bell”—made for TV—fake band episode vibe.

Am I the only one who expects more from Hollywood budgets? I’m sure no one really cares or may have even noticed, but trust me. The bass playing looked just about as fake as you could make it, short of putting a one armed hobbit in there.