John C. Reilly
Whatever the explanation (I'm sure it consists of some combination of poor marketing and audience stupidity), WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY manages to pull out all the stops when taking on the musician biopic genre, ripping on everything we've come to expect from movies like RAY and WALK THE LINK—those key ingredients being: a troubled childhood, drugs, women problems, etc.—and then meshing together all those intentionally clichéd subplots with different eras of music and hilarious cameos (made even funnier by the actors playing characters like The Beatles actually reiterating who they are over and over, just because they're so clearly nothing like The Beatles). The humor may be juvenile, as well as completely lacking in subtlety (what else would you expect with a movie that has two dick jokes in its title alone?), but there's still a substantial amount of wit to go along with all the R-rated raunchiness.
Further elevating the film beyond that of your standard spoof is its obvious appreciation for the material at hand, with the music in particular being shockingly good (and equally as funny). Also terrific is John C. Reilly, proving not only that he's got a great singing voice, but also that he has what it takes to carry a movie, and then some. Standouts among the supporting cast include Jenna Fischer (who has officially cemented herself as the woman of my dreams) and Tim Meadows (whose performance earns a laugh nearly every time he shows up onscreen).
The movie's not flawless, however. The humor can lag in places, a number of the jokes are hit or miss, and a few too many jokes are just blatantly spelled out for the audience. But honestly, these are minor quibbles, and after being forced to suffer through abysmal spoof after abysmal spoof, I'm just glad to sit down and watch one that actually makes me laugh.
The Unbearably Long, Self-Indulgent Director's Cut: This cut of the film, which can be accessed in the special features section, runs an additional 24 minutes past the theatrical's running time. A lot of it is scene extensions, and more sex and nudity. I prefer the theatrical cut (for pacing reasons).
Audio Commentary (with writer/producer Judd Apatow, director Jake Kasdan, and actor John C. Reilly):
Complete Song Performances (41:15): Exactly what the title implies. You can view the songs performed in the film completely uninterrupted. A very nice addition, since the music is great.
Deleted & Extended Scenes (19:15): A lot of extra little gags.
Line-O-Rama (6:22): Improv comedy with the actors changing up their lines, as seen on previous Apatow DVDs. Funny stuff.
A Christmas Song from Dewey Cox (2:45): An additional song that wasn't in the film.
Cox Sausage Commercial (2:23): The full joke commercial segment that was shown a lot in the previews, but wasn't in the film.
Song Demos (39:00): Songs as performed by the original artists.
Tyler Nilson: A Coxumentary (5:57): A joke featurette about the guy who's role was devoted solely to showing his penis.
Bull On the Loose (3:46): A look at the bull scene with the younger Dewey Cox.
The Music of Walk Hard (16:37): A more serious featurette, which is fitting.
The Making of Walk Hard (15:05): Sort of a blasé look at the film's creation, without too much humor.
The Real Dewey Cox (14:05): A funny gag featurette that treats Dewey Cox as a real person.
The Last Word with John Hodgman (26:00): Characters from the film talk about Dewey's death during a faux network show. Amusing enough.
Also included are a ton of Previews.