With a satirical ring to it, this film tells the story of a fictional musician who struck it big with his first hit, Walk Hard. The tale begins with Dewey Cox (Reilly) reflecting on his life as a boy, when he accidentally sliced his brother in half. With a couple of failed marriages, umpteen kids, drugs, sex, and rock 'n roll under his belt, the Story continues to spiral out of control until Dewey can face his biggest demon of all, his father. (Tricia Spears)
On Disc One you are given the option of watching the theatrical version or the "Unbearably Long, Self-Indulgent" Director's Cut of the film with the extended scenes pointed out in pop ups; the same commentary with Jake Kasdan, Judd Apatow, John C. Reilly, and Lew Morton (with optional subtitles) as on the DVD; BD-Live capability; and previews. The supplements on Disc Two include 16 full song performances (eight of which are on the DVD); nine deleted/extended scenes (four of which are on the DVD); the same six-minute Line-O-Rama that is on the DVD; a three-minute Christmas song from Dewey Cox; a two-minute Cox sausage commercial with outtakes; nine song demos with four additional alternate versions; and the following featurettes: the six-minute "Tyler Nilson: A Cockumentary," four-minute "Bull On The Loose," the same 17-minute "The Music Of Walk Hard" featurette that is on the DVD, 15-minute "The Making Of Walk Hard," the same 14-minute "The Real Dewey Cox" featurette that is on the DVD, and 26-minute "The Last Word With John Hodgman." Special features are available with subtitles.
The anamorphically enhanced 2.40:1 DVD shows an acceptable picture quality, with solid black levels and decent shadow delineation. Color fidelity is good, with nicely defined fleshtones—although in some indoor scenes flesh is artificially orange—although occasionally greens can look pastel. While whites can look nicely balanced, they often look overblown and bloomy. Resolution is generally quite good, with fine details nicely defined at times, but there are moments when the image is too soft. Edge enhancement is noticeable over higher contrast transitions, although it isn't distracting during the entire presentation. The H.264 AVC-encoded Blu-ray Disc similarly shows good black levels and generally impressive resolution. Colors are bold and nicely balanced, although greens still look pastel at times. This is an enjoyable picture, but not quite at the level of the best high-definition releases. (Danny Richelieu)
The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack features a broad front stage, but surround envelopment is fairly limited. Dynamic range is limited, but recorded music generally sounds impressive. Dialogue doesn't match the dynamics or fidelity of the recorded vocals, often sounding muffled and relatively unrefined. Still, the front stage is impressively mixed, helping move the story along. The Blu-ray Disc's Dolby TrueHD 5.1-channel soundtrack has improved fidelity over the lossy encoding on the DVD, but the limitations of the mix are still audible. (Danny Richelieu)