Sunday, September 10, 2006

What I Think when I Listen to The Rock's audio commentary from Walking Tall (2004)

This is not the place for me to discuss what a fine performer Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is. As I'm sure you've noted, I've limited myself to his audio commentary from his solid turn in 2004's remake of Walking Tall. So that's where we'll stay.

He's still tied to "The Rock" character from his WWF/E days, a cocky, eager-to-please, and often self-deprecating dynamo that rocketed him to stardom in the late 90s. He punctuated every motion with a flourish, generally involving a shimmy, a shake, or a combination there-of. He's still held a lot of that character over to his film roles - and his commentary is no different - at the beginning of the track he tells the viewer if they want an art-house commentary they should rent Gosford Park. The pleasures in the track are the numerous cracks he makes at the film itself - including his insistence that there were 194 producers in the film, and about just as many writers.

His most brilliant joke though, is continually referring to John Beasley (who plays his father) as George Foreman (to whom he bears a passing resemblance). He does it ceaselessly for the entire track - including a description of why the Foreman Grill is the gretest invention of all time (it cooks lean burgers). He also says his character learned who to take punches because of his dad's skills. The fact he sustains this joke for an hour and a half is impressive, more impressive is the fact that it's hilarious the entire time.

He points out multiple errors in the film - like how he's hammering out a board from the stairs that has no nails in it - and compares one of the final fight sequences to The Godfather Part II.

Another running joke involves his makeup artist - who he always mentions as "Academy Award wining makeup artist Jeff Dawn who usually does a poor job but did well here." He says this each time a scene involving serious makeup comes up. His commitment to sarcasm is admirable. At one point he calls the Special Forces tattoo they put on him as "8 miles of dogshit." He also keeps making fun of his film nephew's hair - noting each time he appears that he hadn't got it cut yet.

As a Hollywood star he covers his bases by verbally fellating everyone who had anything to do with the film, saying how "great" everyone is about 5,000 times. But whatever, if it lets him keep making movies, I'm all for it.


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