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The Movie: 7.5/10
Trust me, I’m not a “oh that inspired me to change my whole life and follow my crazy dreams” type of person. I don’t jump on a wagon for causes or life changing shifts in my daily living. What I do find is that with movies like The Walk I wake up a little part of me that smiles at the possibilities. I know, a man walking on a wire between two tall buildings isn’t a world shattering event. He didn’t save anyone, cure anything, or even try to draw attention to any kind of need in the world, HOWEVER, an individual who is driven to put his own craft, art, expression of their self into this world with blind abandonment of reason, I do think that means something. As a piece of entertainment in and of itself, well, I wasn’t there and from this movie, that wasn’t even the point. I like that. It was a spectacle that had the potential for being seen by about 5 people and that seems to be enough for Philippe.
That’s what the way this movie is told tells me about this guy, he was a show boater who seems to be doing it more for himself than for the audience. He is taught along the way to appreciate the people watching, but I do think that deep inside he is (He’s still alive by the way) motivated by something inside himself to just do it, the wire walking, without really considering the world outside his head. Yes, he’s a showman in the movie and thrives on the ohhs and awes and the eyes watching him, but I get a strong feeling that even if 90% of the time he were to do his feats of wire dare deviling alone without anyone watching he would be as satisfied.
The story is told with a bit of cheek. It’s got a sense of fun and whimsy. We meet our leading man in a sort of dream like situation where he’s standing in the torch thing on the Statue of Liberty to tell us the tale. That way to frame a movie can be annoying but this time it works. The do a few tricks like some black and white mixed with color, some more whimsical camera work now and then, but mostly we are grounded in a kind of romanticized version of Paris and New York City. It works, it all works just right for the story we are being told. A man decides to do a tight wire walk between the then brand new Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in NY. It’s really that simple.
We do get a bit of background on each main character, but not that much really. Not enough to build fully fledged out characters. We see them for what this story needs, the driven artist who needs to plan and do this “stunt”, the supportive and somewhat overly romanticized young woman who loves the wire walker, the crew of somewhat hapless but functional “accomplices” who work to get the deed done. I don’t usually advocate 2-dimensional people in movies, but again, it works.
The look of the movie is amazing. From the backdrop of Paris and New York back in the 70’s and 80’s to the actual walk across the wire. I was there, taken by the excellent special effects and hidden CGI that all melts together to keep me convinced I just traveled in time.
The performances are all fine. I mean, it’s not a hard-core kind of flick where we are digging deep into emotions here. We have our leading man, Joseph Gordon-Levitt who does a fine job of being this French man, or does he? I really have no idea about a “good” French accent. I have seen interviews with the real Philippe, and he does sound similar, but overall I don’t know for sure if it passes the French person test. The rest of the crew is fun, funny, a few over the top bits and pieces that lower the quality of a couple of scenes, but overall the theatrics fit the vibe of the movie.
I would recommend The Wire for a rainy Saturday afternoon when you want to just get lost in a fun story. Pair this with Amelie and you have a very romantic, fun, French day ahead of you:)
- Deleted Scenes (6 Minutes) – Original Opening, Philippe Carries Annie, Wire Rigging Lesson, JP & Annie See David, JP Finds Annie, Philippe Signs Off And Central Park Walk.
- The Amazing Walk (11 Minutes) – A close look at the movie magic that brings The Walk to life. The best part for me was the look at the recreation of the twin towers.
- First Steps Learning To Walk The Wire (9 Minutes) – Joseph Gordon-Levitt took an eight week course with the real life Philippe on wire walking. Here we see that process.
- Pillars Of Support (8 Minutes) – A look at the supporting characters that make the film that much better.
- UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 7.5/10
This cover does what it should do. It tells us the story we are about to experience in the shortest form of all, one image. It also looks like it would make a cool poster. I would have that poster.
Audio & Video: 9/10
For a primarily 3D movie the 2d version of the film we are reviewing here looks very flat. It’s mostly down to the color grading used to make the film look older than it actually is. Detail and fine facial features are very defined and crisp, black levels are also on the high end of the scale. Despite the color grading flesh tones are very accurate and look warm and inviting. This is a very good looking transfer from Sony.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is quite subtle and more in line with a drama movie than an action/heist movie which The Walk is. Surround sound is superb though with subtle wind effects throughout the room as your watching the wire walking take place. Dialog is central and never covered by the score. If I have any issues it’s the track is mixed slightly lower than most so turn that volume knob up a few more notches.
Overall Score 7.5/10