Writer and director Cameron Crowe's experiences as a teenage rock journa list - he was a regular contributor to Rolling Stone while s till in hig h school - inspired this coming-of-age story about a 15-year-old boy hit ting the road with an up-and-coming rock band in the early 1970s. Elaine Miller (Frances McDormand) is a bright, loving, but strict single paren t whose distrust of rock music and fe ars about drug use have helped to drive a wedge between herself and her two children, Anita (Zooey Deschan el) and William (Patrick F ugit). Anita rebels by dropping out of school and becoming a stewardess, but William makes something of his love of r ock & roll by w riting album reviews for a local underground newspaper. William's work attracts the attention of Lester Bangs (Philip Seymour Ho ffma n), editor of renegade rock magazine Creem, who takes William under his wing and gives him his first professional writing assignment - cov ering a Black Sabbath concert. While William is unable to score an inter view with the headliners, the opening act, Stillwater, are more than ha ppy to chat with a reporter, even if he's still too young to drive, and William's piece on the group in Creem gains him a new admirer in Ben Fo ng-Torres (Terry Chen), an editor at Rolling Stone. Torres offers Willia m an assignment for a 3,000-word cover story on Stillwater, and over th e objections of his mother (whose parting words are "Don't use drugs!"), and after some stern advice from Bangs (who says under no circumstance s should he become friends with a band he's covering), Williams joins St illwater o n tour, where he becomes friendly with guitarist Russell Hamm ond (Billy Crudup) and singer Jeff Bebe (Jason Lee). William also becom es enamored of Penny Lane (Kate Hudson), a groupie traveling with the ba nd who is no older than William, but is deeply involved with Russell. L ester Bangs and Ben Fong-Torres, incidentally, were real-life rock write rs Crowe worked with closely during his days as a journalist. Almost Fa mous' original score was composed by Nancy Wilson of Heart (who is also Crowe's wife).]]>
Almost Famous (The Bootleg Cut) [Blu-ray]
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I've decided to review the Bootleg Cut of "Almost Famous" as most of the other reviews are of the original theatrical release.
This is a wonderful two-disc ( actually 3, more on this later ) DVD collection.
First, the packaging. We are presented with a brown tri-fold package, much like the bootleg recordings of the seventies. Not a whole lot of artwork on the cover. Simply a small photo of Kate Hudson (Penny Lane).
The first tri-fold presents us with a wonderful addition to this DVD set. Included is a STILLWATER Music CD. This music CD is only available in this collection and features songs from the film as performed by Stillwater. Four of the tracks are co written by Nancy Wilson ( of Heart ) and Cameron Crowe ( the director ). This little bonus CD is great and very appropriate to the theme of the set.
I'll jump now to DISC 2 of this set which is the Original Theatrical Version of "Almost Famous". This is the academy award winning version that was released and it's great. The story is well told and very engaging.
DISC 1 is "Untitled: Almost Famous : The Bootleg Cut" which is not rated.
This version is a gift.
Cameron Crowe has taken the time to ( lovingly ) recut his film and include an additional 36 minutes of film. The addition of these precious minutes change the film but do not deminish it's impact or watchability.
The additional 36 minutes add mostly to the character of Penny Lane ( Academy Award Nominee Kate Hudson ) and expand on her history.
Unlike many extended versions which add little to character development, this version of "Almost Famous" brings more insight and depth to nearly all characters.Read more ›
Let me start by marveling at the plethora of negative reviews here. Even the critics that didn't name it to their Top 10 list didn't dislike the movie. You will be hard pressed to find a single negative professional review anywhere on this movie. Please disregard the short, ignorant reviews here that do no more than call the movie names. This movie is all you could ask for and then some.
The story is old news by now. Everybody knows it is based on CC's real life experiences as a teenage scribe covering the rock scene for Rolling Stone magazine. Unlike many movies based on a true story, many of the pivotal scenes in this movie actually took place. Very few artistic liberties were taken with regards to key events.
The acting was virtually flawless. Phillip Seymour Hoffman would have won an Oscar if there was an awards given for cameos. His role was too small to be considered for best supporting actor, but it was the best performance I have seen in a long time. McDormand and Hudson both earned their nominations. Kate Hudson's range was astonishing, especially in the "$50/Case of Beer" scene. Jason Lee was born to play the part of Jeff Bebe, and Jimmy Fallon was surprisingly strong as a sleazy agent. The movies focal points were Billy Crudup as Russel Hammond, a self-centered guitarist with several intricate layers to his makeup. Crudup played the part perfectly and deserved official recognition for his work. Patrick Fugit, playing William Miller/CC was excellent in his debut. Like Hudson, his expressions were worth a million words.Read more ›
This is a case where more of a good thing doesn't turn into too much of a good thing.
What do you get with "Untitled"? Well, more character. Backstories are fleshed out, relationships are better defined, and the humanity becomes more human. We see William's (Patrick Fugit) kleptomania, along with more examples of how his youth made him an outcast. We get Penny Lane's (Kate Hudson) nurturing side, explicitly portrayed. And we get a full-on glimpse of Jeff Bebe's (Jason Lee) envy, why it started and how it manifests itself. A couple of full scenes are added, most notably a radio station appearance that's terribly funny, albeit irrelevant to the plot. But most of the additional footage comes from existing scenes being lengthened. More often than not, the point is clarified without boring the audience with tediousness.
The audio commentary begins with Cameron Crowe outlining the two paths they might go down. The first is the hemming-and-hawing path, where all the truths are covered up, in favour of banal stories and technical information.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great 70s flick,
soundtrack is fabulous
Kate Hudson is great, but so is the lead Patrick Fugit, a great pick for the part.
The directors cut of an amazing film. One of my all time favorites films. Over 40 minutes of additional footage. No complaints here.Published 27 days ago by Edward Ortiz
I had no idea of how many extras there were - namely a Stillwater CD!!! I love it!Published 1 month ago by HailStorm
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