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Almost Famous
     

Almost Famous

4.7 48
Director: Cameron Crowe

Cast: Patrick Fugit, Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand

 

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Fans of director/writer Cameron Crowe's autobiographical coming-of-age tale, chronicling his tenure writing for Rolling Stone magazine during the heady days of the 1970s, are in for a special treat with this three-disc special edition DVD from the good folks at DreamWorks Home Entertainment. Known as Almost Famous Untitled: The Bootleg Cut, the film includes over 35

Overview

Fans of director/writer Cameron Crowe's autobiographical coming-of-age tale, chronicling his tenure writing for Rolling Stone magazine during the heady days of the 1970s, are in for a special treat with this three-disc special edition DVD from the good folks at DreamWorks Home Entertainment. Known as Almost Famous Untitled: The Bootleg Cut, the film includes over 35 minutes of new footage that arguably adds cinematic meat to many of its scenes and overall makes Crowe's obvious (and understandable) love of the era even more enriching. There's more sex, more drugs, but there is also more time spent on peripheral characters only glimpsed in the theatrical version. Disc one of the set contains the longer cut of the film, a director's commentary track (though Crowe's mother is also onboard for motherly insights and much humor); some great, though brief, interview footage of rock journalist and late mentor to the young future director Lester Bangs (played in the film by Philip Seymour Hoffman) from the 1970s; a great collection of behind-the-scenes footage, including cast rehearsals and general tomfoolery; the original articles Crowe penned for Rolling Stone; a list of the director's top ten albums from the time period (a whole lot of Zeppelin, though there are some surprises as well); and a collection of some of the songs that Stillwater, the fictional band from the film, performs live in their entirety. The commentary track is the highlight of the disc, though the rest of the extras aren't too shabby either. The disc also includes the director's optional audio introductions to the extras. There is also a fabulous easter egg on the disc: Go to the special features menu and highlight the "Love Comes and Goes" selection. Press the top arrow of your remote control and then press enter. You will then see a five-minute clip of actress Kate Hudson in the infamous "Leslie" scene. The scene was intended as an homage to the great French director Francois Truffaut. It is hilarious, uncomfortable, agonizing, and ultimately unforgettable. Also on the same disc there is another hidden treat. Go to the audio option from the main menu and highlight the commentary option. Press the right arrow key on your remote and then press enter. You will then see another deleted scene. Disc two of the set includes the original theatrical cut of the film, a Stillwater music video, more deleted scenes (including a fantastic interactive homage to "Stairway to Heaven" that unfortunately could not make it into the film because of music rights) with optional director's commentary, the screenplay, and the usual theatrical trailers, production notes, and cast and crew bios. Like disc one, the picture for this disc is superb and the sound mix is always strong and perfectly balanced. This set easily retires the previously released single disc of the film. But, if that wasn't enough, the set includes a third disc -- a CD of six original Stillwater songs which only adds to the illusion chronicling the road hogs of '70s rock. An overall fantastic collection and a must for the fan.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
One of 2000’s most pleasant cinematic surprises, Almost Famous celebrates the liberating influence of rock 'n' roll on America’s youth during the 1970s, and is in turns both exhilarating and elegiac. Writer-director Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire), drawing on his own adolescent experiences, creates a believable alter ego in Patrick Fugit, cast as a talented teen journalist assigned by Rolling Stone magazine to accompany an up-and-coming band on a nationwide tour. Flush with ambition, the shy youth dutifully chronicles the band’s activities and its members' peccadilloes, in the process learning valuable and occasionally painful lessons about fame, friendship, and love. Billy Crudup is letter-perfect as the band’s charismatic guitarist, whose increasing popularity threatens insecure lead singer Jason Lee. Frances McDormand sparkles in her relatively brief appearances as Fugit’s protective mother. But Kate Hudson's performance -- justifiably recognized with an Academy Award nomination -- is the movie's most luminous, as she portrays the vulnerable, if free-spirited, groupie who steals Fugit’s heart. Evocative of its period but timeless in its appeal, Almost Famous recognizes rock’s contribution to American pop culture with warmth, humor, and the yearning for a bygone era filled with promise.
All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
Depending on when you walk in, Almost Famous is either a coming-of-age drama, a love story, an often funny but sometimes painful look at the bonds of family, or a celebration of the glorious, liberating intoxication of rock & roll. And what's most remarkable about Cameron Crowe's fourth (and best) film is that it covers all these bases with equal skill, and an amiable, sure-footed grace. Crowe has made no secret that this film was based closely on his own experiences as a teenage rock journalist, and he certainly knows the nooks and crannies of life on the road in the 1970s; from the backstage rituals to the endless rounds of hotel parties, the film never hits a false note as it follows Stillwater's steady rise to fame. But more importantly, Crowe knows how to draw characters, and what could have easily been a collection of two-dimensional stereotypes emerges instead as an ensemble of credible, flesh-and-blood people. Elaine (Frances McDormand), the mother who dislikes and distrusts rock & roll, isn't a narrow-minded harridan, but an intelligent and socially progressive woman who doesn't want to see her children fall into a destructive adolescent conformity. The "band-aides," most notably Penny Lane (Kate Hudson), aren't fame-obsessed sexual predators, but devoted fans who have their own way of showing their loyalty to the musicians whose work means so much to them. And 15-year-old William (Patrick Fugit) isn't some youth lost in rock & roll Babylon, but a kid jazzed at living out his dreams and going on his first great adventure, while remaining smart (and grounded) enough to see both the peaks and valleys of the life he's capturing in words. One of Crowe's strongest suits has always been his ability to draw fine performances from his actors, and that's hardly failed him here. Newcomer Patrick Fugit is a marvel of boyish wonder and mature-beyond-his-years perception as William, Frances McDormand does an Oscar-worthy turn as his mother Elaine, Billy Crudup and Jason Lee are superb as the battling frontmen of Stillwater, Kate Hudson delivers a star-making, thoroughly charming performance as Penny, and Philip Seymour Hoffman is superb in an all-too-brief appearance as gonzo rock journalist (and part-time mentor to William) Lester Bangs. And Crowe's strong, clear, but unobtrusive visual sense, as well as his superlative ear for pop music, serve this material splendidly. If Almost Famous has a flaw, it's the noticeable upshift in the rhythm of its last act, which feels like an attempt to rush the film to its conclusion. But if the worst thing you can say about Almost Famous is that you wish it had been a bit longer, it says a lot about how thoroughly pleasurable a film it really is.
New York Times - A.O. Scott
As a director [Crowe] has an extraordinary gift for drawing out rounded, complex performances even in supporting roles and for indicating the fine emotional shadings in the relationships among his characters.
Boston Globe
Hollywood filmmaking at its best, brimming over with feeling, texture, spirit, and several kinds of keenness that transmute experience into big pop myth. Jay Carr

Product Details

Release Date:
12/04/2001
UPC:
0667068875126
Original Release:
2000
Rating:
R
Source:
Dreamworks Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital]
Time:
4:45:00

Special Features

Disc one: Untitled: The Bootleg Cut, Cameron Crowe's director;s edition with over 30 minuted of never-before-seen footage; audio commentary from director Cameron Crowe; deleted scenes with audio commentary; cast audition tapes with rock 'n' roll rehearsal footage; the shooting script with Crowe's notes; Crowe's Top 10 albums of 1973 and original Rolling Stone articles; Stillwater's Cleveland concert featuring 6 original songs; original theatrical trailer
Disc two: Almost Famous, the original theatrically released version
Disc three: music CD of Almost Famous with 6 new Stillwater tracks

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Patrick Fugit William Miller
Billy Crudup Russell Hammond
Frances McDormand Elaine Miller
Kate Hudson Penny Lane
Jason Lee Jeff Bebe
Philip Seymour Hoffman Lester Bangs
Zooey Deschanel Anita Miller
Anna Paquin Polexia Aphrodisia
Fairuza Balk Sapphire
Noah Taylor Dick Roswell
John Fedevich Ed Vallencourt
Bijou Phillips Estrella Starr
Eion Bailey Jann Wenner
Terry Chen Ben Fong-Torres
Jimmy Fallon Dennis Hope
Daniel Wilson Journalism Teacher
Jay Baruchel Vic Munoz
John Patrick Amedori Himself
Michael Angarano Young William Miller

Technical Credits
Cameron Crowe Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Conny Boettger-Marinos Set Decoration/Design
Danny Bramson Musical Direction/Supervision
Ian Bryce Producer
Charisse Cardenas Set Decoration/Design
Michael Dennison Costumes/Costume Designer
Marty P. Ewing Associate Producer
Robert Greenfield Set Decoration/Design
Clay Griffith Art Director
Clayton R. Hartley Art Director
Betsy Heimann Costumes/Costume Designer
Joe Hutshing Editor
Saar Klein Editor
Gail Levin Casting
Scott M. Martin Associate Producer
Virginia Randolph-Weaver Art Director
Steven P. Saeta Associate Producer
Lisa Stewart Co-producer
Mindi Toback Set Decoration/Design
John Toll Cinematographer
Jeff Wexler Sound/Sound Designer
Nancy Wilson Score Composer
Jerry Ziesmer Associate Producer,Asst. Director

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Index
1. The Chipmunk Song [6:35]
2. Take a Look Around [4:13]
3. Sparks [3:56]
4. Search and Destroy [6:15]
5. Teacher [5:58]
6. Your Move [4:47]
7. Fever Dog [2:35]
8. What's Happening Brother [4:54]
9. Something in the Air [6:46]
10. Ice [2:20]
11. Go All the Way [7:23]
12. Bags of Kindness [3:36]
13. Simple Man [5:05]
14. That's the Way [7:40]
15. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere [5:59]
16. Future Games [4:33]
17. Tiny Dancer [2:54]
18. Reeling in the Years [2:27]
19. Love Comes and Goes [7:40]
20. The Wind [5:32]
21. Slip Away [5:29]
22. Cut the Cake [1:44]
23. Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters [6:18]
24. My Cherie Amour [7:09]
25. Coke with Lemon [5:19]
26. Cabin in the Sky [3:13]
27. Brutalis [5:57]
28. The Rain Song [7:37]
29. Tangerine [5:13]
30. Feel Flows [7:14]
Side #2 --
0. Scene Index
1. The Chipmunk Song [8:50]
2. Sparks [3:33]
3. Search and Destroy [4:47]
4. Teacher [5:27]
5. Your Move [3:13]
6. Fever Dog [4:03]
7. Something in the Air [5:20]
8. Go All the Way [3:44]
9. Simple Man [5:28]
10. That's the Way [5:52]
11. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere [5:37]
12. Future Games [4:07]
13. Tiny Dancer [3:46]
14. Reeling in the Years [6:12]
15. Love Comes and Goes [4:55]
16. The Wind [:31]
17. Slip Away [2:43]
18. Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters [4:52]
19. My Cherie Amour [5:29]
20. Cabin in the Sky [5:26]
21. Brutalis [7:41]
22. The Rain Song [5:09]
23. Tangerine [4:09]
24. Feel Flows [7:14]

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Almost Famous 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
In my opinion, one of the top 5 greatest American movies of all time, along with The French Connection, Field of Dreams, Sunset Boulevard and The Birds. Just an unbelievable movie, with the greatest soundtrack ever (sorry Easy Rider, but you were a close second). Wasn't surprised that it wasn't nominated for Best Picture, as it's just way too hip for the Hollywood establishment, but I was truly sickened when Kate Hudson didn't get Best Supporting Actress. Buy it, watch it, love it, again and again and again...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought the movie was really good. There was alot of quality to it. the acters were great too.The movie took me back to some fond memories I had at that age.Very good music selection in it also.Like Elton John,Led Zepplin...etc...!Dug it alot!
senecaKD More than 1 year ago
A nostalgic story of back in the day. Kate Hudson is charming in her breakthrough role as Penny Lane. Patrick Fugit is adorable, earnest and a voice of sanity as Cameron Crowe reporting on desire, ambition and betrayal in this drug-fueled laid-back hip world of wannabe rock stars and their hangers-on.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is clearly won of the best movies to come along in years. It is fun, sad and very funny. I love billy crudup and patrick fugit, who give wonderful performances. Kate Hudson, however, is the star of this movie and gives a EXCELLENT performance. She definatly was snubbed for the oscar, because she deserved it! Frances McDormand also is hilarious as the mother. All I can say is it is a GREAT movie!
ClassicRock_Chick More than 1 year ago
I am a little bias since I mainly listen to classic rock. I also wish I was able to live through the 60's and 70's to experience that culture since that seems more true to who I am. With that aside, I was really amazed how well the story was put together and how everything played out along with the acting. They did a great job recreating an era and the music in the movie is awesome! The fake band made of actors actually created a great band and I am happy one of their songs was included on the Almost Famous CD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
THIS MOVIE WAS A GOOD MOVIE. IT WAS SAD WHEN THE ENDING CAME.I WILL LOVE TO SEE THIS MOVIE MORE THAN ONCE AND I RECOMMEND IT TO EVERYONE.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This longer, more detailed version of Almost Famous fills in lots of gaps for the viewer. Crowe's edit includes footage that gives each character more depth and it enables the viewer to better understand each charater's motivation(s). It includes two video disks (both cuts of the movie) and one audio disk. Crowe is very generous with bonus features on both disks. Included on disk #2 is the Cleveland concert. This concert footage captures all the nuances of an early-seventies concert and the sound is great. All sonds are complete from start to finish. The songs, ''Love Comes and Goes'' and ''Hour of Need'' are my favorites. Anyone interested in music will enjoy this DVD set along with the bonus features.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An incredible and not before seen look at a late seventies very hippie band. Confrontations, love, hate, fantastic music. A combination that results in one of my favourite movies.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Have you ever wnated to be famous? Or have you ever wanted to be close with your favorite star? Well. . . William Miller had that chance. He ceased that opportunity and went on tour with his favorite band, Stillwater! Along the way William meets tons of great people like Penny Lane the leader of the famous band-aids. She captivates him and the audiece with all of her intrigue and mystery. Shes fun and exciting. The first time she meets William she says that she would like to live in Morocco for one year then asks if he wants to come. These are the things youll come to expect from Penny! This movie was great with a great cast and a great soundtrack. I would recomend the movie to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was great movie. The cast was terrific, especially Patrick Fugit and Kate Hudson. Wonderful script, funny and touching at times. Great music, but they should've used some Alice Cooper because he was big in 1973, when this movie took place. Still it's an excellent film, and deserved the Oscar it received for best screenplay.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is so moving, and so fun. The characters are so real and likeable. You will fall in love with these characters and become a part of this boy's life. I definitely recommend it to anyone that loves good music and a good-feeling type movie. Two thumbs up!
Guest More than 1 year ago
You can't put into words why this film is so good it's just a great, happy feeling when you watch it. ''Life should make you feel, art should make you feel GOOD.'' And that is exactly what this wonderful film does.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie was touching but not in a smotheringly sweet way. it especially appealed to my warped sense of humor which i rarely find in movies. definitely watch it before you buy it though because it isn't for everyone... especially people who are easily bored or who don't like paying attention to movies. WARNING: This ones a thinker. but that's why i l
svgallo More than 1 year ago
With the rock and roll era of the 1970s as its backdrop, "Almost Famous" tells a great coming-of-age story in life, love, and achieving dreams.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great movie. Crowes real life experiences give a good viewpoint into the lives of rockstars and adds a humanizing effect that is generally lacking in movies about them. This is simply a really good movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this film! It's very funny and witty, and there's a sweet bunch of love stories, and of course you just love William's personality changes through the course of the film. There's inventive, quirky characters like my favorite, Lester Bangs, who spouts rock philosophies that I quote to my friends (''The only true currency in this corrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're not cool.'' RIght on!). A great film, go see it...and then buy it!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie is sweet and lovely and full of trivial detail. It is wholly lacking any sense of the reality of life in a rock band. The story is loosely based on Crowe's experience on the road with Lynyrd Skynyrd, but it seems more like life on the road with New Kids on the Block. Crowe seems so desperate for broad commercial acceptance, that he makes the sleazy musicians into sweethearts who just need to be understood. Utterly watchable, but instantly forgettable. Like a lousy pop song, left me feeling more manipulated than moved.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Almost Famous became my favorite movie after watching it once. It's a great coming-of-age movie for anyone to watch. I liked this movie so much, that I'm buying it on DVD. There were a few emotional parts for me during the movie. I don't know why I broke down and cried because I thought this movie was supposed to be up beat and happy. Well I was wrong. Cameron Crowe can write a real tear jerker.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Others have adequately praised this movie in their comments. I just want to say that it's one of those movies that I have watched dozens of times -- either in its entirety or from whatever point it's at when I run across it in progress on cable TV. The music is cool, the band is cool, but that's a backdrop. This movie is about how the characters discover things about themselves and each other while they're on tour. Anyway, I recommend it because you'll be glad to watch it more than once and that's why we buy DVDs, right?
Guest More than 1 year ago
While most movies show the seventies as a hyped up, do whatever you want life. Almost Famous shows the real influence of music, drugs, and celebrities. When I first saw Almost Famous I immediately fell in love with the simplicity of Patrick Fugit's character,and his easy view on life. Kate Hudson does a great job acting like a fan whoose only purpose in life is to follow the music. The movie combines the great music and the feel of the seventies showing us the real world of rock n'roll through the eyes of a teenager.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie made me all warm and fazy inside. it it trully the greatest one of the year. funny and moving