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Almost Famous [DVD] [2002]

Billy Crudup , Patrick Fugit , Cameron Crowe    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
Price: £3.47 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Billy Crudup, Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson, Frances McDormand, Jason Lee
  • Directors: Cameron Crowe
  • Writers: Cameron Crowe
  • Producers: Cameron Crowe, Ian Bryce, Jerry Ziesmer, Lisa Stewart, Marty P. Ewing
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 10 April 2002
  • Run Time: 161 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000089ARH
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,027 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

A nostalgic, bittersweet ode to the hedonistic rock 'n' roll days of the early 1970s, Almost Famous is Cameron Crowe's most personal, deeply felt film (he even cowrote the original songs with wife Nancy Wilson). "Does anybody remember laughter?" asks one of the characters in a Led Zeppelin reference that typifies how the film works both for those who, like Crowe, remember and love the times and its music, and those who can only look back in wonder at an era when rock music was about something more than just marketing. Closely based on his own coming-of-age experiences as a teenage journalist for Rolling Stone magazine, the story follows the director's alter ego William Miller (sympathetic newcomer Patrick Fugit) on the journey of a lifetime touring with fictional rock band Stillwater, struggling to get the all-important interview, losing his virginity, falling in love, and trying to fend off his obsessively concerned mother (Frances McDormand). Kate Hudson as the "band-aid" (not groupie) Penny Lane is the film's magnetic centrepiece; Billy Crudup plays Stillwater's temperamental and egocentric lead guitarist perfectly; and Philip Seymour Hoffman steals the show as jaded rock journo Lester Bangs, the very personification of "uncool" whose ardent love for music--good, honest music--is at the very heart of this film. "I have to go home" says William on the Stillwater tour bus in one of the many emotionally truthful moments that permeate this wonderful film; "You are home", Penny Lane tells him.

On the DVD: This is an attractive anamorphic 1.85:1 picture, and the fantastic soundtrack gets the Dolby 5.1 treatment. The extra features include the complete performance of Stillwater's Zeppelin-esque "Fever Dog" and a good 25-minute HBO "making-of" featurette with contributions from all the principals ("I really liked hanging out with all the girls on the set", says Patrick Fugit with a straight face). Navigate the special features menus by following the red Stratocasters and find Cameron Crowe's six articles for Rolling Stone that reveal how closely the film is based on his experiences on the road with the Allman Brothers Band and Led Zeppelin. There are also four trailers (only one for this film, oddly), and text-based Filmographies and Production Notes. No commentary, though. --Mark Walker

DVD Special Features:
HBO Making of Featurette
Rolling Stone Article--Original Text be Cameron Crowe
Stillwater's "Fever Dog" Music Video
Filmographies
Production Notes
Trailer
Animated & Interactive Menus
1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen (enhanced for 16:9 TVs)
Dolby 5.1 English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese

Product Description

15-year-old high school student William Miller (Patrick Fugit) has just won the chance to write a story about Stillwater, an up-and-coming rock band, for Rolling Stone magazine. So he joins the band on tour, makes friends with lead guitarist Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup) and groupie Penny Lane (Kate Hudson), and gets himself a ringside seat for some classic 1970s rock excesses. But with Rolling Stone demanding a story that could very well cause him to betray his newfound friends, his over-protective mother (Frances McDormand) keeping a regular check on him, and tensions within the band reaching breaking point, William finds that he must tread very carefully indeed.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
By Sordel TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
[Amazon migrated my original review of this great movie across to the Blu-Ray edition from the Region 1 "Boot Cut". Unfortunately this means that a lot of it is completely inaccurate! The Boot Cut has great extras, such as the superb commentary, and the Blu-Ray has nothing much aside from the extended version of the film. Quite why it was possible to do more with the DVD format than it is with Blu-Ray I'm not sure, but with no Stillwater CD, no "Stairway to Heaven" scene, no deleted scenes etc. this is an opportunity badly missed. Still, it's the extended version and the film really is wonderful ... so it keeps its 5 stars either way.]

"Almost Famous" is a truly great film about music by someone who was also a great rock journalist. If you missed it in cinemas, this is a great opportunity to pick it up for home viewing.

The three discs here are a short CD by "Stillwater" (the fictional band from the film), a DVD of the original theatrical release and the main event: a DVD of the Director's Cut with a commentary by Cameron Crowe and his mother.

The longer version, it should be noted, takes what was already a brilliant autobiographical film and adds some key scenes, most of which explore further the rock world of the early seventies. Crowe himself wanted to tell not merely a love story, but - more importantly - the love story between a band and its fans. The additional detail really "sells" this aspect of the film, most notably in an extraordinarily moving scene when Kate Hudson's character is thrown a birthday party by the band. If you haven't seen this version, you haven't really seen the film: it really does make that much difference.

Finally, the commentary, which is one of the most informative that I've encountered.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect 24 Sep 2001
Format:DVD
Crowe's partially autobiographical story about a gifted but naïve young rock journalist prematurely entering the world of his idols is moving, hilarious, thought-provoking and as good as any of his previous films. William comes of age as he deals with the rock and roll lifestyle, journalistic pressures, sex, jealousy and the questionable sincerity of his new 'friends' - all this with his over-protective mother demanding to know his every move.
The acting is fabulous - my favourite performance is the stunning (in every way) Kate Hudson as 'band-aid' Penny Lane ("not a groupie!"). Also an awesome debut from Fugit - perfectly cast and totally believable. My favourite film moment is when the characters reveal their deepest secrets on the tour plane because turbulence makes them believe they are going to die.
The DVD offers excellent extras including a documentary and actual Rolling Stone transcripts, written by Crowe. The soundtrack is impressive but the best feature is the picture of Hudson on the cover - almost perfect.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
Almost Famous is a nostalgic look at the director Cameron Crowe's life, how he wanted to be a writer for a Rock and Roll magazine .The central Character William(newcomer Patrick Fugit) has the chance to go on the road for Rolling Stone Magazine with up and coming new Rock Band 'Stillwater',much to the disapproval of his overbearing,rock and roll hating mother(the perfectly cast Frances McDormand). Along the way he meets a number of great people, lead of the band Russell(played by Billy Crudup)and Penny Lane (played by Kate Hudson), this young writer has a huge effect on all the characters in this film as they help each other live the rock and roll life in the 70's. Cameron Crowe picked an excellent cast, young and inspiring who let you have just a taster of life on the road with a rock band. This is a film that is not to be missed.A Film for all aspiring writers and Rock Band hope to be's.
Almost Famous more like Absolutely Fabulous!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost hits the mark 1 Mar 2006
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
As I was born in the 1980s, I can only check out the era of blossoming rock'n'roll (Rolling Stones, the Doors, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin) through books and movies. And here's the ideal movie: "Almost Famous," a semi-autobiographical movie about the 1970s rock scene, gives a glimpse of the life of a young reporter, based on Crowe himself.
When William's sister (Zooey Deschanel) left home, she gave him her collection of records: the Who, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and many others. When William (Patrick Fugit) is fifteen he manages to get a writing assignment with Creem, and then with Rolling Stone magazine to write about the rising band Stillwater. William falls in with the Stillwater guys and their circle of adoring groupies, including an effervescent blonde, Penny Lane (Kate Hudson).
Despite the displeasure of his controlling but loving mom (she claims adolescence is a marketing ploy), William accompanies Stillwater across the country. He keeps trying to get an interview with guitarist Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup), but Russell is too busy shagging Penny and diving off rooftops. But after Penny attempts suicide, William realizes the drugs, sex and rock'n'roll are only a veneer for what really matters.
"Almost Famous" is a fantastic mixture of expose and tribute -- there's music, there's romance, there's comedy. We get to see inter-band conflict (who's the star?), groupies, rock journalism, and the unfortunate aftereffects for groupies. Yet the sort-of-romance between Penny and William is very sweet, rooted in genuine affection.
Both the glamour and the grit is shown here. The dialogue sparkles -- "Last words: I dig music... I'M ON DRUGS!", "Forgive me Father, for I may sin tonight," "I'm about to boldly go where...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great
Published 12 days ago by mezo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A film can be seen again and again.
Published 17 days ago by Necati Göksel
1.0 out of 5 stars Not as expected
Disappointing after reading the previous reviews
Published 1 month ago by Paula
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Not great
Published 1 month ago by IAN DORAN
2.0 out of 5 stars CLICHE RIDDEN 70'S GROUPIE FILM
this is a classic example of what hollywood can do with an ok story. lightweight fluff, uninteresting characters,70's wigs and 70's fancy dress clothing all over the place. Read more
Published 1 month ago by P. Storey
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect rock film
groupies and journalists circling rock stars. A brilliant film with a brilliant cast and an amazing soundtrack. Need I say more.
Published 2 months ago by Luke
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
My favourite film of all time! Billy Crudup is delicious as the lead guitar player and the viewer is escorted into the exciting world of a band on the road with the excellent... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sheila72
5.0 out of 5 stars Coming of age in the dying embers of rock!
The premise of Almost famous is a talented young writer trying to write a piece about a band he really likes. Read more
Published 3 months ago by SK
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite film
If you like a great story well acted with great '70's rock music and a real feel for the period you must see this film. Read more
Published 3 months ago by hubbinator
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
A lot of people seem to love this film but personally I find it pretty boring, my opinion is just mine though so you should make up your own mind and probably look at the majority... Read more
Published 4 months ago by G. Richardson
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