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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 13 May 2017
This was a very cheap blu ray. The picture quality is only slightly better than the Untitled DVD release. Plus the DVD had more extras. But it's still a great film. But the extras are sparse.
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on 6 May 2017
I've always been a fan of Almost Famous, so when I saw the blu-ray at this price I had to get it. I didn't realise it was an extended version. Not a problem it just meant when I watched it, it felt like I was watching a whole new movie. Still a great movie, that just made me love it more,
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 November 2005
[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. Crowe's mom (played to great effect in the film by Frances McDormand) provides a wonderful foil to Crowe himself as they talk about how closely events in the film tracked the actual events of his life as a journalist with Rolling Stone. If you think that the movie is inauthentic before you hear the commentary, you will have changed your mind by the end of it. Both come across as really warm, funny people as well, which is more than can be said for most commentators on DVDs.

One niggle: there's an important scene that was deleted presumably because Crowe couldn't get permission to use "Stairway to Heaven". It's here as an extra on the disc (you have to play your own CD along with it) but isn't incorporated into the "Untitled" Director's Cut. It's a shame that in this area the copyright holder spoiled what was in every other respect a great DVD version of one of the better films of recent years.
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on 11 June 2013
Such a classic old school movie! me and my daughter watch this together and love it, i would recommend it for anyone, definitely doesn't need the 15 rating!
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on 17 June 2015
Rock 'n Roll
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Californian William Miller is 11 and naked in the school shower when his classmates rip into him about his lack of pubes. He quickly discovers two things - he needs to grow up fast - and he has a gift for getting out of jams by convoluting the truth (like all the best writers do). And this is before he has to deal with his overbearing potty mother who seems obsessed with him not doing anything - let alone having promiscuous sex and copious amounts of hallucinogenic drugs (what a meanie).

Then one afternoon in hair-curlers and to the backdrop of Simon & Garfunkel's "America" his older sister Anita has finally had enough of 'no' Mum and exits the nest leaving young William a parting gift that will shape his whole life - a carry bag full of vinyl albums under his bed (dialogue above). Inside is - Crosby, Stills & Nash's self-titled debut from 1969 on Atlantic, The Rolling Stones "Get Your Ya Ya's Out" (1970), Led Zeppelin's "II" (1969), Joni Mitchell's "Blue" (1971) and The Who's double "Tommy". Lighting a candle as instructed by big sis (an early part for the gorgeous Zooey Deschanel) - William puts the needle down on the original 1969 US Decca vinyl of The Who and is transformed...

Written and Directed by Cameron Crowe - "Almost Famous" (2000) is his homage to Rock and a touchstone for suckers like me. I know all the references - all the feelings - all the inexplicably gorgeous women way out of your desert-boots reach. Why - because like so many of my generation - I lived it. And like many of us Crowe also seems to feel that something changed between 1973 and 1975 - Rock 'n' Roll somehow died and got replaced with pomposity and drugs and dumb Rock Stars as Gods who had no answers anymore - corrupted by a hard in their pants and an itch in their arms...

Sporting a fantastic ensemble cast - soppy-faced Patrick Fugit (as William) does well to keep up with Kate Hudson, Billy Crudup, Jason Lee, Noah Taylor, Anna Paquin, Fairuza Balk and Frances McDormand. But you also forget just how good Philip Seymour Hoffman was (even then). He plays Rock Critic Lester Bangs with a relish and character accuracy that is astonishing. As he eyes with horrified insider knowledge the naivety of the now 15-year old William hustling for a career in Rock journalism - Lester correctly surmises that the icons William loves so much will eat him up and spit him out a truly sullied being. But the kid is just so damn earnest...so Lester tells him "to be honest and unmerciful..." and hopes he'll survive a tour with rising rock band Stillwater who are supporting Black Sabbath on a US tour. Cue tour bus rides with paperbacks of Ray Bradbury, Circle magazine, sexy girls with long flowing hair boogieing to The Allman Brothers and the most fantastic use of an Elton John song in any movie - ever ("Tiny Dancer" from 1971's "Madman Across The Water"). There follows spaced-out DJs, dodgy promoters, electrified mike stands, trashed hotel rooms, Rolling Stone magazine deadlines, band squabbles and his ever-present mother phoning about drugs every ten minutes (and she'd be right too). There's even an early but memorable cameo from Modern Family's Eric Stonestreet as Sheldon The Hotel Desk Clerk (he gets about 4 lines)...

The BLU RAY picture quality is lovely throughout and at 1.85:1 aspect ratio - fills the entire screen. Audio is English TrueHD 5.1 while Subtitles include Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, English For The Hard Of Hearing, English, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Korean, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish (Latin American), Thai and Turkish. But the two extras are a major let down - "Love Comes And Goes" features the cast goofing about on sets without any dialogue to camera which is awkward and uninformative (although Nancy Wilson's demo of the rock song "Love Comes And Goes" is great) - while the "Lester Bangs Interview" features the real Creem Magazine writer in archive footage bitching about the vacuous nature of Bryan Ferry and ELP (it's good but last mere minutes - not enough of it).

It should also be noted that this BLU RAY features only the half-hour more 'Extended Cut' of the film (2000 DVD has the original film at 122 minutes). It would have been better to include both versions - but at least the longer 'Director's Cut' does feature material that expands the fictional band's relationship with their fans and more of William's coming-of-age - and it genuinely adds rather than detracts.

True - the album date lines are a bit screwed about with and careful scrutiny will reveal continuity problems - but none of that stops "Almost Famous" being magical to someone like me. And as you sit there - marvelling at just how truly gorgeous Led Zeppelin's acoustic "That's The Way" from "III" is - you're transported to a time when music could change the world and expand your horizons and record shops were places you stood in shaking with excitement at what new thrill you would find...

"Now's the time to look again..." Robert Plant sings on that lovely song (Track 3 on Side 2).
Turns out that even in 1970 - one of Blighty's best ever singers was right...

PS: Crowe went on to make the equally wonderful music-laden "Elizabethtown" in 2005.
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on 30 December 2001
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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on 28 February 2014
Almost Famous is many things. A coming of age story, a reflection on fame, a warning against the all consuming nature of ego, a tale of first love...and yet for all these elements this film never seems crowded. The performances are perfect; light and yet filled with depth. My personal favourite is jaded Lester Bangs, played by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. He delivers every line of dialogue with unexpected and yet appreciated emotion, for a character so blunt. Kate Hudson glows throughout and Billy Crudup is suitably morally confused. Definitely a recommendation from me; a film which made me laugh one moment and feel incredible sadness the next. Must see.
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on 20 August 2002
As a journalist myself and admittedly a wannabe music journalist at that, I had already intended to buy Almost Famous on DVD before I even saw the film due to its subject matter.
Directed by Cameron Crowe, this is a third person autobiography with Patrick Fugit filling Crowe's role as the aspiring teenage muso William Miller. At first we are introduced to the young William being presented with the gift of rock n' roll by his rebellious older sister, and then we swoop to 1973 where he is writing for legendary Creem editor Lester Bangs (another great performance by Patrick Seymour Hoffman) and trying to make his name. What follows is him breaking the rules set out by Bangs about journalism, going on tour as a reporter with the film's subject-matter-band Stillwater. For the most of Almost Famous, we see William Miller chasing two things, one is the Stillwater guitarist god for an interview and the other is band-aid Penny Lane played by the award-nominated Kate Hudson.
What the problems are in Almost Famous are that it paints a picture of 70's rock Hollywood would like you to see, no drugs, no hotel room trashing, sex behind closed doors and certainly no John Bonham incidents. Also his seemingly easy passage into journalism via Creem and then Rolling Stone, hey if it was that easy in the 70's I am working in the wrong decade!
However Almost Famous contains some great things too, there are some brilliant performances by Frances McDormand as William Miller's paranoid mother, who gets to deliver the best line of the film "Rock stars have kidnapped my son!" The band, all played by actors are very convincing as a rock band, and their primary tune Fever Dog could well have been a forgotten song by Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath. Also the band were taught by Peter Frampton, so that explains some of the ability on show. What really stands out is the amazing early 70's soundtrack featuring all sorts but most memorably for me, Elton John's 'Tiny Dancer.'
All in all, I bought Almost Famous because of the great performances, great music and the hope that one day, all 16 year olds would be able to fall into music journalism this easy.
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on 18 February 2005
This box set is a perfect collection showing the darker side of teen movies.
Almost Famous is a journey through the eyes of a groupie. Kate Hudson is an accomplished actor in this part and plays the 'bandaid' perfectly. With a few twists and turns in the plot it suprisingly good.
American beauty is by far one of the all time greats with the likes of spacey, birch, hartnett and many more. This realistic look at life in the american suburbs, is very funny but at the sametime is incredibaly bleak. If you havent seen it yet it will change youre perspective on life ideal for anyone anywhere to watch.
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