This is one of my favorite movies of all time. I stumbled across 'The Bootleg Cut' on DVD years back and quickly bought it. It was/is an excellent package, containing both theatrical and directors cuts, along with a Stillwater CD of all the songs from the movie. Those DVD special editions were always excellently packaged in gate-fold sleeves and nicely finished. Unfortunately Blu-rays are rarely of the same caliber except a few standouts such as Avatar's 3 disc version. I would love to review that part of this item in particular, but please see my 'gripe' further down. Onto the movie itself.
This movie is full of excellent characters, extremely well written and believable. This movie always had a huge impact on me, likely from viewing it as a young teenager. It does make you feel like you ARE that 15-year-old, seeing rock history playing out before your eyes. It always made me wish I had a way inside the industry in my younger days, and I still wish I could experience it! But for most mortals this is as close as you will get. Since it is based on actual happenings but with many 'tweaks' and combined characters (so as to not expose a particular band's hijinx and for the sake of condensing the story), it gives quite a feeling of realism. Plus, you can always read Cameron Crowe's actual Rolling Stone articles, as well as the real life Penny Lane's book to find out some of the actual happenings for a greater look into this time.
Now, I have viewed both cuts at different times, and to me, watching the theatrical cut gives me the same feeling as watching the LOTR theatrical versions - perhaps sharper and more to the point, but missing something. You can tell when you're missing certain scenes even if you can't quite put your finger on which exact one. I'm a completionist in some ways, and to me, spending more time in the world of your favorite movie is always worthwhile. That is why I highly recommend the director's cut.
Now, onto my only gripe - this Blu-ray is extremely hard to find! Maybe it is representative of the movie itself - not hugely popular, but loved dearly by fans. I just wish it was more available. Even the regular Blu-ray is and always was very hard to find. Amazon sold out of the bootleg cut BR and has not re-stocked in a long time, meaning I have not even had a chance to watch this in Blu-ray yet!! Once I do I will append my review of this.
Amazon, please restock so I can see this film the way it was meant to be seen!