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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real deal
I got this director's cut edition because I so was so intrigued by the original theatrical release. I wanted more.
What I didn't expect was how very the new material (typically extended scenes though there are a few new scenes as well) changed the tone and feel of this film. Penny Lane comes across as a tragic, lost soul. Stillwater comes across as a bunch of...
Published on July 11 2004 by Fred W. Anson (aka "Mr. IT...

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars "I never said I was a golden god . . . or did I?"
Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous" is a love letter to rock music. You can feel his affection for the music and the culture that it spawned coursing through every scene of this film. When creators talk of projects that are deeply personal to them, this is the type of project they are talking about.
A teenager named William Miller (Patrick Fugit) is chosen by Rolling...
Published on March 4 2004 by Steven Y.


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real deal, July 11 2004
I got this director's cut edition because I so was so intrigued by the original theatrical release. I wanted more.
What I didn't expect was how very the new material (typically extended scenes though there are a few new scenes as well) changed the tone and feel of this film. Penny Lane comes across as a tragic, lost soul. Stillwater comes across as a bunch of debauched, spoiled, poorly educated, brain challenged musicians. The "suits" - including the Rolling Stone "hippy suits" - come across as sharks. William Miller comes across as a well intentioned but naive quick learner. He seems vulnerable. Alot of the ackward mysteries of the theatrical release (How did Lester Bangs and William end up at a pizza joint after they had just said good-bye? Why did Russell deny everything after encouraging William to write what he wanted to? What held Stillwater together after those shocking confessions on the plane? There are many other examples.)
It almost like a different film! In fact, a BETTER film I would have to say.
Further, based on my experience in the music industry I found this director's cut to be more reality than fantasy -- the inverse was true of the theatrical release from my perspective. It's STILL not at a "documentary" level but, hey, this isn't suppose to be a horror flick is it?
Also, I know it's kind of whacky (maybe I'm a brain challenged musician too) but I really dig Stillwater's music. I have been listening to the Stillwater CD that comes in the package since I got it. I agree with Cameron Crowe, if these guys toured I would go see them! The movie is great but this CD (filled with songs by Nancy Wilson of Heart and Peter Frampton) really cooks.
Overall I just couldn't be happier with my Almost Famous Director's Edition set.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I AM A GOLDEN GOD!" -Russel (Billy Crudup), July 15 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Almost Famous (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)
I loved this movie. Really, that's all that needs to be said. It is one of those films where you know there are flaws here and there, but it is so utterly engrossing and the tone is so perfect you forget that there are moments when there should have been more drama, but it was toned down for inexplicable reasons.
This is one of my shorter reviews, but really, there isn't much you can say except:
-Kate Hudson was mysteriously intoxicating. You believed every guy wanted her.
-Frances McDromand made you feel sorry for her despite some unnecessary strictness. And she was hilarious.
-If you find rock awesome (like I do), you'll appreciate this portrait of the genre, the bands and the fans, and what drives it all.
-The writing was often clever and involving, if a little on the lighter side (sometimes, not for the best).
So I recommend this film to fans of entertaining, breath-takingly sweet (but not over-the-top), unbelievably "cool" movies, and to fans of classic rock. There's nothing left to say except: have fun.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You MUST See This Movie, Especially If You're A Rock Fan!, March 24 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Almost Famous (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)
First of all, let me say simply this: Great movie, great soundtrack!! Strangely I discovered the soundtrack before the movie. The soundtrack is what inspired me to rent this DVD. This is a heartfelt coming-of-age movie, partially non-fictional, about a young music fan/journalist named William who is given the opportunity to get away from his difficult mother and tour around with a band named Stillwater. (Stillwater is a fictional band based on the bands Led Zepplin and the Allman Brothers.) Rolling Stone magazine - not aware that William is only 15 - put him on assignment to do a cover story for their magazine. It was quite a magical tale about the love of music and the love for the people who make that music, as well as just how difficult it might be for a journalist, who befriends the band, to be objective in his writing about them. A++ for this movie!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "bootleg" edition is the one to own., July 7 2002
By 
This director's edition of "Almost Famous" is one of the best DVDs on the market. "Almost Famous" is Cameron Crowe's autobiographical story about a teen-aged reporter on the road with a rock and roll band. The character that Crowe based on himself is William Miller (well played by Patrick Fugit). A reporter for his high school newspaper, the unpopular William dreams of writing for a rock and roll publication. He gets his big chance when he meets his idol, rock reporter Lester Bangs (Phillip Seymour Hoffman, in a great supporting role). Bangs tells William to write an interview for Cream Magazine. That interview (with Black Sabbath) does not happen, but he meets the opening act, Stillwater. Soon, Wlliam finds himself on the road with Stillwater, with an assignment to write an article about them for Rolling Stone. William is befriended by groupie Penny Lane (Kate Hudson, who deservedly won a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination), whose boyfriend is the band's lead guitarist (Billy Crudup). What follows is William's sometimes funny and sometimes painful experiences with life on the road. He becomes friends with the band and falls in love with Penny, all while trying to write an objective article for the magazine. It is hard for him to stay objective about his new friends. As Lester observes:"They made you feel cool. And I've met you. You are not cool." These situations are all observed with a lot of heart and soul in Cameron Crowe's Oscar winning script. Frances McDormand adds just the right touch as William's mother, who doesn't understand her son's dreams, but wants to be supportive anyway. The "bootleg" edition DVD is loaded with lots of REALLY COOL extras. The first disc includes a director's cut with 35 extra minutes, including a birthday party scene for Penny, among others. The second disc includes the original film. The package also gives you commentary by Crowe and his mother Alice; behind-the-scenes foootage; unseen Stillwater concert footage; the original shooting script; an interview with Bangs from 1973; Crowe's top 10 albums of 1973; reprints of Crowe's articles for Rolling Stone; even a six track CD of Stillwater's songs. Only "Fever Dog" appears on both this CD and the soundtrack album. All the songs on the bonus CD are great. "Almost Famous" is one of my favorite movies in recent years. If you are as big a fan of the film as I am, you'll want to get this double disc set. It is a "must purchase."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing film, July 8 2004
...beautiful film with an awesome soundtrack. It draws you in and makes you forget who and where you are. Fans will enjoy the extras scenes, commentaries and behind the scenes info on this long version. The "bootleg" look and style of this edition are great fun too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing!, June 13 2004
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: Almost Famous (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)
wow! this movie is amazing! everything about it is excellent. if you have seen the movie youd know exactly what i am talking about.
there is one part in the movie.. william tells his mother he is going to a dance and he gets in the car with penny..and she is talking about never taking it really seriously.. and as there driving if you look into the window you will see the cover of pink floyds dark side of the moon.. and i am not sure if it was intentional. i just thought i would let you know incase you didnt notice..
but any ways what an amazing movie i highly encourage people to see it!
i look at music in a completely different way now
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5.0 out of 5 stars Does anyone remember laughter?, March 13 2004
By 
Ce commentaire est de: Almost Famous (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)
This movie is great and it will touch your heart.
"Almost Famous" takes place in the early seventies as we follow William Miller's adventures with the rock band Stillwater as he travels down the road of rock n' roll nirvana.
William has just scored a job with Rolling Stone magazine which leads him on the road with rock band Stillwater.
They go from town to town accompanied by their groupie band-aids such as the loveable but naive Penny Lane.
Penny Lane is crazy in love with Stillwater guitarrist Russell but Russell is only in it for the thrill.
William goes thru heck trying to get his story from Stillwater due to their reluctance to open their soul to a Rolling Stone writer who they call "The Enemy".
William is assisted in his times of frustration by his mentor and co "uncool" writer Lester Bangs played lovingly by Phillip Hoffman.
Lester believes that rock n' roll is on its last legs in 1972..
If only Lester could see how pathetic rock n' roll is today...
Anyway, William turns out to be the only cool person in the end because he sees the rock n' roll life for what it truly is and how denial can lead to heartbreak.
William is the only one in the end there to save Penny from her demise.
This is one film that will warm you heart and will have you singing along to the great soundtrack especially during "Tiny Dancer"!.
All the characters are played wonderfully and it's one heck of a ride that you will never forget.
My life was saved by rock n' roll and if you love rock n' roll then "Almost Famous" will steal your heart.
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3.0 out of 5 stars "I never said I was a golden god . . . or did I?", March 4 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Almost Famous (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)
Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous" is a love letter to rock music. You can feel his affection for the music and the culture that it spawned coursing through every scene of this film. When creators talk of projects that are deeply personal to them, this is the type of project they are talking about.
A teenager named William Miller (Patrick Fugit) is chosen by Rolling Stone magazine to write an article on an up-and-coming rock band called Stillwater. The band finds it difficult to take the young writer seriously but eventually guitarist Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup) starts to warm up to him. However, a groupie named Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) makes life difficult for the two men as her energetic spirit captures both of their hearts. As William's journey with the band becomes more prolonged, he discovers more and more with each passing day that his romanticized perception of rock stars was a product of his youthful idealism.
"Almost Famous" is an enchanting work that is blessed with memorable performances. Fugit, Crudup, and Hudson are great and the supporting work turned in by Frances McDormand, Jason Lee, and Philip Seymour Hoffman is equally solid. Hudson in particular sparkles in her role and proves that she possesses that rare ability to light up the screen every time she appears in a scene. Her work in this film is like an announcement to the Hollywood community that a new star has arrived. Crowe must also be singled out for his good work. It is oftentimes difficult for filmmakers to capture the essence of their subject matter, but Crowe admirably pulls it off with "Almost Famous."
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4.0 out of 5 stars "I'm on drugs!!!", March 2 2004
By 
D. Knouse (vancouver, washington United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: Almost Famous (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)
4.5 stars. While the script is the actual star of the film, the cast is exceptional as an ensemble and every actor here is worth mentioning at least once. But it's the word-play and the situations that these fine actors find themselves in that propells the film forward. The script is so sharp, in fact, that many times during the movie I felt some of the actors had a hard time keeping up. Don't take that as a negative criticism because screenplays are rarely this well-written with such a huge cast as its centerpiece. It just doesn't come together all the time. I should not forget to mention the outstanding soundtrack, which I'm sure was hand-picked by Cameron Crowe. He is notorious for his films having fantastic soundtracks. "Singles," for instance. I have watched this movie many times and I always laugh and get carried away with the interesting lives of those on tour. This movie has great acting, an exceptional script, and another great soundtrack. This is a journey worth taking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You had to be there!, Feb. 17 2004
By 
W. Langan "take403" (the end of the world to your town!) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This movie is a semi-autobiography of how Cameron Crowe (director of Almost Famous) got started as a rock journalist.
It all begins in the Christmas of 1969 in San Diego (complete with the Chimpmunks singing "Christmas Don't Be Late" in the background), where 11 year old William Miller finds out an embarassing secret and his rebellious older sister Anita (Zooey Deschanel) leaves home to see the country. She leaves him her record collection with a note "Light a candle while listening to Tommy and you will see your future." Cut to 1973, William (Patrick Fugit) turns 15 and aspires to interview some rock bands, with his semi-understandably protective mother (Frances McDonald) as the reluctant chauffer. Here he befriends the charismatic "band aid" Penny Lane, whom he naturally grows to have a crush on (Kate Hudson) and the rock band Stillwater against rock critic Lester Bangs'(played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) advice. William and Penny wind up on tour with the band, with William trying hard to get interviews with each member with little success. Lead singer Jeff Bebe (Jason Lee) is in love with fame ("Make me look cool, man!") and Russell the guitarist just wants everything to be "real, man!" Based loosely on the adventures of the Allman Brothers and Led Zeppelin ("I'm a golden god!"), William sees the rise and near falls of Stillwater firsthand. Meanwhile, Mrs. Miller wants her son William home. "Rock stars have kidnapped my son!" she exclaims, while attempting to teach college students.
Then, of course, there's the music- The Who's "Sparks", Simon and Garfunkel's "America", The Guess Who's "Albert Flasher", Neil Young's "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere," Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" and "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters", Stevie Wonder's "Cherie Amour", Black Sabbath's "Paranoid", Yes' "Your Move", Deep Purple's "Burn" (which came out in 1974), Zeppelin's "Rain Song", "That's the Way" and "Tangerine" and closing with the Beach Boys' surrealistic "Feel Flows."
If you really liked the movie, I cannot recommend The Bootleg Cut enough. In addition to the movie (both the director's cut and the cinema version), there are outtakes (one features William trying to defend that music is art with "Stairway to Heaven" in which you provide the musical soundtrack yourself!), the Stillwater concert in its entirety, Cameron Crowe's comments on some of his favorite albums of the 1970's, some of Crowe's interviews with Zep, Fleetwood Mac, Allman Bros and a CD of Stillwater's songs (written by Peter Frampton, Nancy Wilson and Cameron Crowe). Last but not least is an introspective commentary given by Mr. Crowe (with support of his mother!). If you liked classic rock and have yet to see Almost Famous, to paraphrase a line from a Stillwater song "you have to be there!"
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Almost Famous (Widescreen) [Import]
Almost Famous (Widescreen) [Import] by Cameron Crowe (DVD - 2001)
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