This is one of those great films for me. A surprise all the way across the board. Despite the simplicity of its storyline. A young talented aspiring rock critic's future becomes meshed with the future of a young, talented up and coming rock and roll band and the complications that ensue. This movie, in all its sub-text and great writing is so much more than that.
It's about finding oneself, about letting go and finding what makes one passionate. It may seem hokey in some aspects, but hey, so is life. It may seem contrived with its young romances that fall apart at a moments notice, but take a look back at your personal life or others around you and see the same pattern formed time and time again.
In all its parts, from the stellar music selections, top-notch ensemble cast list to the writing/direction of Cameron Crowe this is a movie that pleases those who can ignore some of the Hollywood trappings that lie within.
Newcomer Patrick Fugit may or may not have a huge career ahead of him in terms of acting but at least he will always have this gem on his resume. It is already a foregone conclusion that Goldie Hawn's off-spring Kate Hudson is bordering on A-list superstar, especially with the Oscar nomination.
Frances McDormand will be the one oft-quoted as people are on their way to concerts "Don't Do Drugs" is bound to become a catch call. Billy Crudup is the true center piece here though. The title has as much to do with the movie as it seems to do with his career. Frequent moviegoers will know this man but he has to achieve true mainstream status and this underseen but highly praised film appeared to be his breakout flick. So why did the movie going public give it a sideways glance? Honestly? No idea.
"The only real currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with each other when we're being uncool." - Lester Bangs (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman)
However as time passes, the movie is finding its audience and I for one will be picking up the three disc set when it is made available in December of 2001.
Copyright© Staffwriter: Rob Paul
(For The Bootleg Edition)
Disc 1 - The Bootleg Cut: Over 30 minutes of never before seen footage.
Almost Famous: The Original Academy Award®-Winning Version of Cameron Crowe's Rock 'N' Roll Sensations
Deleted Scenes with Commentary
Cast Audition Tapes and Rock 'N' Roll Rehearsal Footage
Cameron Crowe's Top 10 Albums of 1973
Oscar®-Winning Shooting Script with Crowe's Notes
Stilwater's Cleveland Concert Featuring 6 Original Songs
Crowe's Original Rolling Stone Articles
Original DVD Menu Music Created by Nancy Wilson
Also included is a Music CD with 6 Never-Before-Released Stillwater Tracks
The DVD Scoop:
The first release of this movie was a great DVD simply because of the movie. The small featurette and the original Rolling Stones Articles were a grett perk as well but there had already been rumblings of a collector's edition, and now it seems the rumours are true.
This bootleg edition is the blessing and problem with DVD marketing. The three disc set (including the music CD) is exactly the kind of packaging the fans want. However, the studios release a slim downed version off the top, fans snatch it up (and I will admit to snagging the original version) only to find themselves buying it again. This has happened a couple of times. If you only want the movie and don't care about the rest, fine, buy it right away, however, if it doesn't come with commentary...it might be wise to hold off a month or two. Even then you may still get screwed...think of how many versions of American Pie there are. The original, the unrated, the expanded original, expanded unrated, the Ultimate Edition and finally the unrated Ultimate Edition. Nice huh?
Anyway, some more notes have come in on Almost Famous. Apparently there are a few little Easter Eggs on the disc. The following was submitted through Colin Foster (a cinematographer for Big Woo Film's movie Duck, Duck, Goose)
Hidden features on the Almost Famous (Unitled) Bootleg DVD
Disc 1: Special Features:
Select the microphone beside "Love Comes and Goes" then push the 'up' button. It will select the left picture at the top of the page. Push 'enter' to watch Kate Hudson say "Leslie" approximately 200 times over 5 minutes.
Disc 1: Audio:
Select "1. Commentary by Director Cameron Crowe" then push the 'right' button. It will select the hole in the middle of the record. Push 'enter' to watch 'the phantom cut' being called by 'the ghost of Lester Bangs.'
Disc 2: Special Features: Cast: Fairuza Balk:
On the first page of Fairuza's bio push the 'up' button. It will select the middle picture at the top of the page. Push 'enter' to watch Kate Hudson do about 20 takes of one line.