Director: Cameron Crowe
Cast: Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, Patrick Fugit
Release Date: July 13, 2021
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 9.5/10
ALMOST FAMOUS is the semi-autobiographical odyssey of 15-year-old William Miller (Patrick Fugit), whose writing talent and earnest passion for rock music earns him an assignment for Rolling Stone, interviewing and touring with Stillwater (Billy Crudup, Jason Lee). Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) is the young groupie who guides him through the wild world of rock heroes, all-night parties, and the most dangerous experience of all—love. The film won the Golden Globe® for Best Motion Picture—Comedy or Musical and the AFI Award for Movie of the Year and received dozens of additional nominations and awards.
Please Note: Paramount Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
You can also check out our reviews for the other releases in the ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray line by clicking on each title below!
Cameron Crowe’s coming of age masterpiece ‘Almost Famous’ accompanies teenager William Miller, a talented and ambitious writer who is contacted by one of the biggest rock magazines around and offered an assignment touring with and interviewing the members of the up and coming rock band Stillwater. Attempting to keep up with this fast paced world and quickly developing a bond with members of the band and a young woman named Penny from his hometown who helps to show him the ropes, William soon realizes that the task won’t be as easy as he expected when the line between friends and profession become blurred, and trying to say goodbye and go back home after may just be even harder.
Cameron Crowe’s touching 2000 film ‘Almost Famous’ returns home on Blu-ray as the twenty-first title in Paramount Home Entertainment’s ongoing ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray line which showcases various notable titles from Paramount’s expansive and decades-spanning catalog in new Limited Edition Blu-ray releases that each include 4K remasters, collectible artwork and some extras, plus more. ‘Almost Famous’ naturally makes a wonderful addition to the lineup and still holds up as well as it did when first released thanks to its personal, humorous and heartwarming style and approach. Not to mention plenty of credit owed to its great cast which includes Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand, Kate Hudson, Patrick Fugit, Jason Lee, Anna Paquin, Fairuza Balk, Noah Taylor and Philip Seymour Hoffman along with many more. The new ‘Paramount Presents’ release brings the film back home on Blu-ray in a 2-disc set that features both the Theatrical and Extended Bootleg cuts of the film, meticulously remastered from a new 4K film transfer and complimented by solid DTS-HD multichannel soundtracks. Add to that the great collectible packaging and a pretty impressive collection of bonus content both new and old and this Blu-ray edition of ‘Almost Famous’ is something quite special and quite possibly even the best release in the Paramount Presents line yet. For any fans of the film who like me aren’t fully upgraded and able to pick up the 4K Ultra HD release, you’ll probably want to make certain to add this outstanding new ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray release to your collection.
Overall, the new ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray release of Cameron Crowe’s marvelous film ‘Almost Famous’ brings the modern masterpiece back home on Blu-ray sporting both the Theatrical and Bootleg Cuts of the movie, newly remastered high definition video presentations from a new 4K film transfer, paired with highly capable DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtracks and a rewarding collection of bonus content including some brand new extras; all topped off with the collectible ‘Paramount Presents’ packaging. For anyone already contemplating a purchase of this new ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray release, it’s definitely highly recommended. While some folks that are fully 4K capable may want to go that route, those who currently aren’t and have been hoping for a solid upgrade of this marvelous film on Blu-ray should be beyond thrilled with this magnificent and worthy new release of Cameron Crowe’s beloved 2000 film.
The ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray release of ‘Almost Famous’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation of both the Theatrical and Bootleg cuts of the film with its original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio, meticulously remastered from a new 4K film transfer. The video presentations on both cuts look simply phenomenal (even more impressive is the fact that there is no discernible difference noticeable in the restored footage on the bootleg cut) and serve up a clean, sharp and gorgeously detailed presentation from start to finish with a nice balance of grain and other welcome artifacts representative of its source; never suffering from any unexpected issues or problems along the way. Overall, these are outstanding high definition video presentations that should absolutely thrill the film’s fans, especially those who aren’t yet 4K capable and are unable to take advantage of the 4K Ultra HD edition released the same day.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack for both cuts of the film. Both of the multichannel soundtracks do their job quite nicely and provide crisp, smooth and at times nicely expansive audio presentations throughout. They regularly take advantage of all five available channels in order to send music, dialogue and crowd chatter, along with plenty more throughout the various speakers at every logical opportunity and never allowing any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, these are great 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtracks that do a great job of complimenting the onscreen fun and shouldn’t disappoint.
The ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray release of ‘Almost Famous’ features the standard collectible packaging included on all of the Limited Edition ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray releases, complete with a slipcase that opens up to feature a larger version of the original theatrical poster, plus photos on the inside slip of the interior Blu-ray case (you can view a beauty shot of the packaging from the studio at the bottom of the review for a look inside). The release also includes a notable collection of bonus content, all of which can be found on the first (or Theatrical Cut) disc with the exception of a ‘Bootleg Cut Audio Commentary with Cameron Crowe and Friends’ which is included on the second (or Bootleg Cut) disc for obvious reasons.
The extras on the first disc (the Theatrical Cut disc) are conveniently separated into new and old special features. The new extras (titled ‘New Releases’) include ‘Filmmaker Focus: Cameron Crowe on Almost Famous’ (running approximately 8 minutes in length), along with some ‘Extended Scenes’ (running 9 minutes total) and ‘Odds and Ends’ from the film (approximately 9 minutes), plus some other fun videos featuring behind the scenes footage and more such as ‘Casting and Costumes’ (running approximately 13 minutes) and ‘Rock School’ (11 minutes).
The previously released extras (titled ‘Greatest Hits’) also featured on the first disc include a brief ‘Audio Introduction by Cameron Crowe’ (although the introduction is curiously for the Bootleg Cut which is on the other disc), plus a handful of Featurettes, Outtakes, fun videos and musical themed extras along with more (and many also include Audio Introductions by Crowe) such as ‘The Making of Almost Famous’ (running approximately 25 minutes), ‘Cameron Crowe’s Top 5 Albums of 1973, ‘”Fever Dog” Music Video’ (5 minutes), “Small Time Blues” (3 minutes), ‘Interview with Lester Bangs’ (2 minutes), “Love Comes And Goes” (4 minutes) and ‘Cleveland Concert’ which includes the full Stillwater concert (16 minutes). Also included is a great deleted moment titled ‘Stairway’ (12 minutes), plus some ‘B-Sides’ (5 minutes), archival ‘Rolling Stone Articles’, the film’s ‘Script’ and ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (2 minutes) as well as ‘Hidden Talent’ which features 3 outtake segments within: ‘Eerie Outtake’ (45 seconds), ‘Stolen Kisses’ (5 minutes) and ‘Cameron Crowe’s Perfectionism’ (9 minutes).
The second disc (the Bootleg Cut disc) just includes an ‘Audio Commentary with Cameron Crowe and Friends’ as mentioned above.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Rays and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Disc Rating: 9.5/10
Cameron Crowe’s ‘Almost Famous’ is Now Available to Own Newly Remastered on 4K Ultra HD & on Blu-ray as part of the ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray line from Paramount Home Entertainment
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