Almost Famous


Action / Adventure / Comedy / Drama / Music / Romance


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March 19, 2013 at 12:07 PM



Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs
Zooey Deschanel as Anita Miller
Pauley Perrette as Alice Wisdom
Kate Hudson as Penny Lane
720p 1080p
1.10 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 2 min
P/S 10 / 120
2.20 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 2 min
P/S 5 / 20

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ([email protected]) 10 / 10

Heart-wrenching, honest, clever; everything I like in a film

I've seen a few coming-of-age films, and a few prodigy-cum-genius type films, and of course more than my share of romantic comedy stuff. This film skirts between the lines of all those possibilities and somehow manages to find its way to the viewer intact, deftly and with a whole lot of old-fashioned charisma.

The acting was honest, true to how people behave without getting schmaltzy or over-dramatic. Cameron Crowe gets these actors to all project a belief in themselves and bring that across in a way that we care about what happens to them. I particularly liked the rendition of William Miller by Patrick Fugit, who steals the show as the precocious rock-n-roll journalist. He evokes visions of a young Matthew Broderick or a wide-eyed Michael J. Fox without ever getting corraled into being the "cute but troubled young kid".

Frances McDormand is amazing and well-cast as Elaine the Mom, someone so wrapped up in creating a safe, healthy environment she drives both her children far away from home.

Billy Crudup & Kate Hudson create the tension filled romance that drives the story along; both did a great job & were adroitly evocative of those fast times in the rock & roll fantasyland of the 70's. Billy, as Russell Hammond, teeters on the edge of fame, not wanting to leave his long-suffering bandmates behind but being courted as the band's star by the record company, is palpably torn. He carries William through the whirlwind of emotions and music along with him, showing him a world that is desperate and lonely, even with the whole world seemingly vying for his attention. His casting is also very clever, seeing as how Billy Crudup also sits on the brink of his own stardom & acclaim in real life.

Lester Bangs is William's 'guru', played to perfection by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. A walking oxymoron, he exudes a callous arrogance and at the same time expresses genuine affection for the up-and-comer, sometimes giving William the exact advice he needs to get him through the toughest moments as a rock critic & dealing with the love/hate relationships they seem to engender with everyone in their world of music.

I can't say enough about the awesome casting job, as well as the very detailed set design, costuming & realism to the times. Period pieces are usually difficult to do well; Mr. Crowe did this one genuine and good.

A truly great film, one that I'd heartily recommend to all but the most jaded rock critics.

Reviewed by Michael Carruthers ([email protected]) 5 / 10

Believable and breathtaking view of rock'n'roll in the '70's.

On a rating scale of 0 to 100; I gave Almost Famous a score of 95.

One of the most critically acclaimed movie experiences of the year 2000, Almost Famous is the second feature film to come out Cameron Crowe, and he beats his first effort, Jerry Maguire by a mile. Almost Famous is a stunning, thought-provoking film that comes at you directly from the eye of the camera and hits you with a hard bang. It's a movie not only for people who love 70's rock bands, but for all movie-goer's who really love the feeling of coming out of the cinema feeling totally fulfilled.

A 15 year old boy named William Miller (Patrick Fugit) gets an opportunity to travel with a rock band, Stillwater on a 1973 tour. As a younger boy, his sister (Zooey Deschanel) and his widowed mother Elaine (Frances McDormand) had fought about the mother's control over the family and her denial of rock music. The sister leaves home and leaves the young boy her record collection, which immediately seizes his attention. As a teen, he makes record reviews for an underground newspaper. He submits those to Creem magazine writer Lester Bangs (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) and gets his attention. The two become fast friends and Bangs acts as his mentor as Rolling Stone magazine comes calling. Slipping into an inner group connected with Stillwater, Rolling Stone agrees to bankroll him on a trip with the group. There he meets the "Band Aids", a group of girls that refuse to be called groupies because they are dedicated only to specific bands. "Penny Lane" (Kate Hudson), the Band Aid's leader is enamored with the group leader (Billy Crudup), but befriends the teen. He responds with complete infatuation with her, but he is equally enamored with the charismatic guitarist. While accepted by the band (other members are Jason Lee, John Fedevich and Mark Kozeleck), they nonetheless refer to him as "the enemy - a
rock critic".

The film is classically cool and endlessly enjoyable, making it by far one of the top 5 movies of last year. The film boasts absolutely incredible performances, Patrick Fugit is a newcomer and has terrific potential, Frances McDormand is emotionally stunning as an over-protective mother and Billy Crudup, who I underrated at first, gives a performance of believability and power. However, it comes as no surprise that the film's acting star is Kate Hudson, daughter of Goldie Hawn. Hudson gives a masterful performance as Penny Lane, she pulls off all Lane's facial expressions effortlessly brilliantly, and God knows she is one of the most stunning young performers of her current time, and she gives one of the most memorably exciting performances of 2000. Cameron Crowe gets a big pat on the back too for arranging the movie delicately and with absolute dedication.

Cameron Crowe's instant classic is a hard one to beat, and is surely the closest thing we have to a perfect `rock movie' these days. Absolutely unmissable.

Reviewed by Sean Gallagher ([email protected]) 10 / 10

Crowe knows what it is love some little piece of music so much that it hurts

There's a (by now) well-known scene early on in ALMOST FAMOUS when William Miller is poring through the records his older sister Anita has left behind for him since she ran off from home. Inside the album cover of The Who's TOMMY, she leaves William a note, telling him to listen to this with a candle lit, and he'll be able to see his future. He puts on the record, "Sparks" comes on, and the look on his face as he listens is the look every rock fan will recognize.

There's been tons of stuff written about rock-n-roll music, from those who think, like William's mother Elaine, that it's a corrupting influence(or those who go even farther and consider it "the devil's music"), to those who insist the music is meaningless and to take it seriously smacks of pretension, because it's "only music." And then there are people like Cameron Crowe, who recognize rock-n-roll, and the music which came in its wake, is the shared experience of many people starting from the 1950's, in the way maybe that plays and earlier types of music were in centuries before. Sure, there's television and movies as well, but rock music is shorter and more direct. And sure, it can just be fun and a way to cut loose once in a while, but it's also something which can speak to what we love, what we long for, what we're afraid of, what we think, what wounds us inside, and so much more.

Because Crowe is a fan, he's able to capture all of this in his movie. It's not just in the obvious moments, like the people on the tour bus singing along to Elton John's "Tiny Dancer," which lifts them out of their black mood, or singer Jeff Bebe leading everybody into singing "On the Cover of Rolling Stone" when he learns he and his fellow bandmates will be on the cover. It's in the wild spirit of people like Sapphire, one of the Band-Aids(read: groupies) who follow the band Stillwater and others as they tour the U.S., or in the more tender spirit of someone like her sister Band-Aid Penny Lane, who believes she and the other Band-Aids serve as a muse to bands like Stillwater, and who soaks in all of her experiences like a sponge. It's also in William, who tries(like Crowe did) to balance reporting with his very obvious love for the music. And it's especially in the line I quoted from at the top, which Sapphire says to Stillwater guitarist Russell Hammond late in the movie. To be sure, the road of rock-n-roll isn't all covered in roses. There's outrageous behavior(like how Russell treats Penny, or William losing his virginity to three of the groupies), drugs, excess, and yes, pretension(like when Jeff lectures Penny about the power of rock-n-roll and then adds, "And the chicks are cool, right?" But those who wanted this to be more like THIS IS SPINAL TAP are missing the point. This isn't a movie about the obvious problems and silliness in rock music. It's about what still draws people to it, and though Crowe acknowledges these people's faults, he still loves them for who they are.

Of course, there's a lot more reasons why ALMOST FAMOUS is a great movie besides its love of rock-n-roll. It's well acted across the board(in addition to all the performances mentioned several times, I'd like to highlight Fairuza Balk as Sapphire; not only does she get the best line in the movie(along with Frances McDormand's "Don't take drugs!" and "Rock stars have kidnapped my son") with that line about music(I also like what she and the other groupies yell as they're about to deflower William, "Death to Opie!"), but she also captures the carefree spirit of the time. She may not be important plot wise, but if you took her character out, the movie would be missing something), it's a terrific coming-of-age story, it's a bittersweet love story, the dialogue is great, and it looks terrific. But it's Crowe's obvious love for the music, and for the people who love it, that makes ALMOST FAMOUS the best thing I've seen so far this year.

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