Jul 102021

Almost Famous is a superbly made music-drama from Cameron Crowe, digging back to his days as a teenager writing for Rolling Stone. The movie features a fantastic cast with Kate Hudson and Billy Crudup being the highlights.



Almost Famous

Genre(s): Drama, Music
Paramount | R/Unrated – 123 min. / 161 min. – $30.99 | July 13, 2021

Date Published: 07/10/2021 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Cameron Crowe
Writer(s): Cameron Crowe (written by)
Cast: Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand, Kate Hudson, Jason Lee, Patrick Fugit, Zooey Deschanel, Anna Paquin, Noah Taylor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jimmy Fallon, Bijou Phillips, Rainn Wilson

Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Music Videos, Theatrical Trailer
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K Ultra HD
Number of Discs: 2

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs:HEVC / H.265
Region(s): A, B, C

Paramount provided me with a free copy of the 4K Ultra HD I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: The screen captures here came from the “Paramount Presents”
Blu-ray which features a remastered from the 4K film transfer.

THE MOVIE — 4½/5

Plot Synopsis: Set in 1973, it chronicles the funny and often poignant coming of age of 15-year-old William (PATRICK FUGIT), an unabashed music fan who is inspired by the seminal bands of the time. When his love of music lands him an assignment from Rolling Stone magazine to interview the up-and-coming band Stillwater — fronted by lead guitar Russell Hammond (BILLY CRUDUP) and lead singer Jeff Bebe (JASON LEE) — William embarks on an eye-opening journey with the band’s tour, despite the objections of his protective mother (FRANCES MCDORMAND).

Quick Hit Review: Almost Famous is a movie I’ve seen a couple of times over the years, pretty sure the first might’ve been back in theaters in 2000, but never got around to checking out the “Bootleg Cut” despite owning the Blu-ray for years. Now with this new transfer decided to give the 161-minute cut a chance and it’s just as good as the theatrical (at least from memory), just adding some extra character moments.

This semi-autobiographical tale from Cameron Crowe’s teenage years writing for Rolling Stone following the Allman Brothers is changed to Stillwater with Patrick Fugit, in his feature-film debut, playing the part of an awkward but musically knowledgeable reporter to perfection. The other cast members are excellent as well. Both Kate Hudson, who received an Academy Award nomination, was magical and instantaneously magnetic, easy to see how she could take over a room, as her character does. Billy Crudup shows off his on-screen charisma; his scenes opposite Hudson were bittersweet yet amazing. Frances McDormand, as usual, has a few great scenes as the caring yet intense mother. And one would be negligent to mention the late and great Phillip Seymour Hoffman who has a limited role but lights up every scene he’s in.

I’m not entirely sure where I rank Almost Famous with Cameron Crowe’s impressive resume, though with this being more personal, would say it’s above Vanilla Sky, a film absolutely loved, and enjoyed upon another viewing a couple years back with the new Blu-ray release.



The 4K release comes housed in a nice Steelbook which has a J-card. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. Each cut of the film are contained on its own disc.

Disc One (Theatrical Cut):


  • Filmmaker Focus (8:06) has writer-director Cameron Crowe reflecting back on making Almost Famous.
  • Casting and Costumes (12:52) — Is a set of audio interviews by Patrick Fugit, Billy Crudup, Jason Lee, Kate Hudson and others, plus Cameron Crowe on video, covering the casting process and the costume designs.
  • Rock School (10:48) — Some fly-on-the-wall footage with the cast practicing their instruments. Includes more audio interviews.
  • Extended Scenes (9:00) — A couple scenes that didn’t make either cut, though some of it was in the “Bootleg Cut”.
  • Odds & Sods (8:53) — Just some various deleted scenes.


  • Intro by Cameron Crowe is just an audio intro to these features.
  • The Making of Almost Famous (24:50) — Your classic behind-the-scenes featurette with that “voice” narrating. Also includes promotional and on-set interviews with the cast and crew.
  • Interview with Lester Bangs (1:55) — Archive footage with the real-life Bangs, portrayed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman in the film.
  • Cameron Crowe’s Top Albums of 1973 is a set of audio interviews going through 10 albums.
  • Music Video (4:41) for “Fever Dog”
  • Demo Track (3:51) for “Love Comes and Goes”
  • Rolling Stone Articles allows you to read articles written by Cameron Crowe.
  • B-Sides (5:21) is some rehearsal footage for the radio “interview”.
  • Cleveland Concert (15:46) is the full, uncut concert footage, part of which was seen in the film.
  • “Small Time Blues” (3:02) is a song sung, by Peter Druge, a glimpse of which we see in the movie.
  • Stairway (12:13) — Deleted scene with William’s journalism teacher attempt to convince his mother to go on tour for Rolling Stone.
  • Script — Here you can read Cameron Crowe’s screenplay.
  • Theatrical Trailer (2:32)
  • Hidden Talent
    • Eerie Outtake (0:45)
    • Stolen Kisses (4:59)
    • Cameron Crowe’s Perfectionism (9:03)


Audio Commentary with writer-director Cameron Crowe and a variety of friends within the music industry as well as Crowe’s mother.


VIDEO – 4¾/5

Paramount releases Almost Famous onto 4K Ultra HD, presented in the original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio. The 2160p high-definition transfer is new 4K restoration, supervised and approved by Cameron Crowe. The picture does look quite good, detail is relatively sharp while colors, with some aid by HDR (as well as Dolby Vision for systems with the capability), is well balanced. It is a dark looking picture at times but I think that’s how it was originally released back in 2000. There were no apparent or obvious signs of film damage nor pixilation or artifacts making for a well done 4K transfer.

AUDIO – 4¼/5

The disc comes with a basic DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. A tad disappointing this wasn’t upgraded to Dolby Atmos or 7.1, for the most part this sounded fine. Any concert scenes sounded great while others were a bit low key, however I could still easily discern all dialogue and there was some okay depth for any ambient noises coming out of the rear speakers. Nothing overly amazing yet still more than adequate.


OVERALL – 4½/5

Almost Famous is a superbly made music-drama from Cameron Crowe, digging back to his days as a teenager writing for Rolling Stone. The movie features a fantastic cast with Kate Hudson and Billy Crudup being the highlights with special recognition to Patrick Fugit in his first feature film. This new release from Paramount offers up great video and audio transfers to go along with a nice selection of bonus features.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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