‘Almost Famous: Steelbook Edition’ 4K Ultra HD Movie Review

Director and screenwriter Cameron Crowe’s work for the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle debuts in ultra high definition format with added extras for hardcore fans of Almost Famous: Steelbook Edition (Paramount Picture Home Entertainment, unrated, 1.78: 1 aspect ratio, 161 minutes, $ 30.99).

Built from Crowe’s Academy Award-winning script and set in the 1970s, the semi-autobiographical film offers a coming-of-age story about the tenacious William Miller (Patrick Fugit), an aspiring rock journalist from 15 years old. the opportunity to tour with the band Stillwater for “Rolling Stone” magazine and fulfill the life of their dreams.

Over the course of his wild adventures, the young and naive William grows up quickly as he learns about the hard and excessive lives of musicians while befriending band members such as guitarist Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup), lead singer Bebe ( Jason Lee). and the famous band-aids, that is, the groupies directed by Penny Lane (Kate Hudson).

The lead performances of Mr. Fugit and Miss Hudson are especially moving and widely supported by Francis McDormand as William’s strict mother, Elaine, Philip Seymour Hoffman as his mentor and “Creem” magazine editor Lester Banks and Anna Paquin as the band-aid. Polexia Aphrodesia.

Equally important is the film’s soundtrack which includes tunes from legendary bands and artists such as Led Zeppelin, The Who, Deep Purple, The Stooges, Black Sabbath, The Allman Brothers Band, Cat Stevens and Elton John.

Suffice it to inform, this love letter to one of the best decades of rock music comes loaded with the heart. It will capture the imagination of those who remember a period when music meant everything to their listeners.

Paramount offers viewers both cuts of the film, the theatrical version and the extended cut of the film, called the Bootleg Cut, which offers an additional 40 minutes of depth.

4K in action: Both cuts of the film receive the 2160p update with remastered high dynamic range enhancements from a new 4K stream and supervised by Mr. Crowe to easily deliver the most engaging presentations of “Almost Famous” ever released to home theaters. .

Fans, of course, will show themselves to rookies stretching the cut and will appreciate moments like a hazy red sunrise as the band enters Topeka; the New York City skyline; the worn and dilapidated leather of the tour bus seats; the intricate designs and earth tones of those long-sleeved paisley-print shirts; and the crisp reality of Penny’s pure, pristine facial skin tones and golden curls.

The presentation pays homage to John Toll’s classic cinematic style and respects the original font, while offering just a hint of film grain and an occasional flash of golden haze that acts as if viewers are looking at the participants’ memories.

Best extras: Paramount, with the help of Mr. Crowe, is offering a generous behind-the-scenes digital pass of additional content on the two-disc set, both new and selected from the 2011 Blu-ray release.

First, search the Bootleg 4K disc for an optional previously released comment track that is as entertaining as it is informative.

Crowe is joined by Vinyl Films’ Scott Martin and Andy Fisher, family friend Ivan Carona, DreamWorks executive Mark Atkinson and director Alice’s mother.

Yes, Mom is available and not afraid to talk about the Crowe family, which joins the director talking about his growth and his real life as a teenage correspondent for “Rolling Stone.” Yes, we also learn about the production of the film, but mom and son have a lot of nostalgia to offer.

Now enter the theatrical cut 4K disc to first find a new eight-minute Filmmaker Focus with Mr. Crowe as he offers reflections on the classic, the importance of shooting the film in chronological order, the critical location of the camera on the bus, and lots of raw images and still images to enjoy too.

Other new features include 12-minute costume and casting narration with narration by Miss Hudson, Mr. Fugit, Mr. Crudup, Mr. Lee, and Zooey Deschanel (William’s sister Anita), as well as original costume fittings and casting material.

Add another 11 minutes of raw footage of the actors practicing to become a band with the help of Peter Frampton and Nancy Wilson, both offering additional commentary along with the band of actors.

Vintage extras include a 24-minute report on the production, the full Stillwater concert, the famous deleted scene “Stairway to Heaven,” and a collection of interactives.

Viewers can click on a section title and then click on various hotspots for the directors’ top 10 albums of 1973, including The Who’s “Odds and Sods” and Led’s “Houses of the Holy.” Zeppelin, read the actual script for the film and even read seven of his articles that were published in “Rolling Stone.”

Crowe also offers commentary on many of these classic extras – just click on the mic next to the feature title.

The records arrive in a photo-illustrated steelbook case with the cover featuring a matte sepia-toned image of Penny leaning against a table with the film’s title on the bottom half, and the back cover features a shot of her wedged legs. The interior has a full color cast photo.

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