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Almost Famous -- Untitled: The Bootleg Cut

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Almost Famous -- Untitled: The Bootleg Cut

Current Status:
In Season

We gave it a B+

This two-disc ”bootleg cut” of Almost Famous is supposed to resemble those unofficial recordings traded by obsessive fans of Bob Dylan and Neil Young. ”My only apology,” says director Cameron Crowe on the DVD, ”is that you don’t have to go to a swap meet or illegally purchase it.” In fact, it’s pretty similar to most other special-edition DVDs, featuring a recut version of Crowe’s mostly autobiographical ode to the waning days of American rock with 39 additional minutes. Though interesting, these lost moments rarely add to the theatrical edit (also included). More exciting is Crowe’s ”shamelessly personal” commentary track, where he and his mother, Alice, trade good-natured barbs redolent of long-cooled animosities (Cameron: ”You’d still like me to go to law school, wouldn’t you?” Alice: ”Of course. I’m waiting”). Also notable among the supplements are rare footage of Lester Bangs, the Oscar-winning screenplay, several of Crowe’s ’70s Rolling Stone stories, and the ”Stairway to Heaven” scene, cut when Crowe knew he couldn’t license the tune, but included here with a cue telling you the right moment to ”press play” on your stereo.