Almost Famous/Untitled: 2 Disc Edition DVD Review

by AVForums
Movies & TV Review

Almost Famous/Untitled: 2 Disc Edition DVD Review
SRP: £23.42

Picture

With an anamorphic picture, this is a good, solid transfer. The good news is that the extended versions' picture quality is up to the same standard as the original cut - you couldn't tell where the new footage is added. Blacks are deep and dark, but there was occasionally moments where I thought they were a little pale in places, but colours were bright and vivid without any bleed, which is good as there are some vibrant colours to be seen here. The print has the occasional dust mark on it, but this won't detract from the viewing, in fact I felt it made it feel more natural due to the time in which the movie is set in. There's a slight grain to it, but again it adds to the charm. The only really negative thing is that the re are the occasional artefacts creeping in - but they tend to be in the background.
Almost Famous/Untitled: 2 Disc Edition

Sound

With both versions containing a Dolby and DTS 5.1 soundtracks, as well as being heavily musical, you'd expect this soundtrack to be impressive and it is - during the musical numbers. In terms of the movie when it isn't musical based, it's a little quieter but the dialogue is always clear and natural sounding and during these scenes, there is nothing to choose between the 2 tracks. However, when the music starts up, the DTS version shines through with an added depth and resonance that the Dolby doesn't have. The Dolby is fine and perfectly up to the task, but it just doesn't have quite the fullness of sound or presence that the DTS has, when Stillwater play live, the auditorium sound makes you feel that you are there, it's that immersive.
Almost Famous/Untitled: 2 Disc Edition

Extras

First the bad news - the menus are in Japanese solely, so navigating them is a challenge in itself, so forgive me if I miss something.

On the regular cut of the movie we have 3 deleted scenes, which aren't in either movie and probably don't add anything to the stories, but neither do they detract really. We have lots of biographies and other information, but it's all Japanese, so I can't comment. The only other extra here is the theatrical trailer for the movie.

Extras-wise for the extended cut of the movie we have the commentary track with Crowe, Scott Martin, Andy Fisher, Ivan Corona, Mark Atkinson and Alice Crowe (Yes, Cameron's Mother). He admits upfront it will be very much reminiscence, as the story is based on his experiences with Rolling Stone magazine, so you've pretty much got an idea of where it's heading. We then have a 9 minute behind the scenes look at the rehearsals, which is certainly interesting - Lee wearing a Clerks T-Shirt is kinda amusing. We have a 2 minute, archive footage of Lester Bangs (yes he is real!) talking about various artists in his own critical style. Crazy. Lester Bangs appears next, in voice anyway, to give recommendations of albums from 1973, but unless you can read Japanese, you'll have to listen to his talk over. Finally we have a 25 minute making of, which is very honest and you can tell the sincerity Crowe is sharing over the film and how important it is/was for him to make. Very worthwhile watching it.
Almost Famous/Untitled: 2 Disc Edition
OK, technically I was forced to watch this movie, but my hats off to the man responsible, as I really enjoyed this movie. I didn't know where it was going to go from the initial 10 minutes or so, but having watched both versions in a span of 3 days and not being bored or fast forwarding the bits I've seen, is a good recommendation. It's an enlightening story on how we can be, seeing sometimes the best and worst sides of ourselves, but it's also heart warming while never being overly sappy. I'm glad I watched this and as such, I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Scores

Movie

.
.
8

Picture Quality

.
.
.
7

Sound Quality

.
.
.
7

Extras

.
.
.
.
.
5

Overall

.
.
.
7
7
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

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