Reviewed March 13th, 2001 by John Randall
“Oh it's okay.
I'm easy to forget.
Just leave me behind.
I'm only the fucking lead singer!”
This is one of those movies that makes you want to be a real rock star. Ok, maybe not everyone, but this film really does take me back to the time where dreams came true and nothing else mattered. Back when music could take you far away from reality without the need for any drugs. This is a story about hopes, excitement, growing up, parenting, and of course MUSIC.
William Miller (Patrick Fugit) gets the break of a lifetime, when Rolling Stone magazine chooses this high schooler to write an article on one of the hottest new bands called Stillwater. William then goes on tour with the band and the adventure really starts from there.
I was very upset after watching the DVD that I didn't get to check out this fine film at the theatre. It would have been great to see different generations watching this film at the same time and seeing what their reactions to certain scenes would be.
Cameron Crowe wrote and directed this masterpiece. According to the documentary on the DVD, this story is actually semi-autobiographical. The story is very believable and so are the great characters.
It is not every day that a great cast can be put together for such a unique film as this one is. Patrick Fugit really does a fine job - especially for a newcomer. I hope we get to see plenty more from him as well. He really did have an innocence to him that made his character (again semi-based on Crowe) almost too believable.
Rounding out the cast are some fine veterans like Kate Hudson (200 Cigarettes), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Boogie Nights), Jimmy Fallon (Saturday Night Live), Fairuza Balk (The Craft), Frances McDormand (Fargo) and the great Jason Lee.
Jason Lee caught my eye in Kevin (the MAN) Smith's Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Dogma. In this film it was nice to see him out of that context and he REALLY delivered. He actually had the best line in the film which is quoted above.
This film may have a kick-ass storyline. It may also have many fine actors and a wonderful director. But the most undisputed thing about this movie is its soundtrack! Every song in this movie carries the story along. Total perfection in this area.
The video on the DVD is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen is very good. Colors and blacks seem dead on.
The audio is a winner as well with dual DTS 5.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks. Both tracks sound incredible - especially during the on-stage music numbers where the deep bass can be felt. People will probably argue about which is best - the DTS or DD versions. Both are excellent.
Extras are on the short side but do include 7 Rolling Stone articles written in the younger days of Cameron Crowe, a nice documentary that explains a lot of Crowe's “former life” at Rolling Stone, a nifty music video by the fictional Stillwater, info on the cast & crew, and a trailer.
I personally loved this movie. It has a lot for a wide range of people. DreamWorks also gave us a stellar DVD as well. Highly recommended
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