Ain't It Cool News (


I don’t know how much good this review will be for you... Ya see ALMOST FAMOUS was an extremely personal experience for me in the theater last night.

Now I’m not gonna say this is the greatest movie to look behind the veil of Rock-n-Roll music... Personally I believe that probably belongs to the world of documentaries... I really believe that something like GIMME SHELTER works on levels so much more profound than an acted out film... Simply because you know you are witnessing the reality of it all.

I bring up GIMME SHELTER because I just watched it last night... in its Dolby Digital sounding best... watching the early camera work of George Lucas... Watching the ROLLING STONES in their relaxed down time moments... I realized that ALMOST FAMOUS isn’t a great look on the backside of Rock-N-Roll...

What Cameron Crowe has made however, is a striking look at what it is like to not be the famous person... going everywhere the famous people go. That’s what this film is.

Sure we look at the rock gods, but we see them at their most glamorous memorable moments of life. The decadent peaks and valleys.

Crowe takes us on drug overdoses and drug highs... through the dancing young nubile giggly flesh of the backstage tarts...

This young wide eyed kid goes from the purity of albums and radio waves.... to the decadence of backstages and orgiastic hotel scenes... at the age of 15/16...

He takes us to the scene of 1974 Rock-n-Roll through the eyes of a fan... a fan that sees that the Rock Gods have all the treats of Bacchus, but are in reality quite self-involved human beings... that become gods when the lights come up and the amps cook and the mike ceases to feedback.

Now having just watched GIMME SHELTER, I saw a noted lack of DOWN TIME in ALMOST FAMOUS... but then, when you get the backstage pass... When you are the enemy.... You nearly always see your subject while they are still... ON. It is only after an intensive amount of time spent with the individual or group of people that you really begin to see the real person. It is only then that you get to know the real way a person reacts to a given situation.

In ALMOST FAMOUS you see the star struck untrained journalist cross all the traditional journalist lines. You see him completely cross the line from journalist to friend... and you see him reach the otherside with an uncompromised piece of writing that was a completely honest portrayal of his experiences with the subjects.

You know... How can I not associate with the character of William Miller (played fantastically by Patrick Fugit). Here is a kid with no formal training, working in a fairly new medium... that being Underground Newspapers and magazines and then finally ROLLING STONE as a rock critic. He’s just a kid. How can he judge rock-n-roll or any other form of music? He’s accepted because he’s not afraid to speak up, to voice and state his opinions... because he can communicate what his eyes beheld and put them in words for the world to also see.

Now this movie is filled with great moments and great scenes... but for me, my favorite moment of the entire film... the most real and honest moment is a very small... to most people... completely forgettable scene....

When William is up on stage for the first time... off in the wing, watching Stillwater perform for the first time... and Penny Lane is standing next to him... she sees that he’s busily writing notes... scratching away at his little notepad like you’d imagine Ben Hecht in the days of old. Penny reaches over and takes his pencil away.

The moment is one of sheer beauty for me. You see, that’s a philosophy. When the music is playing... you see pushing the pencil... you watch and soak it all in. You have to watch... watch the way the rock stars hair captures the colored lighting... the way the crowd sways and churns... the people clawing at the stage... the beading of sweat on the forehead of the drummer as he pounds home the beat... the intense vibration in your own sternum as the sound pours forth... And you have to communicate that... put it in print, and if you are busy with notes... standing there... head down, fingers wrestling the number 2 for a scant few words on the page... when you are missing the 40 other sentences you’d pick up just by watching.

Ok... so that’s one level of the film... That’s the side where I most strongly relate... but there is so much that everyone can latch on to.

Remember when you first discovered your first Rock-n-Roll? Remember how it felt like a revelation... as though someone whispered a dirty secret to you? I remember, I was just a kid... about 3 or 4... I fell in love with the song RAMBLING MAN... I used to jump up and down and sing the song way wrong and drove my parents nuts... it was that and DIG DIG from my Snow White album. A couple of years after that... it was PINBALL WIZARD. In between, I was being raised in the amplified reality of the Armadillo World Headquarters... I was that hippie child... my parents ran the Light Shows... I danced off to the side... but there was something so real and honest about the music coming. In ALMOST FAMOUS you get that. You feel that.

The only real moments for these guys are the onstage moments. That brings us to STILLWATER... the band. The stand outs are Jason Lee and Billy Crudup... Both really really shine here. In fact, I’d say these two really become stars for the first time for me. I loved Jason Lee in CHASING AMY, but here... he’s just perfect. And Billy Crudup... he is just a ROCK STAR in this... pure unadulterated charisma. A STAR. I last really liked Billy in WITHOUT LIMITS, but here... WoW. Crudup is the entire package here.

This is what is wonderful about this film. Billy Crudup becomes a star. This Patrick Fugit exhibits AMAZING TALENT... and Kate Hudson becomes a super star here. If, as we reported, Kate becomes Mary Jane... she’s going to be huge. Hudson is just absolute magic in the film. She’s a Gala... a muse... that which inspires art and poetry and music. That’s the part she plays... a magical creature, the last unicorn. Speak her real name and she disappears, she is for all purposes... Penny Lane.

Between those three fantastic performances... Cameron Crowe’s wonderfully honest and real screenplay... Oh... and a performance worthy of supporting actress looking at by Frances McDormand as.... ummmmm... one of the scariest mothers in film history... hehehe...

Overall... I love this movie. It shows the initial hostility and distrust between reporters and artists... it shows how hard it is to earn respect and trust to gather information and a familiarity out of your subject so that you don’t get the same pat answers to the same pat questions.

Here it shows a pretty damn fine look at how that process needs to breakdown in order for it to work. It has to hit the dumps so there can be a moment of awakening. And ya know... Cameron doesn’t miss a beat.

Now, I’ve heard that later on when the DVDs hit there will be two versions... one release for ALMOST FAMOUS and one for UNTITLED which was significantly longer... I can’t wait. Talking to John Robie about this film and the other version he saw... has me lusting for the longer version as well.

I can’t wait to see Kate Hudson and Patrick Fugat on screen again. And I’m very happy to see Cameron Crowe already at work casting his next film. Goody.

Ahhhh.... I can't believe I initially forgot to include the hands down film stealing role/performance of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Here... he's playing the cynical been up and down both sides of this street... worldly wise, aging rock-n-roller critic. He is all at once... beatnik, hipster, Yoda and the coolest spouter of the truth you ever did see. Phillip is currently like the Film House Keeping Seal of Approval... you see him in the film... you know it's good. Again, another fantastic turn by this great actor.

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 9, 2000, 7:58 a.m. CST


    by Deagley

    I have always wanted to do that? Wasn't there a movie or something to review? It's too early for this sh*t.

  • Sept. 9, 2000, 8 a.m. CST

    Tiny Dancer

    by Redwood

    Awesome... I've been waiting for a truly great movie this summer, and finally, Cameron Crowe will be able to give me one. This, and Nurse Betty and Remember the Titans. But one question... what does Anna Paquin do here?

  • Sept. 9, 2000, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Thank God, it's not capturing the backside of rock!

    by reni

    It means there's still room for me to make Cocksucker Blues 2: The Return...!!!!

  • Sept. 9, 2000, 9:02 a.m. CST

    Very Personal Post

    by DaveDe

    Doesn't every review of Harry's start out with, "This was a very personal story for me." I think Harry is a little too sensitive. As for the movie. I am dying to see Kate Hudson and Billy Crudrup in something good. Then you add in this is a Cameron Crowe movie and you know this is a must see. Crowe is the next underappreciated (Ala Cameron)director who needs to get his Oscar. I haven't seen this yet so I have no idea if this is the movie that will do it, but someday he's going to be up at that podium.

  • Sept. 9, 2000, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Lay off Harry, Bastards!!

    by GekkoTheGreat

    I'm sick of these preening, alpha-male truck driving bastards acting like they're so much bigger and tougher. Fuck you. Some people actually have the ability to express emotion at works of art. In other words to show a little humanity. If you don't like it, why do you even come to this fucking site? Now my common sense tells me you're probably all 14-year old repressed freaks, but it still pisses me off. At least people like Harry and Cameron Crowe are actually doing something with their lives, are using their respective mediums to show people what life means to them. And what the hell is wrong with that? Fuck you all.

  • Sept. 9, 2000, 11:57 a.m. CST


    by monkeylucifer

    Okay, now that I've hopefully got your attention, I want to take a moment to go off topic and say that I would like to see this site address the new EW cover story on the impending strikes in Hollywood, and how they say it will bring the motion picture industry to a virtual stand-still. Harry & Moriarty, how do you feel about this?!?!?! I mean, this will rock the very foundation of the entertainment world, and will send sites like this one, Dark Horizons, and Corona scrambling to find a way to exist. Are we going to have week after week of updates on strike negotiations? Have the Batman film and numerous other projects REALLY been put on the shelf? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!?!?!? I mean, I've heard about the troubles with strike concerning commercials, but this large scale strike seems to have reared it's monstrous ugly head out of nowhere, and now EW seems like it's some crazy "Heaven's Gate" publication making wild and crazy prognostication about the apocalypse of tinsle town. What in the world is really happening? Harry, Moriarty, ANYONE, what is up?

  • Sept. 9, 2000, 12:16 p.m. CST

    this film is wonderful


    subject says it all! see this movie!

  • Sept. 9, 2000, 12:29 p.m. CST

    A touching review of The Karate Kid by BigLarz

    by BigLarz

    I know this is somewhat off topic, but the flavor of Harry's review took me back to an earlier time, a more innocent time, a more....80s time. I believe a turning point of my life was the first time I saw The Karate Kid, on HBO on a Saturday night. It is impossible for me to review this movie objectively, for you see, I too spent my high school years being assaulted by a blonde California karate gang, and I too was lucky enough to find my own Mr. Miyagi. I know The Karate Kid probably isn't the greatest story of a boy turning to the life of karate to assuage the pain of bullies...that distinction proudly belongs to Sidekicks. But as I sat watching that movie for the first time, I gradually lost the sensation that I wasn't WATCHING a movie, but more of a mirror tilted towards my own soul. I remember crying as a bruised and battered Daniel LeRusso staggering home, kicking his bike screaming at the top of his lungs, "I hate this bike! I hate this freaking bike!" His mother asked him what he wanted. His reply? Like Dorothy from some 45 years earlier, he just wanted to go home. For you see, this was at a time in my own life, where I had just moved to a new town. I had no friends. My house was still just a house, not a home. I too just "wanted to go home". But as I continued to watch the sage of young Daniel, I realized that home is what you make of it. As Daniel came to grips with his situation, you can see the transformation gradually on his face. And it really is quite breathtaking to experience. Daniel in the arcade, pleading to Ally in a joking manner, "Hey, don't shoot!" He is at home. Daniel in the restraunt, spilling spagetti all over himself. He is at home. For you see, I realized that "home" isn't always comfortable. Being happy isn't "home", or being sad isn't "home"; its being "you" which makes you at "home". Oh, and a little message to my own Mr. Miyagi, Senor Chavalez: Thank you. I don't know if I could have made it through that time without you. I know I wouldn't want to.

  • Sept. 9, 2000, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Big Larz, now that was damn funny

    by DaveDe

    Dude your Karate Kid thing was awesome. "It is impossible for me to review this movie objectively, for you see, I too spent my high school years being assaulted by a blonde California karate gang" That is funnier then any line in any movie this summer. I like Harry, I like his site, I have no problem with sensitive people. I just don't like his reviews, I want a review of the film, NOT to hear backstory so I can understand your frame of reference when you see the film. Yes were are the culimination of our experiences and that effects our film viewing, but people are smart enough to know that just because one person likes a film it doesn't mean everyone will. People ripping on each other on message boards, NOW THAT is entertaining.

  • Sept. 9, 2000, 2 p.m. CST

    Well, actually...

    by Eppy

    Philip Seymour Hoffman does not play "the cynical been up and down both sides of this street...worldly wise, aging rock-n-roller critic." He plays LESTER BANGS. As in "Birthday parties, cheesecake, Lester Bangs, boom." As in Punk freakin' magazine...I was much more interested in this movie back when it was Untitled, and before I saw the tracklisting. What is this? Elton John wasn't in this world. No. What's going on? This review annoyed me because the writer was really reaching to make it personal. Sure, it's being a rock critic is somewhat analagous to being a movie critic, but being a rock critic in the emerging punk scene of the 70's versus being a movie critic in the rather less creative 90' just doesn't work. I mean, feel what you want, of course, and I'm not berating you for your emotions, but this would seem to be much more "personal" to those people who have an actual connection to the music. And have enough faith to mention the name "Lester Bangs" instead of describing him as a CHARACTER TYPE which is REALLY ANNOYING. To me. The end.

  • Sept. 9, 2000, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Billy Crudup/Lester Bangs

    by Lazarus Long

    In response to the last pos, Lester Bangs was a caricature of himself anyway. So if he was turned into an actual "character", he probably has more depth in the film. So it's a compliment. As for Mr. Crudup, when is the public going to get on this guy's jock where they belong? I remember him in one of the co-starring roles in Sleepers (which had too many stars), but when I saw him in Without Limits I was totally blown away. I remember reading how Donald Sutherland was robbed of a nomination for his role, but I thought Billy was mesmerizing as well. I've never seen real footage of Prefontaine, but that's what's so impressive. Crudup wasn't able to fall back on an "imitaion" or "impersonation" like Jim Carrey was able to for Andy Kaufman. He had to make Pre three-dimensional because most people don't even know who he is. And his charisma came right off the screen. Crudup was also amazing in a small film from earlier this year (or late last year) called Waking the Dead (with Jennifer Connelly), that was pretty underrated, very original. Anyway, here's hoping he's the Russell Crowe of 2001.

  • Sept. 9, 2000, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Don't take this personally...

    by PANIC NOW

    If you can't relate to things, why would you like them?! You shit-for-brains that criticize Harry for IDENTIFIYING with this film (for whatever reason), obviously have never created anything in your lives. THERE IS NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN. Congrats to Crowe.

  • Sept. 9, 2000, 4:09 p.m. CST

    The Kids are Alright

    by Shawn

    Speaking of great rock documentaries, I think The Who's and Jeff Stein's "The Kids are Alright" is one of(if not the) best.....even better than Gimme Shelter. Does anyone know if there are any plans to re-release this anytime soon? None of the video cuts were anywhere near as good as the theatrical release and the laserdisks had problems with the audio tracks (whoch BMG refused to do anything about). This would be great on DVD (and even better if it was re-released theatrically....on a limited run I'm sure). Shawn

  • Sept. 9, 2000, 4:10 p.m. CST

    This... review... was just... too personal... for me....


    I don't even have words for it. I need to sit down... I need a minute. Talk amongst yourselves. Here, I'll give you a topic. Cameron Crowe is no Cameron... nor is he a Crow. Discuss.

  • Sept. 9, 2000, 5:17 p.m. CST

    ALMOST FAMOUS is the best film so far this year. Harrybashers,

    by Nordling

    I was fortunate enough to see ALMOST FAMOUS on Thursday night. It was like opening your favorite album for the first time. The detritus wannabe abortions that post in here blasting Harry for making this a "personal" film (shakes his spoon Keitel style)don't know what the fuck they're talking about. I can totally see why this would be a personal film for Harry. I'm sure he could totally relate to it. As for the film? It simply is the best film this year so far. It's a beautiful movie. It says everything I ever wanted to say about rock music. And it comes at a time when it's almost certain to flop, in your Britney Timberlake NSYNC Backdoor Boys world. Open fire on all of them, I say. But the film is perfect. Damn near flawless. If what Harry says is true and an UNTITLED is coming later on with added footage, I'm so there, because I did not want this movie to end. Billy Crudup is a rock god. And Kate Hudson as Penny Lane will break your heart with one line "What kind of beer?". Philip Hoffman nailed Lester Bangs, and dammit, there simply isn't a bad performance in the damn thing. Look at Patrick Fugit as they ****SPOILER**** pump Penny Lane's stomach. He is so in love with her, and he can't do anything about it. ****SPOILER ENDS**** Haters, line up in hatred if you will, and get thee to your CELL and SCARY MOVIE. ALMOST FAMOUS is awesome. I hope it does well. I love rock and roll (put another dime in the jukebox, baby) and I don't want it to die. I want my Radiohead, my Afghan Whigs, my Led Zeppelin, my R.E.M., my Nirvana, my Nine Inch Nails, my Beastie Boys, my Beatles, my Pink Floyd, my Rolling Stones, my fucking MUSIC to live forever, while this teen sensation shit dies in infamy. I will see ALMOST FAMOUS again. You should too.

  • Sept. 9, 2000, 5:20 p.m. CST

    By the way ****SPOILER ALERT****

    by Nordling

    "Let's deflower the kid" will be this year's "Show me the money!"

  • Sept. 9, 2000, 7:49 p.m. CST


    by call7000

    I hate to say it, but the presence of P.S. Hoffman does not automatically make a good movie. I give you........PATCH ADAMS!!!!!!!!!! (insert scream here)

  • Sept. 9, 2000, 8:08 p.m. CST


    by Di

    I invite all those criticizing Harry to go to the front page, scroll down to the reviews section, and read what is written there. "He personalized this review!" Well no fucking kidding. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go beat my head against the wall for not getting to the Almost Famous sneak today.

  • Sept. 9, 2000, 8:27 p.m. CST

    No, I'm not criticizing Harry for taking this film to heart


    I really wasn't. I was really making more of a comment on the ellipses overdose I was suffering. On the other hand, let's be honest... Harry does tend to get flowery in his reviews. But so what, really? I mean, this isn't Pauline Kael's Ain't It Cool News. It's not David So he describes things more poetically than most reviwers, but he never claimed to be a film critic... he's a film geek. More power to ya, Harry. Hell, my sister always used to razz me for getting so carried away with films; totally loving them or completely hating them. But like she said about me once, "You know what? I'll bet that, when he sees a movie he really likes, he *enjoys* it ten times more than I do." Now in regards to "Almost Famous": Personally, I can't fucking wait to see this film. Cameron Crowe is one of the directors on a VERY short list whose films I MUST see on opening weekend, if not sooner. (List also includes Jim Cameron, Kevin Smith, Terry Gilliam, and Milos Forman. That's about IT.) I know this film will affect me (at least, I assume so,) and I know I'll be telling family and friends about it, and probably dragging my girlfriend with me for repeat viewings. So here's to Cameron for making films good enough to get guys like me dedicated to their work come hell or high water, and here's to Harry for not running his emotion-guided review on the film through a "How cool will they think I am?" filter. Both of you please keep up the good work. Lightstormer. . . . . . . . . . . out.

  • Sept. 9, 2000, 8:44 p.m. CST

    I Remember Watching The Karatae Kid With A Friend Who Is a Black

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...he said he would have loved to get in the ring with a guy who learned karatae by painting a fence. Cameron Crowe movies rule!

  • Sept. 9, 2000, 11:46 p.m. CST

    Kate Hudson is pure joy!

    by GEEKBASHER 3.0

    Just got back from the Almost Famous sneek and although the movie was excellent, it wasn't the absolute Best I was expecting! Very Enjoyable all around, and Kate Hudson was sheer magic! She really lit up the screen with incrediable Star Power in this film and I cannot wait to see her in DR. T and future projects! Goldie must be PROUD! Oh and by the way Harry, I must disagree with you, I thought Frances was sweet playing the worried mother,not scary, the title of the Scariest Mother in Film History has to go to Faye in her Kabuki Mask beating up poor Christina......

  • Sept. 10, 2000, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Almost Famous

    by keropi

    Harry - Your review was right on. I just returned from the sneak preview of Almost Famous. I only have two things to add. 1) At one point in the movie, the audience was singing along. (Elton John/bus scene). That was cool. 2) I beg you to see Billy Crudup's last movie, Jesus' Son. I am sure you will agree, that made him a star. The only problem is that only 10 of us saw the film. Paula

  • Sept. 10, 2000, 12:57 a.m. CST

    Great movie

    by Private Ryan

    Almost Famous was great. It may have been the year's best (so far...I still haven't seen Crouching Tiger.) The movie is filled with wonderful little moments like the one Harry mentioned. I thought the performances were excellent. Kate Hudson is a star. You just see it happen before your eyes. I always have been a huge Jason Lee fan, and I was really happy to see him grow in this film into a real actor. As for Phillip Seymour Hoffman...the man is a pimp. A total pimp. He is just awesome. The scene in the radio station...pure gold. I loved this movie!

  • Sept. 10, 2000, 1:52 a.m. CST


    by Psyclops

    I can't wait till this movie opens on the 15th here in L.A.! This will most likely be the best film of the year.

  • Sept. 10, 2000, 5:24 p.m. CST

    biopic vs good flick?

    by valdar

    Listen people, lighten up! are all you talkbalkers under 30? So what if Crowe wrote an autobiographical piece? My purpose in seeing the film comes from being 42-year-old who lived through the time in question, and is intrigued with seeing how a good filmmaker handles the subject matter. what the hell's wrong with you all?

  • Sept. 10, 2000, 5:44 p.m. CST


    by starshine

    Those unspoken momements of sheer eye CONTACT that leave imprints on your soul.. I think my heart has been taken :)

  • Sept. 11, 2000, 9:33 a.m. CST

    To the jackasses criticizing Crowe for doing an autobiographical

    by r_dimitri22

    ...often some of the best writing, art, etc. comes from that which is based on the personal experience of the artist. What kind of bogus fucking criticism is this? What the hell does it matter if it's autobiographical? The test is whether or not it's a good story/film (which I don't know as I have not yet seen the movie). I suspect you're simply harboring some kind of subconscious jealousy because no one wants to option your life story.

  • Sept. 11, 2000, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Sand The Floor, Daniel-san!

    by w_buhr

    Was it me, or did Big Larz seem like he was absolutely serious with the comparisons of his life to karate kid? If he was indeed kidding, then that was the best post I have ever read on this site. If he was serious, same thing.

  • Sept. 11, 2000, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Shawn's query

    by JetAlone

    The Kids Are Alright is coming out on DVD, sometime in January 2001, last I checked. Imagine the digital clarity of Moonie blowing up his drums on the Smothers Brothers show... hee hee. Oh, and by the way, Lester Bangs fucking rules and I'm SO STOKED ABOUT SEEING THIS MOVIE!

  • Sept. 11, 2000, 4:32 p.m. CST

    The Virgin Shut-in is...

    by Lobanhaki

    A stereotype that some people lay on people who love movies, love TV shows, and love talking about them in emphatic terms. It is, at it's most basic level, the expression that people use when their idea of recreation is something that doesn't require thought, when their idea of a life lived to its fullest is basically to be able to indulge in whatever pleasures they deem fit. They are the dark side to that serious sort of attitude towards life, the ideal of life being centered around some kind of work that has to be done, and that any sort of profession that doesn't produce something "real" is laziness. To get the hedonistic ideal of those many who call us geeks, all you have to do is just sidestep logically and ask yourself what a person who thinks so materialistically does for recreation. They do things that are engaged in some kind of supposed reality. The trouble is, those people never quite get away from their "reality" and sooner or later they end up just like the rest of the narrow-minded materialistic people: living lives of quiet desperation at some office job or worse. As for all those pleasures that they say geekdom denies a person, well, guess what? We still experience them, in fact, at times experience them in a far greater way. The best of us geeks find a way to balance our material needs with our artistic and aesthetic aspirations. In other words... The best of us end up fulfilling our dreams more or less. Harry seems like a fellow who enjoys his job. How many people can say that? He seems even handed in his criticisms. He will not flinch from describing a movie as a floating turd if he feels that way about it. Those who think of him as a sell-out don't get that there is no such thing as an objective view of art. It's entire purpose is to bias and persuade, communicate and convince. Harry talks from his gut about how films affect him, not from his ass, though some snobs wouldn't choose to make such a distinction. I for one am not going to make cracks about how little life experience some of these people may have. One, I don't think that's universally true. Two, I think that when it is true, it's often because that person wants to take their own route through life, or their sweet time in plunging themselves into the world. Since many of those who compete to get drop kicked into the big wide world end up chewed up and wasted, I don't see the problem with being a geek.

  • Sept. 12, 2000, 12:45 p.m. CST

    "perfect dark style."

    by grammarcop


  • Sept. 12, 2000, 8:06 p.m. CST

    BigLarz... you are a genius...

    by RyaSKre

    You know, before reading that, I had never laughed out loud at a post on this site before. "Senor Chavalez," HAHAHAHA! Perfect! Bravo, BigLarz, Bravo.

  • Sept. 13, 2000, 7:47 p.m. CST

    pay no attention to that man behind the curtain

    by echoman

    Harry, I whole-heartedly agree that this is a phenomenal movie with that ease that Cameron Crowe seems to posess of making us really care about the characters and that we are now close personal friends with the characters. However, I don't feel like this is an objective slice of his life: the reality of a rock and roll journalist. I mean, how many people at 15 are picked up by mythological backstage beauties based on their teenage awkwardness. I saw it instead as a trip through oz (excuse the oversused comparison but I think that it's an archetype of cinema.) The characters all have their faults and going gets tough, but who actually thinks that a rock and roll lifestyle is easy? That's part of the enchantment: that sometimes the lows are rock bottom. William sees it all, but all is restored in the end. Yeah, rock and rollers have problems, but everyone knows that. It's part of the folklore. As much as we want William to be us, his character is just as much part of the folklore. echoman

  • Sept. 16, 2000, 3:12 p.m. CST


    by mrwilliam

    This is the first four-star movie of 2000.Speaking of which,this year (so far)has sucked BIG TIME--at least compared to last year. Sure there have been a few good movies (I liked BOILER ROOM,WONDER BOYS and HIGH FIDELITY) but the pickings this year have been REAL SLIM.Argue if you wish,but that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!!!

  • Sept. 17, 2000, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Billy Cruddup, Jason Lee & Crew Will Be Going On Tour As STILLWA

    by Buzz Maverik

    "Hey, hey, we're Stillwater! People say we still water around, but we're too busy doing Band Aids, to put anybody down..."

  • Sept. 19, 2000, 3:27 a.m. CST

    BigLarz for president

    by X-Girls

    that post was hilarious and brilliant. I hope you consider yourself welcome to craft more. This was a really good talk back. Cameron Crowe has every right to make a biography of his own life, but some people find it a little funny that he often does. What is Anna Paquin's role here? Ima gonna marry that girl (along with every other X-Girl!). I think this film was worth making. Why was this personal for Harry?

  • Sept. 19, 2000, 11:02 a.m. CST

    X-Girls, Anna Pacquin Plays A Groupie Called Epoxy, or something

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...which I figured would be a better name for Fairuza Balk's character, who is probably named Tahllullah or something. She's cool. They both are. So start practicing your guitar and get them rock star moves down, boy!

  • Sept. 23, 2000, 12:02 a.m. CST

    Eating snickers with silverware or otherwise known as "running w

    by lethalim

    Just saw it and CAN ANYBODY SAY OVER-RATED!!? I got a better feeling about waxing bout the good ole days from Dazed and Confused. I'm sorry, I do like Crowe and I did like this movie, but this is no masterpiece. Lets not exaggerate fellas and felldets. This movie was good...THATS IT...I do smell over-rated hype B.S brewing and getting ready to spew. I'm getting the feeling that this could be one of those movies that people will be afraid to give a review contrary to all the gushers out there, probably under the scarey thought that they didn't "Get it". Not me...buuuhhh bye. I repeat good but not an oscar contendar that is for sure.

  • Sept. 25, 2000, 8:40 p.m. CST

    Almost Famous Review

    by Webqueen18

    I really loved this movie and reading your poignant review made me love it all over again. I felt so warm and fuzzy after watching it and I could tell you loved it too. Cameron Crowe should be proud as a peacock and I'm sure he'll be a fan of yours forever.

  • Sept. 28, 2000, 6:29 p.m. CST

    Not For Rappers

    by u2jcheck

    as i watched this movie and loved it, i couldn't help but think that it is a shame that this movie will not do as good at the box office as other movies because it doesn't appeal to the younger generation. think about it, most high school kids like rap and would think the music in this movie is lame.....its a shame. therefore, i think this movie will lose a lot of the box office market without the young rapper type support...they are a bigger demographic than we think. but, hey, it really doesn't matter since many great movies don't make a lot of money. usually shit movies like urban legend 2 will make a lot of money because, in general, there are just a lot of morons who go to the movies. ANYWAY, i liked the movie, go see it (unless you like rap).

  • Oct. 1, 2000, 10:28 p.m. CST

    I Just Saw This Movie This Afternoon...


    And for the most part, I dug it! Sure, it was kind of fakey in some parts but hey, as Peter O'Toole's character said in the cult classic "the Stunt Man": How tall is King Kong? Movies aren's an exact depiction of real life and aren't intended to be, which is probably why the author of this review seems to prefer documentaries like "Gimme Shelter" as the best way to pear behind the veil of Rock. I never really liked Phillip Seymor Hoffman until now-it seemed he would always play either the fat a-hole or the sensitive wuss in all his other movies, but his performance in this film was DEAD ON and finally, the perfect role for him-his character might still be jerky but it works here and is still sympathetic. Kate Hudson was ravishing and it may have just been the lighting but she's better looking than I thought. Not a bad actress either, You gotta love the personality, confidence and savvy she projects, and the poster above who said that SHE IS Penny Lane is right on. Dye her hair and straighten it and yeah, she's Peter Parker's MJ alright. I never cared for Crudup either but he wowed me in this one. Thought he'd play the lead singer but as the lead guitairist he shines. And Jason Lee is mesemerizeing as the self-centered lead singer-another job of good casting. But they saved the best job of casting for the kid (he's so new i can't recall his last name) playing Cameron Crowe's alter ego. Talk about your dead ringers! They got the one kid who could do the role and do it RIGHT. Now, I admit the film has some flaws but darn it, when you have a scene such as the one on the bus when they all sing "Tiny Dancer", you just gotta love this movie. Scenes like that are sweet without schmaltz, which is what we want to see. i can't wait for the extended DVD, with the "Untitled" version to come out, either. Here's hoping it ain't a long wait. But for all intents and puposes, well done Mr. Crowe!

  • Oct. 2, 2000, 8:48 a.m. CST

    ****SPOILER ALERT******

    by ziranova

    I saw this movie for the 2nd time this weekend and really loved it. All the performances are excellent, even Jimmy Fallon in the small role as the new manager. I loved the scene where they make their confessions, thinking the plane is going to crash. Just a great, great, great movie. To the TalkBacker who questioned the use of Elton John's music, I have to disagree. He was HUGE in the 70's rock scene.

  • Oct. 9, 2000, 6:07 p.m. CST

    Clarify and give proper credit

    by 4sp

    I'm not taking issue with your review of Almost Famous (I got a kick out of the movie) and I agree the Gimme Shelter is one of the seminal films about rock culture. BUT: George Lucas' involvement with the film was relatively small. As I understand it, he was a film student at the time and did some camera work at one of the Stone's performances. But then again, the credits show a list of some 15 camerman as well. For all we know, Lucas' footage never made the film, or could be random crowd shots or other filler. True, Gimme Shelter has an impacting visual style. The long close up of Charlie Watts listening to the playback of Wild Horses is one of the great moments in American cinema. There's more to be said in the staring match he has with the camera than in most films. That said, the visual style of GS belongs to the Maysles, who should be praised and revered for making such a great film, not George Lucas. Star Wars is important in its own way, but Lucas contribution to Gimme Shelter is overblown in this review. Don't let the marketing fool you. Lucas may have brought us lightsabers and Jar Jar, but the glory for Gimme Shelter belongs to the Maysles.

  • Oct. 13, 2003, 9:39 p.m. CST

    The Best Scene of The Entire Film

    by lunchbox69210

    I'm sorry, but i think the best scene in the film is about 20 minutes before the end, when William is seeing "Penny Lane" off on her flight....that scene IS JUST FUCKING AMAZING if i might say so...just the whole theme and the music and everything about that scene is just wonderful, because you know that he loves her very much, and he really doesnt want to let her go. Just thought id share lol