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Almost Famous is one of those films that I have to re-watch every so often (probably about once a year). Every time I watch it I seem to take in a new aspect of it whether it be an appreciation or a criticism. Here is a list of some of the thoughts I had after my most recent viewing:
1. The kid that plays the young William Miller is really good and I think an under appreciated part of the film.
2. Patrick Fugit as William Miller has strengths and flaws. He has a real charm in the film but I always felt that in many of the scenes he overacts a bit and it comes across forced. This is particularly true when contrasted against Kate Hudson who is absolutely brilliant as Penny Lane.
3. The aforementioned Kate Hudson. It is hard not to fall for her character in this film. To say that her face is expressive is an understatement.
4. I love the subtle allusions to Stillwater being Led Zeppelin-ish. The opening drum beat in their first concert appearance is reminiscent of When the Levee Breaks and the drummer's kit is even a see through acrylic as John Bonham was famously known to play.
5. Despite the association with Led Zeppelin, IMO the band sounds more like Bad Company.
6. I feel Billy Crudup should be a bigger star than he is. He is one of those actors that just disappears into his roles. His Russell Hammond is brilliant.
7. What ever happened to Jason Lee??
8. Seymour Phillip Hoffman as Lester Bangs...'nuff said.
9. Rock Legend Peter Frampton plays one of the road managers and was a musical consultant on the film.
10. Tiny Dancer!
I love reading comics and while the purpose for me is an avenue for light relaxation and escapism (as opposed to deeper novels which I read when I am on planes), every so often there is a sequence or exchange that just hits me.
Here is one of those examples, in this case from Avengers #34:
Kang: You're not just a man out of time, Captain...you're an ideology that's extinct.
Captain America: Do you have any idea how tired I am of that? You people telling me how I just don't understand? When it's you people -- you clever people -- who don't get it. I don't let people die because it's the lesser of two evils, or expedient, or because it serves the greater good...I don't compare the act against something else -- I see someone who needs help...and I help. You think it's a weakness. You think it's simple...but you're wrong. It's what makes us human...which is exactly what we're supposed to be fighting for. I know who I am. I rescue the helpless. I raise up the hopeless. I don't measure people's lives...I save them.
I just loved this passage and I think it entirely encapsulates the importance of Steve Rogers (as opposed to Captain America) to the Marvel Universe. He is Marvel's Superman. Not in power, clearly, but as a moral center and consequently why it bugs me when they keep replacing him with other characters.