New On Blu: I AM STEVE MCQUEEN Looks Back On A Hollywood Legend

I Am Steve McQueen released on April 14 from Shout! Factory.

I Am Steve McQueen is a new documentary about Hollywood legend Steve McQueen (the original one, not the current British director). The film, narrated by Robert Downey Jr., originally aired on Spike TV and now makes its home video debut.

The 93-minute film features a combination of home movies, vintage interviews, film clips, and of course many guest interviews of McQueen’s friends and family, as well as Hollywood personalities. The guest contributions are mostly on target, though in some cases the film doesn’t do a very good job of explaining the significance of each interviewee. Pierce Brosnan, for example, starred in the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair — that’s not an especially obvious connection. Some other famous folks like Gary Oldman and Randy Couture also appear, and I’m still not sure if their presence has any significance beyond being industry folks who were inspired by McQueen in some way. Naturally, the best interviews come from those who were closest to him, such as son Chad McQueen and costar/wife Ally MacGraw.

The film explores McQueen’s story, from his very rough childhood to becoming a major movie star, to his real-life experiences as a car enthusiast and talented racer, to early retirement, to a nomadic existence and premature passing, chronicling his relationships and wild lifestyle along the way.

If there’s a theme to the proceedings, it’s that he lived life to the fullest, and on his own terms. It seems that everything McQueen ever achieved, he did through sheer determination, desiring to be the best. His driven, “me-first” attitude made him a huge star as well as a formidable auto enthusiast and race-car driver, but also stoked his raging ego and a pattern of selfishness, and damaged his relationships, contributing to two failed marriages.

The documentary seems to gloss over some very important parts of McQueen’s life, like his wild early adulthood, military service in the Marines, late conversion to Christianity, and tumultuous final days. But overall, it’s a respectful and well-made tribute to a legendary actor. While I suppose hardcore Steve McQueen fans will probably want to own this, for the average viewer I think I Am Steve McQueen isn’t high on rewatchability and more of a “rent it” situation.

The Package

Special Features and Extras

Surprisingly for a made-for-TV documentary, the Blu-ray includes a supplemental package with some interesting extras. These two featurettes are shot and edited in the style of the main documentary, and are probably segments left on the cutting room floor.

McQueen’s Garage (15:50)
 Friends, family, and car enthusiasts list and discuss some of the awesome automobiles that comprised McQueen’s amazing car collection.

Steve McQueen’s Yucatan (4:48)
 A very cool exploration of several massive scrapbook-like tomes discovered by Chad McQueen from his father’s archives. These volumes contain a script, storyboards, illustrations, and research which Steve had compiled as development of a special passion project called Yucatan which was ultimately never realized.

Trailer (1:10)

A/V Out.

Get it at Amazon:
I Am Steve McQueen — [Blu-ray] | [DVD] | [Instant]

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