Published on October 26th, 2010 | by Chris0
Apocalypse Now (1979, Blu Ray)
All I can say (for starters) is that its about time! For one, seeing "Apocalypse" in its full 2.35:1 aspect ratio is worth the price of admission alone. Seriously. Unless you saw it in theatres, you haven't seen all of it.
But, I'll let most of my review of "Apocalypse Now Redux" stand. Mostly. Honestly its been a long, long time since I'd seen the original cut, and I think it is a much better film than Redux, just because of the lack of the extended scenes. Yes, the Blu Ray contains *both* versions, and no, I haven't got around to watching Redux in this set yet...
But I think my appraisal of the movie in my other review is missing one thing. The meaning behind the film can solely be summed up in Col. Kurtz (Marlon Brando) last words. Not, "The Horror", but the line previous,
We train young men to drop fire on people, but their commanders won't allow them to write "fuck" on their airplanes because it's obscene!
Actually most of Kurtz's supposedly insane monologues make more sense than the events Willard comes across in the rest of the film, and capture perfectly what the essence of war, and fighting, (and the movie,) is. It's insanity. Kurtz himself is the logical conclusion to Willard's insane journey, if he isn't careful, if he loses his humanity and his soul....
But, onto the Blu Ray... Basically the movie looks, and sounds, brilliant. This isn't a "grand restoration" to be sure. There are still noticable specks here and there, and (to be expected) there is a lot of grain to be seen. I say "to be expected" because its just how the film came out. I'd say its a "faithful" transfer in every respect. The strange palette of the movie is definitely noticable, with its blues washed out to near gray, while the greens, reds, and "brights" snap out at you. There's one scene, the "It's a f*cking tiger, man!" scene which is especially interesting, with the canopy of the jungle above coming out a bright green in the sun, while everything underneath becomes almost awash in monochrome gray....
And the sound, yeah. The opening scene with the helicopter, never sounded this good I wager. On disc 2, there's a few features on how "Apocalypse" was a ground breaking film in its sound design and was instrumental in paving the way towards our 7.1 multi-channel systems of today.
Speaking of the extras, I admit I have yet to get through them all. I watched the above sound features, and part of the conversation between Sheen and Coppola. I've not even touched disc three of the "full disclosure edition", which has the full-length "Hearts of Darkness" documentary. I've never seen this and thought it might be worthy of its own review.
In the three-disc edition you also get a booklet, which is admittedly mostly eye-candy. I flipped through it rather quickly. There are some scribbled up script excerpts, production notes, stills, etc.... good to have in a "complete" edition such as this.
Bottom line: If you like this movie, then you need this. If you've never seen it before, then this is where you start, but think about what you're watching and why things are happening.
I'm throwing out a full '9' on this one, and I haven't finished digesting the whole package.
Oh, and Dennis Hopper is still amazing as Kurtz's "interpreter." Casting genius.
Apocalypse Now (Apocalypse Now / Apocalypse Now Redux / Hearts of Darkness) (Three-Disc Full Disclosure Edition) [Blu-ray]
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Apocalypse Now / Apocalypse Now: Redux In the tradition of such obsessively driven directors as Erich von Stroheim and Werner Herzog, Francis Ford Coppola approached the production of Apocalypse Now as if it were his own epic mission into the heart of darkness...
DVD InformationBinding: Blu-ray
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Brand: Lions Gate Home Ent.
Original Release Date:
- Martin Sheen
- Marlon Brando
- Condition: New
- Format: Blu-ray
- AC-3; Closed-captioned; Dolby; DTS Surround Sound; Special Edition; Subtitled; Widescreen
Summary: seeing "Apocalypse" in its full 2.35:1 aspect ratio is worth the price of admission alone. Seriously. Unless you saw it in theatres, you haven't seen all of it.