Monday, October 25, 2010

Film Yap: Apocalypse Now

The movie starts up and “The End” begins to play as helicopters go through the sky. Chills of recognition creep down your spine. Of course it’s Apocalypse Now. With this new Blu-Ray edition the film has never been crisper and vibrant. I’m sure that has been said with every new edition, but this is different. This was the first time I watched a scene and because how pristine it looked, I was convinced I was watching a better film.

If you haven’t seen Apocalypse Now, go see Apocalypse Now! It still remains one of the greatest war films next to All Quiet on the Western Front and The Bride on the River Kwai. Other movies focus on showing the grittiness or the loss of innocence, this film examines the madness and the uncontrollable nature that was Vietnam.

Martin Sheen plays Captain Willard who is sent on a top-secret mission to go down the river into Cambodia and find Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando) and assassinate him. Kurtz has set up his own private village where he is king, or god. The US government declares him a mad man and wants this to be stopped.

So Willard travels forward, but it’s not really about the destination but the crumbling journey. One of the greatest scenes is when Willard meets up with Lieutenant Kilgore (Robert Duvall) who is more interested in surfing than bringing his men to be safety. He’s a man who doesn’t want to get out of war, but he wants it to last forever. The chaos is his life. As he continues forward Willard philosophies on whether or not he is damned to the same fate as those around him.

This was Francis Ford Coppola in his prime. He has never been able to capture the brilliance and emotion in a film again. Perhaps it was because this was not just a walk in the jungle. Included in the set is the infamous documentary Hearts of Darkness. It is a wonder that any film gets made, but it seems to be an act of God this even was shown in theatres. The madness was not only contained in the narrative, but towards everyone in the crew. This is one of the main sources of parody for Tropic Thunder and its pseudo-documentary Rain of Madness. It’s not one of the best paced documentaries, but is still a must-see for film fans.

This Blu-Ray set gets even greater. Also on one of its three discs is the extended version of the movie, Apocalypse Now Redux. There is 50 more minutes of footage from the film. Not all of it is necessary, but it’s all worth seeing because it’s still prime Coppola.

Also included in this set are brand new interviews with Coppola, Sheen, and the screenwriter John Milius. There’s also the 1938 audio recording of Orson Welles reading Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, the inspiration for Apocalypse Now. There are also commentary tracks for the movie and Hearts of Darkness, another interview with Coppola and Roger Ebert, a collectible booklet and plenty more. This truly is the greatest DVD set that will ever be for this film.

Apocalypse Now – 5 Yaps

Apocalypse Now Redux – 4.5 Yaps

Hearts of Darkness – 4 Yaps

Extras – 5 Yaps

No comments:

Post a Comment